England v South Africa, Champions Trophy, semi-final, The Oval

Amla memories make Cook sweat

The Preview by Alan Gardner

June 18, 2013

Comments: 79 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts

Wednesday, June 19
Start time 1030 (0930 GMT)

Graeme Swann goes through a fitness test
Questions about Graeme Swann's fitness remain for England © Getty Images
Related Links
Players/Officials: Dale Steyn | Graeme Swann
Series/Tournaments: ICC Champions Trophy

The Big Picture

South Africa at The Oval, with Hashim Amla in the line up: it's a thought to make even Alastair Cook sweat. Go back further and the ground played host to a one-sided thrashing during the 1999 World Cup, the defeat so damaging in terms of net run rate that it went a long way to seeing England knocked out of the competition they were hosting.

But England have won their last two encounters in global 50-over tournaments - in Centurion and Chennai - and will take comfort from South Africa's return to The Oval for an ODI last summer. Amla made 268 runs fewer than the 311 he amassed in the first Test, and was removed by no less a bowler than Jade Dernbach, before Jonathan Trott's patient half-century was followed a brisker one from Eoin Morgan in a four-wicket win. Sounds like a good formula, doesn't it? That the series finished 2-2 suggests these teams are reasonably well matched.

Both have experienced a few malfunctions in progressing to the knockout stage. England, one-time hot favourites, have cooled like a custard left in the kitchen, their much-documented penchant for platform-building lampooned in various quarters. Wear and tear to Graeme Swann - though James Tredwell has proven an able deputy - and the bowlers' inability to defend 293 against Sri Lanka mean they have long been usurped by India as frontrunners.

AB de Villiers, meanwhile, has had to contend with injuries to his two strike bowlers, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel - the latter tournament-ending - plus familiar jiggery pokery with Duckworth-Lewis (though this time it came to South Africa's aid). A sole group win over a hapless Pakistan is not the sort of form to fill opponents with dread, nor is a record in 50-over knockout competition that boasts just one appearance in a final, 15 years ago. At least they can take comfort in the knowledge that this match is unlikely to go the way of their 1992 World Cup semi-final against England.

At last year's World Twenty20, de Villiers was able to utter the word "choke" and not be immediately carted off. On this occasion, however, it is perhaps England who are more likely to be dragged down by an albatross around their necks. They have never won an ICC 50-over event and this may still be their best chance. Cook's men can't afford any more mistakes.

Form guide

(Most recent first, last five completed matches)

England WLWWL
South Africa TWLWW

Watch out for...

England's lower middle-order has generally failed to live up to its billing in this tournament, a couple of Ravi Bopara cameos aside. While Cook, Ian Bell and Trott have been assiduously accumulating - and are accordingly England's three leading scorers - Morgan and Jos Buttler have 51 runs, from 50 balls, between them. Cook has hit twice as many sixes (2) as both put together. The bang-to-buck ratio has been kept respectable by Bopara's death hitting but another failure to launch could be costly.

Much may rest on Steyn individually but it is South Africa's bowlers as a group that will be under the microscope. The injured Morkel aside, they went missing against India, before a much-improved display gave them an all-important win over Pakistan. Steyn was the difference against West Indies but, on another night, Ryan McLaren's three overs for 34 might have sent South Africa out of the competition. Bowling to England's more orthodox batsmen could mitigate against similar trauma.

Team news

Cook said that Swann's calf problem means he won't be risked unless 100%, as England keep an eye on challenges ahead. Tim Bresnan didn't train at The Oval on Tuesday, having left to visit his pregnant wife, now a couple of weeks overdue. He is likely to be replaced in the XI by Steven Finn, who has risen to No. 2 in the ODI bowler rankings despite having yet to feature in the tournament.

England (probable) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Joe Root, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Ravi Bopara, 8 Stuart Broad, 9 James Tredwell, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steven Finn

Steyn has a "good chance" of being fit, according to de Villiers, despite a groin problem that has superseded his previous side strain. Rory Kleinveldt or Aaron Phangiso are the likely back-up options, depending on the pitch, while Farhaan Behardien could be brought in to strengthen the batting, giving JP Duminy's offspin more of a role. South Africa have used three different No. 3s in the tournament so far and further experimentation can't be ruled out.

