Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The best South Africa can do

Well gone are the days when cricket fans used to pity the plight of the South Africans when they used to come so close to winning and all of a sudden lose the plot midway. That was the case in 1992, 1996 and the 1999 world cups but not thereafter. Since 2003 world cup onwards, South Africa have only been just another team and no extraordinary team. And in this world cup as well, they had no reasons to lose to England and in the match against India, it was India's loss and not the Proteas' win. Smith has only been a failure so far.

The South African captain has in most of the game games barring England and West Indies. But, in games against teams like Ireland, South Africa has everything to say. They did everything right in their game against Netherlands and the same can be expected against Bangladesh. They got a world record victory margin of 221 runs against Netherlands who are yet to taste a win in this world cup. Yesterday, their performance against Ireland was splendid only to add to their woes citing their plight against England and India. South Africa are yet to perform in this series though their place in the quarter-finals is rather guaranteed.

Coming to yesterday's game, the total of 272 on the board by South Africa was far below par when expectations reached a team total of 350+ or so. This should not mean that they would have been a better team had they been able to do so. Though bad luck has stopped haunting South Africa in world cups since the 2003 world cup, bad luck seems to have cast its eyes on the South African players when Jean Paul Duminy failed to get the three figure mark when he was caught by the fastest hundred scorer in world cups. Now, Kevin O'Brien was responsible in breaking a hundred.

It was nice to see every South African bowler returning with a wicket barring Alex Cusack who bowled just 2 overs and all ten Irish wickets were down. Why did South Africa lose 7 wickets en-route to their total of 272 batting first? Why only one batsman got a half century when the second best score happened to be the number 7 batsman-Colin Ingram who scored 46? Though Morne Morkel returned as the top bowler with three scalps, he was the most expensive bowler with 33 runs from 5.2 overs at a rate of 6.18 an over. And, no South African bowler bowled his full quota of 10 overs. Why?

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