ICC World Cup - 44th match, Super Eights

England v South Africa

South Africa won by 9 wickets (with 184 balls remaining)

South Africa run out onto the pitch - well, most of them do, some of them stroll on, trying to be cool. Bell and Vaughan walk out playing their shots. People really are keen, aren't they. Good to see. Vaughan's now playing all the shots in his V, while Shaun Pollock gets ready to take first shot.

9.20am Michael Vaughan has won the toss and will, indeed, bat. "We're fine. No doubt it's a big game, really fiercely contested, we will have plenty of support. I hope we can entertain a few people."

England are unchanged and look like this - 1 Michael Vaughan (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Andrew Strauss, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Paul Collingwood, 6 Andrew Flintoff, 7 Ravi Bopara, 8 Paul Nixon (wk), 9 Sajid Mahmood, 10 James Anderson, 11 Monty Panesar.

South Africa have made two changes - Justin Kemp comes back in to strengthen the batting, and Charl Langeveldt replaces Mahkaya Ntini. England will be quite pleased as Ntini's absence, you'd imagine - he'd love to be bowling on this pacy pitch. Having said that, Langeveldt's had a decent tournament.

Here's their line-up: 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 AB de Villiers, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 Herschelle Gibbs, 5 Ashwell Prince, 6 Mark Boucher (wk), 7 Justin Kemp, 8 Shaun Pollock, 9 Andrew Hall, 10 Andre Nel, 11, Charl Langeveldt.

Graeme Smith is up for it, brushing aside talk of any issues. "Inside the set-up, it's fine. Everyone's good and focussed on the job." Bring it on.

And, frankly, bring on your emails by writing to us here.

Ah, the joys of dual-nationality households. "Tension is high in our house today," scribbles Peter Henderson from the UK. "Caroline, my wife, is South African and I am supporting England. Bring it on!" Bring it on indeed, Peter. In fact, rock on.

9.15am Pitch news - The wicket looks similar to previous matches - quick first up, then tending to die later. You might want to bat first, then, as chasing can become a bit sticky later.

9.10am Hello everyone and welcome along to something which is monstrous, massive, ginormous, and we're not talking about either side's nights out on the town. It's England against South Africa live and unleashed in Barbados.

South Africa came here ranked No 1, but are fighting to stay in the tournament now, while England have had an easy ride, yet are playing for their survival, too. Our excellent editor Sambit Bal has put it best so I'll shamelessly cut and paste his words, here:

"The tournament has played out to a strange pattern so far. Australia have shown themselves to be far ahead but, even though Sri Lanka have emerged as worthy contenders, the hierarchy is still fuzzy. Ireland have beaten Bangladesh who have beaten South Africa who have beaten Sri Lanka who have beaten New Zealand who have beaten South Africa. England, by the way, have beaten both Bangladesh and Ireland, and that's the only reason why they are still alive."

As he says, it is incredible how it has come to this. I'm Jenny Thompson by the way, and I will be joined by Will Luke with a possible appearance from Martin Williamson.

We're expecting an attack of the verbals from Kevin Pietersen, no matter how much he says his feud with Graeme Smith is long buried. Speaking of loose tongues, well done Justin Langer who's called for no more sledging in county cricket. Quite right, even if Ricky Ponting does think there must be two Langers. "I know the little fella was never too far away from it if something was going on". Surely not. Go the little fella, we say.

Now before we kick off, the Powerplays explanation is here, more info about the commentators is here and, for all you UK-based readers, the GMT time we have is right, you are on BST...

I'll let you know pitch, teams and toss as soon as they're in, of course - but if the track continues to play as it has been - pacy and hostile, then we'll be in for a terrific ride. Get your seatbelts on.

0.1

Pollock to Bell, no run, strides down the pitch and defends that down to the covers - an early sign of intent, and it's matched by a whipped-in throw back to the sticks

0.2

Pollock to Bell, no run, left alone outside off, some good shape there

0.3

Pollock to Bell, no run, another decent dot, this time the ball hits the seam just outside off and nips back in past the hip at a tight angle

0.4

Pollock to Bell, no run, down the channel again, quite a bit wider, and that swings gently away, Bell shoulders arms early

0.5

Pollock to Bell, no run, more swing in the air and Bell lets that one sail on its contented way through to Boucher

0.6

Pollock to Bell, no run, down the track again, that one outside off once more and that's tucked into the covers, gently, on the back foot, the off-side fielders swooping in as one

Well, everyone's up for it - even the players on the balcony, where Paul Nixon is guzzling an energy drink. Surely he doesn't need one?

Now, it's Langeveldt

End of over 1 (maiden) England 0/0 (RR: 0.00)
IR Bell    0* (6b)      SM Pollock    1-1-0-0
MP Vaughan    0* (0b)     

1.1

Langeveldt to Vaughan, no run, gets good lift off that one, shaping away from the righthander, pitched right up there and picking up the pace on its way through

1.2

Langeveldt to Vaughan, no run, left alone, on the backfoot, outside off

This is a great pitch for the quick bowlers

1.3

Langeveldt to Vaughan, no run, left alone again outside off, Langeveldt's hit the spot there, and he knows it, too, his "Ooh" showing he was hoping for more than a leave from that ball

1.4

Langeveldt to Vaughan, no run, Vaughan was tempted to play at that one but pulled out of the shot at the last minute

1.5

Langeveldt to Vaughan, no run, down the off-side channel once more

1.6

Langeveldt to Vaughan, no run, left alone again, once more down the channel

Great start by South Africa, two maidens. It's really good to see the great lines by these two bowlers, all of the deliveries so far bang on

End of over 2 (maiden) England 0/0 (RR: 0.00)
MP Vaughan    0* (6b)      CK Langeveldt    1-1-0-0
IR Bell    0* (6b)      SM Pollock    1-1-0-0

2.1

Pollock to Bell, no run, a hint of swing again and that's left alone - and yes, it's in the corridor again

"Will we score any runs off the bat in the first three overs this time?" asks Tim.

2.2

Pollock to Bell, 1 run, yes - Bell and England are finally off the mark, that one a touch short down off, allowing Bell to open his shoulders and dink a back-foot cut through point

2.3

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, pushed right up there and Vaughan defends that on the front foot into the covers

2.4

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, straight and on the back foot poking that square to point

2.5

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, another tidy delivery, this one full, and it's just left alone outside off stump once more

2.6

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, a play and a miss, well, a jab and a miss really, Vaughan fishing at that one outside his off stump

Great work from Pollock and Langeveldt; immediately applying the pressure.

My comment "South Africa run out onto the pitch - well, most of them do, some of them stroll on, trying to be cool" provoked Martin van Rooyen to email - "One over in and already some bias from Cricinfo". Oh dear. It could be a long afternoon for Martin if every comment is pored over so suspiciously

End of over 3 (1 run) England 1/0 (RR: 0.33)
MP Vaughan    0* (10b)      SM Pollock    2-1-1-0
IR Bell    1* (8b)      CK Langeveldt    1-1-0-0

3.1

Langeveldt to Bell, FOUR, strays on leg and that's immediately leapt upon by Bell who comes down the pitch and works that off his legs, with a flick through midwicket, nicely timed

3.2

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, nice, tight and straight and that's defended on the front foot

Bell engages in some gardening after that ball

3.3

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, left alone outside off, another one slinking down the hallway

Two slips, by the way

3.4

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, Bell down the pitch again, but Langeveldt followed him this time, and he can only defend that into the covers

3.5

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, a touch towards the batsman, and Bell locates the middle of the bat with a firm drive to cover

3.6

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, how was that not out? Half an appeal for one which sounded like he'd got an inside edge, but in fact that just touched the off stump on the way through to the keeper. Great ball

"ICC stumps", chunters Gnasher

End of over 4 (4 runs) England 5/0 (RR: 1.25)
IR Bell    5* (14b 1x4)      CK Langeveldt    2-1-4-0
MP Vaughan    0* (10b)      SM Pollock    2-1-1-0

