Crick Down the Legside

September 28, 2009 4:27 AM

Impressive England knock out hosts

An extraordinary game at Centurion saw England beat South Africa by 22 runs, enough to secure a semi-final spot and eliminate the hosts.
A few weeks ago, the middle order looked like it could be knocked over by a passing wind, but yesterday saw an explosive display from Shah, Collingwood and Morgan which propelled England to 322. On this evidence, they are genuine contenders - a remarkable turnaround after the lack-lustre performances against Australia.
Shah showed both sides of his character in smacking a blistering 98 and then dropping a dolly off Smith which could have been costly. The South African captain played a gritty knock, hampered by cramp at the end, but it wasn't replicated by his team-mates.
Anderson calmed any England nerves with an assured second spell, although question marks hover over young Broad's composure, something he will have to address in the semis.
It was interesting seeing Strauss refuse Smith a runner, a demonstration of steely resolve to Flower as anyone else, after he was criticised for allowing the runner back after the collision in the Sri Lankan match.
England march on, while South Africa can only look on and ponder, yet again, what might have been.

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