South Africa (probable) 1 Colin Ingram, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 AB de Villiers (capt, wk), 4 JP Duminy, 5 Faf du Plessis, 6 David Miller, 7 Ryan McLaren 8 Robin Peterson 9 Chris Morris, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Pitch and conditions

The Oval has tended to be a touch quicker than the other two venues, though after ten days of cricket a wearing pitch should encourage spin. Some overnight rain is expected to clear in time for the start and there might even be a few rays of sunshine over Kennington during the afternoon.

Stats and trivia

  • This will be South Africa's first trip to London in this tournament. They have lost their last four ODIs at The Oval, including against West Indies during the 2004 Champions Trophy.

  • AB de Villiers needs 36 runs to overtake Hansie Cronje as South Africa's sixth-most prolific ODI batsman.

  • Stuart Broad has taken 21 wickets at 15.61 against South Africa, his best average against any side in one-dayers.


"He's a fantastic player but all players are vulnerable early. If he gets in it's a danger for us."
Alastair Cook wants his bowlers to get rid of Hashim Amla pronto

"Unless we win this tournament, people will stay say you're chokers, so no matter what happens it's something we've dealt with."
AB de Villiers is so comfortable with the word he's now throwing it around

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Alan Gardner

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Shan156 on (June 19, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

@Dhirshan Gobind, it was a trouncing alright. Unfortunately for you, it was the other way round. People automatically assume that SA must be a great ODI team because they have a superb test team. The reality is that SA have a decent but not a great ODI side and that is reflected in the ICC ranking.

Posted by Shan156 on (June 19, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

@Mankappan Hu, I never said that stats give the whole story but you have not given any reason why Amla is better than Cook other than simply claiming that many would agree with you. Why is Amla better than Cook? And, FYI, Amla's average is higher than Cook's in both tests and ODIs. I will readily accept that Amla is a better batsman than Cook in ODIs but in tests, they are quite equal (despite Amla's better average). If you are going to claim Amla is the better batsman based on that one series in England, then all the power to you. But, don't forget Cook's superb series in India where he led his team to victory after 28 years in Indian soil. Amla may have more strokes than Cook, may play them more sweetly, but both are effective. The fact that Cook is also the captain now and has performed all around the world against all types of bowlers in all conditions makes me believe that he is at least the equal of Amla.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (June 19, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

SA 45 for 3. Lokks like Eng in the final

Posted by unbiased_referee on (June 19, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

ENG & SA haven't faced one another in a major SF since 1992 World Cup in Sydney-a match that SA should and would have won had it not been for the rain and thus D/L idiosyncracies!

21 years on, rain still holds the key; but SA have broken the jinx just less than a week ago-so it should be beyond doubt who the clear favourites are!!

ENG have so far got away with their "test match + t20 mix" of playing a 50- over ODI match; but are unlikely to get away tonight purely because of opposition who are a better-ranked side than ENG in both tests and 50 over ODIs! This, given the fact that neither side is a top T20 side at present[should rain & D/L prevail], makes SA the only choice for a winner!!!

Posted by   on (June 19, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

South Africa without DALE STEYN & MORKEL !!! What a relief for England.. But just got a news that SWANN & BRESNAN also not playing.. So that kinda balances it a little bit.. I feel it will go down to the wire but ENGLAND will have their nose slightly ahead coz f the home conditions.. Also, a lot depends on Amla, De Villiers & Duminy.. One out of these 3 will have to play the innings of his life coz SA already got a lifeline in the last match.. so they wud want to make it count n remove the "CHOKERS" tag.. its a DO or DIE fr dem. !! but am expecting an INDIA-ENGLAND final !!

Posted by Sachin_Ramesh_Bradman on (June 19, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

For the sake of cricket, let us hope India/Srilanka win this tournament. It is always a travesty for a sport when a defensive/boring team gets the better of an aggressive/team with flair. Think about Italy over Brazil in football, Nadal over Federer or Murray over Djokovic in tennis.

Why? It is because sport shouldn't be reduced to "winning justifies everything". The day any sport gets all too obsessed about who won a match/tournament and not HOW the tournament was won, is when sport has lost its purity. Don't get me wrong, Italy/Nadal/Murray winning world cups/slams is great, but if they become the defining team of the sport instead of Brazil/Federer/Djokovic, you can trust me football/tennis would have lost its appeal to the expert eye.

The masses might still support it - like they do football over Chess/Bridge, but the wise ones in the world know which game requires greater faculties.

