England confident ahead of S Africa clash

CENTURION, South Africa - Skipper Andrew Strauss has said England will not be short of confidence in their Champions Trophy match against South Africa here on Sunday.

By (AFP)

Published: Sat 26 Sep 2009, 9:11 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:49 AM

England, beaten 6-1 by Australia in a recent home one-day series, began their campaign in this tournament on an impressive note when they posted a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Johannesburg on Friday.

Their lone win against Australia came in the last match.

‘This game more than the final game against Australia was a pretty professional performance with the bat,’ Strauss said after his team’s win.

‘You take a lot of confidence from these sort of performances, guys standing up and actually playing to their potential and not playing with fear.

‘If we play like that, we are a dangerous side. We are not going to be touting ourselves as the winners of the competition at this stage, but if we can keep getting better, then we are going to be hard to beat.’

Sri Lanka and South Africa have one win apiece from two matches, while England have played only one game. New Zealand have lost their first match. The top two sides will make it the semi-finals.

Strauss said he was pleased with his team’s all-round performance against Sri Lanka on a lively track.

England were indebted to pacemen James Anderson (3-20), Stuart Broad (3-49) and Graham Onions (2-58) for seizing the initiative as the trio played a big role in restircting Sri Lanka to a modest 212.

Eoin Morgan (62 not out), Paul Collingwood (46) and Owais Shah (44) then built on their bowlers’ efforts to see their team home.

‘It’s very satisfying. It was a good toss to win, but I thought the way Jimmy Anderson bowled, particularly in the first 10 overs, really put Sri Lanka on the back foot,’ said Strauss.

‘I was happy with the intent the batsmen showed. They did not let the spinners bowl at us. Collingwood and Shah played valuable innings, and Morgan did a great finishing job. I think we can take a lot of confidence from it.’

The pitch here is not expected to be as seamer-friendly as at Johannesburg, which had pace and bounce.

‘It’s a complete different set of circumstances at Centurion on Sunday. It’s a crucial game for both sides, so it should be a good game,’ said Strauss.

South Africa came back strongly after losing their rain-hit opening match against Sri Lanka by 55 runs, beating New Zealand by five wickets in their second game.

England (from): Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Joe Denly, Eoin Morgan, Graham Onions, Matt Prior, Adil Rashid, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright.

South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (capt), Johan Botha, Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Albie Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Roelof van der Merwe.

Umpires: Steve Davis (AUS) and Tony Hill (NZL)

TV umpire: Billy Bowden (NZL)

Referee: Roshan Manahama (SRI)

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