Bowlers Step Up As England Beat South Africa By Six Runs

Bowlers Step Up As England Beat South Africa By Six Runs
Bowlers Step Up As England Beat South Africa By Six Runs
©REUTERS/Philip Brown (INDIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

England 171 (Bopara 60, Trott 52) beat
South Africa 165 (Amla 42, Broad 4-15) by 6 runs
ICC Cricket World 2011 Group B, Chennai

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Stuart Broad returned figures of four for 15 including two late wickets in four balls to bowl England to a vital six-run win over South Africa in their Cricket World Cup game in Chennai.

On a pitch that offered plenty to the bowlers, with both sides opening with spinners, England's score of 171 all out proved to be enough when they dismissed South Africa for 165.

The win puts England on top of the group, although had they failed to hold on, they would have been sitting at the bottom, underlining the importance of what turned out to be a thrilling contest from start to finish.

England were caught out - literally - by the introduction of left-arm spinner Robin Peterson to open the bowling and he struck to remove Andrew Strauss (0), Kevin Pietersen (2) and Ian Bell (5) to reduce England to 15 for three after they won the toss.

An important partnership of 99 between Jonathan Trott, who made 52, and Ravi Bopara, who hit 60, followed, salvaging their side's innings and halting South Africa's progress.

However, once both men were dismissed, South Africa regained control with leg-spinner Imran Tahir returning four for 38 - his victims were Trott, Michael Yardy (3), Graeme Swann (16) and Broad (0).

Morne Morkel (2-16) and Dale Steyn (1-37) were the other South Africans to pick up a wicket.

South Africa then began their run chase in confident fashion as openers Hashim Amla (42) and Graeme Smith (22) put on 63 for the first wicket.

Swann broke the partnership when Smith was caught by Matthew Prior and Broad's first double impact on the game soon arrived when he had Amla bowled trying to run the ball down to third man and Jacques Kallis caught by Prior for 15.

AB de Villiers (25) and Francois du Plessis (17) were getting the innings back on track before the Proteas lost three wickets without scoring a run with the score on 124.

De Villiers and JP Duminy (0) were both bowled by Anderson, who proved again how difficult he is to face when conditions are tilted in his favour and du Plessis was run out following a sharp piece of work by Bell at short leg.

Peterson never hinted at much permanency at the crease before he edged Yardy to Prior for three but a key partnership of 33 between Morne van Wyk (13) and Dale Steyn (20) once again put South Africa on top.

England continued to pile on the pressure with Swann (1-29) magnificent and with Strauss rotating his bowlers it was the return of Bresnan that saw off van Wyk as he - like Amla - was bowled trying to cut.

The return of Broad proved decisive as he struck with the first ball of his seventh over to trap Steyn in front and then ended things three balls later when Morkel edged to Prior, who took a good catch low down.

© Cricket World 2011