I stayed up to past 6am on Sunday morning to watch the whole of the World Cup game between England and South Africa to see England claim a brilliant victory. I have to admit after the England innings I didn’t give England much chance of winning the game after setting the South Africans a target of 172 to win, but to England’s credit; the bowlers got the job done. England have Ravi Bopara (60 runs) and Jonathan Trott (52 runs) to thank for the most part; adding 112 of the 171 runs scored in the England innings, number 9 batsmen Graeme Swann outscored the other top order batsmen; which says a lot about the batting performance. The South Africans looked on top half way through their innings sitting on a 124 – 3 but then the game was turned on it’s head with four wickets falling in quick succession reducing the Proteas to 127 – 7; suddenly the game was on. At this point I thought England had a slim chance but South Africa still had the upper hand; the Proteas only needed about a run every two balls but the English bowlers did brilliantly; bowling a perfect line and length to restrict playable shots. Dale Steyn put up some resistance with Morne van Wyk adding 33 to the cause before being caught lbw. The Proteas got within six runs of victory when Stuart broad struck for the fourth time to dismiss Morkel. A great disciplined performance from the England bowlers and two great performances from Bopara and Trott led to the brilliant thrilling victory that keeps England in with a chance of progressing in the competition; now it’s on to face Bangladesh in just under a weeks time.
Liverpool also claimed a HUGE victory beating Manchester United 3 – 1 courtesy of a Dirk Kuyt hat-trick. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hasn’t had a good week; seeing his team beaten 2 – 1 at Stamford Bridge and today’s result against my beloved Reds. Ferguson is clearly a bad loser; refusing to talk to media after the game with Liverpool and blaming the referee for his teams loss to Chelsea. Man up and face the media and stop crying like little baby!!! Anyway, enough of Ferguson; onto Kenny Dalglish’s first major league triumph of the season; beating United in front of a capacity Anfield is always a big result. It seems that Dirk Kuyt was in inspired form scoring in the 34th, 39th and 65th minutes while Hernandez pulled one back deep into injury time. It’s shame that a clean sheet wasn’t possible but I’ll take 3 – 1 against United any day of the week. Liverpool close to within six points of Chelsea in fourth place with this victory; and with Chelsea’s indifferent form; a top four finish for the Reds is not impossible; I think that Tottenham who are level on points with Chelsea and have been very consistent will be a bigger stumbling block!