South Africa, England look to seal last four berth

South Africa, England look to seal last four berth

The South Africans had lost their rain-marred opening match to Sri Lanka but bounced back well to beat New Zealand in their second game.

The English, drubbed 1-6 by Australia in a just-concluded home series, meanwhile, opened their campaign in style by beating one of the tournament favourites to spice up the race to the semifinals.

But even with a morale-boosting win to start with, Andrew Strauss’ men have quite a task at hand against the South Africans.

Protea batting line-up is in good touch and the likes of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers have done well, but skipper Graeme Smith remains crucial along with opener Herschelle Gibbs and star all-rounder Jacques Kallis.

On the bowling front, teen sensation Wayne Parnell has taken some of the limelight away from his more accomplished fellow pacer Dale Steyn.

Parnell starred with a five-wicket haul in the win over New Zealand, which resurrected South Africa’s campaign after a disappointing opener.

England, meanwhile, sprung a surprise with their performance against Sri Lanka.
Considering that they had been outplayed by Australia just a couple of days before landing in South Africa, not many had given them a chance against the consistent Lankans.

But James Anderson and Stuart Broad first wrecked the Lankan line-up by sharing six wickets between them before the batsmen, led by Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan, ensured a smooth chase.

Playing on home turf does give South Africa a slight edge but England have shown that they are up for the challenge with a spirited show in their tournament-opener.