South Africa v England, 2nd Twenty20, Centurion

England target opening trophy

Preview by Andrew McGlashan

November 14, 2009

Text size: A | A

Match facts

Sunday, November 15, 2009
Start time 14.30 (12.30GMT)

Eoin Morgan was in high spirits after his Wanderers display, Centurion, November 14, 2009
Plenty to smile about: Eoin Morgan has proved a revelation in England's limited-overs batting line-up © Getty Images
Related Links

Big picture

A highveld thunderstorm put paid to a potentially gripping finish to the opening Twenty20 but the action before the rain was still thoroughly entertaining in ideal conditions for quick scoring. With Albie Morkel and AB de Villiers in the middle, South Africa would still have fancied their chances of chasing down more than 10-an-over to win, while England's bowlers were clawing back their figures are severe punishment from Loots Bosman.

Not that England were short on boundaries. Eoin Morgan gave another display of his huge talent and Paul Collingwood showed there is plenty of life in the old(ish) dog yet. The tourists' new-found freedom in limited-overs cricket is certainly the way forward. There will be days when it fails spectacularly, but as they learn how to adapt their aggression to conditions it will serve them well.

So South Africa are left needing to win the second Twenty20 to square the series and finish the first phase of this long head-to-head on even terms. They will want to sharpen their bowling skills after they tended to feed Morgan's leg-side strength, but Centurion should offer more high-scoring conditions. The main concern for England is the number of niggles the players are already picking up with James Anderson and Graeme Swann missing training along with Collingwood.

With this being a day-game, it will hopefully mean that the full match is possible before any evening thunderstorms bubble up. However, it's always worthwhile to keep the D-L sheets to hand.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

South Africa - LLWWW
England - WLWLW

Team news

If South Africa stick to their pre-series talk of giving all the squad a game it means some shuffling of the pack. Heino Kuhn is in line for a debut - Mark Boucher could be rested - while Jacques Kallis will return, although purely as a batsman, and Yusuf Abdulla, the left-arm seamer, is another pace option.

South Africa (possible) 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Loots Bosman, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 JP Duminy, 5 Albie Morkel, 6 Heino Kuhn (wk), 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Roelof van der Merwe, 9 Johan Botha, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Yusuf Abdulla

England are carrying a number of players with minor niggles. Collingwood (back), Anderson (knee) and Swann (side) all missed training as a precaution and face morning fitness tests ahead of the game. With Stuart Broad still recovering from his shoulder injury, Kevin Pietersen not due to return until Tuesday and Andrew Strauss opting out of Twenty20 the squad could be stretched. Adil Rashid and Graham Onions are the two players who didn't appear in the opening match.

England (possible) 1 Joe Denly, 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Paul Collingwood (capt), 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Matt Prior (wk), 7 Luke Wright, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Sajid Mahmood, 11 James Anderson

Watch out for

Dale Steyn took a bit of a hammering on Friday, firstly at the hands of Trott, who took him for four consecutive boundaries, then from Morgan's onslaught. It is still early-season for Steyn, but he doesn't appear quite on top of his game. However, it would be foolish to read too much into his form so far and it won't take a lot for him to turn it around. He'll want to make a mark ahead of the contests to come and his record shows a match-winning performance is not far away.

England have found something a little special in Morgan - and he likes facing South Africa. His thrilling effort at the Wanderers followed on from his display at the Champions Trophy, when he helped knock out the hosts. England's batsmen have been criticised for their lack of sixes, but Morgan is quickly putting that right and one blow in the first match landed comfortably outside the ground.

Stats and trivia

  • Joe Denly has been dismissed first ball in both his Twenty20 international innings after being trapped leg before by Charl Langeveldt at the Wanderers to following his golden duck at the hands of Brett Lee at Old Trafford.

  • England's 202 for 6 was their highest Twenty20 total while Morgan's 85 was also their best individual effort.


"It was just that the wicket happened to be good and I didn't think he bowled particularly well. We don't target any bowlers at all."
Morgan said there was no team plan to go after Steyn after South Africa's leading bowler went for 40 in four overs.

"From my perspective, it's a realisation that it is going to be a tough series, it's going to be good and exciting - England have come here to play."
Graeme Smith won't be taking the summer's challenge lightly

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

RSS Feeds: Andrew McGlashan

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email Feedback Print
Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
Tour Results
South Africa v England at Johannesburg - Jan 14-17, 2010
South Africa won by an innings and 74 runs
South Africa v England at Cape Town - Jan 3-7, 2010
Match drawn
South Africa v England at Durban - Dec 26-30, 2009
England won by an innings and 98 runs
South Africa v England at Centurion - Dec 16-20, 2009
Match drawn
SAf Invit XI v England XI at East London - Dec 11-12, 2009
Match drawn
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days
Sponsored Links

Why not you? Read and learn how!