England were tipped as contenders of semi-final spot before World T20 tournament began but luck (rain) didn't seem to favour UK boys initially as they were handed 8 wicket defeat by hosts West Indies despite scoring 191. England survived a no result against Ireland but made it through to super 8s thanks to better net run rate..
Now, in super 8s stage, everything is falling into place for british team as they shocked defending champions Pakistan in first game and now, yesterday, shut South Africa down and became first team to book an almost semi-final spot.
Electing to bat first, opener Michael Lumb was claimed by Johan Botha who's now probably the first spinner to bowl first over of the innings with new ball for historically pace dominated South Africa. Botha's experiment was working but Dale Steyn didn't find the zip, and was regularly cracked for baundaries by Kevin Pietersen and hard hitting Craig Kieswetter. Together, these two right handers added attacking 94 runs for England for the 2nd wicket and here on, it was just a matter of accelerating and a total of two hundred looked very possible.
Charl Langeveldt proved yet again why he's one of the best death over bowler in South Africa, giving away just 34 runs from his 4 overs (taking two wickets) and with Jacques Kallis who bowled 3 oers for just 15 runs, Proteas pegged English batting back.
England lower order couldn't find baundaries and they had to satisfy with 168 for 7.
South African chase started at over 8 runs per over but openers Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis appreared determind to set a platform first and attack later on. Kallis was dismissed in 5th over when only 19 runs were on board and then Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, Albie Morkel and AB de Villers departed 19 runs apart, killing most hopes.
JP Duminy and Mark Boucher tried to redirect Protea's falling innings but English kept fielding tight and took their catches to maintain the pressure. Ryan Sidebottom and Graeme Swann were best English bowlers in the match, taking 3 wickets each, giving away less than run a ball.
The scoresEngland 168 for 7 wickets in 20 overs
Pietersen 53, Kieswetter 41, Morgan 21
South Africa 129 allout in 19 ovs (39 short)
JP Duminy 39, R Sidebottom 3/23, G Swann 3/24
Full scorecard : England v South Africa, World T20.
Head to head6th England v South Africa t20 international match it was and England now have won 2 while losing 3 and one abandoned. talking head to head, England have been doing very well against South Africans in recent time, losing just one day game in last 2 years. Note that England have had plenty of South African born players in their teams in this period as well.