England struggle to 118

Congleton Guardian: England struggled to post a competitive total against South Africa England struggled to post a competitive total against South Africa

England's batsmen repeated the mistakes of Trent Bridge as they switched formats to Twenty20 on Saturday, and could muster only 118 for seven against South Africa at the Emirates Durham ICG.

As in Nottingham, where England posted an under-par total on the way to a one-day international defeat against the same opponents on Wednesday, so it was here as a string of frontline batsmen fell to soft dismissals.

On a pitch of decent pace, but with spin available for Johan Botha and Robin Peterson, England's highest partnership was captain Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann's unbroken 33 for the eighth wicket.

Alex Hales began the innings with boundaries, from the second and third balls he faced, a sweep and front-foot push past point in the first over off Peterson.

Top scorer Craig Kieswetter clubbed Lonwabo Tsotsobe for England's only six over long-on, but the first-wicket stand ended disappointingly when Hales over-committed himself for a single into the leg-side off his partner's thick inside-edge and could not beat Jacques Kallis' direct hit as he tried to dive back.

Kieswetter stayed long enough to help England to 40 for one in the powerplay, only to go lbw to the first ball of the next over - Botha striking immediately with a big off-break which hit the batsman just on off-stump.

Out-of-form Ravi Bopara stayed that way after AB de Villiers recalled Dale Steyn, kept a slip in and duly saw England's number three go again to a compliant outside-edge.

Botha and Peterson's spin variations soon did for two of England's biggest hopes in this format. Eoin Morgan was bowled by Botha, attempting a hybrid leg-side swipe, and Jos Buttler advanced to Peterson but missed one that turned.

Jonny Bairstow then picked out long-on off Albie Morkel while Samit Patel was well caught by a diving Kallis at long-off off Peterson.

Broad and Swann therefore had to try to rescue a worthwhile total, from 85 for seven in the 16th over, after a procession of six wickets for the addition of only 44 runs. Swann hit Peterson to deep midwicket for England's first boundary in nine overs, and he and Broad did enough to at least push their team into three figures.

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