There's something about the way ICC tournaments are set up that must seem oddly familiar to South Africa. In last year?s Champions Trophy, after losing to Sri Lanka, they earned a morale boosting win over New Zealand before losing to England and being dumped out of the tournament. Deja vu must be hitting Graeme Smith?s men after they eased their way past New Zealand on Thursday night and now face England.The stakes are not as high because even if South Africa fall to the side that?s become something of a bogey for them in limited overs cricket, they will still have a chance to qualify for the semis.
If they win, they?ll be on the brink of the final four and the pressure will be on to assure that peace of mind.Graeme Smith admitted that South Africa started the tournament in slightly rusty fashion (by the way, where are they hiding Rusty Theron, and when will he make an appearance?), but they seem to have found the right combinations. After experimenting at the top of the order, they will surely settle on Jacques Kallis and the captain to open with Herschelle Gibbs slotting in at number three. The rest of the South African side should be the same as the eleven who beat New Zealand. Charl Langeveldt has shown impressive signs with his swing and he is likely to retain his place.
In Image: England's Michael Lumb, third right, is surrounded by teammates while celebrating the dismissal of Ireland's opener Paul Stirling, unseen, caught by Lumb for a duck, during their Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match in Georgetown, Guyana.