World Cup
rediff cricket

Audio Commentary    Play Fantasy Cricket Squads Format Schedule Venues News Columns Interviews Specials


Prem -> Good day all -- Newlands yesterday was the venue for music and dancing, but now it is down to business, at last. West Indies versus South Africa, opening encounter of the World Cup, and the news is that the Windies openers are already out there.
Prem -> Sorry for the slightly delayed start -- what with doing audio previews and question answer sessions and stuff, I'm beginning to not know whether I am coming or going. Anyways, here we go, ball one of the WC 2003, good carry and bounce and lots of lateral movement, Gayle watches it through to the keeper, no run
Prem -> Sorry for the slightly delayed start -- what with doing audio previews and question answer sessions and stuff, I'm beginning to not know whether I am coming or going. Anyways, here we go, ball one of the WC 2003, good carry and bounce and lots of lateral movement, Gayle watches it through to the keeper, no run
Prem -> Pollock in for ball two, fuller in length and again, good bit of movement. The track seems hard, with some bounce in it and it is windy out there. The temperature is a max of 30, which is on the hot side. Polly for ball three, very full and beats Gayle, drawing him forward and passing his outer edge. Looks a touch nervous, Gayle, but why wouldn't he be?
Prem -> Since I started this thing almost as the first ball was being bowled, will get into previews and prognoscis and stuff like that as and when I have a break. For now, Hooper called right, and it is Gayle facing Pollock, this one on the stumps and Gayle defensive. Four balls bowled in the Cup so far, no run yet.
Prem -> The last ball of that over was again on the stumps, hit the batsman on the pad to draw the first appeal of the tournament -- negative, that was pitching outside leg. Pollock's first over is a maiden. The Windies card, meanwhile, has Lara, Chanderpaul, Hooper, Sarwan and Powell to follow with the bat.
Prem -> Ntini bowling the second over, ball one, and that is real wayward. 136k the speed, over the wicket to the left handed Hinds, Venkat the umpire and no wide called, though I would have thought that ball was a candidate given how far outside off it was. Ball two is identical, lands outside off on the angle and keeps going. No run thus far.
Prem -> Two slips, gully the close catchers for Ntini to Hindis, fuller ball this time and still no attempt to put bat to ball. 9 balls bowled so far, no run scored, Hinds facing Ntini.
Prem -> Two overs, still no runs on the board and Pollock to Gayle, that ball actually stopped a bit and popped up a bit. A bit of pad, bit of bat, if there was a short square that was out. For now, it is slips, two of them, and a gully, and Pollock in again to Gayle, 3rd over of the innings. Polly bowling at around the 79mph mark, angling the ball across, Gayle letting them go
Prem -> An interesting stat about this ground is that SA has won 14 of the 16 matches it has played here. But against that, the side batting first has a clear edge in day-night games, so Hooper gave his side a good start when he won the toss. Gayle still content to play defensive and get a sighter of the conditions and the bowling. Pollock, in again, keeping the pace down, concentrating on the direction, which for now is on length around off angling away.
Prem -> Finally, a firm shot, back down the pitch but mid off into the act, and that is still no run, five balls into Pollock's second over. This was the first real shot played thus far, a firm punch down the track to a ball that straightened
Prem -> And that is the third maiden on the trot -- ball on off, just a shade of cut off the seam, and finds Gayle's thick outer edge, out into the point region. 0/0 in three overs, Windies, batting first after winning the toss on a pitch where, I would think, 270 would be a winnning total
Prem -> Ntini into the fourth over, and correction, it is Gayle facing him, Hinds at the other end, and Ntini again angling across the left hander, left alone. Ball two though, same line, same direction, but this time too wide for even Venkat to ignore. The first run of theWC, and it is a wide, Windies 1/0
Prem -> And again. This is monotonous. a 132kmph delivery, slanting across the left hander, landing back of length, then darting away off the seam. driving at it is dangerous, it is a bit too short for the shot, and too much movement for the forcing shot square, which would put Rhodes at point in business
Prem -> And another wide. Till date, Ntini less than impressive -- it is all very well looking to keep things tight but at some point, he has to try using his pace to get the wicket, and for now the line he is bowling the batsman has to be daft to try and touch it
Prem -> That was close. Ntini, quicker ball this time and closer to the stumps, hits the deck, seams away, just around line of middle stump, goes past the bat, clips the pad, appeal for caught behind but good decision from Venkat, no touch on that. Next ball, wide again, and Windies 3/0 and all those runs have come as wides courtesy a somewhat undisciplined Ntini. 3/0 after four, windies
Prem -> So that is four overs of non-violence, surely somethin has got to give? Gayle facing Pollock, this ball is closer to the stumps, and Gayle drives, fluently. Looks quite relaxed Gayle, easily forward and driving, but finds the off side fielder too close to get the run.
Prem -> Pollock, on off and pitched further up this time, Gayle tries to force, finds the thick edge of the bat. Touch lucky there, the ball goes to ground and past the slips, single to third man. Next ball, fourth of the Pollock over, is a beauty -- it is also a no ball. Fuller, seaming late, squared Hinds up and beat the bat. Winides 4/0
Prem -> Pollock, full length, and Hinds forward, defending. Pollock is bowling superbly, here, nice variations in length and line, lots of movement, no alarming bounce as yet but the line, length and direction spot on. He is bowling around the 130k mark now, having picked up in pace a little bit after his first over but still not looking to go flat out.
Prem -> Last ball of the 5th, again on off, and that is the wicket. Hinds pushing at the ball, there was a bit of deviation, Boucher takes it low, appeal for the caugght behind and Venkat gives it. Bat hit pad, but on the replay, not sure ball hit bat. 4/1 Windies, and a bit unlucky at that.
Prem -> So the first wicket of the game is also the first umpring error of the match. Just saw three replays and I am not convinced bat and ball were kissing cousins.
Prem -> Well, Lara is Lara -- drew back, cut, hard and in the air, and the ball lands just a shade short of Kirsten at deep backward square. That was off Ntini, and Windies 5/1
Prem -> Oh geez. Ntini on fire there, that ball was fast, hit the line of leg, then moved, Lara squared up, thick edge, Kallis dived a mile at second slip, got his hand to it, would have been a blinder if that had stuck, but as it happens, the chance is missed and Lara gets a single to third man, Kallis gets a pat on his back from his mates for the try.
Prem -> Ntini this time very full, Gayle looks to flick and misses, hit on the pad but no appeal, end of the 6th over and Windies 6/1.
Prem -> Brian Lara - with an MRF bat, mind you -- nicely into line, Pollock's first ball, on leg and middle and climbing. He still bats with the flourish, feet seem to be moving just fine, no real sign of rust and till date, he is looking positive. 6/1, into the 7th over, ball three from Pollock on middle and Lara tucks it away to mid on, gets the run, nice touch on the shot, 7/1 Windies
Prem -> I wonder how much the studied batting of the first five overs had to do with that dismissal -- this was the first time Gayle actually went for a shot with a big, flourishing back lift.
Prem -> Chanderpaul to the crease and as always, he has this exaggerated walk across his crease, beaten first ball and darn near caught behind. Not quite sure what to make of his footwork. He takes a step back, then a huge step sideways across his stumps, and ends up somewhere outside the off stump with leg, and sometimes even middle, showing. 7/2 after 7, and that is as bad as starts can get
Prem -> Ntini to Lara, full, on middle, a turn of the wrist and he gets it behind square leg for a single. 8/2 the score, and Chanderpaul taking guard to Ntini for the first time.
