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South Africa wreck England in T20 World Cup

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england_shattered.jpgSouth Africa made mincemeat of a very ordinary England batting line-up dismissing them for just 111, and then chased down the target in a canter to record their first win in the Super 8 stage of the T20 World Cup.

Paul Collingwood won the toss and elected to bat first as he looked to make full use of his spinners while bowling second on a track that had already seen 40 overs of action today. Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara opened the innings with th e duo coming into this game in good form. But both the openers were sent back to the dugout in the first 2 overs by the South Africans. First to go was Bopara who played a slower ball onto his stumps to give Dale Steyn his first wicket. Then in the very next over Wayne Parnell got Wright edging one down to Boucher who made no mistake.

Kevin Pietersen who has always done well against his native country South Africa started his innings with a couple of fours off Steyn. Parnell was bowling well from the other end and gave away just a solitary run from his 2nd over. Pietersen then greeted Kallis with two more hits to the fence, but just when it seemed that he would take the game away form the Proteas, he was brilliantly caught at mid-on by Van der Merwe. England were 25-3 at the end of six overs looking in dire straits.

Owais Shah then combined with skipper Collingwood and the duo struggled initially to put bat on ball. Boundaries were hard to come by and Shah in particular was struggling against the spinners. Both Botha and Van der Merwe were bowling really well in the middle overs and Shah took 17 balls for his first 8 runs. With the crowd getting increasingly restless, Botha helped the right hander, bowling a full toss which was duly dispatched for a six over mid wicket. Shah just took off from there as he clobbered the first 3 balls of Van der Merwe's next over for two fours and a six. The aggression passed on to Collingwood as he hit Kallis for a boundary but off the very next ball the veteran South African showed his experience as he cleaned up Collingwood's stumps for 19.

Van der Merwe then made it worse for the hosts as he picked up two wickets in the 14th over. First to go was James Foster as he reverse swept straight to Albie Morkel at short third man and then Dimitri Mascarenhas was cleaned up by a quicker one from the left-arm spinner. The sudden fall of wickets halted Shah's progress and he too departed in the very next over caught behind for 38. The home supporters were clearly disgruntled at the effort shown by the English batsmen and there was more to follow as Swann got out to Botha for 5. The scorecard read 93-8 after 16 overs and the South Africans were enjoying an easy day in the field.

Adil Rashid and Stuart Broad tried their best to get a decent score on the board but they could only manage singles with the boundaries completely drying up. Broad finally got a four in the last over but he fell off the very next ball for 9. England ended their innings at 111 all out when Anderson was out bowled off the penultimate ball, which meant that the South Africans were set a meager target of 112 to chase.


England made a good start with the ball with Mascarenhas and Anderson conceding just four runs between them from the first couple of overs. Graeme Smith was the first to blink as he played a delightful late cut followed by a slash through point to give the South African innings a kickstart. Jacques Kallis joined in from the other end finding the third man boundary off Stuart Broad's first delivery. Graeme Smith attempted to keep the momentum going, however his attempted pull off Broad went straight up in the air, and wicketkeeper James Foster did well to hang onto the skier.

kallis.jpgEngland bowled a tight line and length to restrict South Africa to just 28 from their 6 powerplay overs, before immediately switching to spin from both ends in the person of Graeme Swann and Adil Rashid. The spinners started well, conceding just 7 runs between them in their opening overs. However, stemming the run flow was always just a temporary phenomena and it was really wickets that England needed.

Gibbs and Kallis made every ball count as they took 15 from the spinners' next couple of overs, without needing to take a risk at all. Kallis finally showed some intent to get a move on, a good decision given that net run rate could come into play later on in the Super 8s. He tonked a short ball from Rashid over midwicket, and Gibbs followed suit a few overs later hitting Swann back over his head for another maximum. However, Gibbs fell to the off-spinner later in the over, bowled by one that was beautifully tossed up.

His partnership of 74 with Kallis had however taken the game well beyond England, and with just 21 needed off the last 31 balls, the game was as good as won.

AB de Villiers accounted for 11 of those runs, before he fell to Swann's spin-twin Adil Rashid, well caught by Collingwood at slip. Kallis was past fifty by this stage, and the veteran all-rounder got the winning runs for his side with a ferocious square-cut off James Anderson.

A clinical performance by the South African batting unit, however, they may be a tad disappointed they didn't chase the target down sooner. The tournament favourites are likely to have their credentials severaly tested by the force of Chris Gayle when they take on the West Indies at The Oval on Saturday.

For England, it's back to the drawing board, as they head to Lord's for what will be a must-win game for them against India.

Mini Scorecard:

England 111 all out (19.5 overs)
Shah 38                  Parnell 3-14

South Africa 114/3 (18.2 overs)
Kallis 57*               Broad 1-14

Man of the match: Jacques Kallis


Photographs Courtesy: ICC

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