South Africa crush England to level series
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Newlands, Cape Town
Scorecard:South Africa v England
Player:WD Parnell, PD Collingwood, KP Pietersen, AN Petersen, AB de Villiers, HM Amla, GC Smith
Event:England in South Africa 2009/10

DateLine: 27th November 2009


It was a comprehensive performance from the South African side as they levelled the series with a commanding win over the visitors. South Africa won the match by 112 runs and the margin of the win itself indicated the chasm between the two sides.


Smith won an important toss so that his batsmen could make the first use of a pitch that looked a batting beauty. The opening pair of Smith and Amla then proceeded to take apart the English bowling attack with a combination of elegance and brutal force. Amla got off the mark with an elegant cover-drive of Anderson who pitched full to get some swing while Smith played a thumping pull of Broad who banged it short to test the pace of the wicket. Amla with the precision of a surgeon while Smith employed brutal force to pierce the field repeatedly to find the advertisement hoardings beyond the boundary ropes regularly as Strauss had some real issues at his hands. The pair brought up 60 runs in the first mandatory Power-play forcing Strauss to delay the use of bowling Power-play. Swann with his off-spinners and Collingwood with his medium-pacers took over with the duty of restricting the damage rather than to try and get wickets and the pair was successful to some extent.


Smith brought up a run a ball fifty and once the proceedings was brought under control Strauss took the bowling Power-play. Luke Wright finally got the break-through for England when he cleaned up Smith (54) who was shaping to slog the bowler across the line. The innovative de Villiers was promoted up the order with the aim of not losing the momentum. Amla brought up a 59 ball fifty and was looking good for more while de Villiers was beginning to open up. de Villiers turned the heat on the English bowlers as he on constant look-out for boundaries while Amla was happy to turn over the strike to his aggressive partner.


Amla did not let de Villiers to completely overshadow him as he took displayed some beautifully timed shots on either side of the wicket. Amla (86) once again failed to go on and get a hundred as he played a loose pull shot only to get a faint edge through to Prior and England out of nowhere took a wicket. Duminy (6) tried to force the pace but could not get going and finally holed out in the deep when he pulled a short ball from Wright straight to Morgan and England gave themselves a chance to pull the things back. New man Peterson got off the mark with a sumptuous and looked quite composed in the middle. Meanwhile de Villiers completed a 39 ball half-century and was looking for something special. The pair not only pulled out some astonishing shots from their cupboard but also ran between the wickets well to keep the English bowlers on their toes.


South Africa reached 264 in 42 overs and de Villiers opted for the batting Power-play and that opened the flood-gates. The first over of the Power-play from Broad produced 15 runs as de Villiers gave the all-rounder a pasting. The stunning onslaught continued as de Villiers brought up his fourth ODI century with an emphatic on-drive through midwicket and the team's 300 was up in 44.5 overs. The stunning innings fro de Villiers (121) ended when he chipped one straight to Trott at covers but he along with Petersen added 95 runs in 10 overs. The mayhem continued as Boucher (22) employed the long handle to help South Africa push past the 350 run mark. Petersen was unbeaten on 51 in 40 deliveries.


England opened their innings with Wright who partnered Strauss and the two set off like a runaway train. Strauss and Wright collected boundaries for themselves with a six from the latter of Steyn over long-on being the most impressive shot. The pair added 41 for the first wicket in 5.1 overs before Wright (24) pulled a slower bouncer from Parnell straight to McLaren at square-leg. Strauss (24) could not maintain the moment as he after a bit of struggle against the pace and bounce of Morkel finally feathered an outside edge to Boucher as England slipped. Next to go was Trott (9) when he edged a fuller length delivery from McLaren to Smith at first slip who took a blinder to leave England tottering at 58 for 3.


Pietersen looked scratchy in the middle whereas Collingwood was in his element from the first ball he faced. Slowly but steadily Pietersen (45) began to work back into some kind of rhythm as he along with Collingwood added 84 runs for the fourth wicket when he wandered too far across his stumps to sweep Duminy and lost his leg stump. Eoin Morgan (0) did not trouble the scorers as he holed out in the deep where Botha took a superb tumbling catch. England took their batting Power-play in the 36th over and Collingwood made his intentions clear by collecting 18 runs of McLaren over which included two massive sixers. But Prior (16) could not take advantage of the Power-play as he could only sky to Smith at mid-off while going for a big one while Collingwood (86) fell trying to clear Amla at mid-on.


Bresnan was deceived by a slower ball from Morkel while Parnell cleaned up a leaden-footed Broad with a vicious off-cutter that detonated the leg-stump. Parnell then claimed his second five wicket haul of his ODI career when he trapped Anderson on the move to close out the English innings.


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