Host nation England delighted its fans by rolling into the ICC Champions trophy final with a seven-wicket victory over pre-tournament favorite South Africa.
London's Oval was rocking for this match, as it was hard to find anyone rooting for South Africa in the pro-England crowd, and they had a lot to cheer for right from the start.
The English bowlers made sure of that. After winning the toss, England put South Africa in, and it paid off. It was a humid day, and this benefited the English swing bowlers.
They dominated the Proteas to the tune of 175 within 39 overs. This gave them an easily attainable target to surpass, and while they got off to a slow start reaching the mark, they managed to do so relatively easily in the end.
They caught the target with 7 wickets and a comfortable amount of balls left.
While it will be a popular conclusion to write off this outcome as simply another case of South Africa choking, that wouldn't be fair to England. They played excellent. And no one was more impressive than spinner James Tredwell.
Tredwell, who has been filling in for the injured Graeme Swann, was masterful. He earned Man of the Match honors, and deservedly so.
Sky Sports Cricket tweeted that news and passed along his impressive stat line:
James Anderson was also supremely impressive, as he yielded just 14 runs off his 8 overs, picking up 2 wickets.
This should help you get a feel for how dominant England was. Only four of the Proteas batsmen made it to double digits, and they likely would not have hit triple digits as a squad if David Miller and Rory Kleinveldt didn't go on an impressive 95-run ninth-wicket stand.
Prior to that, England reduced South Africa to 80-8 in the 23rd over.
England should be feeling great about this victory and confident heading into the championship match.
England won't find out who their competition will be for that match until Thursday. That is when India and Sri Lanka battle in the other semifinal.
The ICC Champions Trophy final will be Sunday, June 23 at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham.
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