South Africa v England Match 16/09/07

South Africa v England Match 16/09/07
Sun Sep 16 21:30 UTC+0530 2007
Team South Africa

There will be high expectations among the fans of the host nation that South African captain Graeme Smith will be lifting the ICC World Twenty20 trophy in Johannesburg on September 24. Smith, who leads a talented and powerful side, will be looking to overcome the disappointment of its CWC 2007 semi-final display against Australia where its performance didn’t live up to expectations.

Jacques Kallis, with 485 runs, and Smith, with 433 runs, both had excellent tournaments in the Caribbean with the bat, although Kallis and AB de Villiers were the only players to register centuries for South Africa at the event.

Andrew Hall and Charl Langeveldt were the leading wicket-takers for South Africa, which was the only team to have players register five-wicket hauls during the course of the CWC. Hall took 5-18 against England, the best figures of the tournament, Langeveldt took 5-39 against Sri Lanka and Andre Nel 5-45 versus Bangladesh.

Surprisingly, however, the South African selectors did not find room in the ICC World Twenty20 squad for Kallis, Hall, Langeveldt or Nel, rather choosing players that have had successful domestic Pro20 campaigns such as Gulam Bodi, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.

In the ICC World Twenty20 the South Africans face a challenging group, which contains two other ICC full member countries, West Indies and Bangladesh, giving Smith’s side a chance to gain revenge for their 67-run defeat at the hands of Bangladesh at the CWC 2007.

With more experience of international Twenty20 cricket than other nation, a thriving domestic Twenty20 competition, and home advantage, there are plenty of things in favour of the South Africans doing well at the event.

However, they do have a mixed record in Twenty20 cricket, losing their first International in October 2005 in Johannesburg to New Zealand by five wickets, despite an excellent 61 off 43 balls by Smith.

South Africa then recorded a defeat and a victory over Australia in early 2006, before losing a home match against India in December 2006 by six wickets, with just one ball of the match remaining.

In February 2007 it enjoyed a crushing 10-wicket win over Pakistan, reaching its target of 130 with 8.3 overs

remaining, with Smith scoring 71 off 40 balls.

England Team Profile :

After a desperately disappointing CWC 2007 campaign, England will be looking to bounce back in South Africa at the ICC World Twenty20.

But Peter Moores’ side will have to overcome old

adversaries Australia, as well as a young Zimbabwean side, if it is to progress to the latter stages of the competition.
England will look to Andrew Flintoff for inspiration, while Kevin Pietersen, the fastest man to 1,000 ODI runs in history and one of three English batsmen to have topped the LG ICC ODI batting rankings, will undoubtedly be hoping to make an impact in his country of birth in his first appearance in South Africa since scoring three fantastic ODI hundreds.

England’s options with the ball are more limited and it will be looking for the likes of Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad, as well as spinners Jeremy Snape and Chris Schofield, to spring some surprises with the ball.

England has played six Twenty20 Internationals with mixed fortunes. It made an instant impact on the sport when it thrashed rivals Australia by 100 runs in its first Twenty20 match at the Rose Bowl.

Paul Collingwood’s 46 off 26 balls and Pietersen’s 34 off 18 balls helped England to 179-8, before devastating bowling from Jon Lewis and Darren Gough reduced Australia to 31-7, eventually being bowled out for 79 off 14.3 overs.

But in its next three games England didn’t enjoy much success, losing to Sri Lanka by two runs and Pakistan by five wickets at home in 2006 and being defeated by Australia by 77 runs at the SCG in 2007

England then lost its opening Twenty20 match against the West Indies at the Oval in June 2007, but Owais Shah then steered his side to victory the following day.

While Twenty20 cricket has been played in England since 2003, central contracts mean that many of the country’s leading stars only have limited experience of this form of the game. Prior to the start of the 2007 county season, Pietersen had played just 14 county games, Flintoff nine while Collingwood made just four appearances in this format of the game.

And that is why England has chosen to select the likes of Darren Maddy, Jeremy Snape and Luke Wright to support some of their biggest stars.