The sparkling and sizzling South Africans hit a nasty blow to disgusted West Indians with a style that has become their hallmark. After getting a strange thrashing from Bangladesh, Proteans were the laughing stock of islands and elsewhere, but their formidable return in this match of super 8 against host nation has again placed them as a very serious contender for world cup after Australia. Grenada saw the un-mistaken exit of the West Indies from this world cup, though statistically speaking they have still got a very slim chance to stay.
Whenever a match is won by 67 runs, it shows the mettle and superiority of the winning team. South African massacre was so brutal and merciless that West Indian captain Brian Charles Lara didn’t even wait for the conclusion of world cup to announce his forthcoming retirement from the ODI’s. “We did not stand up to the pressure, It’s not much excuse, but South Africa played better than us.”, said by Lara sheepishly. He also added,” I honestly feel that my game is over and we should give it to one of the younger players. It’s really tough playing one-day internationals out there.”
The early dismissal of Graeme Smith gave the false hopes to West Indies, but the fireworks put-up by the rest of South African batsmen mopped-up every sort of ideas from the Windies minds. Mercurial AB de Villiers was charging up and down and the boundaries were themselves seem to be hapless in front of his fury. When your strike rate is 112.30 and you have hit 5 majestic sixes and 12 marvelous fours, there remains a little doubt about your iron-clad intentions. Collymore and the rest of bowling side didn’t believe when they got AB out. AB might have left the field, but his ghost remained in the form of Kallis, Gibbs and Boucher.
The legacy left by de Villiers was facilitated with a supreme touch by the following batters. The premier Kallis started the whole saga by picking three fours and a six off a single Dwayne Bravo over and cleared the clouds. From there, there was no turning back. Though dropped catches, missed throws, sloppy ground fielding also supported the African cause, the credit goes altogether to the intrepid batting display of SA players. After Kallis’s 81, and AB’s 146 it was all Boucher-Gibbs show. The added boon for them came, when Windies took third power play in 45th over. The thunderous pair of Gibbs and Boucher only dealt in boundaries and there was a fierce competition between the two as who hits most and hard. In just 30 balls, they got 70 runs. With 14 sixes and 24 fours, SA reached to 356 runs.
The shattered Windies team continueud to show their disenchantment and obscure body language. Chris Gayle seemed lost and after painful 54 minutes, he thanked his stars for getting 32 runs and left the field in hurry. Shivnarine Chanderpaul again failed royally when he fell pray to Pollock. Devon Smith started the battle again and hit some fine aggressive shots without giving much respect to any African bowler. After hitting 4 boundaries, which helped reach him 33, he tested injured De Villiars with a catch and de Villiars didnt let him down and took a brilliant front diving catch. Brian Lara’s distinguish career is extinguishing rapidly. His unconvincing 21 runs did little to uplift Windies cause. Ramnaresh Sarwan took the liberty, broke the shackles and with 1 sixer and 10 boundaries made 92 runs with the strike rate of 123. He fell short of his century and so was the West Indies, which fell short of victory by a considerable margin.
Daren Powell in the wee hours of the match tried to take some revenge and managed to vent some of his fury and anger. In his 48 runs-movie, 3 sixes were more prominent closely followed by some hurried fours. Pollock, Smith and Kallis all took couple of wickets each, while Ntini still seemed tad phased out.More on:darren, kallis, lara, match, pollock, powell, smith, South Africa, West Indies, World Cup 2007
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, April 13th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, World Cup.
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