Proteas opt to field, rain delays play

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Cook_AB REUTERS England's captain Alastair Cook tosses the coin, as South Africa's captain AB de Villiers looks on.

Cardiff – South Africa captain AB de Villiers won the toss and elected to field in the first of five one-day internationals against England at Cardiff on Friday.

The Proteas made sweeping changes to the side that recently beat England 2-0 in a three-Test series to replace their hosts at the top of the world Test rankings.

Strike fast bowler Dale Steyn was left out while several one-day specialists, including Dean Elgar, Robin Peterson, Wayne Parnell, Ryan McLaren and Lonwabo Tsotsobe were all included.

England, who have won their last 10 completed one-day internationals and are ahead of South Africa at the top of the 50-over world rankings, recalled seamer Chris Woakes for the rested Stuart Broad.

Paceman Jade Dernbach and spinner Samit Patel missed out.

Overcast conditions promised to assist seamers, which may have explained de Villiers's decision to field first.

But rain delayed the scheduled 10.15 am (11.15 SA time) start.

England: Alastair Cook (capt), Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter (wkt), Tim Bresnan, Chris Woakes, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, James Anderson

South Africa: AB de Villiers (capt/wkt), Hashim Amla, Graeme Smith, Dean Elgar, JP Duminy, Francois du Plessis, Ryan McLaren, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI) and Richard Kettleborough (ENG)

TV umpire: Simon Taufel (AUS)

Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM) – Sapa-AFP

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