Solanki, Trescothick ruin Kallis' day
Vikram Solanki and Marcus Trescothick scored high-class centuries to ruin Jacques Kallis' day as England beat South Africa by six wickets.Updated: Jun 29, 2003 10:22 IST
Vikram Solanki and Marcus Trescothick scored high-class one-day centuries to ruin Jacques Kallis' day as England stunned South Africa by six wickets on Saturday.
Kallis's 107 out of a team total of 264 for six on a perfect batting strip looked to have set up a certain South African victory in their triangular series encounter at The Oval.
But Solanki, with a maiden run-a-ball century and the innings of his life, and the in-form Trescothick put on an England record of 200 for the first wicket in 32 overs to all but settle the issue.
The South Africans gave England, captained by Trescothick after Michael Vaughan suffered back spasms during the warm-up, a late scare with three wickets for three runs.
But all rounder Andrew Flintoff, who earlier took three wickets for 46, including Kallis's scalp, with three perfect yorkers, marched in with his heavy bat to settle nerves.
Trescothick, who scored 108 not out against Pakistan at the same venue earlier in the month, ended with 114 not out from 125 deliveries, while Flintoff belted 32 from 21 balls before falling shortly before the end. England won with 4.1 runs remaining.
Zimbabwe beat England in the opening match of the tournament on Thursday. The Zimbabweans meet South Africa at Canterbury on Sunday.
Kallis, who drove majestically throughout his innings, did enough to be a winner on Saturday after the touring side opted to bat.
After James Anderson had removed both openers cheaply and Richard Johnson's spectacular run-out of Jacques Rudolph, throwing down the stumps at the non-striker's end off his own bowling, Kallis had patiently rebuilt during a 111-run partnership with Mark Boucher (55 off 65 balls).
Passing 6,000 one-day runs on the way to three figures, he dedicated his innings to his father, who has just been diagnosed with cancer.
Kallis, wearing the number 65 on his shirt to record his father's age, said: "It was pretty emotional. We're fighting with him. I did deliberate whether to come on tour but he is being well looked after by the family."
It was also an emotional day for Solanki. "Perhaps some shots were risky but it was my day," he said. "It just came off."
The 27-year-old right-hander made his one-day debut three years ago but was soon discarded after failing to make the grade, written off as a man with a plethora of attractive, wristy strokes but a lack of patience and judgement.
Recalled this season, he displayed a new maturity at The Oval while using his feet to drive and pull with a flourish.
He hit 17 fours in all, many of them lofted over the inner circle of fielders, before edging Makhaya Ntini behind.
Solanki had one huge slice of luck. On 21, Shaun Pollock appeared to have claimed his wicket, caught behind as he tried to fence to third man, only for a no-ball to be called.
There was no such luck for England newcomers Robert Key, who replaced Solanki and edged a wide delivery from Ntini to fall for a golden duck, and Anthony McGrath, who also went without scoring.
England's batting had looked precariously flimsy before the start, with Trescothick the only established test player among them.
Solanki's fine innings, however, ensured that that soft underbelly was not exposed until it was too late for South Africa to reverse the result.
"Our total should have been enough to win," captain Graeme Smith said. "Our bowlers just didn't create enough pressure."
England: Marcus Trescothick (captain), Vikram Solanki, Robert Key, James Troughton, Andrew Flintoff, Anthony McGrath, Chris Read, Ashley Giles, Richard Johnson, Darren Gough, James Anderson.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Jacques Rudolph, Mark Boucher, Martin van Jaarsveld, Shaun Pollock, Nicky Boje, Andrew Hall, Alan Dawson, Makhaya Ntini.
First Published: Jun 28, 2003 16:03 IST