4.1

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, left alone outside off

4.2

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, pushed up there and that's just defended forward

4.3

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, again, that's up there on off, and Vaughan tries to drive that through the covers, but picks out the fielder, rather than the gap

4.4

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, oh, super delivery! That one just jumps back off the seam, squaring Vaughan up, and his is a play and a miss that he has the decency to smile about afterwards; he knows he was beaten there

4.5

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, that one kept low-ish on its way through, again down off

4.6

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, outside off and that's left alone on the back foot

"If these two keep their heads I reckon England will get a draw out of this," observes Al Preston. Quite. It's hard work out there, the bowlers not giving them an inch. This is excellent and compelling stuff

End of over 5 (maiden) England 5/0 (RR: 1.00)
MP Vaughan    0* (16b)      SM Pollock    3-2-1-0
IR Bell    5* (14b 1x4)      CK Langeveldt    2-1-4-0

5.1

Langeveldt to Bell, 2 runs, ah, on middle-and-leg and Bell's to the pitch of the ball once more, striking that cleanly on the front foot in front of midwicket

5.2

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, outside off and that's played down into the covers off the back foot

Smith's loving this, he's all smiles

5.3

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, outside off, did you guess, and that's left alone - plenty of swing for the bowlers this morning

5.4

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, South Africa thought they had a wicket at last, then, Bell chasing that away from his body, wide, and he was dragged out there

5.5

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, down the channel and, again, it's just left

Bell's face is a picture of frustration

5.6

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, straight lines again, this one on off stump, and it's just defended on the back foot

"Lots of news in South Africa about the team, including Graeme Smith, binging on alchohol, any news there?" asks Evan from South Africa. Yes, it's all OK. The ICC confirmed they were binging on alcohol from approved suppliers so it's not an issue.

England, meanwhile, just can't buy a run out there

End of over 6 (2 runs) England 7/0 (RR: 1.16)
IR Bell    7* (20b 1x4)      CK Langeveldt    3-1-6-0
MP Vaughan    0* (16b)      SM Pollock    3-2-1-0

6.1

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, pushed up there again, on the dime, and Vaughan defends forward

Vaughan, too, looks a tad riled at this stifling bowling

6.2

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, more defence, this time on the back foot, and again the ball is just in too good a place to get away

6.3

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, on the back foot and that's played down into the covers

6.4

Pollock to Vaughan, 2 runs, outside off and that's driven out through the covers. Rapturous applause greets the two, as if that was England's hundred

6.5

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, straight as a die, and Vaughan tries to work over it, to push it into midwicket. His timing's awry, though

England are closing in on double figures, now

6.6

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, defended back to the bowler

"In return for forcing my girlfriend to watch England vs Bangladesh she is, in turn, forcing me to go to her yoga class tonight. Any ideas on how to get out of it?" asks John from Manchester. Martin advises a late hamstring pull en route to the gym, whereas I say try it, you might like it

End of over 7 (2 runs) England 9/0 (RR: 1.28)
MP Vaughan    2* (22b)      SM Pollock    4-2-3-0
IR Bell    7* (20b 1x4)      CK Langeveldt    3-1-6-0

7.1

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, outside off and that's another play and miss from Bell, trying to drive through the air

South Africa are, rightly, loving this, chatter all around

7.2

Langeveldt to Bell, no run, outside off, shape away, and Bell leaves that

7.3

Langeveldt to Bell, OUT, and he's gone! That's banged in wide of the off stump, Bell goes for the pull, doesn't get over it at all, and skies it to Prince at midwicket who combats the sun in taking a good catch, low, on the crouch

IR Bell c Prince b Langeveldt 7 (30m 23b 1x4 0x6) SR: 30.43

That was pretty inevitable, the pressure had been building since the start and Langeveldt gets his just reward for some really excellent bowling. Credit must also go to Pollock, at this early stage, for his tandem efforts

7.4

Langeveldt to Vaughan, 2 runs, outside off and there's room for Vaughan to drive through the covers

Clap up the 10

7.5

Langeveldt to Vaughan, FOUR, gest away with that one, top-edged pull right over the slips - not at all where he intended it to go

7.6

Langeveldt to Vaughan, no run, tucked off his hips behind square and, oh dear, Prince nearly runs out Strauss before he's had chance to face a delivery - he got back in his crease, though

End of over 8 (6 runs) England 15/1 (RR: 1.87)
MP Vaughan    8* (25b 1x4)      CK Langeveldt    4-1-12-1
AJ Strauss    0* (0b)      SM Pollock    4-2-3-0

8.1

Pollock to Strauss, 2 runs, on leg - Pollock failing to adjust enough for the lefthander - and Strauss is off the mark straight away

8.2

Pollock to Strauss, no run, outside off this time, and that just dies on its way through to the keeper, Strauss leaving it alone

8.3

Pollock to Strauss, 1 run, on off and that's poked down to third man

8.4

Pollock to Vaughan, 1 no ball, on middle and that's the first extra of the innings, an overstep there from Pollock

8.4

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, oh, a very good shout, but Umpire Bucknor's unmoved. That hit just outside off, was pad then bat, and that would just have gone over the off-bail. Testing delivery at 80mph (128.8kph)

8.5

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, driven into short midwicket and the best option is to "Wait!"

8.6

Pollock to Vaughan, no run, driven forward into the covers

End of over 9 (4 runs) England 19/1 (RR: 2.11)
MP Vaughan    8* (29b 1x4)      SM Pollock    5-2-7-0
AJ Strauss    3* (3b)      CK Langeveldt    4-1-12-1

9.1

Langeveldt to Strauss, 1 run, on middle, and there's a quick single squeezed out in front of midwicket

Langeveldt will also have to adjust to the lefthander

9.2

Langeveldt to Vaughan, FOUR, short, outside off, and that's smashed in front of square

9.3

Langeveldt to Vaughan, no run, outside off and that nips back in, on a good length, to Vaughan who defends without fuss. Fussless defence

9.4

Langeveldt to Vaughan, FOUR, on leg, flicked away, hit on top of the bounce and that fair rockets across the outfield in front of midwicket

9.5

Langeveldt to Vaughan, no run, short, and that's careering on towards Vaughan's chest before he defends it down, straight

9.6

Langeveldt to Vaughan, no run, on leg, Vaughan tries to swivel that through square, fails to connect and ends up doing a dainty pirouette to make Billy Elliott proud

Speaking of dainty, in thuds Will Luke

End of over 10 (9 runs) England 28/1 (RR: 2.80)
MP Vaughan    16* (34b 3x4)      CK Langeveldt    5-1-21-1
AJ Strauss    4* (4b)      SM Pollock    5-2-7-0

Thud, thud, thud. Thanks Jen. Hello everyone. Two midwicket creamers from Vaughan in that last over, suggesting this pitch is a fair belter...despite England's insistence to crawl along like toddlers on a kitchen floor. Right then, here's Pollock again

10.1

Pollock to Strauss, no run, wide of Strauss's off stump and he steps forward, shouldering arms like a good'un

10.2

Pollock to Strauss, no run, excellent line and length, just drawing Strauss forward and inviting him to drive. Strauss declines and defends

10.3

Pollock to Strauss, no run, a touch of width, feeding Strauss's penchant for the cut...and he does cut, but hammers it to point

10.4

Pollock to Strauss, no run, Strauss goes for an expansive drive but the bat twists in his hand and it flies to Nel and mid-off

Nel throws down the stumps with typical madness. No need for that, and the crowd jeer - in jest more than anything.

10.5

Pollock to Strauss, no run, pushed out to cover

10.6

Pollock to Strauss, 1 run, calmly, elegantly driven out to cover to prevent the maiden and to steal the strike

There's Percy Sonn! We like Percy.

