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Albie Morkel, Shaun Pollock keep England down

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South African bowlers put up a spirited show to successfully defend a not so big target against England at Cape Town. In the day nighter, things started to heat up after Kevin Pietersen had lost his wicket through an accidental collision with the bowler Shaun Pollock. It was a night that belonged to Shaun Pollock who bowled a tidy spell of 2 for 17 in his 4 including a maiden. England fell short by 19 runs as they left too many to get towards the end.

Earlier England put SA to bat first. With Gibbs still unfit because of a hamstring injury, Jean-Paul Duminy got another go to open the batting with his Skipper. This time both openers failed and no.3 AB de Villiers failed to get going leaving SA at 42 for 3 in the 6th. Stuart Broad bowled an effective new ball spell which saw him take two wickets. Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers were the danger men for England but they threw away their wickets after their brief cameos. South Africa had to bat slightly cautiously having lost three early wickets. Boucher brought back SA to a decent position through a fifty run-partnership with Kemp but once again England pulled them back with another three wickets. Boucher (29 from 29), Pollock (a first ball duck to Jimmy Anderson) and Kemp (21 from 27), all the three falling in the space of 10 deliveries as SA slipped to 94 for 6 in the 16th over. A late flurry from left hander Albie Morkel helped SA register a respectable 154 for 8. Albie’s innings was precious with 43 coming in 20 balls with 3 fours and 4 sixes. Among the England bowlers, Broad finished with 3 for 37 in his 4 and Anderson, Flintoff bowling economically well for their 1 for 22 and 2 for 23 respectively.

During the start of the second innings, Shaun Pollock who has been expensive in this tournament came back strongly by figuring in the first three wickets to fall. Pollock first struck with the wicket of Luke Wright which came in the fourth ball of the innings. The big wicket of KP came in the 5th over through an infamous collision with Shaun Pollock, who did get in the way of Pietersen but not intentionally as he was looking only at the ball. With a spring in his stride, Pollock got another one to bite the dust, and this time it was the England Captain poking aimlessly to get caught in the slips for a first ball-duck. England were at 27 for 3 in 4.5 overs but could fight back thanks to thirties from Prior and Owais Shah. But then the partnership couldn’t get the asking rate to come down and with that Freddie Flintoff was left with a difficult task to achieve. With 35 runs to win from 10 balls, it was SA’s game although Flintoff and Mascarenhas were batting. The last hope for England died when Flintoff was cleaned up after missing a slog off Johannes van der wath. Freddie could make just 17 in the 16 balls he had faced. England finished at 135 for 7. The Man of the Match went to Albie Morkel as without his innings, SA couldn’t have put the runs on the board for their bowlers to defend.

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