England beat South Africa to reach final

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England powered into the final of the Champions Trophy with a seven-wicket victory over a South Africa side who once again underperformed in a major semi-final.

James Anderson (2-14) and James Tredwell (3-19) starred with the ball as the Proteas collapsed to 80-8 before a 95-run stand between David Miller and Rory Kleinveldt hauled them to 175.

Jonathan Trott scored a typically measured unbeaten 82 as England passed their modest target in 37.3 overs to reach their first global 50-over final since 2004.

The hosts will play the winners of Thursday’s second semi-final between India and Sri Lanka in Sunday’s final at Edgbaston.

It is some achievement for Alastair Cook’s side, who have calmly shrugged off criticism of their cautious batting tactics, allegations of ball-tampering and injuries to Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann to reach the showpiece.

The question now is whether they can go one better than the 2004 Champions Trophy final, when they were improbably beaten by West Indies at The Oval.

For South Africa, this defeat will no doubt be added to their long list of so-called “chokes” in 50-over tournaments.

The Proteas, who won the inaugural Champions Trophy in 1998, infamously threw away a winning position against Australia in the following year’s World Cup semi-final and went out of the 2003 World Cup on home soil in the group stage after misinterpreting the Duckworth-Lewis rain rule.

They also suffered batting collapses in losing to Australia and New Zealand at the semi-final and quarter-final stages at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups.

After being put in to bat on a humid, overcast morning, South Africa were blown off course by a superb opening burst from Anderson and almost entirely derailed by Tredwell, who took three wickets in his first five overs.

Colin Ingram was trapped lbw by Anderson with the fifth ball of the innings and Steven Finn followed up with the prize wicket of Hashim Amla in the next over.

Amla, who scored an unbeaten 311 against England in last year’s Oval Test, made a late decision to leave a ball outside off stump and gave Jos Buttler the first of six catches.

Robin Peterson and Faf du Plessis’s brief rebuilding act was curtailed as Anderson vindicated Cook’s decision to extend his spell into a seventh over by removing Peterson lbw with a full, straight ball.

 

The question now is whether they can go one better than the 2004 Champions Trophy final, when they were improbably beaten by West Indies at The Oval.

For South Africa, this defeat will no doubt be added to their long list of so-called “chokes” in 50-over tournaments.

The Proteas, who won the inaugural Champions Trophy in 1998, infamously threw away a winning position against Australia in the following year’s World Cup semi-final and went out of the 2003 World Cup on home soil in the group stage after misinterpreting the Duckworth-Lewis rain rule.

They also suffered batting collapses in losing to Australia and New Zealand at the semi-final and quarter-final stages at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups.

After being put in to bat on a humid, overcast morning, South Africa were blown off course by a superb opening burst from Anderson and almost entirely derailed by Tredwell, who took three wickets in his first five overs.

Colin Ingram was trapped lbw by Anderson with the fifth ball of the innings and Steven Finn followed up with the prize wicket of Hashim Amla in the next over.

Amla, who scored an unbeaten 311 against England in last year’s Oval Test, made a late decision to leave a ball outside off stump and gave Jos Buttler the first of six catches.

Robin Peterson and Faf du Plessis’s brief rebuilding act was curtailed as Anderson vindicated Cook’s decision to extend his spell into a seventh over by removing Peterson lbw with a full, straight ball. (BBC Sport)

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