|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Games||Mobile|
August 14, 2008
South Africans 185 for 6 (Gibbs 81) beat England Lions 184 (Key 51, Steyn 3-27, Ntini 3-48) by four wickets
The South Africans continued to move into one-day gear with a four-wicket win against England Lions at Grace Road, led by an impressive return from Dale Steyn and Herschelle Gibbs' 81. They chased a disappointing Lions total of 184 with more than 11 overs to spare,although a flurry of late wickets made the margin look less impressive.
The performances of Steyn and Gibbs were especially timely for the tourists. Steyn was working his way back after missing the last two Tests with a broken thumb and Gibbs only recently joined the tour as a one-day specialist. Steyn took the first wicket of the day, bowling Joe Denly, and returned to grab two more later on as the Lions fell away from 107 for 2.
Gibbs then made significant inroads into the target with his 104-ball innings, although the performances of his team-mates were less convincing. Hashim Amla and Justin Ontong both failed while AB de Villiers and JP Duminy fell in the 20s. Gibbs provided more than half the runs while he was at the crease but when he was removed by Luke Wright the South Africans couldn't quite finish off the match in style.
Wright, whose role for the upcoming one-dayers is uncertain, put his hand forward for more bowling duties by cleaning up Duminy and Steve Kirby added to his early wicket of Amla with Albie Morkel's scalp. However, Vernon Philander and stand-in captain Johan Botha completed the job in the 39th over.
Given the recent wet weather around the country it wasn't surprising that this became a low-scoring match. However, the Lions looked poised for a more commanding total after Robert Key and Ravi Bopara carried them past hundred. But not for the first time Bopara was run out - trying to steal a single to Duminy - and the much-vaunted talents Matt Prior and Samit Patel, who are both in the England squad, failed as they made one run between them. Patel drove his first ball from Andre Nel straight to extra cover.
Surprisingly the successful Kent opening partnership of Denly and Key was separated to allow Owais Shah a chance to open, although both openers were gone with 58 on the board. Key, though, continued his strong one-day form with 51 off 62 balls before he was part of the collapse when he was bowled by Makhaya Ntini.
Wright and James Tredwell did their best to extend the total towards 200 but the innings ended with more than three overs unused. The South Africans' fielding wasn't quite up to its usual mark as four catches went down. They have another chance to sharpen their skills when they face the Lions again, at Derby, on Saturday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Till 1992 there was no thought about South Africa playing in the World Cup, but Mandela's words changed that immediately. Such was the power of Mandela
Having troubled the English batsmen with his speed and accuracy, Mitchell Johnson is now preparing for the mind games ahead of the third Ashes Test in Perth
After Darren Bravo's superb effort in Dunedin, a look at some other famous match-saving innings in Tests
If India can change their bowling philosophy during a watertight tour and deliver the results, it will be an incredible achievement. Otherwise we will be back to expecting the batsmen to clean up
The ability to respond to challenges that are beyond the daily call is diminished by overkill, but that is precisely the task ahead of Cook and Co
Mitchell Johnson may not be a gigantic, horned, fire-breathing dragon with seven heads - but he could not have done much more damage if he were
Two very different men will have the honour of captaining their countries in their 100th Test with the Ashes at stake