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South Africa cruise to easy 7 wicket victory

South Africa showed why they are one of the favorites to win the Twenty20 World Cup thanks to a stylish 7 wicket victory of England at Trent Bridge to win their first Super Eight game.

Jacques Kallis scored his maiden Twenty20 fifty and led a clinical South Africa to a thumping seven-wicket victory over England in their opening Super Eights match of the ICC World Twenty20 in Nottingham on Thursday.

Kallis top-scored with an unbeaten 49-ball 57 in South Africa's run chase of 112 in the Group E encounter to help the Proteas attain the target in 18.2 overs and maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament.

Earlier, South Africa produced a clinical bowling and fielding performance to skittle England for a paltry 111 after home team captain Paul Collingwood elected to bat.

The South African batsmen though struggled in their run chase, but the small target gave them the luxury to score mostly from ones and twos and wait for the odd bad ball for boundaries.

South Africa, who bat deep down the order, began rather quietly. Needing just over 5.5 an over, they went for a solid start without taking much risks though they lost captain Graeme Smith early for just 11.

Smith, who hit two boundaries off Dimitri Mascarenhas in the second over, was not at his best and offered a top edge to James Foster off Stuart Broad in the fourth over.

The other opener, Kallis, and one-down Herschelle Gibbs steadied the run chase and shared a 68-ball 74-run stand for the second wicket to take South Africa on the threshold of victory.

Gibbs was out for a-run-a-ball 30, falling to Graeme Swann in the 16th over after hitting a six off the same bowler. But that was too late too little for England.

With just 19 needing from the last five overs, it was an easy task for South Africa though they lost in-form AB de Villiers for 11 off Adil Rashid.

Kallis, who hit five fours and a six and needed 46 balls for his fifty, hit the winning runs, a four, as South Africa finished with 114 for three.

Broad (1-14), Rashid (1-24) and Swann (1-26) were the successful England bowlers.

Earlier, home team captain Collingwood's decision to bat on a good batting pitch at Trent Bridge boomeranged as none of his batsmen, except Owais Shah who top-scored with 38, put up a fight against the Proteas' tight line and length.

Besides Shah, only Kevin Pietersen (19) and Collingwood (19) could get into double digits as the home team slumped to their lowest Twenty20 international score.

Openers Ravi Bopara (2) and Luke Wright (1) were hastily back inside the hut by the second over at the team total of four.

Key batsman Pietersen looked like steadying the rocking ship with back-to-back boundaries off Steyn and Kallis each, but fell in the sixth over to a brilliant piece of fielding by Roelof van der Merwe, who dived full length to hold the catch after Pietersen had played an Albie Morkel low full toss.

England struggled to find the runs and were 47 for three after the half-way mark. But worse was to come as their last seven batsmen were out for just 33 runs.

Shah briefly dominated the Proteas' bowlers with a six and two fours off the 12th over, bowled by van der Merwe, from which England took 17 runs.

But just as the innings seemed to be picking steam, England lost wickets in a heap with three batsmen out in nine balls and the home team reduced to 83 for six from 73 for three.

Collingwood completely missed the line of a Kaliis delivery while trying for a big heave only to see his stumps uprooted.

James Foster (1) holed out to Morkel while trying a reverse sweep and Dimitri Mascarenhas (1) failed to keep his off stump intact off van der Merwe.

Swann (5), Broad (9) and James Anderson (0) could not do much as England were dismissed for 111.

For South Africa, Parnell took three for 14 from 3.5 overs while Kallis and van der Merwe bagged two wickets each, conceding 20 and 32 runs respectively.

source - rediff.com
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