Prem -> Cpaul on strike, again that exaggerated footwork, and Ntini's ball following him with the movmeent, ball hits bat as opposed to the other way around, single to third man. Next ball, and it is Lara's turn to work it, a more controlled shot that Chanderpaul's, down to third man past the slips for another single. 10/2 windies, and Chanderpaul -- oh gosh, this is ghastly -- he walked so far across, I could see both leg and middle, he is walking so much his head is not still when addressing the ball, which means he is pushing at it blind, lucky here not to touch, beaten as the Ntini delivery, around 138k, goes past the edge
Prem -> ntini to cpaul, for the last time in the 8th over, and again, cpaul beaten by a ball anngling across, mainly becauzse he was still walking as he pushed at it. 10/2 the score, windies, in 8 overs and it is Pollock to continue
Prem -> the run rate is 1.22 at this point, lara facing pollock, good delivery on off seaming late, and lara well behind it, plays it down in front of him. batting 4/8 lara, in a total of 10/2 and into the 9th over here
Prem -> pollock, fullish on off, driven by lara down the track and fielded at mid off, no run. pollock, and that was a cracker -- he held the pace back, that was 127k, drew lara forward, and beat him with movement as late as you want to see it. lara off balance, bat a long way in front of him. this really is a fine exhhibition from the protean skipper.
Prem -> single now to lara as pollock bowls on middle and lara tucks it behind square on the leg, 11/2 windies and one ball left in the over, cpaul on strike
Prem -> single now to lara as pollock bowls on middle and lara tucks it behind square on the leg, 11/2 windies and one ball left in the over, cpaul on strike. outside off, left alone, ends the over. given how cpaul is walking around, watch out for the lbw -- the first time a bowler pitches on line of stumps, if he doesnt get a touch, he is gone, bye bye
Prem -> ntini in again, lara on strike, wide of off this first ball of the 10th over and lara lets it go
Prem -> 11/2 windies, lara batting out of his crease by about half a foot, this ball slanted across the left hander, lara went across, got a good look, lifted his bat out of line. He seems to be seeing the ball well, Lara, these last two overs, will want to take time to settle and bat his way to a big one if the windies are to have a prayer
Prem -> outside off again, ntini, on the angle across the left hander, lara forward, then electing to let it go. rather surprising that the windies are not looking to break up this sequence of left handers -- four of them in the first four slots, allowing the proteas bowlers to settle into line and length without having to change. ntini, four balls, n run. ball five, that was well played. on off, lara softens his hold on the bat, plays it down at his feet, good call that and cpaul responded superbly. 12/2 windies.
Prem -> ntini to cpaul, full toss, played tentatively to cover, finds the fielder, no run, that was a wasted opportunity, end of 12 overs and windies 12/2.
Prem -> correction, end of 10 overs, 12/2. pollock in for the 11th, ball one on middle and lara at once tucks it behind square, the third time he has done that, gets the single, windies 13/2
Prem -> cpaul on strike, second ball of the 11th, on off and off the thick outside edge, to point, jonty fielding. was to his left, quick ground coverage there to make sure no single was taken. ball three, on middle and off, cpaul pushes it oiut on the on, they get the single and lara back on strike, windies 14/2
Prem -> polly, 2/6, and that was a close one. On middle and off, straightened a bit, Lara covered up and lifted the bat out of the way, got it on the pad, huge appeal, a very close one that, I think the umpire gave the decision for the batsman only for height, since the ball was certainly on line of off. next ball, on off and that is driven, clean shot, hit with the lara panache, long chase for the fielder and that is three to the batsman. 17/2
Prem -> End of 11 overs, and Windies 17/2 with Lara beginning to look a lot more settled out there. This will prolly have been polly's last over of the first spell, since SA traditionally changes bowlers after six overs apiece. Ntini, into the 12th, and a beauty tto square lara up, on off, finds the thick edge out to the coverpoint region, gibbs, no run.
Prem -> ball two, on off, lifting a bit and lara drives on the up but cant get it past cover. the proteas have their fielders well inside the 30 yard circle, not on top of it as most teams do -- which means, no real leeway for the abtsman to push and run. lara batting 10, chanderpaul 2, windies 17/2 in the 12th over. ntini, to lara, on leg, badly directed, flicked around and he gets two to backward square leg. 19/2
Prem -> ntini to lara, who moves into line on off, and pushes back down the track. ntini is rated capable of speeds in excess of 145, but 135-136 is all he has done this innings, thus far
Prem -> 12 overs gone, 19/2 and allan donald, predictably, takes over from shaun pollock. this is his final world cup, lots of emotionalism involved here, and ball one is around the 131k mark, cpaul leaves it alone.
Prem -> donald, fullish in length, to cpaul. the way donald is bowling, it seems like he's figured full length on thes tumps is the best bet for someone who goes walkabout the way cpaul does. but that fourth ball is a bad one, too full, and cpaul finally onto the front foot nicely, pushes firmly down the track, four. the first boundary of the windies innings. donald was looking there for the bowled or lbw, but got it too full. bowling now around the 135k mark, which is as fast as ntini has been bowling. 23/2 windies, 13th over in progress
Prem -> last ball of the over, that one stopped just a bit, cpaul forward pushing, got it a bit high on the bat, pushed it back down the track for donald to field, no run, ends the over with windies 23/2 at the end of 13 overs.
Prem -> kallis now to bowl taking over from ntini. this is the rpedictable bit about the proteas, you know exactly when bowling changes will be effected. 14th over, polly and ntini have gone 6 apiece, so the next lot, donald and kallis, in. kallis to lara, on off, a bit short in length, forced out on the off but finds cover, no run. 23/2
Prem -> kallis, two slips in place, for lara. on off, again back of length at around the 127k mark, lara onto the back foot then forces it out on the off to mid off, no run.
Prem -> kallis to lara, 14th over on middle stump, tucked away to leg but this time, finds square leg, no run. 164 wickets thus far, kallis in odis, in again to lara. that one, the batsman flicks to leg, misses, gets it on the pad, big appeal, but i'd think that landed outside leg.
Prem -> right, on the replay, clear as a bell, that was about 6 inches outside leg, no run, and a maiden for kallis to start with, windies 23/2 in 14 overs and not exactly on velvet. it's a bad start, which is stating the obvious, but it is not over yet -- batting conditions seem to be improving, the bounce is none too alarming, the ball will get softer so if these two can steady things down, they ahve time to push the scoring rate back up. donald, to cpaul, on off first ball and played out onto the off side, no run. ditto, for ball two. 23/2
Prem -> 1.6 the current run rate, donald seems to be picking up his pace a little, but that was short, outside off, gave cpaul too much room, a controlled cut gets the ball past rhodes at point, ntini has to run around from third man, two for the shot and windies 25/2
Prem -> SHOT! That was short, from Donald, Cpaul had all the time to get into positon, a perfectlyt played pull in front of midwicket, four. 29/2 and cpaul now onto 12 off 21 balls with both the fours the windies innings so far.
Prem -> 23 off 48 the partnership thus far, six in the over so far and a wide as donald tries to get the ball across the batsman but errs on the side of bowling from too wide of the crease. 30/2 windies.
Prem -> donald steadyying himself towards the end of that over, cutting the pace down a bit, length is good and on line of middle, cpaul defends, and windies now 30/2 after 15.
Prem -> The run rate 2 per over as kallis continues, 16th over, to lara. fullish length, on the line of off and lara nicely in control of a defensive push. batting conditions are definitely improving, and the first signal of that is that rhodes has been pushed a bit further back at point. lara leans back to the second ball, forces square, finds rhodes, no run.
Prem -> kallis, very full this time, at around 130k, lara shapes for an expansive drive but all he can do is hit it off the bottom of the bat, back down the deck to the bowler. 30/2 still, and kallis again -- this time, lara goes back, tries toc ut and strangely, loses his hold on the bat, plays the shot one handed, into the ground. no run yet in this over, four balls gone
Prem -> fuller length from kallis, ball five and lara forward, driving on the on, but again, not fully in control, finds mid on. 30/2.
Prem -> last ball of the 16th, fullish on off, and lara pushes, finds point, no run. 30/2 and kallis ends a maiden, 16 overs gone
Prem -> which should signal drinks. it sure as heck signals a quick break for me, be right back.
Prem -> which should signal drinks. it sure as heck signals a quick break for me, be right back.
