London: South Africa will look to shed their big tournament 'chokers' tag that has haunted them for long as they go into the first semifinal of the ICC Champions Trophy against strong contenders England on Wednesday in what promises to be a thrilling showdown.
England topped Group A and will play South Africa in the last-four stage after Sri Lanka knocked holders Australia out of the tournament with a 20-run win at The Oval on Monday.
South Africa advanced to the semifinals on superior net run-rate after their rain-marred last Group B match against the West Indies in Cardiff ended in a tie.
For South Africa -- often dubbed 'chokers' for losing from promising positions -- their only ICC trophy came way back in 1998 when they won the inaugural edition of the Champions Trophy, then known as ICC Knock-Out Trophy, in Bangladesh.
Thereafter, the Proteas failed to advance beyond the semifinal stages of major tournaments despite having strong outfits. But come Wednesday, the AB de Villiers-led side would be hoping to turn the tide.
England, on the other hand, made their way to the semifinals by eking out a 10-run victory over New Zealand in a must-win rain-hit group match.
Backed by a boisterous home crowd, England, one of the strong contenders for the trophy, will have a clear edge over South Africa in Wednesday's encounter.
England: Alastair Cook (Capt.), Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler (wk), Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Jonny Bairstow and Graeme Swann.
South Africa: AB de Villiers (Capt. & wk), Hashim Amla, Colin Ingram, Jean-Paul Duminy, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Farhaan Behardien.
Wednesday June 19, 2013
Start time 10.30am local (0930 GMT)