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Rain dampens T20 at Old Trafford

Manchester, England - Rain reduced the second Twenty20 international between England and South Africa at Old Trafford on Monday to a nine-overs-per-side contest.

After England captain Stuart Broad won the toss and elected to field, fast bowler Steven Finn was preparing to send down the first ball of the match as scheduled at 6.30pm (17h30 GMT) when fresh rain forced the players off the field in this floodlit contest.

England captain Stuart Broad (right) and team mate Graeme Swann leave the field as rain delays the start of the second International T20 cricket match against South Africa at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. Credit: Reuters

Bad weather delayed the start in total for two-and-a-quarter hours until play began at 8.45pm (19h45GMT).

Both teams made changes following South Africa's seven-wicket win in Chester-le-Street on Saturday which confirmed their status as the world's top-ranked Twenty20 side heading into this month's World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

World Twenty20 champions England dropped Ravi Bopara, out of form with the bat, and recalled Luke Wright to the number three position once occupied by the now exiled Kevin Pietersen - man of the tournament when they won the 2010 edition in the Caribbean.

Essex all-rounder Bopara has struggled for runs since returning to England duty following unspecified personal problems and was omitted after scores of 16, zero, six, zero and six in his last five international innings.

South Africa made two changes.

They dropped Faf du Plessis and recalled in-form batsman Hashim Amla, who in the preceding Test and one-day series managed a huge combined tally of 817 runs at 116.71.

They also left out left-arm seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe, whose two overs at Chester-le-Street cost an expensive 22 runs, and brought back tall fast bowler Morne Morkel. - Sapa-AFP

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