Posted by A_Yorkshire_Lad on (June 19, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

@Mankappan Hu - beg to disagree with YOUR comment ! Surely , a batsman's average pretty much sums him up , no ? How could it be otherwise ? To say that one batsman is better than another even though he has an inferior average is just double talk ! Or , perhaps , you have a more leftfield understanding of the word ' better ' ? Cheers !

Posted by   on (June 19, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

I think it's unfair to the word chokers to tag saffers as such if they loose today's match. Only Srilanka can do better justice to choke tag, because saffers look off color and aren't made of stuff they once had.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (June 19, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

If Poms win the toss they should ball first because Poms cannot defend. That is the Only way that Poms can win this match.I prefer Poms to win so that SL can meet Poms in the Final.

Posted by recycle-bin-is-empty on (June 19, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

@Shan yes it was a mistake on my part, SA have indeed won the inaugural CT, and i had corrected it with a subsequent post which is not posted by cricinfo don't know why.

@Greatest_game and @Shan Vernon is one of the best perhaps the best cricket bowler of the new generation in test cricket. But in shorter formats, he is mediocre so far. I would even go far and say that SA bowling lineup barring Steyn is mediocre outside their home conditions when it comes to one day and t-20s.

Regarding Cook and Amla, both are almost neck to neck when it comes to tests however maybe because I am biased but personally I would give my nod to Cook. The way he led his team to victory against India in India should go down in history as one of the most awe inspiring achievement by a captain against all odds. His performance in that series suggested that he is one of those rare breed of batsmen who just don't give a damn about things like conditions, pitch, weather etc. Cricinfo please post it this time.

Posted by letsgoproteas on (June 19, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

Lets go booooys! Proteas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by champion11111 on (June 19, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

no matter wht it is........South Africa r still the chokers.....they alwys find a way to lose..they almost lost against west indies...so their loss will be no surprise...

Posted by Baseball-Sucks on (June 19, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

I think, England shouldn't have any problem to bag this one. Saffers didn't look threatening to any of those teams n got really really lucky to secure a place in the semis. On the other hand, England played really good cricket despite getting thrashed by Sri Lanka n dominated both AUS n NZ. So England are the favorite for this match. I have no doubt that England will outplay Saffers n launch themselves into the final. GO ENGLAND !!!!

Posted by London_Meistry on (June 19, 2013, 9:09 GMT)

South Africa all the way. All I will say is that may the best Test Team win! Excuse the pun!

Posted by unlocker on (June 19, 2013, 9:04 GMT)

who will win today eng or sa ? really a good match

Posted by   on (June 19, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

The Proteas middle order have been wobbly so far. In all 3 games they have put themselves into a position to go on and post a big total. On all 3 occasions they have imploded. Suicidal runouts and shocking shot selection have been a clear indication that panic sets in. If they can overcome this they will beat England. Kepler Wessels says they need to up their game by about 20% to beat England. Lets hope so.

Posted by ozwriter on (June 19, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

should be a cracker. on paper the SA batting line up looks stronger, and england's bowling the more dangerous (esp if steyn missing). hoping for a SA win, they are a consistent, disciplined team and champions trophy would be great to add to their Test mace.

Posted by Hunters77 on (June 19, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

A really balanced tussle awaits however on paper this England side is far superior to South Africa. Amla has a critical role to play he needs to play his normal game not coming out both guns blazing leave the heroics to Ingram, Du Plessis, De Villiers and company he needs to rotate strike and occupy the crease. At this stage of the competition the last thing South Africa needs is to be 36/3 and make their battle an uphill challenge. If ever S.A. bowling has looked vulnerable its at this tournament and a few of the more more polished teams have allowed this inexperienced attack to dictate. Today however I feel it may not get the same respect remember England are at home and Bell, Cook, Root and lets not forget Bopara will punish anything wide and short. South Africa only really dominated Pakistan in this tournament who looked out of sorts so wait and see how the S.A. bowling attack stands up to a worldclass batting side. Lucky Kevin Peterson aint playing today.....

Posted by   on (June 19, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

Amla, AB and Steyn all the way.

Posted by   on (June 19, 2013, 7:50 GMT)

@Shan156--Beg to disagree with your comment.Cricket is not merely a stats game although stats give vital information.Just because Cook's average is slightly higher than Amla you can't say cook is a better batsman.Amla definitely is a better batsman that Cook and I think most will agree with me.Take for eg his performance in the Eng Vs SA series which was for No:1 ranking

Posted by Honeypotter on (June 19, 2013, 7:31 GMT)

Guys mark my words : Finals will be South Africa Vs Srilanka and Winners will be South Africa

Posted by   on (June 19, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

SA will trounce Eng, like the Oval test match!

