Sensational Shah frustrates Smith

England 323-8 South Africa 301-9

Against all logic, expectation and form, England reached the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy last night. With a blazing panache that defied their critics and probably surprised themselves they defeated South Africa by 22 runs.

Their total of 323 for 8 proved too much for the hosts and hot favourites, who will again face accusations of choking. On this occasion the charges will be unfounded. They were beaten by a side who had promised – amid a plethora of doubters and a legion of naysayers – that they were capable of something like this and have rediscovered their self-belief just in time.

Scant consolation though it will be to the losers, who have been eliminated from the competition, there could hardly have been a more convincing advertisement for the 50-over game. England's innings contained three compelling batting displays, but at its heart was a magnificent 98 from Owais Shah that contained six sixes. England's total of 12 sixes was the most they have ever struck in a limited-overs innings.

By contrast, Graeme Smith played almost a lone hand for South Africa. His 141 was a monument of concentration and fortitude, and for long periods England must have feared that they would be confounded by this familiar foe. Smith, however, could find nobody to accompany him for long enough – the next highest score was 36 by A B de Villiers – and when he was caught in a forlorn effort to salvage something for his team, the game was already up.

Although England have never made as many in an innings against South Africa and although a higher target has been chased only three times in day-night matches, they knew they needed every single run. Shah was splendid and thoroughly deserved a hundred. Being Shah, of course, he had brought along a copybook to blot, which he duly did when he dropped a sitter off Smith when South Africa's captain was 80. It put the hearts in English mouths for a while longer.

But Shah was magnificent at the crease. He plundered the bowling mercilessly and constantly peppered the grassy banks here. He shared a third-wicket partnership of 163 in 157 balls with Paul Collingwood and their attacking zest opened the way for Eoin Morgan to play an engagingly destructive innings of 67 from 34 balls. It was nothing like either the England or the Shah of recent weeks.

This was an utterly different figure from the jittery, diffident player who stumbled his way through the one-day series in England, making 160 runs in seven innings and thinking of ever increasingly sloppy ways of getting out and running out his colleagues.

Shah, make no mistake, was playing for his career in the Champions Trophy. From the moment he calmly flicked a six over square leg for his second scoring shot, Shah launched himself at the South Africans.

His favoured area was the leg side, aimed at wherever the ball was pitched. He waltzed down the pitch, fetched the ball from outside off stump and was relentless. South Africa probably expected to be given an element of control by their spinners, especially at a ground which has just come out of its winter hibernation and has produced a succession of slow, turning pitches in this tournament so far.

But Shah's exhilarating turn meant that Smith constantly had to rotate his bowlers to try to quell the flow.

If Collingwood was the quieter of the two (but not by much) he constantly encouraged his colleague and it was the highest stand by an England pair for two years. Shah was denied a hundred when he got into a tangle trying to nudge a single, got an inside edge on to his pads and was caught.

England were debilitated in the field because Morgan had to keep wicket in place of Matt Prior who fell victim to a virus. He acquitted himself wonderfully and executed an athletic run-out from the ground to dismiss Albie Morkel who was just beginning to unleash some big shots.

But only Smith stood defiant, crunching 16 fours. By the end he was batting on one leg but Strauss, sensing he had to be hard-nosed, denied him a runner. Herschelle Gibbs, De Villiers and J P Duminy all showed flashes but they were strangled by England's endeavours in the field. James Anderson gave little but Collingwood bowled a key spell in the middle overs, as eventually did Graeme Swann. When England needed wickets they got them and it brought them victory.