End of over 11 (1 run) England 29/1 (RR: 2.63)
AJ Strauss    5* (10b)      SM Pollock    6-2-8-0
MP Vaughan    16* (34b 3x4)      CK Langeveldt    5-1-21-1

11.1

Langeveldt to Strauss, no run, wider of the wicket, and wider of Strauss's stumps who comes forward cautiously before leaving it well alone

11.2

Langeveldt to Strauss, SIX, what a magnificent shot. That's Strauss at his best - the Strauss of 18 months ago. It wasn't that short but he was quickly back, pulling it well in front of square for six

Hit with immense power. He really picked up the length remarkably quickly there

11.3

Langeveldt to Strauss, 1 leg bye, ooh and he steps down the pitch ala Bell Mach II, misreads an off-cutter which appeared initially to balloon off his pads - the ball falling just short of the slips - but in fact he got an edge on that. Fell safe, either way

11.4

Langeveldt to Vaughan, no run, beautifully driven straight to cover

11.5

Langeveldt to Vaughan, 1 run, short of a length, Vaughan is up on his toes like a ballerina on acid, punching it into the covers and they race through for a single

And the knee survives...

11.6

Langeveldt to Strauss, no run, excellent delivery swinging into off stump, but very well played by Strauss who digs it out with impressive cleanliness and timing

Cleanliness? Well, I know what I mean even if you don't.

End of over 12 (8 runs) England 37/1 (RR: 3.08)
AJ Strauss    11* (14b 1x6)      CK Langeveldt    6-1-28-1
MP Vaughan    17* (36b 3x4)      SM Pollock    6-2-8-0

More excellent news: Andre Nel into the attack

Breaking news Percy Sonn, the ICC's president who has been as high-profile as the invisible man, has appeared in the stands, the first sighting of him since the opening ceremony. He was vertical and, as far as we could see, had trousers at full mast. He was holding a glass, but they are allowed in the VIP enclosures as the great and the good of the game are considered sensible enough to know how to behave and are trusted not to hurl them at any passing fielder.

12.1

Nel to Vaughan, no run, here comes the rhino, up to the crease and it's just short of a length, rising onto Vaughan who pushes it off the back foot

12.2

Nel to Vaughan, OUT, angling into Vaughan who falls away a touch to the off side. It raps him on the pads and Nel roars a typically lively appeal, performing a mini starjump-appeal for Steve Bucknor who, after a long pause, raises his finger

MP Vaughan lbw b Nel 17 (53m 38b 3x4 0x6) SR: 44.73

That looked pretty dead to me and replays suggest leg stump would've been a goner

Here comes the shy, retiring Pietersen

12.3

Nel to Pietersen, no run, defended off the back foot. Pietersen screams no

12.4

Nel to Pietersen, no run, a cracking delivery! Just short of a length, but only just, and it fairly pinged off the pitch - tennis ball bounce - causing Pietersen to leap dramatically out of the way

No words from the erudite Nel who glares, stares and smiles

12.5

Nel to Pietersen, no run, another bouncer which Pietersen tries to pull, but he gets a bottom edge to cover

12.6

Nel to Pietersen, no run, full, angling into his pads - and in fact it hits his pad, causing Nel to roar a hopeful, vain appeal but it was miles down the leg side

A terrific first over from Nel, and the temperature here has just gone up 10 degrees. Not literally, of course. It's electric out there

End of over 13 (wicket maiden) England 37/2 (RR: 2.84)
KP Pietersen    0* (4b)      A Nel    1-1-0-1
AJ Strauss    11* (14b 1x6)      CK Langeveldt    6-1-28-1

Right then. Here's Andrew Hall, bustling up to the crease with a cloth poking out of his trousers, as is his wont. As Angus Fraser used to do too

13.1

Hall to Strauss, 1 run, just a touch too short and Strauss angles it past the slips down to third man. A nice, deft piece of play there

13.2

Hall to Pietersen, no run, Pietersen is forward massively, crashing it back to Hall

13.3

Hall to Pietersen, 1 run, too straight - don't bowl there to Pietersen - and the batsman works it off middle-and-off through square leg for a single

13.4

Hall to Strauss, no run, Strauss is back into his crease and, with a pleasingly high front elbow, punch-defends it back to the bowler

Strauss is looking good here today. He seems to have rediscovered the basics

13.5

Hall to Strauss, no run, punched with greater intent, square to point. But straight to point and there's no run there

Excellent crowd in today, one of the best of the tournament, and they're making a fair old racket.

13.6

Hall to Strauss, no run, yes, just again a little too short from Hall, but a good line and it's pushed back to the bowler to end the over

End of over 14 (2 runs) England 39/2 (RR: 2.78)
AJ Strauss    12* (18b 1x6)      AJ Hall    1-0-2-0
KP Pietersen    1* (6b)      A Nel    1-1-0-1

"Imagine that," emails Shaun Harmse. "13 South African born players on the field." And it flouts the South African board's regulations on quotas as well, so two of them will have to go.

14.1

Nel to Pietersen, 1 run, fended off his chest, quite expertly, down to a short fine leg

Nel is furious with himself, his fielder, Pietersen and just about everyone else

14.2

Nel to Strauss, 2 runs, ineffectual delivery, short and wide of the off stump and Strauss is calmly pushing this out into the covers

14.3

Nel to Strauss, FOUR, oh, that's Strauss's absolute bread and butter. Far too short and wide, and Strauss crashes it behind square off the back foot. Hit with immense power, placed excellently

14.4

Nel to Strauss, 1 run, and an expansive cover drive on the front foot this time, squirting it square down to third man

Though he didn't get four, that last stroke does rather indicate Strauss is back in form here. Seems to be picking up the length so quickly today

14.5

Nel to Pietersen, no run, defended on the front foot

14.6

Nel to Pietersen, no run, good comeback from Nel. It's always great watching him bowl - like a rhino on rollerskates, he really races up to the crease. This is on off stump and defended

"Two South Africans at the crease," says Phil Nurse. "This is like domestic cricket all over again!"

End of over 15 (8 runs) England 47/2 (RR: 3.13)
KP Pietersen    2* (9b)      A Nel    2-1-8-1
AJ Strauss    19* (21b 1x4 1x6)      AJ Hall    1-0-2-0

And another Powerplay

15.1

Hall to Strauss, FOUR, oh, fabulous shot. This is Strauss of 2004, picking up the length remarkably quickly. It was too short, granted - but only by an inch or two - and pulled with power and timing through midwicket

15.2

Hall to Strauss, 1 run, and he adjusts his length, but it's still a fraction too short and he guides it down to third man

15.3

Hall to Pietersen, no run, defended off the back foot to cover

15.4

Hall to Pietersen, no run, excellent length this time. Pietersen isn't sure whether to come forward or back - he does come forward, as he loves to do, but can't make anything of it. Just defends back to the bowler

15.5

Hall to Pietersen, no run, again, very well bowled, Pietersen blocks it out to leg

15.6

Hall to Pietersen, 1 run, no, no, no. Sloppiness. A leg-side drifter which Pietersen easily, naturally just flicks for a single

End of over 16 (6 runs) England 53/2 (RR: 3.31)
KP Pietersen    3* (13b)      AJ Hall    2-0-8-0
AJ Strauss    24* (23b 2x4 1x6)      A Nel    2-1-8-1

Drinks, of the non-alcoholic variety, out in the middle...

16.1

Nel to Pietersen, no run, turned his hip to midwicket. Strauss wants a run, Pietersen doesn't, and he has to scamper back in his crease

16.2

Nel to Pietersen, OUT, squared up a touch trying to whip it to leg, it's spooned to Graeme Smith at mid-off - and he's not going to drop that - who dives forward a metre to take a fine, low catch

KP Pietersen c Smith b Nel 3 (20m 15b 0x4 0x6) SR: 20.00

Here's Paul Collingwood

South Africa have gone berserk, understandably so. That is massive

16.3

Nel to Collingwood, no run, defended on the front foot. Excellent ball on off stump

16.4

Nel to Collingwood, no run, that is quick, a bouncer (but too wide) and left alone...but that fairly shot off the pitch

16.5

Nel to Collingwood, 1 run, well, he's squared up here, squirting it down to third man...though he did play it late and he was in reasonable control of it

Nel's going around the wicket. Here he comes...no he doesn't. Strauss pulls away as he wasn't ready. But he's ready now...

