Cricket: Efficiency sufficient to quell England

First one-day international: Hollioake's nervous captaincy exposed as home side fall to fifth successive limited-overs defeat

England 223-9 South Africa 224-7 South Africa win by three wickets

THE OVAL was anything but homely and accommodating for England's one- day captain, Adam Hollioake, as his team lost the first Texaco Trophy match to South Africa. With the famous gasometer sunk low before play began, England followed suit and were beaten with eight balls to spare.

It was their fifth loss in a row and they were overwhelmed more by the robust efficiency of South Africa's cricket, rather than any glaring failings on their part. Underprepared they may have been, but there has never been any doubt over their opponent's appetite for winning.

However, chasing 224, the victory, by three wickets, was never the regulation waltz it should have been. With a total at least 20 runs below par, England's bowlers and fielders rallied well, although the match only occasionally lurched their way despite Darren Gough's second-ball removal of Gary Kirsten.

Typically, the visitors' success, their seventh in a row over England, was founded upon the collective rather than the individual, although a measured innings of 62 by Jacques Kallis and spirited knocks from Hansie Cronje and Jonty Rhodes all played their part.

Rhodes is a bundle of raw energy and the alert certainty of his fielding illustrated where South Africa's real strength lies. Apart from an on- song Allan Donald, they have no real Herculean performers. Instead, they all field like tigers on bended knees, a pack effort that tends to dishearten batsmen far more than their fast bowling.

England are not far behind in that department, with Nasser Hussain in particular taking an astounding catch at mid-wicket as Cronje mowed Robert Croft off the meat of the bat. What England lack is their opponents' sheer belief in themselves, a shortcoming again brought out by Hollioake's nervy captaincy.

Although Hollioake marshalled his bowlers thoughtfully, he was timid in bringing himself on to bowl towards the end of the innings. Eight months ago, you would not have prised the ball out of his hand. Yesterday, his one over was more an apology than a last roll of the dice.

Perhaps his confidence, dented by the four consecutive losses in the Caribbean, was further eroded by England's decision to play two debutants in their top five. The selectors may feel comfortable with their experiments, but you get the feeling that the feeling is not shared by Hollioake.

Losing the toss did not help England, and South Africa's already formidable attack were further sharpened by leaden skies. Under such pressure, and with the new ball frequently beating the bat, England's innings proceeded by fits and starts.

In fact, in the circumstances, England's openers did rather well to post the half-century, when on another day they could quite easily have been 30 for 3. Indeed, by the time Donald replaced Pollock in the 13th over, both Alec Stewart's and Nick Knight's strokes had crispened noticeably and their watchful beginnings looked like reaping reward.

Donald's first five balls were despatched for 13 runs as both batsmen dented the boundary boards. Clearly irked, the sixth was always going to have effort rather than phlegmatism behind it. The choice was justified, too, as a breakthrough resulted, although Stewart was unfortunate that the ball was diverted on to leg stump via his elbow.

It was the moment when England lost their hard fought momentum. Instead of sending in Hussain to work the ball around, or Darren Maddy, a prospective Test opener, in came Chris Adams, a batsman whose approach has few shades of grey, to confront a situation that required some grey matter.

Perhaps we demand too much of our debutants, and overlook the effect nerves play on otherwise competent minds and bodies. Whatever the cause, and his limiting front-footed technique to Donald and co was as much a culprit as anything, the effect was a hit and miss innings that comprised a mixture of scrambled singles and fresh air swishes.

After he had gone, edging Kallis to the keeper Mark Boucher for 25 off 47 balls, England never quite got back to speed. Hussain, playing his first one-day match on English soil, began well, but was once again was to blame for another run-out. This time the victim was Knight, who had showed his mettle by passing fifty for the seventh time in his 22nd international.

With Darren Maddy already gone for one and Mark Ealham brilliantly run- out by Pollock, only Hollioake showed the poise and placement necessary to accumulate runs under pressure. In the end neither he nor England had quite enough. Unless his team turn things around at Old Trafford tomorrow, the tap of uncertainty over his captaincy will continue to drip.

