Live Commentary: England vs. New Zealand - Second Twenty20 international - as it happened

Live Commentary: England vs. New Zealand - Second T20 - as it happened
© AP Photos
Live text coverage of the second Twenty20 international between England and New Zealand at The Oval.

England were looking to level the Twenty20 series with New Zealand when the two sides met at The Oval on Thursday evening.

The hosts were asked to bat first but play was stopped after just two balls following Michael Lumb's dismissal off the bowling of Mitchell McClenaghan.

Rain continued to fall for the remainder of the evening and the umpires were forced to abandon the match just after 9.00pm.

Read below to find out how everything unfolded on a frustrating evening.

6.00pmHello everyone. New Zealand's stay in England ends with this second Twenty20 international at The Oval. However, I'm not sure if the Kiwis are the main attraction tonight. England fans have been waiting all summer for the return of Kevin Pietersen. Well, he's back.

6.02pmPietersen's return comes at a great time for England, who are without skipper Eoin Morgan. It's a big day for stand-in captain Tredwell, who is out in the middle for the toss.

6.03pmBREAKING NEWS: Brendon McCullum wins the toss and New Zealand will bowl first.

6.05pmNo surprises as McCullum confirms that the Kiwis will chase. There's a bit of rain around but hopefully we won't be disrupted tonight.

6.06pmNEW ZEALAND: Rutherford, Franklin, B. McCullum, Taylor, Latham, Munro, N. McCullum, Anderson, Butler, Hira, McClenaghan

6.09pmENGLAND: Hales, Lumb, Wright, Pietersen, Bopara, Buttler, Stokes, Tredwell, Dernbach, Rankin, Briggs

6.09pmMorgan has been speaking to Sky Sports and confirmed that a broken finger means that he will be having an operation tomorrow.

6.11pmNew Zealand are unchanged for tonight's game but England have made a couple of changes. Pietersen returns to replace Morgan and Danny Briggs comes into the side for Chris Woakes.

6.12pmTredwell has just told Sky Sports: "It's something you dream of as a child (captaincy), I've been lucky enough just to play for my country but to get this opportunity is massive."

6.15pmIf you believe what the weatherman says, there could be some rain arriving at around 8.00pm. That could bring Duckworth-Lewis into the equation tonight, which would explain McCullum's decision to field first too.

6.19pmBad weather. New captain. Neither of those topics are going to steal Pietersen's limelight tonight. Following that brilliant century for Surrey, the batsman plays his first game for England since the tour of New Zealand earlier this year.

6.22pmPietersen's return is certainly exciting but England will be keeping a keener eye on the Ashes warm-up match against Essex, which begins on Sunday. Sports Mole will be covering that four-day match, so make sure you join us for that.

6.25pmHales and Lumb both made good starts on Tuesday evening and they'll be hoping to provide a good platform for their side tonight. Pietersen is expected to come in at four, with Luke Wright keeping his place at three.

6.29pmBoth sides are ready to begin proceedings at The Oval. Hales and Lumb open the batting. Mitchell McClenaghan will bowl the first over.

ENG 2-0Lumb flicks the first ball of the match through mid-wicket for a couple of runs.


ENG 2-1There's a bit of swing in the air for McClenaghan and Lumb drives at the ball but only manages to offer McCullum a catch at second slip.

ENG 2-1RAIN STOPS PLAY: Don't believe the weatherman. The light drizzle has become slightly heavier and the covers are being brought on. Both sides walk off but let's just hope they'll be back soon.

6.35pmAlways trust the groundsman in this situation. The whole square is being covered now and that suggests that the rain could be staying for a while. It's time for a bit of patience.

6.40pmLumb will be bitterly disappointed with himself at the moment. The ball was there to be driven but McClenaghan's swing was enough to take the edge.

6.45pmIf the broadcaster begins to show a repeat of the Champions Trophy final, you know it's bad news. It's not heavy rain at The Oval but the sky is grey still.

6.48pmPietersen sits waiting with his pads on, impatiently waiting for his first bat in an England shirt this summer.

6.53pmDuring this break I think it's worth taking a few seconds to praise McClenaghan. The seamer made the breakthrough today but his performances have been impressive throughout the summer. He looks a great find for the Kiwis, who have plenty of talent at their disposal at the moment.

6.55pmThe cut-off point for a game tonight is 9.11pm because we can only have play until 10.00pm. Five overs a side constitutes a game in this format. Keep everything crossed.

7.00pmWell, just two balls have been bowled tonight. We looked set for a really special contest, so let's just hope the rain stops soon.

