During the recent Test series between England and South Africa it was rather cruelly suggested that the only thing that prevented Stuart Broad from being considered an all-rounder was his bowling. Yesterday afternoon, in front of his home crowd, Broad dispelled those slanderous comments by taking 5 for 23 in a magnificent spell of fast bowling. Broad's figures, the sixth best by an England bowler in one-day cricket, allowed Kevin Pietersen's side to dismiss a disinterested and downbeat South Africa for 83, a total that was comfortably passed without the loss of a wicket.
These two teams were meant to have played a Twenty20 international this summer – it was washed out – but this encounter took just 37 overs and one ball to reach its conclusion. England batted for 14 overs and one ball, all the time that was required to seal an emphatic 10-wicket victory and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match NatWest Series.
"It was one of those days where the bowlers hit a good length and the batsmen nick it," explained a modest Broad. "There were no real demons in the pitch and the way we knocked the runs off was very pleasing. But we need to make sure we turn up on Friday and play well against South Africa again."
A delighted Pietersen tried to play down the result along with suggestions that this England side was on the start of something special. "In the past we have turned up for the first game of a series but not the second, third, fourth and fifth, so what took place today was very special," said Pietersen. "This was an exceptional performance by us, especially by Broady, and it is now a case of enjoying this evening before turning up at The Oval and trying to close down the series."
Broad was not the only home player to star in the field. Matthew Prior was axed by England at the start of the year because his wicket-keeping was deemed not to be good enough, but he too answered his critics by taking six catches, a world record-equalling performance by a stumper. Five of the catches taken by Prior were straightforward but the full-length one-handed dive to his left that resulted in the dismissal of Graeme Smith, the South African captain, was breathtaking.
South Africa's total, their second smallest in 406 limited over matches – the lowest was 69 against Australia in Sydney in 1993 – would suggest the match was being played on a rogue pitch. This was not the case. The occasional ball kept a little low but the mood of the match was dictated by England's excellence, and South Africa's ineptitude. The surface offered pace and bounce to fast bowlers, commodities that were exploited superbly by Broad and then by Andrew Flintoff and Stephen Harmison.
South Africa promised to come back hard following their defeat at Headingley but top-flight sport is not the place where form can be turned on with the flick of a switch. Complacency has been the foremost emotion in the South African dressing room since the team's historic Test series victory at Edgbaston 25 days ago, and it is a mindset that can prove difficult to remove.
In limited-over cricket Broad continues to thrive. His strike-rate – balls per wicket taken – is up there with the best and the wicket of Smith gave him his 50th in one-day cricket. The main reason he is more effective in one-day cricket is the line he bowls. In Tests the 22 year-old probably aims a fraction too wide, a line that batsmen happily leave alone. In one-day cricket runs have to be scored and batsmen flirt with the same good length deliveries, playing shots that increase the chances of their demise.
Broad claimed his first wicket in the fourth over when Herschelle Gibbs advanced down the pitch and inside edged a catch through to Prior. Smith became his second in the very next over, edging a snorter towards Owais Shah at first slip. But it was Prior who took a brilliant one-handed catch diving to his left.
The innings is likely to be Smith's last in England this time round. The South African captain is currently suffering with tennis elbow of the right arm and he is expected to begin a six to eight week rest immediately.
In the next over Broad forced Jacques Kallis to edge a catch to Shah at slip. JP Duminy then gave Prior his third catch of the day and Broad his fourth wicket.
Flintoff then chipped in with a couple of wickets before Broad returned to claim his fifth scalp in his final over. The wicket briefly gave Broad the second best one-day bowling figures by an Englishman, but Andre Nel heaved three fours off the final four balls of his spell to send him down to sixth.
Lions rampant England's one-day records
Five lowest ODI totals against England:
70 Australia (June 1977) Edgbaston
74 Pakistan (March 1992) Adelaide
83 South Africa (yesterday) Trent Bridge
85 Pakistan (May 1978) Old Trafford
92 Zimbabwe (July 2003) Bristol
England 10-wkt one-day victories:
v West Indies (June 2000) Chester-le-Street
v Bangladesh (June 2005) The Oval
v South Africa (yesterday) Trent Bridge
Trent Bridge scoreboard
South Africa won toss
*G C Smith c Prior b Broad 9
H H Gibbs c Prior b Broad 10
J H Kallis c Shah b Broad 6
A B de Villiers lbw b Flintoff 5
J P Duminy c Prior b Broad 8
†M V Boucher c Prior b Flintoff 10
J Botha c Prior b Broad 1
J A Morkel c Prior b S J Harmison 6
A Nel c Wright b S J Harmison 13
D W Steyn b Flintoff 6
M Ntini not out 0
Extras (lb1 w8 pens 0) 9
Total (all out, 23 overs) 83
Fall: 1-16 2-25 3-26 4-36 5-45 6-50 7-53 8-68 9-72
Bowling: Anderson 5-0-26-0; Broad 10-3-23-5; Flintoff 7-0-29-3; S J Harmison 1-0-4-2.
I R Bell not out 28
†M J Prior not out 45
Extras (lb6 w4 nb2 pens 0) 12
Total (for 0; 14.1 overs) 85
Did not bat: O A Shah, *K P Pietersen, A Flintoff, P D Collingwood, S R Patel, L J Wright, S C J Broad, J M Anderson, S J Harmison.
Bowling: Steyn 6-1-37-0; Ntini 5-1-24-0; Nel 2.1-0-14-0; Kallis 1-0-4-0.
Umpires: M R Benson and S J A Taufel (Aus)
England bt South Africa by 10 wkts and lead the 5-match series 2-0