Cricket Article

South Africa rout England in Super Eights

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The hosts England were given a royal spanking in front of a capacity Trent Bridge crowd, as they lost to South Africa by even wickets and with ten balls to spare.

England won the toss and decided to bat first on a dry wicket, essentially meaning that it couldn’t have got better to bat on in the second innings. Yet, the English batting line-up could not stand up to the deadly Proteas’ bowling and collapsed to their lowest ever T20I total of 111 all out.

Both the men in form, Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright fell within the first couple of overs to Dale Steyn and Wayne Parnell respectively. Kevin Pietersen, who is certainly not fully fit for the tournament, was joined in the Owais Shah, and the duo stalled the fall of any further wickets to the quick bowlers, but Shah was barely able to put the ball out of the circle.

Albie Morkel was called into the attack and immediately stuck, when Reold van der Merwe caught a stupendous catch at mid-on to send Pietersen walking. At the other end, Shah continued to struggle with his timing and had scored only nine runs off 19 balls as the crowds began to boo his effort. It all changed for him when a full-toss by Johan Botha was smacked to the mid-wicket fence for six, after which he smashed another maximum of van der Merwe and blazed a couple of successive boundaries after that. Won the man-of-the-match> Things looked to be improving for England after that as they reached 73/3 in 12 overs, but the wicket of Collingwood changed that. A Jacques Kallis yorker put paid to the captain’s hopes, while Jamie Foster and Dimitri Mascarhenhas departed in the same over by van der Merwe. Shah was England’s last hope and when he was claimed by Jacques Kallis off an outside edge to the wicket-keeper, there was no looking back. England collapsed to 111 all out, with Shah being the top scorer with a 33-ball 38. The Vanquished!> South Africa did have a few heart-stopping moments in reply, especially when Graeme Smith left early, and the asking rate looked like it would touch 6.5 runs per over as the run-scoring became a trifle difficult on a slow pitch. But Kallis manoeuvred around his way to a match-winning half-century, and Herschelle Gibbs scored a run-a-ball 30 to guide the South Africans to an easy win in the end.

Kallis’ two wickets and the unbeaten half century won him the man-of-the-match award.