Cricket

England reach Champions Trophy final

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England have reached the final of the ICC Champions Trophy for the first time after recording a comfortable seven-wicket victory over South African at The Oval.

South Africa were reduced to 80-8 by a rampant England, before a lower-order rally ensured they reached a far more respectable total - albeit hugely under par - of 175-3.

England endured a shaky start as Alastair Cook and Ian Bell both fell before 50 had been posted, but the assured presence of Jonathan Trott and the increasingly impressive Joe Root ensured the total was reached with more than 12 overs to spare.

The hosts made the ideal start after winning the toss at putting the Proteas into bat, with James Anderson dismissing opener Colin Ingram LBW with only the fifth legitimate ball of the eagerly-anticipated encounter.

England then snatched the prized-wicket of Hashim Amla in the following over in fortuitous circumstances as he edged behind attempting to leave a wide one from Steven Finn, with Jos Buttler taking a smart low catch.

A brief revival between Robin Peterson and Faf du Plessis was ended thanks to another leg-before from a typically accurate Anderson, who trapped the former on the crease to claim his second wicket of the innings.

Stuart Broad forced AB de Villiers to drag on as South Africa slumped to 50-4, before James Tredwell struck twice in quick succession to leave them further in the mire on 70-6.

Ryan McClaren was run out by a quick thinking Trott to ensure the eighth wicket fell before South Africa got out of the 80s, but David Miller and Rory Kleinveldt combined to take them beyond the 100-mark.

Both batsmen struck some timely blows, before Broad returned to dismiss the latter and also claim the wicket of Lonwabo Tsotsobe with the following ball to end the South Africa innings.

South Africa, without Dale Steyn, did for Cook early in the England chase as he was caught by De Villiers off the bowling of Morris, before Bell also played behind to Kleinveldt with the score on 41.

Trott and Root, however, combined to negate the Proteas bowling attack, with the latter the only other wicket to fall - as the young Yorkshireman perished two-runs short of a deserved half-century.

Eoin Morgan joined Trott at the crease to finish the job - hitting a sprightly 15 from 19 balls - and the latter struck the winning runs to the boundary to end the innings unbeaten on 82, scored at almost a run-a-ball.

Kevin Pietersen, unavailable for selection due to injury, took to Twitter to express his delight at England reaching the final, where they will face either India or Sri Lanka, with the second semi-final due to take place on Thursday.

Broad, however, saw his celebrations somewhat curtailed as he was called in by tournament drug testers to provide a sample following his vital 3-50 during the South Africa innings.

He tweeted: "Amazing win!! CT13 Final here we come! Celebrating with a drugs test. They are everywhere!"

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Topics:
England cricket
Joe Root
Jonathan Trott
AB de Villiers
James Anderson (cricket)
Cricket

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