England beat Proteas in thriller
Chennai, India – England played yet another thrilling encounter in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and held their nerves against South Africa to win by six wickets in a close contest on Sunday
After opting to bat in their Group B match, England were bowled out for 171 in 45.3 overs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. It required a well put together 99-run stand between Jonathan Trott , with a wormanlike 52 off 94 balls and Ravi Bopara (60) off 98 balls with three boundaries and a six, as none of the other England batsmen offered any resistance.
England started off disastrously losing both Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen in the first over. For South Africa the best bowlers were left-arm spinner Robin Peterson (3-22), who used the new ball wisely, and rookie leggie Imran Tahir (4-38).
In their chase, South Africa appeared to be cruising at 124-3. But a middle-order collapse followed as South Africa slipped from 127-7. Only Hashim Amla, with a typically assured 42 offered any hope at the top.
Later a gritty eighth wicket stand of 33 between Morne van Wyk (13) and Dale Steyn (20) raised hopes as South Africa inched closer. However, Stuart Broad with a spell of 4-15 came back in time to script a famous win. Of the other bowlers, James Anderson (2-16) and Graeme Swann (1-29) bowled good spells and England were always in the hunt.
“A cliffhanger of a game, we’re keeping people interested at the moment... we have been involved in three very tight games of cricket so far in this World Cup. I think we are definitely doing our bit to advertise the 50-overs format,” England captain Andrew Strauss said after the match.