Posted by maddy20 on (June 19, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

The founders of cricket could not win an ICC 50 over tournament in over 30 years. A truly champion team!

Posted by MianMoosa on (June 19, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

when such balance sides are in contest its difficult to predict something,,,,i wanna RSA to go all the way through,,,,,Proteas need to see off early danger from anderson with new ball,,,,once AMla got in he will be a real danger for england as they have no greame swann..devilliers & duminy are going to be key for RSA in middle & late overs....for england they need to put RSA in their old loophole,,,mind game,,,and all old stories for RSA will come into their mind,,,,If england bat first & put a score higher than 250 & early amla dismissal then all horrible history for south africans will play in their mind,,,,,may the best team win

Posted by Shan156 on (June 19, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

@US_Indian, if we are talking ODIs, yes, Amla's record is superior to Cook but Steyn's is not superior to Anderson's. If we are talking about tests, then Steyn is better than Anderson but Amla is only equal to Cook. If you claim that Amla's average of 52 is better than Cook's average of 49 to prove your statement, then you should also admit, by the same logic, that Kallis is better than Tendulkar. Cook has centuries against all countries and in all countries except UAE. Amla is yet to score a test century against SL and WI and has none in NZ. Cook is 2 years younger to Amla and has already played more tests. So, he is likely to score more runs and centuries than Amla while Amla is likely to end with a slightly higher average than Cook. Go and check Steyn's and Anderson's ODI records and ask yourself if Steyn is that better than Anderson in ODIs.

Posted by android_user on (June 19, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

SA normally field very well,but they are not doing.sa win matches upfront,but not doing.sa normally choke and they won't do it as well.this time everything is not going as per the normal.

Posted by GRVJPR on (June 19, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

Beating the worst aussie team ever in ashes will not be indication of england's class. They must show and so do south africa that they can compete at international level tournament and are not top teams because of paid media that create over hype for them. Amla has ammased lot's of runs but my god his stance is like a crab and he is not the one to emulate, and anderson is not even the top 50 best bowler ever. He would have retired by now if he were to play all his games in subcontinent.

Posted by Shan156 on (June 19, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

@Greatest_Game, I agree that recycle-bin got it wrong when he said that Philander is mediocre outside SA but why unnecessarily pull Anderson into that? Your assessment of Anderson's skills based on that one series is no better than recycle's assessment of Philander's record outside SA. How did Philander do in the Aussie tour? How many tests has he played in the SC? How many tests has he played overall? Vernon has had a great start to his career but don't forget that Stuart Clark had a similar start to his career but faded away in couple of years. Let Vernon prove himself all around the world before we crown him as the best (or second best after Steyn) in the world.

Posted by android_user on (June 19, 2013, 6:23 GMT)

If the Saffers persist with Morris or Kleinveld in this game they will lose. 4 pace attack has never and will never work for em in knock out games. History has made that perfectly clear. Apart from Steyn and to a limited extent Lopsy, Iets face it, the rest of the pacers will be anihilated. To win, Ihave a feeling it will require bprh Peterson and Phangiso to play. Sumthin has to b different or else the same old story again.

Posted by   on (June 19, 2013, 6:21 GMT)

I think half the battle is won when you recognize that you choke. Now that it's off your chest and you are no longer living in denial, you can now concentrate on how to get over it.

Posted by soumyas on (June 19, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

everyone is saying england's bowling is really good, but i think SA's bowling is better than England. Anderson is not as threatening as steyn or malinga or Irfan. Swann is no greater than ajmal,ashwin,herath.

Posted by deep6321 on (June 19, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

England definitely has the upper hand. Trott and Root have been very consistent to strengthen the middle order. Ravi Bopara is providing good all round performances. England also has a better bowling unit. Anderson is getting wickets. Broad is much better in ODI's than tests. Tredwell is good economical spinner. All in all looks a very good side. But the only problem i see is , if SA gets a big score on board (close to 300 or more). Then England does not have a batting who can chase this score. If England gets ABD and Amla early, they will really have a great chance. I would go with England to win ......

