|Scorecard:||England v South Africa|
|Player:||JE Root, JC Tredwell|
|Event:||ICC Champions Trophy 2013|
DateLine: 19th June 2013
By Andy Jalil at The Oval
In association with INVESTEC
London – England have given themselves a chance of winning the Champions Trophy for the first time as they moved into the final after a comfortable seven-wicket victory over South Africa with 12.3 overs to spare. The only previous finals encounter that they have had was in 2004 when West Indies emerged victorious on this ground. This time England are awaiting the winners of the semi-final between India and Sri Lanka which takes place today in Cardiff.
Having been set a target of just 176, England were guided home by Jonathan Trott with a brilliant unbeaten innings of 82 from 84 balls with 44 of his runs coming from boundaries. England lost the first wicket on 22 with Alistair Cook dismissed for 6 in the seventh over and four overs later the second wicket fell on 41 with Ian Bell, on 20. Both fell to catches behind the stumps.
With such a modest total to defend, South Africa needed another wicket or two before England could get closer to the target. But Jonathan Trott, proving yet again, as he has done so consistently, his reliability and Joe Root, settled into a solid third wicket stand which put England well on the path towards victory.
They got settled into their innings quickly and looked comfortable throughout the stand. Trott picked up runs rapidly moving to 35 in the 22nd over with a pulled boundary off Robin Petersen and in the next over took another four, off Chris Morris, with a lovely cover drive while Root went to 20, with a four in the same over.
The two showed good understanding in their running between the wickets with quick singles. Trott reached his 22nd ODI half century from 64 balls when he drove Petersen to extra cover for his seventh boundary taking the total to 111 for two. The hundred of their partnership came from 126 balls with Root hitting JP Duminy for the last of his 7 boundaries.
On 48 from from 71 balls, with England 30 short of their target, Root fell to Duminy losing his leg stump having been beaten by the spin as he attempted a paddle shot. Trott by then had moved on to 64.
Earlier, England justified their decision to ask South Africa to make first use of a pitch with a scattering of grass and in cloudy conditions. It all went England’s way until an extraordinary ninth wicket record stand for South Africa between David Miller and Rory Kleinveldt. Their remarkable partnership, the eighth highest in one-day Internationals, ended just one short of a century and the runs had come at the rate of a run-a-ball.
Within the first two overs both opening batsmen had departed. Colin Ingram, without a score, was trapped lbw by James Anderson in the first over and Hashim Amla followed in the second. But having taken the second wicket, Steve Finn conceded three boundaries off successive balls to Robin Petersen. He pulled the first, glanced the second from a full toss and drove to mid-off taking his score to 24 and the total to 29 for two.
Petersen, having put on 41 from 56 balls with Faf Du Plessis, the second highest stand of South Africa’s innings, fell lbw to Anderson for 30 giving the bowler two for ten in six overs. It was just a straight ball that the left-hander missed. South Africa’s plight continued with the next five wickets falling in a space of 30 runs to be reduced to eight for 80 in 22.3 overs.
AB de Villiers went without scoring playing a swat-shot and getting a bottom edge and JP Duminy played-on in attempting a cut to a ball that didn’t give him enough room for the shot. Faf Du Plessis had progressed to 26 when he got an outside edge to the off spin of James Tredwell and that was six down for 70.
Within the next ten runs, Ryan McLaren was run out having advanced out of his crease to drive Tredwell but couldn’t get back in time and with Chris Morris edging Tredwell behind, the Kent spinner had three for six in seventeen balls. Thereafter came the much-needed revival with Miller and Kleinveldt combining to take control.
When their stand reached 52 with a six by Kleinveldt in Root’s first over, they had faced just 51 balls and went on to play flamboyant shots. Miller took his score to 49 with a drive to the mid-on boundary when Broad returned for a second spell and a single off the next ball saw him to his fourth ODI half century from only 45 balls. It contained 5 fours and two sixes.
Broad brought an end to the innings with the last two wickets. Kleinveldt gloved a leg side catch on 43 from 61 balls, his highest ODI score and Lonwabo Tsotsobe went first ball. Both fell to catches behind, the last was Jos Buttler’s sixth in the innings. Tredwell, the pick of the bowlers was man of the match with three for nineteen in seven overs.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2013 Andy Jalil)