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England v South Africa, Champions Trophy 2013, The Oval

June 19, 2013

In which Trott got compared to Viv

Nitin Sundar

South Africa playing in a semi-final game meant it was time to trot out the C-word with gay abandon. It began even before the toss, once it was announced that the injured Dale Steyn wouldn't play.

The baby-faced Joe Root's boyishness continued to amaze the twitterati.

England bowled first, and quickly dismantled South Africa's top order. James Anderson prised out Colin Ingram in the opening over itself.

Steven Finn, who came in as a replacement for Tim Bresnan, got Hashim Amla to edge behind in the second over.

Robin Peterson and Faf du Plessis held on grimly for a while, but South Africa were on the verge of a major middle-order collapse. It included AB de Villiers collecting his first ODI duck since 2007.

JP Duminy played a truly awful 13-ball innings. It included two close lbw shouts, one which he survived on review, and another that he survived since England chose not to review.

Soon after, he was bowled by James Tredwell.

At 80 for 8, the stage was set for a quick finish to the day's proceedings.

Surely not too early to write South Africa off?

David Miller and Rory Kleinveldt showed some defiance.

The last two wickets didn't come easy though. Miller and Kleinveldt gradually adapted to the conditions and pushed the score along. They were helped by Alastair Cook's decision to bowl his part-timers.

Miller and Kleinveldt broke a few records in their 95-run stand, before Stuart Broad picked up the last two wickets. Target 176. As always, one man took the blame.

Defending a poor score, you'd have expected South Africa to come out blazing on all cylinders with their fast men. You'd have been surprised.

Chris Morris quickly reclaimed new-ball duties, and got South Africa a couple of early inroads. The English openers didn't quite look themselves. Literally.

The C-word never goes out of circulation if South Africa are playing.

With no run-rate pressure whatsoever, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root settled down to pick off the runs in at leisure.

To be fair to Trott, his strike-rate was close to 90 right through his innings. Perhaps it was time to reassess popular perceptions around his batting?

Maybe not.

Root exited with his 50 in sight, but Trott ensured that England strolled into the final without any fuss.

But isn't that the silver lining?

Nitin Sundar is social media manager at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Posted by   on (June 20, 2013, 5:13 GMT)

That bowling attack could not defend 293 against SL the other day.

Posted by OhhhhhMattyMatty on (June 19, 2013, 22:41 GMT)

Anderson > Steyn. End of discussion.

Posted by Mittaraghava on (June 19, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

England has the best bowling attack in the tournament.The only match to them are the Indian batsman.We wish to see this battle,if India comes to the finals.

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