The Oval scoreboard

South Africa won toss

ENGLAND

N V Knight run out (Rhodes-Symcox) 64

149 min, 90 balls, 4 fours, 1 six

A J Stewart b Donald 27

53 min, 48 balls, 3 fours

C J Adams c Boucher b Kallis 25

58 min, 47 balls, 2 fours

N Hussain c Boucher b Donald 27

48 min, 47 balls, 3 fours

D L Maddy lbw b Symcox 1

8 min, 3 balls

*A J Hollioake c Symcox b Klusener 32

52 min, 28 balls, 3 fours

M A Ealham run out 1

3 min, 2 balls

C C Lewis run out 16

31 min, 30 balls

A F Giles c Boucher b Cronje 2

5 min, 3 balls

R D B Croft not out 7

9 min, 6 balls

D Gough not out 0

1 min, 0 balls

Extras (lb7, w12, nb2) 21

Total (for 9, 213 min, 50 overs) 223

Fall: 1-58 (Stewart), 2-109 (Adams), 3-155 (Knight), 4-158 (Maddy), 5- 160 (Hussain), 6-161 (Ealham), 7-201 (Lewis), 8-209 (Giles), 9-220 (Hollioake).

Bowling: Pollock 10-1-45-0 (nb1,w2) (6-1-23-0, 2-0-12-0, 2-0-10-0); Klusener 8-1-33-1 (w1) (6-1-20-0, 2-0-13-1); Donald 10-2-45-2 (nb1) (6-1-28-1, 4-1-17-1); Cronje 8-1-26-1 (w2) (6-1-16-0, 1-0-3-0, 1-0-7-1); Kallis 4- 0-24-1 (nb2,w4); Symcox 10-0-43-1 (one spell each).

Progress: 50: 50 min, 77 balls. 100: 109 min, 154 balls. 150: 148 min, 216 balls. 200: 194 min, 282 balls. Knight's 50: 133 min, 77 balls, 4 fours.

SOUTH AFRICA

G Kirsten c Adams b Gough 4

2 min, 2 balls, 1 four

G F J Liebenberg b Giles 30

71 min, 48 balls, 4 fours

J H Kallis c Hollioake b Croft 62

126 min, 91 balls, 4 fours, 1 six

D J Cullinan run out 16

30 min, 25 balls

*W J Cronje c Hussain b Croft 40

63 min, 59 balls, 1 four

J N Rhodes not out 39

74 min, 43 balls, 1 four, 1 six

S M Pollock b Croft 0

1 min, 1 ball

L Klusener lbw b Giles 22

28 min, 20 balls, 2 fours

M V Boucher not out 2

6 min, 4 balls

Extras (b4, lb2, w2, nb1) 9

Total (for 7, 204 min, 48.4 overs) 224

Fall: 1-4 (Kirsten), 2-76 (Liebenberg), 3-105 (Cullinan), 4-134 (Kallis), 5-175 (Cronje), 6-175 (Pollock), 7-214 (Klusener).

Did not bat: P L Symcox, A A Donald.

Bowling: Gough 10-1-38-1 (nb1, w1) (6-1-27-1, 2-0-5-0, 2-0-6-0); Lewis 8.4-1-46-0 (5-1-22-0, 2-0-6-0, 1-0-10-0, 0.4-0-8-0); Ealham 10-0-38-0 (6-0-21-0, 4-0-17-0); Giles 9-0-37-2 (8-0-34-1, 1-0-3-1); Croft 10-0-51- 3 (w1) (1-0-4-0, 9-0-47-3); Hollioake 1-0-8-0.

Progress: 50: 49 min, 67 balls. 100: 98 min, 143 balls. 150: 143 min, 216 balls. 200: 187 min, 272 balls. Kallis's 50: 90 min, 66 balls, 4 fours, 1 six.

SOUTH AFRICA WON BY THREE WICKETS

Umpires: J C Balderstone and P Willey. TV replay umpire: R Julian. Match referee: Javed Burki.

Man of the match: J H Kallis. Adjudicator: G A Gooch.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine