Eng­land put Proteas to the sword

Mor­gan’s blitz pushes up to­tal be­fore rain stops play

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - AN­DREW MCGLASHAN

ENG­LAND promised a fear­less ap­proach and they de­liv­ered in the open­ing Twenty20 here last night.

A thun­der­ous, ca­reer-best 83 off 45 de­liv­er­ies by Eoin Mor­gan along­side Paul Colling­wood’s 32-ball 57 pow­ered them to a daunt­ing 202 for 6.

They over­came the shock of los­ing Joe Denly to the first ball of the match as ini­tially Jonathan Trott, in his first in­nings against South Africa, be­gan the fight­back be­fore Mor­gan and Colling­wood com­bined in a nine-over on­slaught that brought 98 runs. The pair man­aged seven sixes.

Colling­wood needed 27 balls for this third Twenty20 fifty and Mor­gan 29 for his first in an­other rep­u­ta­tion-en­hanc­ing dis­play fol­low­ing an eye-catch­ing Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy.

Mor­gan also fin­ished the in­nings in style, an im­por­tant area Eng­land have of­ten fal­tered at, as he scored 29 off his last seven balls against Ryan McLaren and Charl Langveldt.

Those de­liv­er­ies in­cor­po­rated the full range of his strokes, in­clud­ing the lap over fine leg, drives through the cov­ers and a mighty blow over deep mid­wicket.

Many of the crowd had barely sat down when Denly was walk­ing to the pavil­ion hav­ing missed his whip to leg against Langeveldt’s open­ing de­liv­ery.

There was hint of the ball slid­ing down, but it did straighten late as Langeveldt found some swing.

That brought Trott to the mid­dle for the most hyped home­com­ing since Kevin Pi­etersen four years ago and he was greeted by the pre­dictable bouncer but cer­tainly wasn’t fazed by the oc­ca­sion.

He soon lost Alas­tair Cook, who missed a low full toss that would have taken leg stump, but Trott scored Eng­land’s first blow of the tour when he took Dale Steyn for four con­sec­u­tive bound­aries in his open­ing over.

Colling­wood made his in­tent clear when he launched Al­bie Morkel for a leg-side six and de­spite the two early wick­ets Eng­land’s fifty was up in­side the six-over Pow­er­play.

The team was cer­tainly liv­ing up to the new pos­i­tive ap­proach in­stilled in Andy Flower and the ab­sent An­drew Strauss. It wasn’t dull. Trott’s con­tri­bu­tion was ended when he chanced a sin­gle to back­ward point and was beaten by a sharp re­turn even though the bowler, Roelof van der Merwe, al­most messed up try­ing to break the stumps.

How­ever, Eng­land didn’t take a back­ward step.

Mor­gan has pro­vided the mid­dle or­der with the power for so long lack­ing in Eng­land’s lim­ited-overs side and this dis­play was an­other demon­stra­tion of his awe­some strik­ing abil­ity.

One six over the leg side went out of the ground, off Steyn no less, leav­ing gasps of amaze­ment from those watch­ing.

Yes, the Wan­der­ers is at alti­tude. Yes, the pitch had the pace and bounce bats­men en­joy. But it was a mon­u­men­tal blow.

He fol­lowed up by dis­patch­ing the strug­gling Morkel for 14 off three balls be­fore Colling­wood made it 21 from the 14th over with a thump­ing six over long on.

Graeme Smith made reg­u­lar bowl­ing changes, moved his field around all over the place, but was pow­er­less to stop the on­slaught.

Both Colling­wood and Mor­gan reached their half cen­turies in the 15th over and by the time Colling­wood carved out to deep cover the pair had added 98 in 9.1 overs.

Briefly South Africa slowed the charge with three wick­ets in 15 balls, but Mor­gan kept his head to re­gain the mo­men­tum. Rain in­ter­rupted play at a cru­cial stage with South Africa on 127 for three af­ter 13 overs.

Al­though they were eight runs ahead of Eng­land at the same stage, they were one run be­hind the re­quired Duck­worth-Lewis score. If not fur­ther play were pos­si­ble, Eng­land would win by one run. – Cricinfo

GALLO IM­AGES

PROTEA PRUN­ING: Eng­land’s Eoin Mor­gan en­joys an­other six – with an an­guished-looking Charl Langeveldt looking on – in his un­beaten in­nings of 85 at the Wan­der­ers last night.

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