NatWest Series 2013: How Weather Forecast Will Affect Final Two ODIs
Two games remain of the weather-affected 2013 NatWest Series and attention is now turning to how conditions will affect the remaining one-day international fixtures.
Two of three games have already been affected by adverse weather conditions, with the first ODI at Headingley abandoned completely due to rain.
Play now heads to Cardiff on Saturday, before the international summer comes to its conclusion in Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl next Monday.
Fourth ODI, The SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff—Saturday 14, 2013
Play is due to get underway at 10.15 BST, meaning the fourth ODI looks set for a delayed start as early predictions show the local area is set for rainfall on Saturday morning.
While it is unclear what time the likely downpour will end, it is a realistic possibility that the game will be shortened from its original 50-over format if forecasts are correct.
England will be delighted if the rain holds off and the resulting overcast conditions allow for swing, but Australia's quick-scoring batsmen will fancy their chances in a reduced match.
James Faulkner and Aaron Finch both have strike-rates of over 95 in ODIs and, while England's Jos Buttler currently has a strike-rate of 126, per CricInfo.
Buttler is the only player in the England team who has a strike rate of over 90 in the format.
Given that Australia's middle order all also score at over 78 runs per 100 balls, the tourists would have to be favourites in any reduced encounter.
Fifth ODI, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton—Monday 16, 2013
Better news for cricket fans is that next week's clash in Southampton looks set for perfect weather as the two sides contest the final match of what has been a long summer of competition.
Sounds like more rain for Edgbaston today. did the @ECB_cricket think playing in mid September was a good idea and charging £60+ a ticket?— Michael Edwards (@MikeEdwards1982) September 11, 2013
Forecasts may change as the game approaches, but it would seem supporters could be treated to a full day of action in what is scheduled to be the second of two day-night fixtures.
Honour is on the line ahead of the return series this winter and both teams will hope for a final victory to swing momentum in their favour before battle resumes in November.
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