16.6

Nel to Strauss, 2 runs, lovely straight drive down the ground, albeit without timing

End of over 17 (3 runs) England 56/3 (RR: 3.29)
AJ Strauss    26* (24b 2x4 1x6)      A Nel    3-1-11-2
PD Collingwood    1* (3b)      AJ Hall    2-0-8-0

17.1

Hall to Collingwood, no run, and a good length, if a little too wide, Collingwood inside-edging it into his pads

England looking uncertain now with their cheerleader Pietersen gone

17.2

Hall to Collingwood, no run, too wide, left alone

17.3

Hall to Collingwood, no run, much better length and Collingwood comes forward, tentatively so, defending it on the front foot - though his left hand jags off the bat

17.4

Hall to Collingwood, no run, a huge appeal from Boucher behind the stumps who thought Collingwood edged it, but the ball - an excellent incutter - brushed his pad

17.5

Hall to Collingwood, no run, Collingwood skips down the pitch, as most England batsmen seem to do, before blocking it

I remain continually confused as to this bizarre tactic of running down the pitch to defend. What purpose does it serve? Even if it does upset the bowlers' lengths, if they're only going to defend, why bother?

17.6

Hall to Collingwood, no run, no skipping this time but it's defended on the front foot

Ah there's Mike Gatting in the crowd

End of over 18 (maiden) England 56/3 (RR: 3.11)
PD Collingwood    1* (9b)      AJ Hall    3-1-8-0
AJ Strauss    26* (24b 2x4 1x6)      A Nel    3-1-11-2

Around the wicket to the left-handed Strauss

18.1

Nel to Strauss, no run, good one just outside off, Strauss comes forward to block it out

18.2

Nel to Strauss, no run, another good one, a touch shorter and an inch wider of the off stump; Strauss leaves alone

Just the lone slip in there now

18.3

Nel to Strauss, no run, ooh crashed in the air, just short of Gibbs at backward point who fields and glares at the batsman as if to say "what are you trying, mate? It's me at backward point and I don't drop a lot." He's right too

18.4

Nel to Strauss, no run, punched off the back foot

18.5

Nel to Strauss, no run, beaten with a ripsnorting crackerjack. The perfect length, Strauss fishes outside off and misses it but, with the angle Nel is creating around the wicket, that was mighty close

18.6

Nel to Strauss, (no ball) 1 run, firmly punched to mid-off, but it's a no-ball from Nel

Back over the wicket to Collingwood

18.6

Nel to Collingwood, FOUR, fended over second slip! What a belting delivery from Nel, angling into Collingwood's neck and he fends it, edging it over second slip - but only just - down to third man

That was mighty, mighty close. Nel is bowling superbly today but it does raise the question...where on earth is Ntini on a pitch like this? Good form or not, he'd love this surface

End of over 19 (6 runs) England 62/3 (RR: 3.26)
PD Collingwood    5* (10b 1x4)      A Nel    4-1-17-2
AJ Strauss    27* (30b 2x4 1x6)      AJ Hall    3-1-8-0

"England looking uncertain now with their cheerleader Pietersen gone," says Gareth Slater. "Bit worried about the mental image of Pietersen as a cheerleader."

19.1

Hall to Strauss, no run, Strauss is forward to defend

19.2

Hall to Strauss, no run, ah, clever clever bowling but Strauss is wise to the cunning ploy of Hall pushing this across him. A calm piece of arm-shouldering yields no run

19.3

Hall to Strauss, 1 run, neatly played, Strauss back into his crease and turning it to leg with a flick of the wrists

Chris Hunt doesn't think there's anything wrong with coming down the pitch to defend. "I don't think there's anything wrong with coming down the pitch to defend as long as you're steady and solid when you play the ball. You could negate any swing or seam movement by doing so as well as upsetting the length of the bowler."

19.4

Hall to Collingwood, no run, very good length again, and Collingwood is looking decidedly unsure out there. A reasonably solid forward defence but without really getting to the pitch

19.5

Hall to Collingwood, 1 run, oh but he looks more sure of himself now, with a delicious and aggressive flick to leg, timing it well - oh but a fine save from Kallis, diving to his right at mid-on, prevents more than a single

19.6

Hall to Strauss, no run, firmly blocked out on off stump

Well South Africa have just tightened their grip in the past five overs. To take you through the next ten, here's Jen. Thanks Will.

So, the end of the Powerplays, then, but the continuation of England's troubles.

Ntini's shuffling some choons on his Ipod - "Missing you," "Take me back", perhaps

End of over 20 (2 runs) England 64/3 (RR: 3.20)
AJ Strauss    28* (34b 2x4 1x6)      AJ Hall    4-1-10-0
PD Collingwood    6* (12b 1x4)      A Nel    4-1-17-2

20.1

Nel to Collingwood, no run, on leg, a touch short, and Collingwood thinks of working that into short midwicket, he does so, but he doesn't time it

20.2

Nel to Collingwood, no run, naggles that one back in at the righthander from outside off and it jags back at him, awkward. Don't think naggles is a word but you know what I mean

20.3

Nel to Collingwood, no run, left alone outside off

20.4

Nel to Collingwood, 1 wide, left alone outside off and that's wide

Peter Short, with the world's best moustache, is in the crowd. His tache is almost Dalian

20.4

Nel to Collingwood, no run, defended forward without too much fuss

20.5

Nel to Collingwood, FOUR, right up there and timed with a pleasing "Thlock" through cover, played off the back foot

20.6

Nel to Collingwood, 1 run, more attempted naggling, but Nel strays on to leg stump, rather the ball does, and that's dinked into short midwicket and he's stolen the strike

End of over 21 (6 runs) England 70/3 (RR: 3.33)
PD Collingwood    11* (18b 2x4)      A Nel    5-1-23-2
AJ Strauss    28* (34b 2x4 1x6)      AJ Hall    4-1-10-0

21.1

Hall to Collingwood, no run, that one pitches on off and moves towards middle as Collingwood gets over it, working it to short midwicket

A good atmosphere, I'm pleased to report, from a packed crowd and they're all having fun

21.2

Hall to Collingwood, no run, rushes that one on to middle and that's defended tidily into the short midwicket region

21.3

Hall to Collingwood, no run, huge amounts of lift! Great delivery, that one climbing to the top floor, climbing way above Collingwood, but not before threatening to kiss his helmet - Boucher does well to save the byes, there

21.4

Hall to Collingwood, no run, pushed into short midwicket

21.5

Hall to Collingwood, no run, slower ball, pushed right up there, Collingwood picks it, defends, and then smiles

21.6

Hall to Collingwood, no run, defended down into the gully

And it's Jacques Kallis into the attack

End of over 22 (maiden) England 70/3 (RR: 3.18)
PD Collingwood    11* (24b 2x4)      AJ Hall    5-2-10-0
AJ Strauss    28* (34b 2x4 1x6)      A Nel    5-1-23-2

22.1

Kallis to Strauss, 1 run, on leg, a good line to a righthander it must be said but there's a flaw in that, and that's helped with some good wristing to square

22.2

Kallis to Collingwood, 1 run, expecting the bouncer, stops on the shot, but forgets to move his gloves out of the way and the ball crashes into his hands

22.3

Kallis to Strauss, 1 run, and this time the ball does bounce, but Strauss wasn't expecting, and the ball flies up off the shoulder of the bat, Strauss trying to sway away from the shot, and into space at third man

22.4

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, defended forward

22.5

Kallis to Collingwood, 1 run, outside off and that's skewed off the edge into short midwicket and the batsmen run through an almost apologetic single

22.6

Kallis to Strauss, 2 runs, outside off and Strauss slams down his hands into that one, a firm cut through cover

Unfortunately for all readers, Will's earlier (and utterly valid) comment of Pietersen being England's cheerleader has induced some shocking images from the fans. "Has someone told these poms this is not a Test match?" chirps Old Nick from South Africa. "I keep having this scary vision of Pietersen in a cheerleader's mini dress and pompoms." Oh dear.

