South Africa seek to end losing streak

2009-11-20 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa will seek to end a five-match losing streak when they meet England in the first one-day international at the Wanderers today.

South Africa were beaten 4-0 by England, with one match abandoned, in a one-day series in England last year. When the two sides met again in the Champions Trophy in Centurion in September, England’s 21-run win meant the hosts failed to reach the knockout stage.

England have injury concerns going into the start of the five-match series but despite being down to 11 fit men they pulled off a morale-boosting win over a strong South Africa A team in Potchefstroom on Wednesday.

The injury situation was so bad that bowling coach Ottis Gibson had to go on as a substitute fielder.

Most of the injuries were said by coach Andy Flower to be short-term but Durham fast bowler Liam Plunkett was called up as cover after three bowlers, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann, were ruled out of the Potchefstroom match together with all-rounder Paul Collingwood and batsman Alastair Cook.

Broad’s shoulder injury, which he suffered in the first match of the tour 12 days ago, is the biggest concern for the England camp.

Despite the spate of injuries, England have shown encouraging form in the early stages of the tour, apart from taking an 84-run beating in the second Twenty20 international in Centurion last Sunday.

Captain and opening batsman Andrew Strauss, who did not play in the 20-overs games, has been in outstanding form, with scores of 72, 117 not out and 65 in his three innings on tour. Jonathan Trott and Eoin Morgan have also shown early form, while Kevin Pietersen has had two innings to work some of the cobwebs out of his system since heel surgery .

South Africa were ranked number one in one-day internationals ahead of their failure in the Champions Trophy, which has caused a revamp of what had been a settled team.

Squads:

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Jacques Kallis, Charl Langeveldt, Ryan McLaren, Albie Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Roelof van der Merwe.

England: Andrew Strauss (captain), James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Joe Denly, Sajid Mahmood, Eoin Morgan, Graham Onions, Kevin Pietersen, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior, Adil Rashid, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright.

– Sapa-AFP.

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