An epic result wins back the Proteas supporters
If you had looked at the World Cup fixture list before the tournament got under way you would probably have picked India to beat South Africa in their group stage match. India have been tipped as a front runner to win the World Cup and it was inevitable that the Proteas would lose one on their way to the quarter-finals.
And after 20 overs you would have been patting yourself on the back for your accurate assessment, as the Indian openers Sehwag and the legend of Sachin Tendulkar quite simply murdered the Proteas bowling attack. Sehwag scored 73 (66), Tendulkar 111 (101) and Gambhir 69 (75)… the writing was on the wall.
However when Tendulkar lost his wicket the Indian batting line-up collapsed under the pressure of Dale Steyn. Steyn wrapped up the Indians quickly taking 5 wickets from 16 balls. The Indians losing 9 wickets for 29 runs. 297 set to win, it was still going to be a massive run chase.
The Proteas kept us on the edge of our seats during the run chase, Amla was again an awesome contributor to the innings while Smith continued his poor run of form 16 (39). Kallis’ innings signalled a return of form not one game too late with this 69 (88) eventually run out.
AB de Villiers added haste to the inning with his more than a run-a-ball half-century. There was still plenty of runs to be scored and this time the middle to lower order delivered in style. Faf du Plessis partnered with Botha 23 (15) and Peterson 18* (7) to bring the team to victory. Needing 13 runs from the last over, Peterson hit 16 from the first four balls.
What a game of cricket, The Castle Larger Proteas Super Fans really got their full value, this game will go into the history books. What a privilege is must have been to have been there.
The elation from the dressing room was fantastic, a massive fight back from the criticism and negativity of the loss to England the week before. The Proteas fought with passion, even when they were getting smashed in the opening stanza of the match.
This is the Proteas we’re used to seeing, the boys with the never say die attitude, it was a pleasure to watch and oh how sweet it must have felt to have silenced the critics.