Prem -> right, back again and picking up play in the 17th over, donald the bowler and the score 34/2 with cpaul the batsman. bad ball, down line of leg, and played out behind square, two more to the batsman who had a four earlier in theover. donald looks furious with himself, his rhythm is not quite there today, or at least, not yet. ball five, angled across and cpaul covers up and lets it go. looking a lot more comfortable now, cpaul, at the crease. 36/2 windies
Prem -> last ball of the 17th, on line of off, cpaul forward, pushes, finds mid on, no run, 36/2 windies in 17.
Prem -> last ball of the 17th, on line of off, cpaul forward, pushes, finds mid on, no run, 36/2 windies in 17.
Prem -> actually, i think i anticipated drinks an over before it was actually taken -- it is drinks now, and the first period of play definitely belonged to SA. 2 wickets, one of them a somewhat doubtful caught behind, just 36 runs on the board, and an uphill battle ahead of the windies. on the plus side, both lara and cpaul looking more relaxed, these last two, three overs, batting conditions improving, the earlier movement off the seam not evident any more, so the second period of play should typpically see an attempt to up the scoring rate. cpaul 18 off 29, lara 12 off 37, 36/2 the score.
Prem -> kallis to continue after the break, lara to face, the 18th over coming up. on off, not much movement, lara pats it out on the off. no real room for lara to stroke the ball there, kallis focussing on keeping it fullish and on the stumps to lara. in again, ball two a bit short, lara goes for an expansive pull on the on side, under edges, no run.
Prem -> ow!! that was wide, deserved treatment, Lara threw the kitchen sink at itt but like cpaul with that full toss earlier, got a bit too eager, overhit the ball, and found rhodes at point, no run off what was a gimme ball. next one, outside off and guided down behind point, wide third man tidies up, single to lara and windies 37/2, the parntership now worth 30 off 67
Prem -> the interesting aspect here is donald, 3-0-17-0 against kallis 3-2-1. lara facing him now and it will be interesting to see if they decide to take on donald, who is not looking on song here
Prem -> oh yes, there it is. lara onto thef ront foot, backing himself and lifting donald, on length, high and back down teh track for a six. perfectly hit, lovely follow through and windies 43/2 with that shot.
Prem -> donald outside off, lara guides wide of point, rhodes dives, gets his hand to it but even he can't stop the single there, windies 44/2. next ball, short, cpaul tries to pull but mistikes this one. donald looks way short of practise and rhythm -- and a far cry from the bowler who set the last three world cups alight. 44/2 at the end of 19 overs
Prem -> kallis to continue. lara facing, moves across the crease to ball one of the 20th, strokes it out into the covers, the field is still up, no run there. 44/2 the score, ball two from kallis and pushed this time, from just outside off, to point. which spells rhodes
Prem -> shot. that was a touch short, lara rocks back and square drives, again perfect execution, four, even rhodes cant cut that off though it was about five feet to the right of him. that one rockets to the fence, windies 48/2
Prem -> lara 24, next ball fullish, some in-cut, lara pushes, that one took the inner edge and went out on the leg side but the understanding here is good, cpaul saw the single, called and was off in a flash. 49/2. next ball, angled across, an airy drive from cpaul, lucky not to touch. 49/2 still.
Prem -> 20 overs gone, windies 49/3 and just 30 overs left to turn this around, and make the 250-260 they need to take the fight into the second innings.
Prem -> some surgery to the ball, grass appears to have gotten stuck between the seam. all clear now, and donald in, 21st over, lara on strike and a loose drive to a full length ball at around 119k, the slower ball beating the shot, thick edge takes it out to mid on, no run
Prem -> ball two, donald to lara, full, and lara blocks, opening the bat face, runs it down tot hird man, ntini very fast there, runs around, keeps it to one and that is 50 to the windies for the loss of two, lara 26, cpaul batting 18, run rate 2.46
Prem -> donald, shortening his run up now, in to cpaul, on off, 132k the speed, and cpaul pushes back down the track, partnership 43 off 84 at this point.
Prem -> ooops, the net swallowed up one post, will pick it up again with kallis for the 22nd over, to lara, windies 52/2. ball three, on off, lara opening the bat face - something he can do with ease now because the movement of the ball is not as pronounced, runs it behind point, single, windies 53/2.
Prem -> cpaul stroking the next ball easily out into deep cover, gets the single, windies 54/2, this partnership now worth 47 and both batsmen looking settled. after the initial overs, the ball doing nothying at all now, and lara shows how easy batting is, ball on off, deft touch puts the ball down to third man, single, 55/2
Prem -> four singles off the first four balls, and kallis, for the sixth, to cpaul, driven square, nicely controlled shot but a brilliant diving save by rhodes ends the over, no run off that ball. 56/2 at the end of 22.
Prem -> donald has gone 26 off his 5, kallis 10 off five, pollock was 6-23-9-2 and ntini 6-1-10-0. and there is the change in bowling, donald off after an unimpressive first spell and lance klusener, who over the years has become a fastish off spinner mroe than a seam bowler, in to the attack. 23rd over, lara facing, that ball stops on him, lara checks his shot, works it out on the on, gets the single.
Prem -> cpaul, and with that exaggerated flourish of his, that third ball is played out on the on side, single to cpaul takes him to 22. lara back on strike, plays the next ball, fourth of the over, with soft hands out on the on and milks the single. some intelligent cricket here from these two, 58/2 the score
Prem -> klusener is pretty much looking to vary his pace, keeping the ball on line of the stumps and bowling a three quarter length, settling into a containing rrole here. end of the over, 58/2 windies.
Prem -> 24TH OVER, kALLIS, and that is a shot!!! fullish, lara well forward and a full flourish into that off drive, the ball left everyone standing, wide of mid off. 62/2 the score, and kallis has something to say to lara.
Prem -> kallis, fullish this time, at around the 130k mark, and lara chops it down, finds backward point. four on the off inside the circle and kallis now focussing on keeping lara quiet with his line close to off and full length.
Prem -> 34, lara, and again, rocking abck and smashing one suare, great shot, and an even greater example of fielding by rhodes on the dive. no run, where we thought that was four., 62/2. lara facing, 34, cpaul 22, lara onto the back foot this time and forces it past cover, good work by boje in the deep keeps it to one, 63/2 and lara 35, ends the over.
Prem -> 2.63 the run rate now, and klusener resumes, to lara who of late has been looking to break out, certainly very comfortable out there now. 63/2 and lara has a windup and a huge hit, cant beat mid off, pollock, a great diving stop there but a single anyway to the abtssman. mid on and mid off now going back for lara, to block his huge drives. 64/2 and cpaul works the next ball off his pads, out on the on, single. 65/2.
Prem -> klusener, and lara plays a one handed cut. this is turning out to be typical brian charles -- flamboyance even when he is beingg beaten. on this occasion, gets the one to third man, 18 singles in his innings, windies 66/2 and cpaul's turn to cut, the next ball, out to backward point, for another single. that is the good bit the windies are doing through thee middle overs, actively working the ball away for singles.
Prem -> 67/2 at the end of the 25th over. a good question now is when/if nicky boje will be brought in. lara 37 off 67, and increasingly gaining in assurance.
Prem -> boje it is. they needed to do this, to save kallis for later, so the fifth bowling combination of klusener and boje now operating. 67/2 windies, and cpaul drives the second ball, out to long off, single brings lara on strike, windies 68/2 in the 26th over
Prem -> gorgeous! Lara rocks back, then waits, very very late, to cut behind point and gets the four. amazing control on the shot, takes him to 41 and windies 72/2. boje now goes round the wicket, lara goes forward, defends. 72/2.
Prem -> and again!!! lara this time down the track, a flicked-drive wide of mid on, beats the field, that is brilliant execution of a difficult shot, beat the field for four more and boje gone for 9 in the over, 76/2 at the end of 26.
Prem -> klusener continues. 27th over, and cpaul cuts with a flourish -- but without much control of what the bat was doing, misses the ball altogether, fooled by change of pace. that underlines the class of lara, he decides on the shot early, but can then wait to execute it. cpaul meanwhile drives, out into the covers, gets the single and gives it back to lara
Prem -> lara hitting that ball with a flourish, but can't control it too well. klusener doing well here, he is constantly varying his pace, not letting the batsman get a feel for him, forcing mishits. cpaul settles for opening the bat face and running the fifth ball down to third man, single, third single in the over and windies 79/2. 27th over, last ball, klusener to lara batting 46 and driving, square, but straight to point, no run. 79/2 in 27 windies.