Posted by   on (June 19, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

England won against NZ becoz of poor umpiring,,,,just imagine NZ lost 5 wickets but lost by just 10 runs,,They need to develop that "killing" instinct,, they are too soft,,,,just look at Steyn's face when he is bowling,, full of aggression,,,thats what is required. Broad is a waste in team,, he hardly does any good to team,,,They have well structured county cricket,, yet they are not able to pick up guys who can really score a brisk pace,,,Last match they looked good to score more than 200,, but ended at 169,,,

Posted by   on (June 19, 2013, 5:38 GMT)

a bit more intent while batting in first 35 will server england well, on the contrary SA batsman may want to be a bit more cautious as Amla, plessis all have played rash shots to get out at wrong moments. if SA bats first and bats well they can bat england out of the game where as england can't do the same if they do bat first. best of luck to both sides.. expecting a good contest

Posted by Otuwa on (June 19, 2013, 5:37 GMT)

Doesn't matter who is the winner.We are ready for the finals.

Posted by Jimish1987 on (June 19, 2013, 5:28 GMT)

SAF has been very different throughout this tournament, no good fielding or bowling as per their name in international arena, lot of dependancy on Steyn today for SAF bowling, I think England will make a upperhand as Steven Finn is back to the England side and making it much more stronger....hoping for a great contest ...All the best to both the teams.

Posted by the_blue_android on (June 19, 2013, 4:51 GMT)

Should be an awesome contest! A team who could never win in 40 years against a team which should have won!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (June 19, 2013, 4:29 GMT)

@ recycle-bin-is-empty claims that Vernon Philander "is mediocre outside SA Really now?

In the SA vs Eng test series a year ago, Philander's 5 for 30 was the bowling in an inngs. His series ave of 23.66, (Econ 2.36, SR 60.4.) beat the next best, Steyn, by 6 runs! Eng's best was Finn @ ave 32.2, (Econ 3.53, SR 54.6). (Jimmy the "Most Skillful Bowler in the World" Anderson averaged 40.66!) Unsurprisingly, Philander took more wickets than any English bowler, and was the most economical bowler of the series.

Take the time to check the records BEFORE making statements that are patently false. Go on, take a look at Philander's international record. You will see how misinformed you actually are.

Posted by black_bird on (June 19, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

since it is a semi final. saf will loose easily. perhaps at big margin. no matter how strong they are in paper. they are doing similar thing for last 20 yrs.

Posted by landl47 on (June 19, 2013, 3:49 GMT)

England need Morgan and Buttler to start producing the performances they have been picked for. The top 4 have produced good platforms in every game and Morgan and Buttler have failed in every game (though Morgan got a stinker of a decision against SL.). Luckily Bopara, so lightly regarded before the tournament, has not only done the job Morgan and Buttler were supposed to do but has bowled usefully as well.

The bowling went to pieces against SL, but did the job in the other two games. Swann is still a better bowler than Tredwell, but Tredwell has been a very able replacement. Anderson and Bopara have been good, Broad up and down, Bresnan not too clever. Finn for Bresnan would be a good move. Hopefully Broad will give his boots an extra coat of whitening, to make sure he has a couple of millimetres behind the line!

I'm hoping for a good game and an England win.

Posted by US_Indian on (June 19, 2013, 3:17 GMT)

@KC69- well might be they are pretty similar but this quote of yours is weird "you compare Amla with Cook or Steyn with Anderson" no way dude-both are far superior I mean Amla and Steyn to Cook and Anderson, I don't deny both cook and Anderson are good but no comparison at all. FYI I am an indian which you would have anyway got from my ID and having played cricket at a certain level and watched for over a couple of decades I can judge talent without being prejudiced and emotional or judgemental ok. Well whoever wins that might be a good contest and a good lead up to the final and final will also be a good contest whoever wins the other semis.

Posted by Amol_Ind_SA on (June 19, 2013, 3:03 GMT)

"South Africa must consider themselves lucky and the credit goes to Pollard." ??!! So every time opponent from Team B gets out, it's not to the credit of Team A that they induced the false shot (or a complete miss), but it just that they GOT LUCKY. Is that I'm supposed to believe ?! Ha Ha. Ridiculous.

