Bowlers take England to CT final, SA 'choke' again
Hosts England cruised into the Champions Trophy final with a seven-wicket win today after South Africa once again underlined their reputation as cricket's 'chokers'. Scorecardindia Updated: Jun 20, 2013 10:15 IST
An impressive bowling performance powered England to the Champions Trophy summit clash, as the hosts thrashed South Africa by seven wickets in the first semifinal, here on Wednesday.
The hosts bundled out South Africa for a meagre 175 after inserting them in to bat, and then comfortably overhauled the target with 12.3 overs to spare.
Such was the domination of the England bowlers that AB de Villiers and Co found it difficult to buck the trend of faltering in major ICC tournaments.
It was a complete team effort by England, as all the bowlers played a part in demolishing the South African top and middle batting order.
England had their rivals on the mat as they had reduced them to 80 for 8 at one stage and Proteas owed their recovery to some gritty batting by David Miller (56), who in the company of tail-ender Rory Kleinveldt (43) added 95 runs for the ninth wicket in 16 overs.
James Anderson (2/14) and Steven Finn (1/45) excelled with the two new balls and were duly complemented by Stuart Broad (3/50) and off-spinner James Tredwell, (3/19).
England lost their openers early but Jonathan Trott (82 not out) and Joe Root (48) batted with calm and assurance, to lead the hosts to the finish line.
They shared a 105-run stand for the third wicket.
Trott paced innings well as he batted cautiously initially and started playing strokes once it was sure that England had reached a safe position.
It is second time that England have qualified for the Champions Trophy final. The last time they featured in the final was in 2004. That time also they had hosted the event and ended runners-up to the West Indies.
England will now play the winner of tomorrow's semifinal between World Champions India and Sri Lanka in the summit clash on June 23 at Birmingham.
South African bowlers did a decent job, specially spinner Robin Peterson, but England had the luxury of wickets with a small target at hand.
The Proteas removed openers Alastair Cook (6) and Ian Bell (20) early, but Trott and Root did not allow South African to seize the momentum. They batted with a lot of responsibility as they waited for loose deliveries.
Trott's knock came off 84 balls with 11 boundaries while Root helped himself with seven shots to the fence in his 71-ball knock. By the time JP Duminy dismissed Root, England were close to a win.