WC 2011: South Africa Defeat India By 3 Wickets




Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn

Ah! We again lose an almost won match. Guys, it was a superb actioner. As an Indian team fan I was ecstatic when Sehwag and Tendulkar belted boundaries in the first powerplay after India chose to bat. SA’s prolific bowling attack in Morkel, Steyn and Kallis had no answer to Sachin’s impeccable straight & cover drives and the occasional agile pull. And, Sehwag too was slashing & getting boundaries all over the park! They were enjoying out there in the field and we all spectators just loved it. It was such an awesome and legendary opening stand of 142 runs!

Smith was constantly changing his bowlers for a breakthrough. And, Du Plessis was successful in removing Sehwag on 73 when he tried to cut him and edged it onto the leg stump. Gambhir and Sachin carried on really well from there and did a commendable job to stabilize the innings. They parted for a 125 run stand to take India to a respectable 267 in 39.4 overs.

And, from this point in the game India went on a backfoot. Indian team looked very noobish and collapsed incredibly. The stage was set for India to create a least 350+ score. But, India hurried and displayed that they still don’t know how to use the batting powerplay. India was bowled out for a skimpy 296. This means that we lost 9 wickets making just 29 runs!!

Tendulkar went for a well-deserved 111. And, soon Gambhir, Pathan, Yuvraj and Kohli followed. Dhoni waited till the end of the innings to offer strikes to our great tailenders for facing the Indian demise – Steyn!

Steyn chipped in with his career best of 5 wickets for 50 runs. So, India yet again had a fiasco. And, obviously the Indian players had a sense of disbelief and dissatisfaction. Went on the Indians to bowl and found that SA were difficult to handle!

Bowling and fielding are our flaws. And, with the Indian score here in Nagpur being less than the average first inning D/N score of 316 we were sure shot endangered! Except for Zaheer dismissing Smith sixth time on ODI’s the proteas top-order were comfortable against the Indian bowlers.

But, suddenly Bhajji did the trick in the 40th and 42nd over by removing first Duminy and then AB de Villers. Soon M.Patel also chipped in with another wicket of van Wyk. India at this juncture looked darling of the game with the proteas needing 50 runs from 37 balls and only 4 wickets in hand.

However, Botha and du Plessis again fought back. The game got very close after Botha struck two fours and a six to bridge the gap between the no. of runs required and the remaining balls. And, a wicket was needed desperately by India. In the 48th over, Raina took a good catch off Patel to depart J.Botha who was substantially getting SA close to victory.

Zaheer bowled a stunning 49th over – Yorker length and a perfect line! Now, came the last over and 13 runs were needed to win by the proteas. Dhoni had to make a choice – Nehra or Bhajji or a part-timer!

Nehra was the call for the final over. Well, the first delivery was a bit unlucky for this guy – an under-edge went for a boundary. Game got even more closer. And, Nehra delivered the next bowl in the slot for Peterson – It’s a six.  Boom Boom… The match closed. SA won with 2 balls to spare.

Well, I know that we aren’t that good a bowling side. But, why do we always choke under pressure! And, this time the opposition was alleged and characteristic of clogging!! Why did we do their business? Come on guys…We need to grow up and play intelligent game – Learn how to use powerplays and perform to our potential.

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Chintan Zalani

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Hello! I am Chintan Zalani from Ujjain currently pursuing an integrated BE + Msc degree from BITS-Pilani Goa Campus. Currently I am searching for my career interest and discovering myself. I am a very ambitious and optimistic guy. I have always believed that I had the potential to confront and conquer the supreme be it any battlefield. My passion is winning and I give my best shot to whatever I choose to do. I love to play, watch and write about sports. I have been the captain of my team in intra-school competitions like Kho-Kho and Cricket. I also have won prizes in athletic events and speech competitions at school. TheSportsmirror gives me an inordinate podium to show my knack for writing. At the same time it will be also serving me by upgrading and developing my linguistic skills. Albeit, I am here to stay only for 3 months but I will put in best efforts to keep your readers engrossed! So, Folks gear up;)

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