Posted by Happy_hamster on (June 19, 2013, 1:57 GMT)

IF and it is a big if (literally) England were to win this game and the tournament it would be 1. because they were at home, 2.because of the weather, 3. doesn't matter as it is not a WC, 4. because of umpiring decisions...yadda, yadda, yadda. As long as they put in a good effort and don't get hammered I will be happy. Roll on the Ashes when we will have only Aussie and English commentators and the subject will be around the teams actually on the filed not others they think people would be more interested in.

Posted by gibbs.175 on (June 19, 2013, 1:17 GMT)

Hi SA fans...SA should bat first and they have to put 260+ runs....Amla ,AB,JP,or DU plesis (one of those) should stay or bat untill 45- 50 over or if ENg bat first ,should be restrict under 200 runs ....good luck

Posted by ProteaThorns on (June 19, 2013, 1:05 GMT)

I haven't seen the good fielding from South Africa people keep talking about. They have been below par during this tournament.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 19, 2013, 1:01 GMT)

Certainly Amla is a threat to any team but one important thing for England to remember is that, had they held their catches, he would not have reached 50 during the entire tour last time SA were in England. Amla offered at least one chance early during every innings and, if England bowl well, there's no reason to believe that he won't do so again. They just have to make sure that, unlike during that last tour, they take that opportunity if an when it comes. If they don't, they might end up weeping rather than sweating. England were SA's equal in their last bilateral ODI series and, despite being dominated in the first Test, could have drawn or even won the Test series if they'd held their catches. Fielding as well as they can will go a long way to winning them this game.

Posted by Shan156 on (June 19, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

@recycle-bin-is-empty, SA have won an ICC trophy. In fact, they won the inaugural CT in Bangladesh in 1998-1999. NZ won the next. England are the only team which has not won an ICC trophy for 50-over cricket.

Posted by peter4135 on (June 19, 2013, 0:46 GMT)

England has NEVER won a 50 over tournament...SA at least won it once.

Posted by wickyvick on (June 19, 2013, 0:22 GMT)

Hope Graeme Swann stay unfit, Pathetic bowler in this form of the game and 20/20 . James Tredwell is bowling well in these forms. England really need to bring Finn into the side. Bresnan & Broad are bowling rubbish. South Africa has a good chance to win this game. They have a balance side now. Thank god Morkel got injured, such a overrated player.

Posted by WTEH on (June 18, 2013, 23:49 GMT)

It is going to be a good even contest. But far as the tournament goes, it is certain that the champion is going to be produced from the other semi final. I would treat SF2 as the final and the actual final will be cake walk for the winner of SF2.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (June 18, 2013, 23:33 GMT)

Hoping it would be a cracker tomorrow, both teams have advantage of knowing the conditions well and playing equally good. Wish to see full match instead of D/L picked winner.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

amla ,ingram at the top of the order i feel was unnecessary,i would have liked to see alviro with amla as his on top his game and with his experience he can focus on just that and not on th occasion. nonetheless with the tactic of left hand right hand combination being so prominent in cricket, i would like to see the success rate compared to two right handers,dont take anything away from ingram his a good player and he took his third bite at the jerr,i well done.my other concern is jp ,it just feels like he is rushed back and is going through a pre season ,to avoid more damage to his form im sure there can be a consensus that he bats lower and relieve himself of some of the pressure that goes with batting at that spot ,since he seems to be struggling.theres no hiding we might lose quick wickets and he has to go bat ,but it wont be a position and situation he is unfamiliar with.thus ,introducing miller to four and giving a platform for our dynamo to grow in extreme conditions

Posted by   on (June 18, 2013, 23:04 GMT)

Neither us (England) nor SA have had a particularly convincing route to the semis, but we're both here and have shown some character. If I'm honest though, I think this is where our journey ends. England just aren't a 50-over nation. It feels awkward to us - viewers can see it in the way we play. We're tough but unexciting.

Jos Buttler is a classic case of being thrown into the deep end too early in his career - he has not the required maturity or wicketkeeping technique for the highest level yet, that freak 47* against NZ aside. His average is low even for a lower-order batsman, and he's had enough chances. You never know, England might stand a chance against SA as both have struggled a bit so far, but SA would probably be favourites even in away conditions.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2013, 22:52 GMT)

England should promote Morgan up the order, he should bat at least @ no.2 . He is a kind of player who can take on any bowlers, he is not really getting chance to settle down and bat.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2013, 22:50 GMT)

Morgan always performs against Saffers. Im SA fan but i think England will win.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 18, 2013, 22:31 GMT)

Tough call this one.

