Alastair Cook has led England to the final of the ICC Champions Trophy after sweeping aside South Africa in yesterday’s test. Their opponents are yet to be decided as Sri Lanka take on India today; the winner of that shall play England in the final. England dominated the match to take a seven wicket victory against a side who seriously underperformed in an important semi-final. England have recently been getting criticism about how they bat and have suffered bad injures to Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann, yet Captain Cook has managed to keep his team calm and reach the final.
South Africa got off to the worst possible start in the semi-final scoring 4-2 straight away, but after a while they picked up their game slightly to score higher at 80-8. However, their best play in the whole match was when David Miller and Rory Kleinveldt teamed up to make 95 runs pushing their score to a beatable 175.
South Africa just seem to bat poorly whenever it comes to important games in their season, similarly to when they batted shockingly leading to the loses against Australia and New Zealand in the semi-final and quarter-final stages of the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, respectively.
England’s openers didn’t get off to the start they were looking for as Alastair Cook and Ian Bell both got out at a score of 41-2. However, Jonathon Trott was in fine form giving England the confidence that they were going to reach the final of the Champions Trophy. His partner, Joe Root, batted well needing only two additional runs to reach 50, but then unfortunately he attempted a paddle sweep where he got out from. With only 30 left needed, Jonathon Trott, who was batting nicely earlier in the match, easily saw England out to a win with a score of 179-3.
England’s most recent final was in the World Twenty20 2010 competition when they impressively defeated Australia by seven wickets. England Captain, Alastair Cook, commented on the reaching the final, “I’ve got no doubt the guys will turn up. I just hope it’s our turn. Finals can bring out the best in people. This England side in particular has delivered when the chips have been down.”
Cook continued to talk about how well he thought his side played against South Africa, “I think we played very well and put them under a lot of pressure. We didn’t allow them to play, so our bowlers deserve enormous credit.” England are now in the ICC Champions Trophy final knowing that the last time they reached this final in 2004, they disappointingly lost to West Indies by two wickets. Hopefully, England can overcome either Sri Lanka or India and go on to win the Champions Trophy for the first time in their history.
Author Daniel Foster.
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