Steyn And Gibbs Shine As South Africans Beat The Lions
Dale Steyn took three wickets and Herschelle Gibbs hit 81 as the South Africans beat England Lions by four wickets with 11.2 overs to spare in their One Day match at Grace Road.
Steyn took three for 27 and Makhaya Ntini three for 48 as the Lions were bowled out for 184 before Gibbs' 81 from the top of the order helped South Africa reach their target in the 39th over of their reply.
England Lions were invited to bat by South Africa and were quickly in trouble with Steyn, playing for the first time since breaking a thumb in the second Test, bowling Joe Denly for ten.
Fellow opener Owais Shah (27) combined with captain Robert Key to take the score past 50 before he was caught by Albie Morkel off of Vernon Philander.
Key then added 49 with Ravi Bopara (23) before two wickets in two balls from Andre Nel left the lions on 108 for five.
Matt Prior was trapped in front for one and Samit Patel's first innings in England colours lasted one ball as he was caught by JP Duminy.
Key held firm, and he found an ally in Luke Wright (29) before his innings of 51 was ended when he was bowled by Ntini having faced 62 balls, hitting seven fours and a six.
James Tredwell was unbeaten on 19 as Ntini and Steyn ran through the tail, Ntini bowling Kabir Ali (eight) and Chris Tremlett (two) and Steyn serving up the same treatment to Steve Kirby (nought).
Gibbs opened the innings with Hashim Amla, who was the first man to fall when Bopara held a catch offered off the bowling of Steve Kirby and Kabir Ali struck quickly afterwards trap Justin Ontong (one) in front.
Gibbs, however, was a harder nut to crack, and he shared in stands of 49 with AB de Villiers (24) and 66 with Duminy (23) to effectively take the game out of the Lions' reach.
He was the fourth wicket to fall as Sussex pair Luke Wright and Matt Prior combined to end his 104-ball knock which contained six fours and a six.
And although Duminy was bowled by Wright and Morkel by Kirby, the South Africans had more than enough in hand, captain for the day Johan Botha (six) at the crease at the end alongside Philander (four) as the victory was wrapped up.
The five-match ODI series with England begins on August 22nd at Headingley.
© Cricket World 2008