England v South Africa: Centurion scoreboard

England won toss

ENGLAND

*A J Strauss c Boucher b Parnell......... 25

37 balls 5 fours

J L Denly c Duminy b Kallis......... 21

25 balls 3 fours

O A Shah c Boucher b Botha......... 98

89 balls 5 fours 6 sixes

P D Collingwood b Parnell......... 82

94 balls 6 fours 1 six

†E J G Morgan c Smith b Steyn......... 67

34 balls 4 fours 5 sixes

L J Wright run out (Parnell)......... 8

7 balls 1 four

R S Bopara c Morkel b Botha......... 1

2 balls

S C J Broad b Parnell......... 0

2 balls

G P Swann not out......... 8

9 balls 1 four

J M Anderson not out......... 2

2 balls

Extras (lb 5, w 5, nb 1)......... 11

Total (8 wkts, 50 overs)......... 323

Fall: 1-48 (Denly), 2-59 (Strauss), 3-222 (Shah), 4-262 (Collingwood), 5-291 (Wright), 6-295 (Bopara), 7-297 (Broad), 8-320 (Morgan).

Did not bat: G Onions.

Bowling: D Steyn 10-0-59-1 (w1) (5-0-19-0, 2-0-13-0, 2-0-23-0, 1-0-4-1), W Parnell 10-2-60-3 (3-0-19-0, 3-2-1-1, 4-0-40-2), J Kallis 3-0-14-1 (w1) (one spell), A Morkel 6-0-45-0 (w1, nb1) (2-0-17-0, 2-0-14-0, 2-0-14-0), R van der Merwe 9-0-67-0 (w2) (3-0-17-0, 1-0-4-0, 4-0-37-0, 1-0-9-0), J Botha 9-0-56-2 (4-0-20-0, 1-0-11-0, 2-0-13-0, 2-0-12-2), J Duminy 3-0-17-0 (one spell).

Progress: 50 11.2 overs; 100 21.2 overs; 150 29.2 overs; 200 34.3 overs; 250 41.6 overs; 300 47.3 overs. Shah 50: 63 balls, 4 fours, 1 six; Collingwood 50: 56 balls, 3 fours, 1 six; Morgan 50: 26 balls, 4 fours, 3 sixes.

SOUTH AFRICA

*G C Smith c Shah b Broad......... 141

134 balls 16 fours

H H Gibbs c Wright b Anderson......... 22

26 balls 3 fours 1 six

J H Kallis c Denly b Broad......... 12

16 balls 1 four

A B de Villiers c Denly b Collingwood......... 36

41 balls 4 fours

J P Duminy b Swann......... 24

33 balls 1 four

†M V Boucher b Anderson......... 8

10 balls 1 four

J A Morkel run out (Morgan)......... 17

14 balls 1 four 1 six

J Botha c Onions b Broad......... 0

2 balls

R E van der Merwe b Anderson......... 0

2 balls

W D Parnell not out......... 10

10 balls

D W Steyn not out......... 17

13 balls 2 fours

Extras (lb 8, w 5, nb 1)......... 14

Total (9 wkts, 50 overs)......... 301

Fall: 1-42 (Gibbs), 2-64 (Kallis), 3-142 (de Villiers), 4-206 (Duminy), 5-230 (Boucher), 6-255 (Morkel), 7-255 (Botha), 8-263 (van der Merwe), 9-274 (Smith).

Bowling: J Anderson 10-0-42-3 (w3nb1) (6-0-25-1, 1-0-3-1, 3-0-14-1), G Onions 7-0-52-0 (3-0-25-0, 3-0-14-0, 1-0-13-0), S Broad 10-0-67-3 (w1) (5-0-22-1, 1-0-10-0, 4-0-35-2), L Wright 5-0-31-0 (one spell), P Collingwood 10-0-58-1 (8-0-39-1, 2-0-19-0), G Swann 8-0-43-1 (5-0-33-0, 2-0-6-1, 1-0-4-0).

Progress: 50 8.4 overs; 100 18.5 overs; 150 27.4 overs; 200 35.3 overs; 250 42.5 overs; 300 50 overs. Smith 50: 54 balls, 7 fours; 100: 104 balls, 10 fours.

Umpires: S J Davis (Aus) & A L Hill (NZ)

TV replay umpire : B F Bowden (NZ)

Match referee: Asad Rauf (Pak).

England win by 22 runs.

163 runs

Owais Shah's and Paul Collingwood's partnership was the highest stand by an England pair for two years

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US