Back at the cricket, it's Justin Kemp

End of over 23 (6 runs) England 76/3 (RR: 3.30)
AJ Strauss    32* (37b 2x4 1x6)      JH Kallis    1-0-6-0
PD Collingwood    13* (27b 2x4)      AJ Hall    5-2-10-0

23.1

Kemp to Collingwood, no run, on leg to begin with, up there, but that's worked into short midwicket

23.2

Kemp to Collingwood, 1 run, short, and that's driven to long-on for a quick single

23.3

Kemp to Strauss, 4 byes, round the wicket, tries to pull that and he tries to pull, the ball goes over the outside edge and Boucher, standing up, can't get near it

23.4

Kemp to Strauss, 2 runs, cut away to just inside the point boundary

23.5

Kemp to Strauss, 1 wide, too wide down the off and that's left alone

23.5

Kemp to Strauss, no run, left alone again outside off

23.6

Kemp to Strauss, 1 run, turned round to Pollock down at deep fine leg

And on from the marketing end, it's Andrew Hall, a different one, Cricinfo's one. "If anyone thinks they can do better than England they can play our new Slogout game for a few overs here."

End of over 24 (9 runs) England 85/3 (RR: 3.54)
AJ Strauss    35* (41b 2x4 1x6)      JM Kemp    1-0-5-0
PD Collingwood    14* (29b 2x4)      JH Kallis    1-0-6-0

24.1

Kallis to Strauss, no run, right up there and that's defended into short midwicket

"Haha," chuckles our Andrew Hall of his Slogout comment, "almost certain to be a faster scoring rate." Quite, quite

24.2

Kallis to Strauss, 2 runs, down leg and that's turned round to fine leg again

24.3

Kallis to Strauss, no run, defended this time

24.4

Kallis to Strauss, no run, on off and that's poked down to gully and they're both firm in deciding that "No!" now is not the time to go for a run

Smith's looking a bit concerned here, so thinks the best idea is to adjust his collar so it's up like Cantona/Sobers/other-collar-up-people

24.5

Kallis to Strauss, 1 run, a cheeky single this time

24.6

Kallis to Collingwood, 1 run, gets his glove on that one as he tries to pull it

Half-way stage and England haven't reached three figures yet...

End of over 25 (4 runs) England 89/3 (RR: 3.56)
PD Collingwood    15* (30b 2x4)      JH Kallis    2-0-10-0
AJ Strauss    38* (46b 2x4 1x6)      JM Kemp    1-0-5-0

25.1

Kemp to Collingwood, 1 run, right up there, but driven out to long-on for an easy single

25.2

Kemp to Strauss, 1 run, outside off and that's easily driven through cover

25.3

Kemp to Collingwood, 1 run, up there on off, but it's taken almost literally off his toes to drive to mid-on

25.4

Kemp to Strauss, 1 run, a good line to the lefthander, but too full, and that's driven out to long-off

Stuart Broad's holding court on the England balcony

25.5

Kemp to Collingwood, no run, defended forward

25.6

Kemp to Collingwood, 1 run, on off and that's turned round the corner, well, there isn't a corner, but anyway, behind square

"This is like watching paint dry," rants Mark Waddington. "I'm an England fan, but England don't deserve to make the semis. What's needed now is a real humiliation, so we can pick up where we left off after the 5-0 Ashes rout. Ah, I feel better after writing that..." Cricinfo: soothing tortured England fans all over the world

End of over 26 (5 runs) England 94/3 (RR: 3.61)
PD Collingwood    18* (34b 2x4)      JM Kemp    2-0-10-0
AJ Strauss    40* (48b 2x4 1x6)      JH Kallis    2-0-10-0

26.1

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, driven down, without power, to gully

"Smith is getting ready to lead, in a cheery fashion" says Paul Watson. See what he did there

26.2

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, outside off, cuts in at an awkward height, but that's well defended down

26.3

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, right up there and that's driven straight to long-off

26.4

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, floats that in, nearly a full toss, and Collingwood keeps that out with a dig off the bat into his pads

26.5

Kallis to Collingwood, 1 run, oh, got away with that one, Kallis sending that one in at a testing angle, cutting back into him, and a leading edge goes abegging through gully

26.6

Kallis to Strauss, no run, driven straight to cover who makes no mistake

End of over 27 (1 run) England 95/3 (RR: 3.51)
AJ Strauss    40* (49b 2x4 1x6)      JH Kallis    3-0-11-0
PD Collingwood    19* (39b 2x4)      JM Kemp    2-0-10-0

27.1

Kemp to Collingwood, no run, driven to extra cover and that's picked up snappily as a sharp-suited dresser

27.2

Kemp to Collingwood, 1 run, driven out to extra cover and they think of taking the second, but decide against it

27.3

Kemp to Strauss, no run, a lot of effort for a ball that's a decent pitch, on off, but defended easily enough

27.4

Kemp to Strauss, 1 run, driven to long-off

27.5

Kemp to Collingwood, no run, outside off and Collingwood looks to nudge that down to gully, but he's cramped for room

27.6

Kemp to Collingwood, FOUR, sweet shot, nice one. That's on middle-and-leg and just timed in front of square with a neat flick of the wrists

End of over 28 (6 runs) England 101/3 (RR: 3.60)
PD Collingwood    24* (43b 3x4)      JM Kemp    3-0-16-0
AJ Strauss    41* (51b 2x4 1x6)      JH Kallis    3-0-11-0

28.1

Kallis to Strauss, no run, outside off and that's played straight down to gully

28.2

Kallis to Strauss, no run, on middle-and-leg and that's driven to mid-on

28.3

Kallis to Strauss, no run, oh, slower ball, deceptive as you like, and Strauss doesn't like, cutting right under it - the ball kept low, too

28.4

Kallis to Strauss, no run, on middle, great length, and that's just defended forward

28.5

Kallis to Strauss, no run, defended forward

28.6

Kallis to Strauss, 1 run, outside off and that's cut off the back foot, nearly timed, and they get the single

This stand's worth 49, by the way.

"I've just tested a theory," geeks John Futter, "by putting a coat of gloss on my desk at work. Mark Waddington was right: it is more interesting, even though it is slow-drying." Oh cheer up everyone, it's not that bad. Long way to go yet.

Pollock back into the attack as South Africa look to break the shackles

End of over 29 (1 run) England 102/3 (RR: 3.51)
AJ Strauss    42* (57b 2x4 1x6)      JH Kallis    4-0-12-0
PD Collingwood    24* (43b 3x4)      JM Kemp    3-0-16-0

29.1

Pollock to Strauss, 1 run, short and that's pulled firmly in front of square to bring up the 50 partnership from 78 balls

"From 78" confirms Will with a pleased nod. He loves his stats

29.2

Pollock to Collingwood, no run, defended into the covers

29.3

Pollock to Collingwood, no run, outside off, a hint of turn away, and that's nearly chopped back onto the stumps

29.4

Pollock to Collingwood, no run, slower ball, misdirected and easily picked, but the timing wasn't there, the ball just driven without much power to mid-on

29.5

Pollock to Collingwood, no run, outside off and again that's not timed again, just dabbed into the off-side

29.6

Pollock to Collingwood, 1 run, a touch slower, a touch short and that's whipped up through midwicket

Here's Will

End of over 30 (2 runs) England 104/3 (RR: 3.46)
PD Collingwood    25* (48b 3x4)      SM Pollock    7-2-10-0
AJ Strauss    43* (58b 2x4 1x6)      JH Kallis    4-0-12-0

Hello everyone. It is I.

30.1

Kallis to Collingwood, 1 run, punched off the back foot without much timing

Stuart Broad - who despite his height still looks 12 - is having a laugh and a joke with Flintoff on the England balcony. Well done everyone.

