A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

Champions Trophy Semi-Final, England vs. South Africa: Review

Posted on June 20, 2013 by in 40/50-over

South Africa 175 (Miller 53*, Tredwell 3/19, Broad 3/50)
England 179/3 (Trott 82*, Root 48, Kleinveldt 1/10)

England win by 7 wickets

In a sensationalist headline


In a calm, considered review, without any mention of Rory Kleinveldt’s size

Despite the fact their top order bats too slow, their middle order is out of form, their seam attack is unreliable and their front-line spinner is injured, England are in the final. Although their tactics are outdated and their methods inflexible, they have now swept aside Australia, New Zealand and South Africa along the way, rarely looking in danger of losing to any of them. Only Sri Lanka, potential opponents if they were playing anyone but India on Thursday, have proved too much and even then it was largely down to a superb innings from one of the modern greats. And once Kusal Perera was out, Kumar Sangakkara played quite well too.

Phil Hughes' lawyers have been instructed to start proceedings against Kusal Perera for breach of copyright

Phil Hughes’ lawyers have been instructed to start proceedings against Kusal Perera for breach of copyright.

As for their opponents, the concept of ‘choking’ seems to have grown up, turned to sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll and got wildly out of control; not every single South African defeat is a ‘choke’. Yes, they have an alarming tendency to fall to pieces at the first whiff of pressure, but it surely isn’t an umbrella term which covers everything from losing a nail-biter to being thoroughly outplayed from the toss onwards. The latter is essentially what happened, as the batting order panicked once both AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla – who must be the only batsman around who can make getting caught behind off the toe of the bat trying to leave one look graceful – threw their wickets away. For South Africa to have choked would have required them to get into a winning position first and they simply didn’t get anywhere near.

That they didn’t was mainly thanks to two England bowlers; Jimmy Anderson, who everyone knows is good, and James Tredwell, who everyone is starting to see as more than just a bald bloke who looks like an accountant and only plays when the real spinner can’t be arsed. In fact, Tredwell might actually now be the real spinner, if Graeme Swann’s fragile ego can take being ushered out of the side by a man with zero first class wickets this season.

The Tredwell 'sexface' variation in all its glory

The Tredwell ‘sexface’ variation in all its glory.

It might be best for everyone if Swann’s very convenient string of injuries continues past the final, unless they want to go with the idea first mooted exclusivelyish on the 51allout podcast and pick both. Which they won’t. The only genuine selection choice will be see the utterly unwelcome return of the Finn v Bresnan battle of overwhelming tedium; it’s a crying shame that the world seems unable to shake off its crushingly dull grip of doom.

And on that note, let’s all get back to watching India v Sri Lanka.

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