Prem -> 2.93 the run rate, inching up to the three mark, boje to cpaul for the 28th over. cpaul pushes and finds mid off, standing inside the circle, no run.
Prem -> cpaul batting 27, and a bit of a problem now with the sight screen as boje goes round the wicket. hold up in play while that is being fixed. play resumes, cpaul cuts, great work by kirsten now at point stops the single. ball three, cpaul on his knee, controlled sweep from line of middle gets him the single, 80/2 in 27.3 winddies
Prem -> boje to lara, attempted glide to a ball on middle and leg, no touch, off the thigh pad down to third man, two more, 84/2 windies in 27.5. appeal for lbw on that ball, but a bit iffy, that was doing too much. next ball,s ame line, turning from middle to outside leg -- and do note, the ball really is turning -- and wide called. 85/2.
Prem -> and a single, to a cchecked drive out on the off, ends the over. 86/2 windies, 28 overs gone, lara batting 47 off 77 and cpaul 28 off 55, run rate now 3.07 per over and klusener to lara, and that is again a top shot, brings up his fifty, the first of the world cup. that was a dream shot - driving, effortlessly through covers, four to a ball that was quite good really. 51 now to lara, and to the next ball, outside off, a late cut, to third man, ges him one, 91/2.
Prem -> 92/2, with cpaul doing the right thing, giving it back to lara. klusener, and lara down the track, the bowler spots it, drops it short and lara defennds.
Prem -> tell you what, if there was any rust sticking to lara after his long layoff since last september, it is all gone now. tries to pull the next ball, but that was the slower one, mishits, very lucky not to drag it onto his stumps. no run.
Prem -> lara tucks the last ball of the over down behind square, gets the single, keeps strike, windies 93/2 now at the end of 29
Prem -> boje, and there goes lara again. down the track, up, and over wide long on, one bounce over the ropes, four more, 97/2 and lara now is travelling, and travelling in style. ball two, leans back and cuts off the stumps out to deep cover, single, 98/2 windies
Prem -> boje to cpaul who has decided his job is to take singles and let lara earn his keep. that one is driven out to long off, single, 99/2 and the partnership 92 now, lara down the track, drives, on the rise and up into the on side, gets two to wide long on, 101/2 windies, in the 30th over and the run rate now rising quickly, 3.4.
Prem -> boje to lara, last ball of the 30th, and lara sweeps, controls it perfectly, four. looks so effortless, but that ball was actually picked up from line of off and swept very fine, to fine leg. 105/2 at the end of 30 windies.
Prem -> klusener to cpaul, and a brace to the drive into covers gets the 100 of the partnership up, lara 64, cpaul 32. next ball, cpaul leans back, late cuts, nicely timed shot, two behind point, windies 109/2. 102 off 142 balls this partnership, and that is the wicket. klusener [put some effort into that full length ball, cpaul was looking to guide it, then saw it kick, tried to pull the bat out of the way, got the faint edge to boucher standing up. that was a tough one to hold, and that is the third wicket, cpaul gone 34 off 60 and windies 109/3 now.
Prem -> cpaul and lara weathered that burst at the start by the proteas quicks, and were just beginning to step up a gear when the wicket fell. on the plus side for the batting side, that breaks the sequence of left handers, puts a left right combination in business, and with lara now motoring smoothly, the game is set up nicely at this point. 109/3 and hooper the new batsman, on strike to klusener.
Prem -> 64 off 87 lara, hooper facing klusener, and a deft touch to a ball outside off gets him the single, 30.5 overs gone, 110/3 the score.
Prem -> 31 klusener, and lara forces off the back foot to the last ball, but can't beat rhodes, no run, ends klusener's successful over.
Prem -> 110/3 windies, 31 gone, and donald brought back for boje. on off first up, fullish ball, and hooper gently taps it out on the on, quick single -- good calling and running there, no hesitation and hooper well home before mid on, placed up, could run across and field and shy at the wicket. 111/3. donald, now to lara. ball two, and lara with soft hands plays to cover, gets the run. 112/3.
Prem -> donald now 28 off 5.2 overs, lara batting 65 and looking ominous. donald, to hooper, down leg, that is bad control, very innocuous ball, and hooper helps it along behind square, single. 113/3.
Prem -> donald to lara. batting 65, and driving at donald, out to mid off, but not really in control there, no run. donald looks very unimpressive, more so even in this second spell than he did in his first, which is really saying wsomething. bad ball, short, outside off, lara controls the square drive, hits it hard enough to force rhodes to fumble. single taken. 114/3. four singles in five balls, and hooper pushes the last ball out on the on, fumble now by boje at mid on and both batsmen are off in a flash, taking the single, 115/3 to end the over, 32 gone, 18 left for the windies to put a competitive total on the board.
Prem -> klusener bowling intelligently here, varying his pace, occasionally using his shoulder to make the ball kick, not trying for pace at all. surprised hooper with his first ball, with a bit of bounce. hooper waits on ball two, then plays it off the hips out on the on, single puts lara back on the plate. batting 66, windies 116/3 and lara pushes ball three to point, no run.
Prem -> hooper hasn't really done well in World Cups, just 167 runs with one 50 in 15 games so far. klusener, meanwhile, to lara, strroked out nicely square on the on to the line of middle and leg, single, lara 67 and windies 117/3. sa probably has memories of the karachi encounter with windies, which saw a brilliant 111 from lara
Prem -> delicate touch there from carl hooper, to a ball just outside off, played it late and donald does superbly to field on the run at third man, keeps it to two. last ball of the 33rd, hooper plays square on the on to the line of middle, gets the single to end the over. hooper's looking good here, not looking to hit the ball, just easing it around and, thus far, playing a very busy innings. 120/3 in 33 and donald begins the 34th with a short ball that kicks from short of length and surprises hooper, who clearly wasn't looking for that kind of thing from this softer ball.
Prem -> donald, to hooper, fullish on off and played to mid off, no run. 34th over in progress, donald's third ball is the slower one, hooper spots it, checks his push, no run.
Prem -> donald, to hooper, bad ball, straying down leg and hooper on drives, very fluent touch on the shot, two more, 121/3 in 33.4 overs.
Prem -> donald, this ball around 128k, lara came down the track but the ball dropped short, forcing the batsman to defend. no run. 34th over, last ball, and lara plays square to backward point, no run, 121/3 at the end of 34 overs.
Prem -> and this time, i got it right, it really is drinks so be right back
Prem -> here we go with post drinks play, 34 overs gone, lara batting 67 off 95, hooper 9 off 13 and windies 121/3 as pollock decides to bring himself back on. nice touch from hooper, to a ball seaming in from line of off, plays it gently on the on and great understanding between these two, makes the single look easy.
Prem -> pollock now to lara. on middle, clipped off his pads, out on the on side and again, great running, putting pressure on the fielder backward of square, gets lara the second. 124/3.
Prem -> pollock to lara, standing a bit out of his crease here. slower ball, at 121.4, lara into his drive too early, that one went past the bat, lara lucky not to get the touch. good ball that to a man in form and riding a confidence high. polly again, on middle, lara plays out on the on, no run, he looks a bit upset with himself for not having hit that better.
Prem -> pollock, to lra, batting 69. short on leg, and lara tries to push off his hips, ball lands at his feet, they set off for the single, pollock very quick down the length of the pitch,f ields, turns, shhies, misses the stumsp by a fraction, had he hit, lara was gone. as it is, he gets the single, 125/3 the score and hooper to the next ball, full on off, flicks nicely, good work with the wrists there, single to wide mid on, ends the over, 126/3 windies.
Prem -> 35 overs gone, 15 to go, 126/3, 3.60 the run rate, it's been inching up all along and now another bowling change, with ntini coming on opposite his captain. outside off, quick ball, around 136, hooper tries to glide to third man, lucky not to touch.
