South Africa 175 (Miller 56*, Kleinveldt 43, Peterson 30, Tredwell 3/19, Broad 3/50, Anderson 2/14)
South Africa have been bowled out for a paltry 175 against England in their ICC Champions Trophy semifinal.
It was not a choke, but a combination of mindless batting and a shocking lack of responsibility from the senior players.
Conditions were ripe for swing bowling, but at no stage were they completely in the bowler’s favour. Even in good conditions, bowlers need to do the basics well to get wickets.
In a session that was filled with wickets, that is what England did. South Africa, on the other hand, did their best to live up to their “chokers” tag through some shocking batting.
The fact that the young David Miller was the clearest-headed of the innings, finishing on 56 not out, is damning of South Africa’s senior players’ inability to rise to the occasion.
The conditions were ripe for James Anderson to make hay and he only needed five balls to make his presence felt, nipping out Colin Ingram leg-before.
Hashim Amla’s leave/nick off Steven Finn highlighted South Africa’s already frazzled state of mind.
They were caught in two minds on whether to attack or defend when the conditions called for consolidatory cricket.
Credit had to be given to the horses for courses English attack, who exploited the conditions expertly.
Robin Peterson’s counter-attacking 41-ball innings seemed to make a mockery of the conditions.
When he was trapped in front by the menacing Anderson, South Africa was 45/3 and the jig seemed to be up. AB de Villiers’ dismissal, which left South Africa tottering at 50/4, reeked of lack of big match temperament and irresponsibility that has characterised the Proteas in knockout matches.
Soon 50/4 became 80/8 as batsman after batsman played Russian roulette with a loaded revolver, blowing their heads off with alarming regularity.
It was up to a 95-run stand between Miller and Rory Kleinveldt to give the total a veneer of respectability.
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