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SA in semis, await India or England
- Gibbs (116), Benkenstein (3/5) play stellar roles in 176-run victory over Kenya

Colombo, Sept. 20 (Reuters): South Africa marched into the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy thrashing Kenya by 176 runs in their second pool match Friday. On Wednesday, they will play the winner of the England versus India match.

Chasing South Africa’s 316, the Kenyans were bundled out for 140 in 46.5 overs. Skipper Steve Tikolo put up the only resistance for the minnows with a well-made 69.

For South Africa, part-time bowlers Justin Ontong (three for 37) and Benkenstein (three for five) wrecked the Kenyans.

Kenya were off to a bad start with Pollock getting the wicket of Ravindu Shah caught in the slips for three. Alan Dawson dismissed Brijal Patel for a first-ball duck the next over.

Earlier, Herschelle Gibbs smashed a brilliant century as South Africa piled up the mammoth score. The opener scored 116 off 126 balls with 13 fours and three sixes and put on 159 for the opening wicket with Graeme Smith to set the stage for the first 300-plus total of the meet. Smith made 69 with five fours and a six.

Jacques Kallis (60) and Boeta Dippenaar (31) also joined in the run-feast as the Kenyans erred both in bowling and fielding.

South Africa, who had defeated the West Indies in their previous match, opted to bat first. Smith and Gibbs made a controlled beginning, reserving their flamboyance for the latter part of their innings.

The 100-run partnership was brought up in the 21st over. Gibbs was the first to reach his half-century, scoring his 50 off 70 balls with seven boundaries.

Smith quickly followed suit, taking 62 balls for his fifty which included four hits to the fence.

Gibbs was the more attacking of the two punishing the Kenyan bowlers severely. After completing his century with a lucky boundary to the fine-leg, he launched an assault on Jimmy Kamande who replaced Joseph Angara as the only change in the Kenyan side that played against West Indies earlier.

Gibbs hit two sixes and a four off Kamande before the bowler got his revenge. While trying to run the ball to thirdman, Gibbs edged Kamande to wicketkeeper David Obuya.

Pollock confident

Shaun Pollock said his team was capable of beating both India and England. “If we look after our discipline, we can beat either side,” Pollock said, looking ahead to the semi-final.

He thought India would be more at home on the slow turners but it would not worry his side. “The surface will help spin and will suit a side like India, but it doesn’t matter,” he said.

Man of the Match Gibbs said he had to curb his attacking game early on because of the slow pitch and praised Smith.

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