South Africa vs West Indies review-ICC Champions Trophy

  It was a repeat of the 1998 Mini World Cup final, and in the end, Hurricane Gayle lashed the South Africans who were left scampering for cover.

Graeme Smith chose to take first guard which seemed to be a pretty good wicket to bat. The Proteas made two changes- Loots Bosman coming in for the out of form Boeta Dippenaar and Robin Peterson returning for Charl Langdevelt. Smith fell when he was starting to look good and that marked the entry of Jacques Kallis. Kallis and Bosman didn’t anything very significant to try and increase the rate. They didn’t run as hard as they probably should have and by the time both of them departed, the run rate wasn’t as good as it should have been. AB De Villiers and Herschelle Gibbs probably shared the best partnership in the South African innings. It went on at a fair clip, and South Africa progressed steadily. I felt that both the batsmen should have started accelerating a little earlier than they did. Anyway De Villier’s runout IMO was the turning point of the game. Had he stayed on with Gibbs, South Africa might have well touched something in the region of 280. And the bat was only a millisecond away from crossing the hallowed line. Technology came to the rescue of the Windies and De Villiers was run out. The batsmen who followed didn’t make much of an impact, barring Mark Boucher.   One can though forgive them , given the stage the match was in. The end result was that the Proteas attained a competitive score of 259/8, some 20 runs short of what they should have got.

I wouldn’t go too much into describing the West Indian innings, because once Hurricane Gayle hit Micky Arthurs’ side, there wasn’t much they could do. Every bowler, from Pollock to Peterson, was sent to the ropes, and no one was spared. Chanderpaul and Gayle added 154 runs before the Guyanese opener retired hurt. Ramnaresh Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo and Runako Morton fell cheaply, but Gayle stayed on till the end to guide the Calypsos to their third ICC Champions Trophy final. Gayle’s innings was as good as it can get, with textbook shots complemented by unorthodox ones. There were shots which reminded the bowlers how strong the lad was 🙂

Anyway, off to Mumbai for the final. It was here that the Windies beat the Aussies in their group A encounter. Can they repeat the same in the final and defend their trophy??

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