Friday, June 21, 2013

South Africa Choke in another Semi

South Africa confirmed their status as perennial tournament underachievers after choking in a major semi on Wednesday as England breezed through their top order to reach the ICC Champions Trophy final by seven wickets.

The hosts bowled AB de Villiers’ men out for just 175 in 38.4 overs, a score that could have been much worse had ninth-wicket partnership, David Miller and Rory Kleinveldt, not put on a 95-run stand when England were on top at 80-8.

Despite the late pair’s consummate batting, England eased their way into Sunday’s final with 75 balls remaining. The Proteas must look at themselves and work out where it all went wrong. They were sent into bat on a muggy, overcast day at the Oval but the cricket betting in 2013 and beyond did not expect England’s seamers to be quite so dangerous.

The openers went early thanks to some fine pace delivery from James Anderson and Stephen Finn, while Stuart Broad got in the act with three wickets himself. This pace trio look destined to rip apart Australia later this summer and, if the baggy green play anything like South Africa, the Ashes will be a non-entity.

AB de Villiers has had a disappointing campaign, going for a duck, much like opener, Colin Ingram – who impressed once (73 v West Indies) during an otherwise lacklustre tournament. Lonwabo Tsotsobe has underperformed with just four wickets taken for 169 and, were it not for Ryan McLaren’s flurry against Pakistan, that match would have been tighter too.

The defeat was South Africa’s eighth semi-final exit in international cricket and so their trophy drought continues. It was reminiscent of their semi loss to India in the 2002 Champions Trophy where, like Wednesday, two men batted with purpose while the others failed to deliver.

South Africa were one of the favourites heading into this tournament but without captain Graeme Smith they looked ill prepared against India and were lucky to beat West Indies. Next month, they face an ODI series with Sri Lanka and must perform to regain some credibility after a stuttering campaign that offered so much but produced very little.

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  1. Unknown said...

    Sure, South Africa have been chokers in the past. But here they were done in by the toss, just like Sri Lanka were in the other semi-final. In fact, administrators should think of starting such games a little later to minimise the disadvantage of batting first in these conditions. More on this in my blog -

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