James Anderson England
England fast bowler James Anderson celebrates after dismissing South Africa opener Colin Ingram in their ICC Champions Trophy 2013 gameReuters

Don't utter the 'C' word, because we are certainly not that, said South Africa prior to the semifinal of the ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval against England.

Well, after all was said and done, it will be rather difficult to justify that claim.

South Africa, unfortunately, again, choked royally in a major knockout game, with their batsmen failing miserably to hand England the easiest of seven-wicket wins.

Put into bat, South Africa just lost the plot with the bat, crashing to 80 for eight, before a ninth-wicket alliance between David Miller (56) and Rory Kleinveldt (43) pushed them to at least 175 all out in 38.4 overs.

Unfortunately, the target was never even remotely going to be enough to test the England batsmen - especially without South Africa's two spearheads Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel - as the hosts cruised to 179 for three in 37.3 overs to book their place in the final.

Jonathan Trott was the main man for England, scoring an unbeaten 82 (84b, 11X4) and manning the hardly threatened trenches with consummate ease.

Joe Root gave Trott good company as well, putting on 105 runs for the third wicket to end any chance of a dramatic South Africa fightback.

Alastair Cook fell early feathering one to AB De Villiers off Chris Morris, before Ian Bell (20, 30b, 2x4), after another promising start, was also caught behind, this time off Kleinveldt.

England were 41 for two in 11 overs at that point with South Africa holding the slimmest of hopes of bundling out the rest of the batting order.

However, Trott, as always, was his usual dependable best, while Root continues to show maturity well beyond his years. Root (48, 71b, 7x4) fell towards the end while trying to up the ante and finish the game off quickly, but South Africa were well beaten by then, with Trott seeing off the rest of the target in the company of Eoin Morgan.

Earlier, James Anderson bowled a brilliant opening spell, with the ball swinging around, to set the tone for the first innings, with South Africa deciding to oblige and add to the misery by playing a few quite pathetic shots.

Anderson is one of the best, if not the best, exponent of swing bowling in world cricket at the moment, and the right-armer showed his prowess in spades against South Africa, making the ball dance to his tune.

Five balls was all it took for Anderson to pick up the first wicket of the innings, trapping Colin Ingram plumb in front of the wicket with a neat in-swinger, a delivery after setting him up with a ball that went away.

Hashim Amla has been England's nemesis in recent times -- one too many times for their liking -- and every bowler, including Anderson, would have been wary of the classy right-hander.

However, Steven Finn, in for Tim Bresnan, whose wife is expecting a baby, sent the dangerous Amla packing in the second over with another delivery that swung a little and even moved off the pitch a touch.

Amla, seeing the movement, wanted to take his bat away and let the ball thud harmlessly into the wicketkeeper Jos Buttler's gloves - unfortunately, that decision came a fraction too late with the ball feathering the bottom of the bat and before nestling into Buttler's padded hands.

Robin Peterson (30, 41b, 4x4), like he was against India in the first game of the tournament, was sent in at No.3 to take the attack to the English bowlers, and along with Francois Du Plessis, the left-hander went about with the repair work pretty well.

The two put on 41 runs in a little over nine overs, and were seemingly taking their side towards the sandy shores, before that man Anderson (8-1-14-2) struck again.

Another in-swinger, this time from around the wicket, thudded into Peterson's pads and the umpire had no hesitation in raising his finger.

Peterson's wicket triggered a monumental collapse, which saw South Africa go from 45 for two to 80 for eight.

Proteas skipper AB De Villiers, usually so reliable in these situations, wafted at a wide delivery from Stuart Broad for no reason and found an inside edge to Buttler, who would go on to complete five catches in the innings.

Four more wickets would fall in a heap, with three of them going to the ever-impressive James Tredwell, who was only in the side for the injured Graeme Swann.

The wily off-spinner just has this knack of picking up wickets, which Du Plessis (26), JP Duminy and Chris Morris found out to their detriment - Tredwell finishing with brilliant figures of 7-1-19-3.

South Africa looked dead and buried and thrown into the never reaches of the Sahara Desert at that moment, but then came the brilliant 95-run partnership between David Miller, who just keeps getting better and better and seems to thrive on pressure situations, and Rory Kleinveldt.

Miller (56, 51b, 5x4, 2x6) and Kleinveldt (43, 61b, 4x4, 1x6) took the batting powerplay in the 24th over, right after the eighth wicket of the innings, that of Chris Morris, and boy oh boy did they make full use of it.

South Africa scored 38 runs in that five-over spell, with Miller smashing a couple of outstanding sixes, and suddenly the confidence was back on a flat track which had stopped giving any kind of swing for the bowlers.

The momentum just carried on from there with the 95 runs coming from just 96 deliveries, leaving captain Cook, who did let the game drift a little by bringing on part-timers Ravi Bopara and Root, wondering if they would actually need to chase a score over 200, when at one point a target above hundred looked extremely unlikely.

With the home crowd getting a little antsy, Broad's barrage of short deliveries finally did the trick in the 39th over, as Kleinveldt gloved one to Buttler down the leg side, before Lonwabo Tsotsobe did the same off the very next delivery to end the resistance.

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