Champions Trophy semi-final: Alastair Cook hails England bowlers following victory over South Africa

England won by seven wickets to reach the final

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The Independent Online

England captain Alastair Cook hailed his team's bowling efforts as “just what you want in a semi-final” after today's seven-wicket win over South Africa.

The home team will line up in Sunday's Champions Trophy final at Edgbaston, against India or Sri Lanka, after bowling the Proteas out for 175 and cruising to success with more than 12 overs to spare.

James Anderson made the early inroads with two for 14 before spinner James Tredwell, deputising again for Graeme Swann, picked up three for 19.

Cook said of Anderson: "It was a lot more humid today and swung in the nets yesterday. It hasn't swung conventionally but when it does, he's the best in the world.

"It was a good toss to win and Jimmy was outstanding - seven overs, two for 14 - and 'Tricky Tredders' was outstanding again."

Asked about the nickname bestowed by his captain, man-of-the-match Tredwell joked: "I just beat his edge so much in the nets!"

He added on Sky Sports 1: "When you get two wickets in the first four or five overs, you're up and running. If when I come on, they're three or four down, it's easier."

A no-fuss chase was built around Jonathan Trott, who made 82 not out from 84 balls to become the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament, his 209 bettered only by India's Shikhar Dhawan.

The Warwickshire man's presence in the top order has been questioned by some due to his perceived slow scoring - with even Cook slightly underestimating today's effort as "80 off about 90 balls".

But Trott said: "People get caught up in stats, strike rates and so on, but I just think if you look at the end of the tournament and you've won, then you're doing the job.

"I'll look back on my career in terms of the trophies I've won. Your personal achievements are nice to have but if I can play in a winning team then I'm happy."

Cook also picked out wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, who took six catches, as he summed up an impressive team effort.

He added: "To win a tournament you need everyone contributing at certain times and we've done that in this tournament.

"Trott played a great innings to see us home, Jos with some great keeping and Tredders is so reliable.

"It's been a good tournament so far, hopefully it can be a tight game tomorrow and they knock themselves around a bit and we can be nice and fresh.

"The support's been great with the home crowds and hopefully that will be the same on Sunday."


South Africa captain AB de Villiers' frustration was all too evident as his side extended their record in tournament semi-finals to just one win in nine games.

The margin could have been even more emphatic after a feeble top-order effort saw them reduced to 80 for eight, before David Miller (56no) and Rory Kleinveldt (43) added 95 for the ninth wicket.

"Credit to the England bowlers but we've only got ourselves to blame," said De Villiers. "We didn't play well and we were under press from the word 'go'.

"David Miller played very well and he and Rory gave us a chance at the end but it's not good enough. I'm proud of them, we probably would have been bowled out for 100 without them."

The Proteas were without injured pace duo Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel but De Villiers added: "There are no excuses, we believe we had the talent to win this tournament but it didn't work out that way.

"It's bitterly disappointing - we didn't play well enough, it's as simple as that."