Champions Trophy, England Stun South Africa To Send Hosts Crashing Out

Alan DobsonContributor ISeptember 27, 2009

CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Graeme Smith of South Africa walks off after his dismissal during the  ICC Champions Trophy group B match between South Africa and England at Centurion on September 27, 2009 in Centurion, South Africa.  (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Hosts and pre-tournament favourites South Africa were sent tumbling out of the ICC Champions Trophy after an enthralling encounter against England.

Cricket fans across the world were expecting England to be fighting for their place in the competition at this stage. But many of them were shocked when South Africa lost their first match against Sri Lanka and thus would be effectively fighting for their survival against England, a team who everybody had written off before the start.

England won the toss, elected to bat and got off to a great start against the South African attack, with the middle order batting superbly to finish on 323 for 8, Wayne Parnell was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-60 in tough conditions.

The chase was on and Smith batted superbly against all of the England bowlers, keeping South Africa ahead of the rate for much of the reply. The wickets began to fall around the skipper but he soldiered on trying to form new partnerships throughout the innings even with cramp in his leg.

It was however destined to be in vain as Smith sent a Broad delivery skyward only to land in Owais Shah's hands, South Africa finishing on 301 for 9.

The result now means that South Africa cannot qualify for the semi finals, reminding everyone that you have to be quick out of the blocks to remain in these competitions and that any of the top teams can beat anyone on their day.