Prem -> ntini again, to hooper, who looks quite relaxed out there, gets it on off, short ball, pats it down and lara is off even as he plays the shot, quick single there, and lara gets strike, 127/3, these two running very well here.
Prem -> ntini to lara, and a flick off the pads to a full length, quick ball on middle, out to deep square leg, two for the shot and windies 129/3. lara on to 71 and looking good, now, to post the first century of the 2003 world cup. hooper batting 12, ntini to lara who leans back, cuts, that was travelling, hard work there for the fielder in the deep, kallis, two more for the batsman. 73 to lara. 131/3 windies.
Prem -> SHOT!!! fullish on off and lara into the most fluid straight drive you want to se. unlike tendulkar, who pushes that shot, lara's bat rose to above shoulder, came down with incredible bat speed, and a huge flourish on the follow through. four all the way, 9 runs off ntini so far, one more ball to go, 135/3 windies.
Prem -> some conferencing among the proteas now, they seem to be worrying about the batsman who has the most runs against them in world cups. lara has pipped them before, looks to be doing it again here.
Prem -> 135/3. the ball had to be retrieved from the tarpaulins behind tthe boundary, lara meanwhile batting 77 with 61 dot balls out of 102, and 26 singles. short ball, genuine bouncer and lara sways out of line. end of 36 overs, 135/3 windies.
Prem -> the last five overs have produced 25 runs, we are into the 36th over here, with pollock bowling his 8th. an interesting aspect here is that pollock and ntini are havin to use up their overs here, which is going to put more pressure on the proteas at the death. outside off, ball two of the 37th, and hooper onto the front foot, opens his bat face, waits for the ball and glides it fine past the keeper, four, 139/3 windies. pollock in again, fullish on off, played gently out on the on, quick single taken, run rate now 3.84 and windies 140/3.
Prem -> lara 77, hooper 17, windies 140/3 and pollock, in his 8th over, to lara. who gets a quick one on off and plays it down in front of him, no run possible, polly very quick down the track there.
Prem -> pollock to lara, fullish, middle and leg and lara clips off his pads, donald has to run around to backward square to retrieve, the batsmen run two. 142/3 and lara 79.
Prem -> pollock, on leg, lara plays it gently out on the on, wants the single but the fielder there very quickly in, no chance of the single, ends the 37th over. 142/3
Prem -> ntini, bowling his 8th over, to hooper who guides it to point, rhodes slips a bit while fielding but is in control of the ball, no run taken.
Prem -> hooper this time goes across his stumps, takes a ball from outside off, a bit on the short side, and plays it on the on for the single. hooper intent on ltting lara get the bulk of the strike, 143/3 now the score, lara on strike on 79 to ntini and to a short ball, pulls, but doesnt time it well, finds pollock at midwicket, no run.
Prem -> 143/3 windies, lara on strike to ntini, short ball again and this time, a more controlled pull, couldn't really get powr onto the shot since the ball was outside off and climbing, but rolls his wrists on it, keeps it down, single to deep midwicket, moves lara to 80 and windies to 144/3.
Prem -> 38th over, ntini to hooper, gently played out on the on, challenging donald at mid on, and donald looking off color, misfields, they make the run easy, 145/3 the score and one ball left in the 38th. ntini, and lara rocks back and sequare drives, finds kallis sweeping in the covers, single, 146/3 in 38 overs windies.
Prem -> 3.84 the run rate, 12 overs left in the innings, windies 146/3 and klusener takes the ball back from pollock. 6-0-27-1 before this over, and off the first abll, slower ball tried, short outside off, lara rocks back, waits, then slams the cut with perfect timing and placement. very hrd to do this to the slower ball from klusener, but lara is perect, and it is four. next ball, fuller, faster, so lara onto the front foot, flicks, picks it off his pads and six over wide midwicket, brilliant shot. that is 10 off two balls and the proteas in trouble here. 91 to lara.
Prem -> klusener, and this time, a windup and heave out onto the on side, kallis has to tidy up from his sweeper position, two more. partnership now 49 from 48 balls, 158/3 windies, lara 93 and hooper has a word with him. 112 balls, 9 fours, two sixes so far, run rate for the first time, up above the four mark. lara this time, cuts late, to third man, single, 160/3 and the partnership now 51 off 49, lara 94 off 113, hooper 19 off 23 and now on strike. 39 in the last 4.3 overs.
Prem -> klusener, and this time, a windup and heave out onto the on side, kallis has to tidy up from his sweeper position, two more. partnership now 49 from 48 balls, 158/3 windies, lara 93 and hooper has a word with him. 112 balls, 9 fours, two sixes so far, run rate for the first time, up above the four mark. lara this time, cuts late, to third man, single, 160/3 and the partnership now 51 off 49, lara 94 off 113, hooper 19 off 23 and now on strike. 39 in the last 4.3 overs.
Prem -> klusener to hooper, a checked cover drive gets the windies skipper another single, and achieves the object of givinv the strike back to lara. klusener, fullish, and a perfect straight drive. checked shot, too good though since it hits the middle stump at the other end, no run. 161/3.
Prem -> klsuener, last ball of the over, and lara checks a push, thick inner edge onto pad, no run, 39 gone, 161/3 windies. 11 overs to go. sarwan, and ricardo powell, still to come.
Prem -> at six an over from here, windies will make 227. which can challenge the proteas, but they need at least 30 more to really make the home side sweat. kallis resumes the attack, to hooper who opens the bat face, runs it backward of point, single, puts lara back in business. 40th over in progress now, 162/3 and lara, on 94, asking for something from the trainer -- i'd think that he has something wrong with his right hand, shaking it a bit, but he seems okay now and getting ready to resume
Prem -> hooper batting 21, lara batting 94, windies 162/3, 40th over in progress. kallis, to lara, an effort ball on leg stump, lara plays it out on the on side and gets the one, moves to 95 or does he? that looked like a leg bye. one to the windies anyways, 163/3.
Prem -> that was a run to the batsman, lara 94, and hooper now onto the front foot, takes kallis off line of off and middle and works it behind square leg, gets the single, moves to 22 and windies 164/3.
Prem -> kallis bent his back there, banged one in, at around 122k, made it stand up off just short and lara sways away, then rehearses the pull he meant to play. no run. good work that from kallis, to get this soft ball to kick that way took a lot of effort. change of pace next ball, 113k and short of good length, lara onto the front foot but forced to defend. no run
Prem -> kallis again, fullish and lara slams that off the back foot, the back cut he has been hitting perfectly all day. there was rhodes at point, there was a fielder at backward point, and lara split the difference and still found the four with a shot that seemed effortless, a masterpiece of timing and execution. 98 to him, and windies after 40 overs, 168/3
Prem -> kallis again, fullish and lara slams that off the back foot, the back cut he has been hitting perfectly all day. there was rhodes at point, there was a fielder at backward point, and lara split the difference and still found the four with a shot that seemed effortless, a masterpiece of timing and execution. 98 to him, and windies after 40 overs, 168/3
Prem -> donald coming back into the attack, a slower ball first up, hooper down tthe track looking to club it away, beaten. donald again and this time, hooper waits, and plays the perfect cut, through point, four. 63 off 60 the partnership now, and the windies are really motoring. 172/3 windies, and onw donald short, on middle, hooper swivels into a pull and that is four to fine leg, donald getting treatment here and looking lost. 176/3 windies, hooper 40 and now rocking back, then gliding one to backward point off the line of off, single, 9 already in the over and two balls to come yet. 177/3.
Prem -> lara facing donald, batting 98, slower ball on lg, tucked down to fine leg, gets one, 99 to him, 178/3 windies, 41st over in progress.
Prem -> donald, last ball of the 41st, to hooper, slower ball on off and hooper spots it, eases it behind square, another single. 179/3 at the end of 41
Prem -> 70 off 65 the partnership, kallis to hooper and this time, the batsman giving himself room, chips a drive wide of long off, sort of like a golf wedge shot, ntini retrieves on the line but the batsmen get three. 182/3 wndies and lara, to the next ball, a rising delivery on off, lara sways back, rides the bouce, bats it down to thrid man, single and a standing ovation out there for a brilliant innings. 183/3 and lara 100, hs second world cup hundred and both against south africa. 121 balls, 10 fours, two singles.
