England suffer new low against South Africa

England recorded their lowest total in a Twenty20 international as South Africa bowled them out for just 111 before easing to a seven-wicket win in the World Cup second-round match on Thursday.

Although England did well to contain South Africa in reply, ultimately they were never able to defend their paltry score as the Proteas reached 114-3 with 10 balls to spare. Jacques Kallis batted patiently for his 57 not out.

England, who crashed to an embarrassing loss to The Netherlands in the tournament opener on Friday before thrashing Pakistan, again showed inconsistency in their 19th Twenty20 match.

”A good total on that wicket was more like 150,” England captain Paul Collingwood told reporters.

”It was a pretty good deck, we lost early wickets in the first six overs and it put us behind the eight ball. They really proved why they are the favourites in the competition.

”They set the standards with the fielding and the bowling. They put us under a lot of pressure to rebuild the innings. [Our score] was never really going to be enough.

Paul Collingwood’s team were on only 47-3 at the halfway stage and did not register 100 until the 18th over. Earlier, on the same ground, New Zealand were 94-2 after ten overs against Ireland.

Left-arm seam bowler Wayne Parnell (19) claimed 3-14 from his 3.5 overs and bowled tail-enders Stuart Broad and James Anderson with the last two balls of England’s innings.

Owais Shah top-scored with 38 from 33 balls, but his innings lacked intensity. He scored almost half his runs in one over. Shah took 15 from the 12th over bowled by Roelof van der Merwe, including a six over long off.

But just as England looked to increase their run rate, they slumped from 78-3 to 92-8.

Graeme Smith dropped Broad in the 20th over and allowed a boundary in the process but this was a rare lapse by an efficient and energetic South Africa.

”We lost the toss but wanted to put in an intense performance with the ball and the bowlers led the way, the fielders were great and we just created a lot of pressure on England and squeezed them,” Smith said.

”It was clinically finished off by Jacques and the boys.”

Fittingly, South Africa seamer Albie Morkel earlier bowled the first maiden (which included a wicket) of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Smith wants the International Cricket Council to clarify whether Stuart Broad’s actions are within the spirit of the game, he said on Thursday.

Halfway into his bowling run-up, Broad has on several occasions looked away and pointed, which can break the batsman’s concentration.

He repeated the gesture in Thursday’s T20 match.

”We saw it happen from the dugout and obviously discussed it,” Smith told reporters. ”I don’t know what the rules stipulate. The match referee and umpires need to discuss that.

”Whether it is in the spirit of the game is a tough one. Bowlers are trying to find different angles in terms of getting an edge but it’s probably best we leave Stuart to answer that one [if it is fair]. It needs clarifying,” he added.

Collingwood said it was OK with him and another way to gain an advantage in a batsman-dominated game.

Cricket has made efforts in recent years to ensure fair play and certain tactics can be outlawed if they are thought to contravene the spirit of the game. — Reuters

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