30.2

Kallis to Strauss, no run, just a touch shorter and punched straight to point

30.3

Kallis to Strauss, no run, blimey that was a bit close. Strauss walked across his stumps, quite considerably, tried to flick it to leg but missed and very nearly lost his leg stump

30.4

Kallis to Strauss, no run, excellent length, Strauss is slightly unsure whether to go forward or back. Driven back to the bowler

Still plenty of time for England here

30.5

Kallis to Strauss, 1 run, crashed on the front foot, opening the face of the bat quite nicely to send it out into the deep, square

30.6

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, short, rising onto Collingwood who defends defends it while airborne. He initially wanted a single but Kallis lumbered to his right to field, preventing a single

Gravy and co are having a ball out in the crowd. A good sized crowd, too, under hot, clear blue skies

End of over 31 (2 runs) England 106/3 (RR: 3.41)
PD Collingwood    26* (50b 3x4)      JH Kallis    5-0-14-0
AJ Strauss    44* (62b 2x4 1x6)      SM Pollock    7-2-10-0

Boucher's up to the stumps by the way

31.1

Pollock to Strauss, no run, and it's full, straight and defended by Strauss

37 of the finest runs from the last 10 overs. Good grief.

31.2

Pollock to Strauss, 1 run, cracked down to third man

"I am really glad that Andy Strauss is slugging it out there," says Ram. Andy?

31.3

Pollock to Collingwood, 1 run, dabbed off the back foot down to third man

31.4

Pollock to Strauss, no run, nudged off his legs but he can't break the gap

31.5

Pollock to Strauss, 1 run, pushed through cover for a quick single

31.6

Pollock to Collingwood, 1 run, and it's pushed down to mid-on for another cheeky single

Very good over from Pollock who is racing through them at the moment

End of over 32 (4 runs) England 110/3 (RR: 3.43)
PD Collingwood    28* (52b 3x4)      SM Pollock    8-2-14-0
AJ Strauss    46* (66b 2x4 1x6)      JH Kallis    5-0-14-0

And that'll be drinks, ladies and gents.

32.1

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, a flourishing defensive prod to short mid-off

32.2

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, that's a fine, shock bouncer from Kallis, taking Collingwood by surprise - surprisingly so - who ducks beneath it at the last moment

32.3

Kallis to Collingwood, 1 run, too straight, allowing Collingwood to nurdle it to leg for a singleton

It's Nelson

32.4

Kallis to Strauss, OUT, and Nelson's done it for South Africa! Excellent field placing from Smith plonking himself at a fourth slip and Strauss cuts it straight to him

AJ Strauss c Smith b Kallis 46 (113m 67b 2x4 1x6) SR: 68.65

A lazy, mistimed, frustrated stroke to end a useful, form-enhancing knock from Strauss

Here's Fred

32.5

Kallis to Flintoff, no run, banged on the front foot to mid-off

32.6

Kallis to Flintoff, 1 run, just short of a length, Flintoff goes back and across, punching it just wide of a short mid-off and they run through for a single to get him off the mark

End of over 33 (2 runs) England 112/4 (RR: 3.39)
A Flintoff    1* (2b)      JH Kallis    6-0-16-1
PD Collingwood    29* (55b 3x4)      SM Pollock    8-2-14-0

"So I went in to a pet shop. I said, 'Can I buy a goldfish?' The guy said, 'Do you want an aquarium?' I said, 'I don't care what star sign it is.' That dreadful joke courtesy of the work-shy Brad Kelly.

33.1

Hall to Flintoff, no run, pushed out into the covers

33.2

Hall to Flintoff, 1 run, neatly guided down to third man

33.3

Hall to Collingwood, 1 run, very well bowled and the first sign, I think, of reverse swing as this one bends into the batsman. But it's firmly dug out and they sprint through for a very well-run single

33.4

Hall to Flintoff, 1 run, cut, or rather sliced, square of the wicket

England just dibbling, dabbling along here. They desperately need Flintoff to go absolutely berserk

33.5

Hall to Collingwood, OUT, goddim! Swinging into Collingwood again who is rapped quite high on the pads, and Taufel raises his finger. That would've clipped middle-and-off

PD Collingwood lbw b Hall 30 (75m 57b 3x4 0x6) SR: 52.63

South Africa's bowlers have given so little away today. Tight lines, good lengths - and Smith's captaincy has been quite inspired. Everything he touches has turned to gold (or green, anyway...)

But all is not lost for England just yet. Here's Ravi Bopara in what Atherton describes as a "terminal" decline

33.6

Hall to Bopara, no run, left alone outside off

And a smallish section of South African supporters cheer their success. England's lot are subdued and, frankly, depressed

End of over 34 (3 runs) England 115/5 (RR: 3.38)
RS Bopara    0* (1b)      AJ Hall    6-2-13-1
A Flintoff    3* (5b)      JH Kallis    6-0-16-1

Here's Andre Nel back into the attack, with a slip

34.1

Nel to Flintoff, 1 wide, well bowled! Though it's wided by Bucknor. A fast bouncer and an unfriendly greeting to Flintoff who ducks underneath

34.1

Nel to Flintoff, 1 run, dabbed down to third man

England need more than the odd dib or dab. They need bish; they need bosh

Slip and fine gully

34.2

Nel to Bopara, 1 run, calmly played off the back foot down to fine leg

Bopara has been impressive so far. He looks a remarkably calm character for someone so lacking in experience, not to mention age

34.3

Nel to Flintoff, no run, good length, Nel, spearing into Flintoff's legs - the batsman takes a step to leg, in fact, defending it with no great conviction

34.4

Nel to Flintoff, no run, much better from Flintoff, solidly blocking it out - his bat looming down on the ball like an old barn door

34.5

Nel to Flintoff, 1 run, just paddled, nothing more, to deep square leg. Such is Flintoff's natural timing that it speeds along the outfield rather zippily

34.6

Nel to Bopara, no run, left alone outside off, too wide - and Nel is absolutely disgusted with himself, and with the world in general

"What is Nelson?" asks Sameer before adding splendidly: "Please furnish with information." Check out Nelson, and more, here.

End of over 35 (4 runs) England 119/5 (RR: 3.40)
RS Bopara    1* (3b)      A Nel    6-1-27-2
A Flintoff    5* (9b)      AJ Hall    6-2-13-1

35.1

Hall to Flintoff, OUT, what a ball! That's a cracker from Hall, just outside off and cutting back quite markedly into Flintoff who tries to drive on the up and is bowled through the gate, the middle stump flattened

A Flintoff b Hall 5 (14m 10b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50.00

Oh dear, oh dear oh dear. South Africa are swarming over England here like a, well, I don't know what. England have lost 3 for 8 in 16: a fine collapse indeed

35.2

Hall to Nixon, 1 run, clipped to leg. The wrong line there from Hall

35.3

Hall to Bopara, no run, hmm, Bopara walks across his stumps here - plays it well enough, to leg, but exposes his leg stump

He's trying to counter the inswing from Hall

35.4

Hall to Bopara, no run, confidently forward from Bopara, just defending it on the front foot

14 overs remaining. South Africa really should be looking to close this out sharpish, mainly because I am absolutely dying for a cup of tea and something to eat

35.5

Hall to Bopara, 1 run, clunked out into the covers

The South Africa physio is on the boundary

35.6

Hall to Nixon, OUT, gone! And another one! My word Hall has been outstanding today; wicket to wicket, just slanting it across Nixon who nibbled at it without conviction and edged it to Boucher

PA Nixon c †Boucher b Hall 1 (3m 2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50.00

Who needs Ntini? Hall's length has been the most impressive aspect of his spells today. No batsman has been confident coming forward: instead, they've stayed back in their crease and prodded, injudiciously. You can't do that to the swinging delivery

End of over 36 (2 runs) England 121/7 (RR: 3.36)
     AJ Hall    7-2-15-3
RS Bopara    2* (6b)      A Nel    6-1-27-2