I'd say SA would increase their chances significantly if they played Phangiso aheah of one of their pacers.

As for England , I don't have a problem with an unchanged line up although if it's a dry pitch I'd bring in Swann to play alongside Tredwell

Posted by JG2704 on (June 18, 2013, 22:28 GMT)

@Faisal Khanon (June 18, 2013, 18:22 GMT) Behave. There was still plenty for NZ to do to beat Eng regardless what people think of the no ball. And re SA - the only thing that was lucky was the timing of Pollard's wicket. SA did a better job vs India and Pakistan than WI (reflected by net RR) which is why they are through. If WI were the better side in this tournament they'd have a better net RR - no?

Posted by JG2704 on (June 18, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

@Munavver Tadwana on (June 18, 2013, 16:53 GMT) As an England fan , I totally disageee with your assessment re SA's spin dept. Peterson is a world class operator and Phangiso is superb in the shorter formats. If I was SA selectors I'd play Phangiso for sure. Reckon he'll give Eng more probs than any of the pacemen bar Steyn

@Alex Prabaharan on (June 18, 2013, 17:18 GMT) Re Matt Prior - You may be surpised to know that in ODIs Cook's SR is slightly higher , Bell' s slightly lower , Trott's is similar and Root's is much better at present

@AKS286 on (June 18, 2013, 17:52 GMT) Who are the choker's for you?

Posted by ADARSH100 on (June 18, 2013, 22:26 GMT)

An interestng match to watch.. hope rain wont destroy the beauty of the match.. A gud move from England to bring in Finn for Bresnan. But England's battng luks weaker compared to SouthAfrica. SouthAfrica bat deep til No.9 since Morris is also a gud batsman. Lots of alrounders wil help them to provide better option for bowling acrdng to situation. If England is batting first they have to put a score above 275 or else it wil b in SA's favour..

Posted by recycle-bin-is-empty on (June 18, 2013, 21:31 GMT)

@Julia Sanson

"Its still a mystery to me how SA can leave out Philander in the squad!!!!"

There are 3 reasons- 1. He is not a good bowler in shorter formats of the game, 2. He is mediocre outside SA and most importantly 3. SA wants to preserve him for tests only :).

This is going to be a tense battle and perhaps the more exciting semifinal of the 2. If they don't buckle up under pressure then SA have a slight edge over England, although personally I would like to see a India vs England final. So England will be the team I will be supporting but still would not mind one bit if SA goes to the final and even win the championship. They have always been such a good team and definitely deserve an ICC trophy which has eluded them thus far.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

I hope Bopara shows again that he is a good all rounder and performs well with bat and ball. I believe they will be using a new pitch. England should bat first and score above 300. With the bowlers they have it will be then easier to put pressure on the SA batsmen. I do hope that SA also plays to its true potential and does well . They have the world's best bowler in Daryl Steyn and world's one of the best one day batsman in the form of their captain AB Devilliers. If both click they may well be in the finals. Best wishes to both the team and may the best team on the day win

Posted by kc69 on (June 18, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

This will be a evenly poised contest as England and South Africa are quite similar to their strengths whether you compare Amla with Cook or Steyn with Anderson. Even though SA have an edge when it comes to fielding but still I think England will get this one as they have more experienced lineup whether it may be batting or bowling. Expecting an close contest tomorrow. Good luck both teams.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

the semifinal line ups are very interesting England vs South africa: Both teams are major under achievers in global tournaments. India vs Lanka: Both teams have a good recored in global tournaments. Can any of the under achievers lift the trophy this time ?

Posted by palla.avinash on (June 18, 2013, 19:51 GMT)

In last 6 odis England played swann played 3 which england lost and trade well played 3 and they won 3 matches trade well is real difference.Swann injury is blessing in disguise to England as trade well is bowling much better than swann in odis at least similar in case of bresnan non availability the danger finn in to contention and i think this is there best odi bowling attack among the resources for England.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

Its still a mystery to me how SA can leave out Philander in the squad!!!!