Prem -> kallis to hooper and a fluent flicked drive off his pads, hooper atually is batting so smoothly that if not for lara's presence, all eyes would be on him. effortless batting, this, three more for that shot, 186/3 in the 42nd over and kallis to lara, who flicks off his pads, to the line of middle, end of 42 overs, 187/3 windies.
Prem -> 38 off 35 hooper. but it is lara on strike and picking the first ball of donald's next overr and clubbing it wide of midwicket, two moe. 80 off 71 the partnership, and the two best windies batsmen on song here.
Prem -> donald, to lara batting 103, outside off and an expansive square drive, brilliantly hit and placed, beating point and the sweeper, and four more, 193/3. lara 107, and donald looking helpless.
Prem -> 32 singles, 8 twos, 11 fours, 1 three, 2 sixes to lara, windies 193/3, and donald now taking time to readjust his field, 43rd over in progress, donald round the wicket, full toss, a beamer outside off, and lara hits it out to the sweeper behind point, single, and donald smiling an apology.
Prem -> umpire harper has a chat with pollock, not sure what that is about but he looks a touch upset here about something. donald back to over the wicket, hooper, 38 on strike and another delicate late cut, fetches one to third man, 196/3 and hooper 39.
Prem -> clinical innings this from hooper, donald to lara and back round the wicket. on off from wide of the crease, lara waits for the slower ball, strokes it out square on the off, gets one more, 109, and windies 197/3 at 4.61 now in the 43rd over.
Prem -> no ball called there, by harper, short ball outside off, but he really banged that short and the ball went well above shoulder height. next ball, hooper down the track, then waits for the slower, short, ball, and pats it behind point, single to end the over.
Prem -> 43 overs gone, windies motoring along here, 198/3. now looking good to get to around 240 if they can go 6 an over from here, which they should considering they have wickets in hand. ntini meanwhile back, has two overs to go, 8-1-23-0 so far. slower ball first up, to hooper, patted out to cover, some yes no stuff there between the batsmen, could have been dangerous as lara had come down a long way, but recovers in time. ntini again, an this time, hooper goes across his stumps, flicks over midwicket, well conceived shot but he hit it too well, really, kallis running in off the midwicket line and tumbling to hold. hooper gone, in the 44th, very good take that from kallis and hooper gone for 40 off 40 balls, windies 198/4.
Prem -> 43 overs gone, windies motoring along here, 198/3. now looking good to get to around 240 if they can go 6 an over from here, which they should considering they have wickets in hand. ntini meanwhile back, has two overs to go, 8-1-23-0 so far. slower ball first up, to hooper, patted out to cover, some yes no stuff there between the batsmen, could have been dangerous as lara had come down a long way, but recovers in time. ntini again, an this time, hooper goes across his stumps, flicks over midwicket, well conceived shot but he hit it too well, really, kallis running in off the midwicket line and tumbling to hold. hooper gone, in the 44th, very good take that from kallis and hooper gone for 40 off 40 balls, windies 198/4.
Prem -> be interesting to see who comes out. th classical sarwan, or the explosive powell? I'd vote for the latter
Prem -> ntini to lara, the batsmen having crossed on that shot. lara plays it down to third man, single. and it is sarwan out in the middle, and now on strike.
Prem -> short ball, on middle and leg, and sarwan moves inside the line and deftly guides it to the fine leg boundary, four. Nope, it actually is powell, sorry for the error. 203/4 the score, lara batting 110. the fourth 50 has come off just 35 balls, and windies now going at 4.6 per over
Prem -> outside off, sarwan drives, thick outer edge but no risk as the ball goes to wide third man, another single, ends the over. windies now into their endgame, six overs left and looking to go for broke -- and in powell, they have the right man to finish things off. 204/4 at the end of 44.
Prem -> powell on strike and if he can fire, he will allow lara to not worry about accelerating further. klusener to bowl, powell pats that behind point, takes the single, 205/4 the score and lara on strike.
Prem -> klusnere has gone for 43 off 7.1 and lara clips his second ball off middle, but finds pollock at square leg, cant beat him, no run.
Prem -> clearly, at this early stage, the proteas have problems. donald is way below par, their fifth bowling option is problematical. 45th over, ball two, klusener on off, lara drives but finds mid off, no run
Prem -> ball three of the 45th, lara batting 110, one shoft of his best world cup score, comes down the track, clubs a short ball down into the covers, single, 111 which equals his score vs south africa in karachi, 1996. 207/4 windies
Prem -> klusener, and powell winds up, and swings, muscles the ball from outside off to the on side, boje does well to run across and tidy up, threefor what against most sides could have been four. klusener. next ball, on middle, lara goes a long way across, then clips off his pads to fine leg, played delicately, spotted the short fine leg inside the circle, lara took advantage and got the four. 115 now, and klusener to lara, played out to point, they run the single and the pressure forces a misfield from, of all people, rhodes.
Prem -> 215/4 oin 45 ovesrs, 5 more to go and ntini, ball one, lara drives as well as i have seen him hit anything today and herschelle gibbs brilliant, diving full length at cover to stop the ball, that was four if he hadn't managed that extraordinary stop. next ball, and that is the wicket -- lara looks for the pull, the ball hits the bat high, goes very high in the air, pollock struggles to find it against the sky, then dives at the last minute, snaffles the catch and lara gone, to a standing ovation here, for 116 of 134, scoring at 86.6. a brilliant innings, this, and windies 215/5.
Prem -> pollock really delighted with that catch and he needs to be. never looked to have it covered, at midwicket, that was a real skier off that slogged pull from lara, caught the ball against the skies at the last moment, found it falling a few feet forward of him, dived, and still managed to get both hands under it.
Prem -> ntini in his 10th over, gets his first wicket and brings sarwan to the crrease, but it is powell on strike and what a shot!!!!! fullish length and an effortless on drive, perfect timing, lovely use of the wrists and even gibbs can do nothing against that, four. 219/5 windies.
Prem -> ntini, and powell slams a cover drive. magnificient diving stop by pollock at cover, the batsmen hav taken off for the run, polly tries a shy while well off balance, just misses, the get the run, 220/5. that was brilliant fielding by polly. next ball, a mistimed off drive, but they run the single. 221/5. ntini now to owell, who stands and clubs one down the tround, and again, the fielder at long on fumbles under pressure, the batsmen run three to end the over.
Prem -> 224/5 windies, a superb recovery after being 12/2 in 12 overs at one point. 4 overs to go, and ntini's spell is ended so be interesting to see who will bowl at the other end. pollock, with two overs left, to bowl, and sarwan comes down thet rack and clubs him over midwicket for a huge six. where on earth did that shot come from? came a good five, six feet down the track, pollock saw him, tried to change the line, but sarwan still managed to hit it with venomous power. next ball, driven to long on, single, windies 230/5.
Prem -> pollock now to powell, full length on middle but again, powell in tremendous touch, got his feet out of the way of that yorker, then managed to use batspeed and wrists to smash it wide of mid on, for four more. this is class stuff, windies 234/5 and pollock this time thumps one short outside off, powell clubs it out to wide mid off, pushes his partner into a second run, moves to 22. 236/5.
Prem -> pollock now to powell, full length on middle but again, powell in tremendous touch, got his feet out of the way of that yorker, then managed to use batspeed and wrists to smash it wide of mid on, for four more. this is class stuff, windies 234/5 and pollock this time thumps one short outside off, powell clubs it out to wide mid off, pushes his partner into a second run, moves to 22. 236/5.
Prem -> pollock, to powell and that is the best hit yet. fullish length on middle, which is what they teach you is the best way to bowl at the death, and again, powell quickly gets his feet away to leg to make a bit of room, free swing through the line, and a straight six. next ball, onto the front foot and off driving, four to end the over, 23 runs from pollock's 9th over, where he had given 20 in his previous 8. this is brilliant, brilliant stuff from powell.