36.1

Nel to Bopara, no run, defended out to cover: Bopara roars no

What a task young Bopara has on his hands here to try and salvage something from England's pithy tail

36.2

Nel to Bopara, no run, too wide of the off stump, left alone by Bopara

36.3

Nel to Bopara, no run, shuffles across his stumps, gets himself in line and defends it under his nose off the back foot

36.4

Nel to Bopara, no run, shorter from Nel, on a good line too angling into the batsman who defends off the back foot

36.5

Nel to Bopara, no run, too wide, too short and Bopara is disinterested

36.6

Nel to Bopara, no run, and a tighter line causes Bopara to defend on the front foot

End of over 37 (maiden) England 121/7 (RR: 3.27)
RS Bopara    2* (12b)      A Nel    7-2-27-2
SI Mahmood    0* (0b)      AJ Hall    7-2-15-3

37.1

Hall to Mahmood, OUT, and another one for Hall! They just cannot pick up his length today. A beautiful little inswinger to Mahmood who didn't come forward sufficiently, an inside edge knocking over his middle stump

SI Mahmood b Hall 0 (5m 1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Heck of a display from Hall, it really is. The swing, and movement off the pitch - and barely a bad ball bowled. Hall on a hat-trick

37.2

Hall to Panesar, no run, and Panesar plays and misses outside off! Very, very close

And the spineless Martin van Rooyen (see earlier feedback) lets rip with another volley of abuse. Shame is he hasn't even got the guts to leave a real email address ...

37.3

Hall to Panesar, no run, another play-and-miss, albeit too wide to really be bothering with. But England are under the spell here and, well, they don't know what's going on

Two slips and a gully

37.4

Hall to Panesar, no run, again more massive swing past Monty who this time leaves alone

Time to go around the wicket?

37.5

Hall to Panesar, 1 run, angled down to third man

Oh dear, I've opened the bad-joke floodgates. Quintin: "Why are English cricketers cleverer than Houdini? Because they can get out without even trying." This stops now.

37.6

Hall to Bopara, no run, ooh close, he's rapped on the pads - Boucher roars, but it's not even an appeal. Just a "raww-ahh" in vain

End of over 38 (1 run) England 122/8 (RR: 3.21)
RS Bopara    2* (13b)      AJ Hall    8-2-16-4
MS Panesar    1* (4b)      A Nel    7-2-27-2

Around the wicket

In some ways, this is good news for England. Had they won today, and eventually made the semi-finals, it would've glossed a disastrous winter in a thin coating of success. That simply wouldn't benefit anyone.

38.1

Nel to Panesar, no run, and he plays and misses again outside off

38.2

Nel to Panesar, no run, ooh plays and misses again. This is a terrific line from around the wicket

Two slips and a gully

38.3

Nel to Panesar, 1 no ball, edged, and it falls short of Boucher. Very short of Boucher, in fact. A fine delivery, Panesar absolutely clueless

Should India, England and Pakistan form a league of their own?" asks Sanjay Kapoor. "At least one team would win." It would probably be rained off ...

38.3

Nel to Panesar, no run, but it's elegantly left alone outside off this time

38.4

Nel to Panesar, no run, a good bouncer but it's well played, just swaying out of the way

"'Young Bopara' - you sound like Brian Johnston - how old are you?" asks James Birch. I'm 25, at that age where all of a sudden there are cricketers younger than me. Thanks for the compliment though.

38.5

Nel to Panesar, no run, left alone outside off

38.6

Nel to Panesar, 1 wide, too wide and rightly called a wide

38.6

Nel to Panesar, no run, ironic, cruel cheers resonate around the ground as he finally gets willow onto leather, punching it nowhere for a zero

End of over 39 (2 runs) England 124/8 (RR: 3.17)
MS Panesar    1* (11b)      A Nel    8-2-29-2
RS Bopara    2* (13b)      AJ Hall    8-2-16-4

Hall, approaching five wickets, is taken out of the attack. Bit harsh, surely?

39.1

Langeveldt to Bopara, FOUR, neat stroke. Excellent, in fact, driving on the up and lofting it just wide of mid-off

39.2

Langeveldt to Bopara, no run, punch-defended on the back foot to cover

39.3

Langeveldt to Bopara, no run, beautifully driven straight, but too straight - and it canons into the non-striker's stumps. Damn them and their blocking ways

39.4

Langeveldt to Bopara, FOUR, intelligent cricket from a bold young player, flicking this wayward delivery down to fine leg for four

39.5

Langeveldt to Bopara, 2 runs, square driven on the front foot for a couple

39.6

Langeveldt to Bopara, no run, well bowled. Bopara can't get this away and defends back to the bowler

Monty on strike. Here's Jen for the final ten overs. Cheers Will. Or final few wickets, whichever's quicker

End of over 40 (10 runs) England 134/8 (RR: 3.35)
RS Bopara    12* (19b 2x4)      CK Langeveldt    7-1-38-1
MS Panesar    1* (11b)      A Nel    8-2-29-2

Pollock back into the attack

40.1

Pollock to Panesar, 1 run, on leg, and Panesar waits patiently before driving it cleanly in front of midwicket

40.2

Pollock to Bopara, 1 run, outside off and he just opens his shoulders, not literally, to caress that one down to third man

40.3

Pollock to Panesar, no run, tucks Panesar up with a straight one, on off, that's dealt with courtesy of a prod down off the back foot

40.4

Pollock to Panesar, no run, Pollock races in, plants that one on a good length and it's defended down

40.5

Pollock to Panesar, no run, outside off and that's fended down, again. There's a pattern

40.6

Pollock to Panesar, no run, straight, and defended down, again on the back foot

Jacques's out of his box and back into the attack

End of over 41 (2 runs) England 136/8 (RR: 3.31)
MS Panesar    2* (16b)      SM Pollock    9-2-16-0
RS Bopara    13* (20b 2x4)      CK Langeveldt    7-1-38-1

41.1

Kallis to Bopara, FOUR, big outside edge and that just eludes the tumbling Boucher outside his right hand, at full stretch. Excellent stretching, and good bowling, but nothing doing

41.2

Kallis to Bopara, 1 run, driven straight, so straight it knocks the stumps at the bowler's end, and they run while the ricochet is gathered

41.3

Kallis to Panesar, no run, Panesar proving, lest there be any doubt, which there wasn't, that he can play a lovely, shiny back-foot defensive shot

Panesar's wide eyed in trying to find a way out of defensive hell

41.4

Kallis to Panesar, no run, defended again

41.5

Kallis to Panesar, no run, shapes to drive off the back foot to the covers, but stops on the shot, and the ball, although out of the middle, goes gently to the fielder

41.6

Kallis to Panesar, no run, effort all round there - effort from the bowler, looking for the bouncer, and Panesar made a good effort of flaying that off the back foot, apart from the fact that he missed it completely

End of over 42 (5 runs) England 141/8 (RR: 3.35)
MS Panesar    2* (20b)      JH Kallis    7-0-21-1
RS Bopara    18* (22b 3x4)      SM Pollock    9-2-16-0

42.1

Pollock to Bopara, 1 run, on leg, that sits up and asks Bopara if he wouldn't mind terribly swishing that off his legs to square. And he didn't, so he did

42.2

Pollock to Panesar, no run, stands tall, and his feet are trapped in driving that to cover

42.3

Pollock to Panesar, no run, pushed right onto the back foot and Panesar cradles his bat to push the ball to cover

42.4

Pollock to Panesar, no run, driven to cover

Panesar's "strike"-rate is 9.1

42.5

Pollock to Panesar, no run, swishes outside off, feet going nowhere, bat going everywhere but towards the ball, and that leaps over the outside edge

42.6

Pollock to Panesar, no run, poked again at that one and again it jumps over his outside edge - or, you could argue he played under it

Stato alert from Gnasher. "Monty has now faced more balls in this innings (25) than his previous four ODI knocks put together (24)." Well done, Gnasher, I don't know where we got you from, but that's top stattageing.

