Tournament host and winner of Group A, England will take on Group B runner-up South Africa in the 1st semi-final of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy 2013. The match will be played at Kennington Oval, London on Wednesday.
England are Group A winner with four points after two wins, including the opener against Australia. They conceded a seven-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the second match before booking a place in the semi-final by beating New Zealand by 10 runs. They will be keen to win the contest and play the final on Sunday.
South Africa finished second in Group B with three points. They edged West Indies, who also have three points, on net run rate difference to book a place in the semi-final after rain played spoilsport. They conceded 26-run defeat to India in the opener before beating Pakistan by 67 runs and the match against West Indies was washed out.
South Africa have 25-21 win-loss record against England in 50 ODI meetings, including one tie and three no-results. They have met three times in the Champions Trophy with South Africa leading 2-1.
England: Skipper Alastair Cook has scored two half centuries in the tournament. Other batsmen - Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root - too have scored half centuries apiece. With Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler and Ravi Bopara in the batting line-up, they are a strong batting side and will be expected to put up a big score on the board, as South Africa have batsmen who can turn the course of a game.
On the bowling front, James Anderson is the highest wicket taker for the team with eight wickets in the last three matches played. They also have Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Joe Root and Bopara in the bowling attack. They restricted the score of New Zealand to 159 runs in the game that was reduced to 24 overs due to rain.
South Africa: South Africa: Skipper AB de Villiers, Robin Peterson, Ryan McLaren, Hashim Amla and Colin Ingram have scored a half centuries each in the three matches played, including the one against West Indies that was declared tied after it was suspended due to rain. They will be expecting the top order to put up a big score on the board.
Ryan McLaren is in great shape, taking eight wickets in three matches played, followed by Lonwabo Tsotsobe (four wickets). Speedster Dale Steyn, who missed the first two games due to an injury, made his presence felt in the previous tied match against West Indies by taking two wickets in his six-over spell.
The semi-final match between England and South Africa promises to be a thriller with the teams looking strong both in batting and bowling departments. England have home ground advantage but South Africa are the favourites to win the contest.
England: Alastair Cook (Captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Chris Woakes
South Africa: AB de Villiers (Captain), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, JP Duminy, Francois du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe
Where to Watch Live:
The match will kick off at 03:00 PM IST on Wednesday and it will be telecast live on Star Sports and Star Cricket channels in India.