Prem -> pollock, to powell and that is the best hit yet. fullish length on middle, which is what they teach you is the best way to bowl at the death, and again, powell quickly gets his feet away to leg to make a bit of room, free swing through the line, and a straight six. next ball, onto the front foot and off driving, four to end the over, 23 runs from pollock's 9th over, where he had given 20 in his previous 8. this is brilliant, brilliant stuff from powell.
Prem -> powell now 32 off, believe it or not, 12. and windies 246/5, three overs to go, sarwan on strike, and electric running there. he hit the ball square on the off, then took off like a rocket, kallis the bowler, the fielder had the ball in his hand when sarwan turned for the second, and he still made it. next ball, kallis bowls a full toss outside off, and sarwan smashes, square, through point, four. windies 252/5 and now the run rarte is up to 5.32.
Prem -> kallis again, and this time, to a ball fullish on off, sarwan winds up, swings, high out onto the off, ball retrieved by the cover sweeper, two more. the last 50 runs have come fof 23 runs, the partnership is now 39 off 13 balls. and anotehr single, out to mid on, takes windies to 255/5.
Prem -> 12 balls, four fours, one six, 32 runs, powell, on strike now to kallis and driving easily to a ball of full length, good diving effort by pollock, cant stop it clean though, single. the home crowd has now begun jeering their boys, thanks to the number of untidy collections - but the protean fielding is getting ragged only because of this brilliant batting, and the pressure the windies are putting on them. 257/5 with two overs left, and now that 270 which i thought would be a good score is definitely on.
Prem -> 111 in the last 10 overw siwth 11 fours and three sixes! pollock for the 49th over of the innings, and his last. 42 runs off 16 balls the partnership. sarwan, to the first ball, down the track, checks the drive, takes one to cover. 258/5.
Prem -> 111 in the last 10 overw siwth 11 fours and three sixes! pollock for the 49th over of the innings, and his last. 42 runs off 16 balls the partnership. sarwan, to the first ball, down the track, checks the drive, takes one to cover. 258/5.
Prem -> polly now to powell, full length, a very good ball actually as it reverse swung on yorker length on off, powell still manages to power a drive to long off, gets one. 259/5, 10 balls to go
Prem -> polly to sarwan, low full toss looking for the yorker, sarwan controls the drive down to long off, single. 260/5.
Prem -> powell back on strike, polly with a ball on middle, again the full length, again the drive, this time to long on, great fiedling by donald, very fast across the turf, keeps it to a single, 261/5. 9 balls to go
Prem -> pollock to sarwan, who walks across his stumps, takes a ball from off stump, and flicks over midwicket, four to wide of long on and the 50 partnerhsip up off 21 balls. brilliant, brilliant work. 265/5 and polly to powell, who goes down the track, clubs one to long on, gets the single. 266/5.
Prem -> 266/5 at the end of 49 overs and now the windies, going at 5.43, have forced Sa to go 8 minuytes past the 3hours 30 minutes lloted for teir overs. kallis to bowl the last over, sarwan goes down the track, misjudges a slower ball, makes a mess of an attempted hit and yells in frustration
Prem -> kallis, and this time, sarwan down the track, huge windup and a massive blow, down the track, over the bowler's head, for a massive six. that was an amazing blow, and he follows up by swinging a full toss out to sweeper midwicket, single.
Prem -> kallis, now to powell, last over of the innings,wide outside of off, but just not wide enough to be called. clever work by kallis, now two balls to go, 273/5
Prem -> kallis, now to powell, last over of the innings,wide outside of off, but just not wide enough to be called. clever work by kallis, now two balls to go, 273/5
Prem -> ball five of the 50th, kallis, fullish on off and powell drives, good running again, they make it to to a shot straight to the long on fielder, ntini. but one short called, so just one for the shot after all that hard work
Prem -> last ball, outside off, full toss, powell carves it behind point, four to end the over, 279/5 in 50 overs the score and at the halfway stage, thanks to the brilliance of lara, the composure of hooper and the electric finishing of powell and sarwan, the windies i would think should be favorites to win this game. tremendous start tto the cup, this innings, and the windies serving early warning of their potential.
Prem -> with which, taking a break, we will be back in 40 minutes for the SA chase
Prem -> Righto, guys, here we go with the South African response, with Herschelle Gibbs on strike to Mervyn Dillon
Prem -> South AFrica have been docked an over for slow rate, and have to make their runs off 49 overs. Dillon, in this first over, bowling around the 136k mark, just outside off and making the ball seam away off length, Gibbs content to shoulder arms and watch them go
Prem -> a beauty, fourth ball, that one was full, quick, cut back in off the seam and went through the gate, dillon thinks the lbw appeal was on, but it hit the top of the pad, and was clearly going over the top of the stumps. still no runs, but gibbs remedies that, dillon wide of off on the 5th ball, a bad ball in fact and gibbs rocks back and slams it through cover point, four. 4/0 SA.
Prem -> last ball of the over is outside off, fuller, and left alone by gibbs. end of the first over, 4/0 and SA will need gibbs to fire if they are to hunt down the target of 279 in 49 overs.
Prem -> kirsten is the fellow oopener, and pedro collins to bowl the second over, quick first ball around the 140k mark, kirsten plays it back down the track and the bowler fields on the follow through. next ball, quick again, 138, outside off and kirsten flashes, misses. no seam movement yet for collins, unlike dillon. two slips in place as the close catchers, a point, cover and mid off the other off fielders inside the circle. kirsten plays the next ball behind point, gets the single, sa 5/0 in the second over
Prem -> 274 more to get, collins left arm over the wicket to gibbs, angling it across just back of length, then seaming it away and gibbs shoulders arms, lets it go
Prem -> collins, to gibbs, fullish on middle and gibbs eases it wide of mid on, sarwan has to chase, the batsman gets two, SA 7/0. not as much movement in the first couple of overs thus far, as the proteas got when they bowled. that ball, from collins, wide of off on the slant across the right hander, gibbs uses the room, goes low on his knee to blaze the drive through cover, four and sa 11/0 to end the over. the SA start is the antithesis of the Widies beginnings... nice and controlled, and untroubled thus far.
Prem -> dillon now to kirsten, with sa needing 268 now off 47. fullish length, angling across the left hander, lifting off length and left alone by the batsman.
Prem -> dillon, ball two of the third over, to kirsten, who walks across the stumps, pushes at it, a very unconvincing looking shot, thick edge flashes past the second slip, down to third man, four, 15/0, if there was a third slip in place, kirsten was gone.
Prem -> dillon again, full, on off, played out on the on but fielded at mid off, no run. meanwhile, the news is that england will not decide, yet, whether to play zimbabwe or not, they have merly passed on some "new information" to the ICC.
Prem -> single meanwhile to kirsten backward of square, dillon to gibbs and nearly cuts the batsman in half with a breakback, gibbs takes his bottom hand off the bat, controls it in the end, and gets one to the left of the keeper, 17/0.
Prem -> dillon again, angling one across kirsten, who covers up and lets it go, SA 17/0 at the end of 3 overs and off to the kind of start you need when chasing 279. the time to watch out though is after the 20th over, by when the ball would have gotten softer, the lights would be on in full force, the wind will veer, and batting gets tougher. required rate now 5.7. and collins strays, down the leg side, gibbs flicks it fine and gets one to fine leg. 18/0 with gibbs 11 and kirsten 6.
Prem -> collins, to kirsten, on off, full, and kirsten in line, pushes the drive, through mid on, that is four. 22/0 and collins very erratic, his length and line are awry, he is trying too much too early and paying for it, and in the process dissipating the pressure being built by dillon at the other end.
Prem -> short ball, this time, and kirstren squared up, off the thick outside edge and again, the lack of an extra fielder in wide slip or gully showing, ball in the air, down to third man, single, where the ball would have landed in the hands of wide third slip or gully.
Prem -> 23/0 collins, to gibbs, short, on middle, gibbs hooks, in the air but short of the man at wide third man, single to end the over and 24/0 the score after 4.
