England head for Champions Trophy final

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England secured a place in the final of the Champions Trophy with a comprehensive victory over South Africa at the Oval. An astounding collapse by South Africa's batsmen in the morning made the result something of a foregone conclusion before England had to bat.

South Africa make a habit of failing in the semi-finals of major competitions, but rather than another case of them choking, this was South Africa never getting even close to a winning position. A combination of smart England bowling and some abject batting reduced South Africa to 80-8 before David Miller and Rory Kleinveldt decided to restore some dignity to the innings with a resolute partnership of 95 that made the most pessimistic of England supporters wondering if the home team could still find a way to lose.

It never looked likely, even when openers Alastair Cook and Ian Bell fell early. England's number three is the resolute Jonathan Trott who loves nothing better than the steady accumulation of runs, finishing with an impressive 82 not out. Joined by Joe Root, the pair put England within reach of the target, before Eoin Morgan joined Trott for the cruise over the finishing line.

Cook paid tribute to his bowlers, particularly Jimmy Anderson and spinner James Tredwell. "It's what you wanted in a semi-final," Cook said. "Jimmy was fantastic, the other guys backed him up and then Tricky Tredders was exceptional again."

England will play India or Sri Lanka in the final at Edgbaston. England have already lost to the Sri Lankans and India look like the best side in the competition, but England will enjoy the chance to win their first Champions Trophy on the last occasion the competition will be played.

"At the beginning of the summer we had certain goals we wanted to try to achieve, and one of them was to win the Champions Trophy," Cook added. "I've got no doubt that the guys in our dressing room will turn up on Sunday. I'm fully confident in the lads that they can do that. I just hope it's our turn."

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