7.07pmEngland's other change tonight was Briggs coming in for Woakes, who only bowled one disappointing over in the match on Tuesday. It seems Woakes is at a bit of a crossroads in his international career. A return to county cricket could be needed to improve his confidence.

7.12pmThere's only one game being played at Wimbledon. There's no play at all at The Oval. The rain has probably started to fall at Glastonbury too. English summer, at its best.

7.17pmThere may have been some criticism aimed at the scheduling of these matches but you can't argue with the crowds that are attracted to T20 cricket. Both games have been a sell out, it's just unfortunate that we've had this delay tonight.

7.24pmThere's still plenty of fans who have stuck around at The Oval but their patience is certainly being tested. The cut-off is at 9.11pm but a decision would be made earlier if the rain continued.

7.29pmRavi Bopara could not look more relaxed as he sits on the balcony. Coach Ashley Giles is slightly more busy as he stares at the gloomy clouds.

7.35pmWe can't ignore it for too much longer. The Ashes is just around the corner. We begin our coverage on July 10th, when the first Test starts at Trent Bridge and you can join us for every single session throughout the summer.

7.42pmIf you missed the news yesterday, Nick Compton made 81 for Somerset against Australia following the news that he had been left out of the England squad to face Essex. It looks a certainty that Joe Root will open alongside Alastair Cook in The Ashes but Compton deserves plenty of credit for that response. Who knows? Maybe he'll still have a part to play against Australia.

7.46pmThe umpires have reappeared at The Oval and they're currently taking a look at the field of play. All of the covers are still on and it hasn't stopped raining just yet but it certainly looks more promising.

7.52pmIt's time for a bit of good news. Well, just a bit. The covers are coming off the square as I type but the umpires are reportedly still a bit concerned about the outfield. It's looking a bit better though, so we could have come cricket soon.

7.56pmThe umpires have confirmed that they're going to monitor the conditions for a bit. It's still a bit dark at The Oval and I'm guessing they're a bit concerned about another shower coming.

8.01pmThe good news keeps coming. There will be an official inspection of the playing area in four minutes.

8.05pmI'm sorry. I got my hopes up at the wrong time. The rain is slightly heavier than it has been for the last few minutes and the umpires have decided to delay the official inspection.

8.10pmThere's an hour left until the cut-off point. The conditions haven't really changed and it looks like the outfield will be the big problem tonight.

8.18pmIt's looking bad at The Oval. The rain is quite heavy now and the covers that had been removed are being brought back on. We could be in for a frustrating night.

8.24pmI'm guessing that the rain will have to stop by about 8.50pm, or the umpires may just send everyone home. There's not much going on at the moment. The condition of the outfield is certainly not improving.

8.32pmWe're all suffering tonight but let's spare a though for Michael Lumb, who was dismissed from the second ball of the match. That was the final delivery bowled before the umpires brought the players off. Not a great evening at all.

8.41pmSome fans are trying their hardest to remain optimistic at The Oval but we're running out of time. There's still no sign of the umpires. Remember, we must have 5 overs a side for a game tonight.

8.44pmSome of the covers are being removed. There's some hope at The Oval, finally. Light rain continues to fall but the umpires look like they're trying to give this game a chance.

8.48pmBREAKING NEWS: The game will restart at 9.03pm and it will be six overs a side. It looks like we could be seeing a game at The Oval. Time for some big hitting!

8.52pmIt's going to be fast and furious cricket at The Oval. Admittedly, it's not the most traditional of games but we could be in for some exciting cricket.

8.53pmIt could all be false hope though. It hasn't stopped raining just yet so these preparations may have been made to give the game a chance. Fair play to the umpires for that but we do need the rain to stop.

8.56pmThe umpires are clearly not too worried about the light rain as they've ordered the main cover to be removed. New Zealand's bowlers are currently warming up so it looks like we'll see some cricket soon.

9.00pmWe've still not heard that we're definitely starting at The Oval. The ground staff are ready with the covers and both sides are ready to play. It's unclear who's going to win this battle.

9.05pmThe covers are back on now. We're still awaiting official word but the rain has started to fall more heavily and that could be it at The Oval tonight.

9.08pmMATCH ABANDONED: I'm the first person to criticise the umpires but they've tried their hardest to get this game started tonight. However, the rain is heavier now and the umpires have decided enough is enough.

9.09pmWell, there's not much to say. Tredwell's reign as captain lasts just two balls. It's steady rain at The Oval and the umpires have no choice but to send everyone home.

9.10pmThanks for joining me on a frustrating evening. If you're desperate for cricket, come back to Sports Mole on Sunday when England begin their four-day match against Essex. Goodnight.

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England's James Tredwell celebrates a wicket in the one-day clash with South Africa on September 2, 2012
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