South Africa show their class
South Africa laid bare their ICC World Twenty20 title credentials with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over England at Trent Bridge.
The Proteas put in a superb display in the field to help bowl the hosts out for 111, after England captain Paul Collingwood had elected to bat first.
Opener Jacques Kallis (57 from 49 deliveries) then used all his experience to see his side to victory with 10 balls to spare.
The result leaves England needing to win their remaining Super Eights matches, against India on Sunday and West Indies on Monday, to have a realistic chance of reaching the semi-finals.
South Africa’s bowlers combined brilliantly as a unit to heap pressure on England’s batsmen.
Wayne Parnell picked up 3-14 while Kallis and Roelof van der Merwe each claimed two wickets.
Only Owais Shah (38), who added 53 for the fourth wicket with Collingwood, made any real impression on them.
Although England’s bowlers were similarly frugal, they could not make the early breakthroughs required to limit their opponents.
Man-on-the-match Kallis’ 74-run alliance with Herschelle Gibbs (30) proved decisive on a sun-kissed evening in Nottingham.
Things began badly for England when Ravi Bopara chopped Dale Steyn on for two and Luke Wright was caught behind in the next over for one off Parnell.
Kevin Pietersen struck successive fours off both Steyn and Kallis, although he was fortunate to survive an lbw shout from the former.
Pietersen perished for 19 to a superb van der Merwe catch, diving to his left at mid-on, off Albie Morkel in the competition’s first maiden over.
Shah then survived an exceptionally close run-out chance following fine work from Gibbs at cover.
Shah made to most of his reprieve, smiting van der Merwe for six over midwicket before taking consecutive fours off Johan Botha.
He and Collingwood rebuilt England’s innings, bringing up the fifty partnership from 42 deliveries.
However, Collingwood had his stumps broken by Kallis for 19 and James Foster and Dimitri Mascarenhas followed soon after - victims of van der Merwe - to leave the hosts 86 for seven.
Kallis struck the crucial blow, having Shah caught behind in the 15th over.
Graeme Swann was next in the procession, leaving Stuart Broad and Adil Rashid to bring up three figures in the 18th.
Broad struck a four over long-on in the last over, from Parnell, but the seamer cleaned him up next ball for nine.
James Anderson suffered the same fate immediatlely to end proceedings one ball early.
England’s bowlers made the start they needed to, at least in terms of restricting runs.
Mascarenhas and Anderson were frugal, and Broad made the pressure tell in the fourth over when Smith fell for 11 with only 17 on the board.
Broad forced the left-hander to top-edge the ball behind square-leg, and Foster made good ground to take a smart diving catch.
Kallis and Gibbs rallied, seeing South Africa to 50 after 10 overs.
Gibbs was let off immediately after, on 10, when Collingwood was uncharacteristically sluggish at backward point. His high throw allowed the batsman to get back in.
Kallis gained confidence and struck Rashid for a maximum over midwicket.
They arrived at their fifty partnership from 54 balls before Gibbs smacked Swann down the ground for six.
The bowler had his revenge, knocking back Gibbs’ off stump for 30 but Kallis went on to his half-century from 46 deliveries.
Late on, leg-spinning all-rounder Rashid was rewarded for impressive control when he had AB de Villiers caught by Collingwood at slip.
However, Kallis fittingly hit the winning boundary, behind square off Anderson.