LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) - South Africa risked ‘choking’ in yet another semi-final after England ripped through their ranks to restrict them to 175 all out from 38.4 overs in their Champions Trophy clash on Wednesday.
It could have been worse for South Africa had it not been for a ninth-wicket stand of 95 between David Miller (56 not out) and Rory Kleinveldt (43).
England won the toss under overcast skies at The Oval and soon had South Africa reeling at four for two after James Anderson and the returning Steven Finn removed Colin Ingram and Hashim Amla in their opening overs.
Robin Peterson, again promoted up the order, tried to steady the ship with 30 but was then trapped lbw by Anderson before captain AB de Villiers (duck) and JP Duminy (three) followed in quick succession.
Spinner James Tredwell, continuing in the absence of the injured Graeme Swann, took his second wicket when Faf du Plessis (26) edged behind a cut shot with the ball barely spinning.
Slip Jonathan Trott expertly ran out Ryan McLaren for one after the batsman had advanced down the track to Tredwell, who took three for 19, before the tail wagged as Miller top scored and Kleinveldt hit an ODI best.
South Africa, who were without injured pace bowler Dale Steyn, have never won a major international cricket title despite their prowess and famously threw away a 1999 World Cup semi against Australia when a last-ball run out caused a tie.
Five other international semi-final defeats have come and gone since for the Proteas, who mainly had themselves to blame at The Oval with England bowling well but not spectacularly as the white ball again failed to move significantly.
Hosts England will now fancy their chances of knocking off the runs and reaching the final of cricket’s second 50-over tournament at Edgbaston on Sunday. The second semi-final between India and Sri Lanka takes place on Thursday in Cardiff. (Editing by Justin Palmer)