Posted by   on (June 18, 2013, 19:22 GMT)

Both South Africa and England must consider themselves lucky to have reached semis and the credit goes to pollard and third umpire (no ball) respectively. Both teams havn't played like world champions and have had their share of let downs. middle order batting of both south africa and england is a matter of concern and once again top order has got to play the crucial. look how england lost their way and ended up 20-30 runs short against srilanka and NZL after top order had laid good foundation. look how SA middle order batting collapsed against india, pak and WI after a decent start. In the bowling department, both teams are equipped with good fast bowlers and the only difference could be spin bowling of swann. These conditions have also favored spin bowlers if you bowl intelligently. look how beautifully vettori bowled against england the other day in a rain curtailed match... and look how intelligently jadeja bowled his slow left armers against SA and WI.

Posted by soumyas on (June 18, 2013, 19:18 GMT)

Rain, Duckworth-Lewis, Tie, Westindies are the 4 factors South Africa have exited from 4 world-cups (called choking), First time is the history LUCK has favored them in a situation where all the above 4 factors are present in same match. So i think this time same LUCK is going to win them the trophy. I know India are very good side but, SA might beat India in finals.

Posted by gtr800 on (June 18, 2013, 19:16 GMT)

If Amla scores an 80+ tomorrow, its most likely that SA will win this. Considering his average is 68 versus England, it is quite likely this is possible. If England get him early, only then they can win. Ingram seems to quality against good pace attacks and I back him to score big tomorrow. But most probably I believe if South Africa bat first then England will lose chasing as Morgan is not in great form and is pivotal if England are to win. If England bat first then you never know with South Africa's tendency to collapse such as in the India game, England have their best shot- that is if England get a 200-220+ score.

Posted by Jeppo on (June 18, 2013, 19:02 GMT)

I think this is going to be a very close contest, England have the better all-round bowling unit on paper, while South Africa have the better batting lineup. South Africa are maybe a bit reliant on Amla or de Villiers, but if they come off they may well be unstoppable. The same goes for England's lower order, which, other than Bopara, hasn't really fired yet.

After a bit of number-crunching though, I predict South Africa will win with an 11 run margin if they bat first, or win with 13 balls remaining if they bowl first. It will be close.

Posted by AKS286 on (June 18, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

Eng Vs SA yeah one on one with the great one. SA can score & chase big totals Eng don't. The pitch will be flat which will help spinners because ENG knows that What African Deadly BarrAge can do. Previously Eng cleverly changes the pitch in test match when SA toured ENG. CHOKErS will hold the CT.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (June 18, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

Well this looks like being the last full match of the tournament so let's hope it's a good un. The winner will get to share the trophy with India

Posted by andrew27994 on (June 18, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

Though SA have a great squad this tournament, they have shown signs of complacency which isn't good for the morale of the team. The bowlers need to stay disciplined for the majority of the innings because England has a fairly dangerous batting lineup. It's important for others like Duminy and Faf to step up as well as the batting order can't be overdependent on Amla and de Villiers. SA's advantage would be the fact that England have struggled to pick up wickets in the middle stages and break partnerships so there's less pressure on their batting lineup.

Posted by android_user on (June 18, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

its going to be a cracker tomo i will go with england bcause of their home advantage eion morgan is going to hit some crackers and andreson is going to take a couple or more to take england to finals

Posted by android_user on (June 18, 2013, 18:18 GMT)

This England's odi team is a good team. But modern day pitches and rules require teams to have big hitters/players who can take attack apart. Thats where they miss players like KP,Prior and forms of players like E.Morgan is critical.Having said that still choosing 1 outright winner seem difficult to me on paper.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2013, 17:53 GMT)

Its a close one to call but if I have to pick a team I would go with SA , I think their batting is far more superior to England.One aspect that SA are vulnerable is their spin department,they don't have a spin bowler who can be called an international class.however,SA's just edge out England in the batting department and the pitch at the Oval is a flat one so that favours SA rather than England who play conservatively in the initial overs.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

tomorrow is the day for Hashim Amla, and AB de Villiers to step forward and win this game for south africa. tomorrow they will not choke , i am dead sure. hahaha. their bowling is super, fielding will help them. so england will not have any corner to escape. Lonwabo Tsotsobe is my man of the match for tomorrow. best of luck to both the teams.

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Tournament Results
England v India at Birmingham - Jun 23, 2013
India won by 5 runs
India v Sri Lanka at Cardiff - Jun 20, 2013
India won by 8 wickets (with 90 balls remaining)
England v South Africa at The Oval - Jun 19, 2013
England won by 7 wickets (with 75 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at The Oval - Jun 17, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 20 runs
England v New Zealand at Cardiff - Jun 16, 2013
England won by 10 runs
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days