End of over 43 (1 run) England 142/8 (RR: 3.30)
MS Panesar    2* (25b)      SM Pollock    10-2-17-0
RS Bopara    19* (23b 3x4)      JH Kallis    7-0-21-1

43.1

Kallis to Bopara, no run, defended on the back foot

43.2

Kallis to Bopara, no run, outside off and that's dabbled down to gully

43.3

Kallis to Bopara, no run, defended on the back foot

43.4

Kallis to Bopara, 1 run, poked his bat away from his body and got a single for his trouble as he ran that one down to third man

43.5

Kallis to Panesar, no run, short, wide, but he misses out in driving that straight to the covers

Flintoff chewing his nails on the balcony, not in a nervous way - there's hardly any tension out there - more a rueful simper

43.6

Kallis to Panesar, no run, slash outside off

"An Aussie mate at work turned to his English boss and asked 'if he wanted some apple with that crumble'. The boss was not amused, but he was..." says Clayton. Aussies aren't normally known for their schadenfreude are they...

It's Nel now

End of over 44 (1 run) England 143/8 (RR: 3.25)
MS Panesar    2* (27b)      JH Kallis    8-0-22-1
RS Bopara    20* (27b 3x4)      SM Pollock    10-2-17-0

44.1

Nel to Bopara, no run, good work from Nel, a bouncer

Bopara just ducks under it

44.2

Nel to Bopara, 1 leg bye, on leg and that's tucked off the legs, literally, behind square

44.3

Nel to Panesar, OUT, a wide one down the corridor, possibly deliberate, and Panesar slashes away from his body, backing away, and a loud snick booms out as Boucher takes that tidily

MS Panesar c †Boucher b Nel 2 (30m 28b 0x4 0x6) SR: 7.14

James Anderson takes his place at the crease for his part in this woeful display. I should say, though, that it's been an excellent and disciplined show from South Africa's bowlers so far

44.4

Nel to Anderson, no run, pushed up there and that's defended

44.5

Nel to Anderson, no run, cuts back in off the seam and Anderson contrives to miss that, and it just fails to hit the stumps

44.6

Nel to Anderson, no run, outside off and that's left alone

"Oldie but a goodie," says Tim Allan. We'll be the judge of that. " Who spends the most time on the crease of anyone in the English team? The person who ironed the cricket whites." Honk

End of over 45 (1 run, wicket maiden) England 144/9 (RR: 3.20)
JM Anderson    0* (3b)      A Nel    9-3-29-3
RS Bopara    20* (29b 3x4)      JH Kallis    8-0-22-1

45.1

Hall to Bopara, no run, driven into the covers

"Oh look it's Mello the rapidly disintegrating mascot," notes Martin, in a tone not unlike that of Bob Willis, as the big orange thing tries to amuse the crowd (that's Mello, not Pollock)

45.2

Hall to Bopara, no run, cuts in off the seam, there's nothing you can do with that apart from defend it forward

45.3

Hall to Bopara, no run, outside off and Boucher does well to snap that up, standing up to that one, and it's too quick for Bopara, who's not even onto the shot before the ball's through

45.4

Hall to Bopara, no run, slower ball, and that's well dug out

45.5

Hall to Bopara, 1 run, rushes that wristily through midwicket

45.6

Hall to Anderson, no run, that nearly ended the innings and Anderson knows it, smiling as that cuts away from him, squaring him up on the front foot, horrible attempt at a shot

Martin's got more to say about Mello. "TV cameras have just shown him cuddling children. Aside from the fact that after 18 weeks of non-stop mateyness Mello must hum like a pair of Will's socks, can anyone explain what the point of mascots are? Small children are frightened by them, larger ones kick them, and adults throw things at them." Ah, that will be the point, then.

End of over 46 (1 run) England 145/9 (RR: 3.15)
JM Anderson    0* (4b)      AJ Hall    9-2-17-4
RS Bopara    21* (34b 3x4)      A Nel    9-3-29-3

46.1

Nel to Bopara, 1 wide, chased down leg

46.1

Nel to Bopara, no run, outside off and that's poked down through gully off the back foot

I've heard that the English Cricket Board are making a help-line available for fans who are disappointed with the performance of the English team," emails Robert Petrovic "The help-line number is 1800 10 10 10. That's 1800, won nothing, won nothing, won nothing."

46.2

Nel to Bopara, no run, driven out to cover

46.3

Nel to Bopara, no run, pushed right up there and that's driven to long-off

46.4

Nel to Bopara, 2 leg byes, pitches on middle, turns down leg and that's swished away off the pad. Top padding

46.5

Nel to Bopara, FOUR, short, wide and that's c-r-ashed off the back foot through cover, his front foot lifting off the ground with the effort

And England have brought up the 150

46.6

Nel to Bopara, 1 run, does very well to tuck that yorker off his toes through midwicket

End of over 47 (8 runs) England 153/9 (RR: 3.25)
RS Bopara    26* (40b 4x4)      A Nel    10-3-35-3
JM Anderson    0* (4b)      AJ Hall    9-2-17-4

47.1

Hall to Bopara, no run, on leg, stands tall, and drives that one to mid-on

The atmosphere's oddly flat

47.2

Hall to Bopara, no run, driven to point, that's snapped up zestily and returned to the keeper

Duncan Fletcher's staring intently into his laptop, clearly unamused by the poor jokes from our readers

47.3

Hall to Bopara, no run, driven to the covers

47.4

Hall to Bopara, 1 run, on a good length, but Hall just snatches at that one and, though he took the pace off, they get the single

Bopara's a man with the world on his shoulders and without the strike

47.5

Hall to Anderson, no run, that one shapes away from Anderson, lovely shape, Monroe-esque curvature there, and Anderson's naturally tempted. He gets away with the swish

47.6

Hall to Anderson, OUT, very very straight, as out as you like that one and that's a very well deserved five-for. That one hit him low, and full, and Anderson stood there bewildered, awaiting the inevitable finger of fate

JM Anderson lbw b Hall 0 (15m 6b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Anderson to open. Wide first ball, anyone?

Hello gluttons. Ready for more? It's Will here. The players are making their way out into the middle and it'll be AB de Villiers to face the first ball. "England have to get them out for under 155 to win" informs Tony Cozier, in case you weren't aware of the rules.

Excellent, excellent bowling from Hall and it's great that he managed to get his Michelle (five-for, geddit) just on the very last delivery of his spell. Well done South Africa, they should have no problems knocking these runs off and if they do, then England will have to match South Africa and bowl out of their skins.

Hall's figures are the best for a South African in a World Cup, by the way, good work. "We're extremely happy," he has just confirmed, almost needlessly. "The wicket is very bouncy, very South African conditions we found." Will the run chase be difficult? "Ja, definitely. We have to not be lulled into a false sense of security."

Just to embellish un peu, Hall's 5 for 18 is the best performance by a South African in World Cups, beating Lance Klusener's 5 for 21 in 1999.

End of over 48 (1 run) England 154/10 (RR: 3.20)
     AJ Hall    10-2-18-5
RS Bopara    27* (44b 4x4)      A Nel    10-3-35-3
Tournament Results
Australia v Sri Lanka at Bridgetown - Apr 28, 2007
Australia won by 53 runs (D/L method)
Australia v South Africa at Gros Islet - Apr 25, 2007
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 111 balls remaining)
New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Kingston - Apr 24, 2007
Sri Lanka won by 81 runs
West Indies v England at Bridgetown - Apr 21, 2007
England won by 1 wicket (with 1 ball remaining)
Australia v New Zealand at St George's - Apr 20, 2007
Australia won by 215 runs
More results »

Photos

Apr 17, 2007

Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan in the field, England v South Africa, Super Eights, Barbados, April 17, 2007

Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan in the field

© Getty Images

Apr 17, 2007

A grim-faced Michael Vaughan faces the press, England v South Africa, Super Eights, Barbados, April 17, 2007

A grim-faced Michael Vaughan faces the press

© Getty Images

All photos for this match