CWC: Broad, Bopara star in England win
England 171 (Bopara 60, Trott 52, Tahir 4-38) beat South Africa 165 (Amla 42, Broad 4-15) by six runs
The best word that can be summed up to England’s performance this World Cup is erratic. After the hard earned win against Netherlands, a tie against India, a loss against Ireland they ended up beating South Africa in a nerve wracking thriller at the Chinnaswamy stadium, Chennai and indeed it has done no harm whatsoever to the image of 50-50 cricket or to England for that matter.
After England opted to bat first on a dicey surface prepared at the Chinnaswamy stadium they soon collapsed to a precarious position of 15/3 after Robin Peterson started the proceedings and accounted for Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss in his very first over itself. Ravi Bopara and Jonathan Trott clawed their way through trying to stem the landslide and managed to string a 99 run partnership before Imran Tahir accounted for the latter. One more collapse ensued and England were all out for 171. Imran Tahir’s dream run continued as he snared up four wickets with his guile and accuracy and took his World Cup tally to 11 wickets in 3 matches.
Given South Africa’s form this World Cup they were bound to make mincemeat out of the run chase and they started off with a well garnered 63 run partnership between Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla. It was Graeme Swann who accounted for his namesake, he was confident enough to toss the ball up to the batsmen on a much more productive pitch and troubled the batsmen on a regular batsmen. Even though Kallis and Amla perished soon after, the chances of South Africa succumbing to a defeat was as good as a 9 year old boy cracking IIT exams. The middle order was ripped open by James Anderson who bowled his heart out just before the mandatory ball change, reverse swung the ball to a great extent and suddenly from 124/3 the Proteas collapsed to 127/7. England capitalised on the momentary panic and even though Steyn and Van Wyk tried their best to push themselves to the other side Stuart Broad made sure there were no more dramas or twists in the tale by cleaning up the tail enders in his 7th over and ended up with match winning figures of 6.4-0-15-4. The England fans will no doubt be revelling and rejoicing in their victory but whatever they do a piece of advice for them would be to not to utter the ‘choke’ word anywhere around the South African camp.