Prem -> the windies bowlers will need to tighten things down here, and while on that, hooper might want to attack a bit mroe, given he has the runs on the board. if he can get a quick wicket or two, he will really be in the driving seat. meanwhile, dillon to gibbs, dillon bowling well here, just back of length, pacy, and the ball seaming in sharply, has gibbs in a bit of a tangle. batting 12, gibbs.
Prem -> short ball this time, lifting and cutting in and gibbs defends, thick inner edge out on the on side, no run. 24/9 SA. Kalis the next man in, followed by dippenaar, then rhodes. but meanwhile, short ball and gibbs pulls, brilliant shot, flat hit, over midwicket, and considering the ball never went more than 9, 10 feet high, amazing that it fell just a foot short of the ropes. 28/0. a man now out on the boundary at square leg, for that shot.
Prem -> dillon, again, and this time, gibbs forces off the back foot to a short ball on off, finds powell at point, no run
Prem -> dillon, last ball, fullish on off and gibbs defensive, ends the over on 28/0. five gone, for the proteas chasing 279. and collins continues, to kirsten, drawing him forward into the drive, shot finds cover, no run
Prem -> collins again, to kirsten, full toss, now that is bad bowling, and collins lucky that kirsten only pushes to mid on, for a single, that could have been four easy given the line just outside of off. 29/0, and wihndies struggling with teir second new ball bowler. another full toss, a low one attempting the yorker, gibbs pushes from outside off, finds cover, no run.
Prem -> the highest successful chase on this ground is 258/7 by SA and that will be broken today if this keeps up. Antoehr short ball, and gibbs pulls again, this time hitting it in front of mid wicket, in the air and to the boundary in a flash, collins getting treatment here, 33/0 SA and needing 246 more. now a tap out on the on, to a shortish ball on off, and a single takes SA to 34/0.
Prem -> 43.1 overs to go, 245 to get, collins outside off, kirsten drives, bottom edges, to wide mid off, single. end of the over, 6 gone, and SA off to a cracking start here chasing a score that has never been successfully hunted at Newlands, 35/0. Now going at 5.83, needing to go 5.67 from here. Dillon continues, to kirsten, on leg and middle and kirsten plays it behind square, single.
Prem -> dillon has gone for 14 in 3.1 which is acceptable, it is collins who has been loose and contributed the bulk to a partnership of 36 off 37. dillon again, to gibbs, whom he has troubled repeatedly, another breakback on full length and a thick inner edge from gibbs out on the on side, no run.
Prem -> dillon, to gibbs, outside off and guided down to third man off the thick outer edge of the bat, single, gibbs 22 and kirsten 14 in a score of 37/0
Prem -> dillon now to kirsten, fullish on middle and off and kirsten across the stumps, drives it wide of mid on, two more, moves to 16 and SA 39/0
Prem -> dillon, again, and this one outside off, an expansive drive from kirsten, thick outer ede, and a brilliant diving stop at point by powell, their best fielder by a long way. 7th over, last ball, single taken off the previous ball and SA 40/0, gibbs defends to the last ball and SA 40/0 in 7,
Prem -> you have to ask at this point, will the windies miss an extra fast bowler, or will the combination of hooper and gayle in the middle slow things down and put the bite on SA? I'd think that is the key, how the two slow bowlers do. Vasbert Drakes takes over from Collins, and about time, too, since Collins was giving it away big time. Kirsten, 17, on strike, drakes right arm over, first ball around 131. angled across the left hander, fullish length, kirsten lets it go.
Prem -> drakes, who knows south african conditions from playing here for seven years, in again, and again, the ball just back of that length, and angling enough to keep kirsten quiet. 40/0.
Prem -> drakes, to kirsten, short and lifting this time on line of off and kirsten defensive. drakes in again, this one fullish on middle and patted out on the on for a single, 41/0 SA in the 8th over, chasing 279.
Prem -> have a small problem here, guys, be back in five
Prem -> okay, picking up play just in time to see Gibbs go -- that ball was quick, outside off, Gibbs went forward and pushed, got the thick edge and ridley jacobs dives, and holods in front of first slip, that is a huge wicket with gibbs 24 off 28, sa 46/1 in the 9th over. dillon has troubled gibbs right through, deserved the wicket.
Prem -> dippenaar being sent in ahead of kallis, here, and defensive to the first ball he faces from dillon. 46/1, dillon again and that was almost another wicket, he bent his back there, lifted it off just back of length, squared dippenaar up and had him play it off the thick outer edge, somewhat short of point though and SA 46/1 in 9 overs.
Prem -> drakes continues, kirsten the man on strike, hooper not yet confindent enough to attack, content to keep himself in the slip cordon and a close catching man out on the off in front of the stumps. drakes bwoling back of the length, and hitting the deck around middle, the slant means kirsten is playing the ball at around solar plexus height in front of off, which leaves him no room to force the ball around. 46/1 still.
Prem -> 10th over, and this one fuller, kirsten however anticipating the shortish ball, not ready to come forward, ends up with a half hearted push-drive that finds mid off, no run.
Prem -> that could have been close again, kirsten cutting, short of powell at point, dippenaar calls and runs, powell faster than the non-striker anticipated, quick pick up and throw on the run just misses the stumps from side on, single taken, 47/1 and just one in that over.
Prem -> dillon, to kirsten, too full that ball, for kirsten to try to go across the stumps and flick, hit on the pad, appeal for lbw but i'd say that one was angling across and also pitched outside leg. 47/1 SA
Prem -> dillon again, and again, kirsten goes across, surprised by a short one, tries to climb on top of it and chop it down, powell again brilliant this time at a widish gully
Prem -> dillon in again, back of length at around 137, angling from middle to off and kirsten behind it, defending
Prem -> 11th over of the innings, dillon to kirsten, and this time cut in half by a ball that hit middle and cut back, instead of leaving the bat as kirsten anticipated. ball goes off the thick edge to point, no run. 47/1.
Prem -> dillon, to kirwtren, fullish this time, the batsman walks across his stumps and drives, two through wide cover, 49/1 at the end of the 11th over.
Prem -> this is far better than windies managed batting first, but the point to keep in mind here is that the lights are now on, as the ball gets softer, it is going to become harder to hit, the run rate now is above 6 for the first time, and as boje showed, there is turn on this track. drakes, now, to dipenaar, the 12th over with sa needing 230 more in 38.
Prem -> drakes to dipenaar, shortish around off, dipenaar trying to force but can't beat cover. the next two deliveries, outside off and going through straight, the batsman is content to leafve alone, sa 49/1 here and needing another 230. ball four, short, cutting in a bit and climbing, no scope for shotmaking, dipenaar behind the line pushing down the track on the on side, no run
Prem -> drakes to dipenaar, and that was nearly caught and bowled. slower ball, dipenaar failed to spot it, pushed hard at the ball, it was in the air and to the left of a lunging drakes, who just fails tog et hand to ball. finds mid off, still no run. and a fuller length ball on off cutting in has dipenaar pushing to mid on, no run, 49/1 at the end of 12.
Prem -> 24 off 36 kirsten and much quieter once collins went out of the attack and gibbs left. collins now coming back, went for 21 in his first three and will need to be a lot tighter here. short, outside off from the left arm fast bowler, and kirsten controls a chop down to third man, single, 50/1 the score and SA now going at 4.11.
Prem -> better line and length that, fullish, and collins put a bit of effort into that to make it climb off length around off, dipenaar defends.
Prem -> dipenaar still defensive and looking none too happy out there. he has been getting behgind the line to everything, but seems puzzled about why he can't get the ball away. this one he can -- short, and down the leg side, as bad a ball as anyone can bowl and typically, this one comes from collins, giving the batsman a free four and releasing the pressure, 54/1. next ball, short around off but wide enough to allow dipenaar to punch off the back foot and geet two more, and that was a no ball as well, so SA 57/1.
Prem -> wide of off again, dipenaar drives, not quite cleanly, thick inner edge takes it to square leg, single, 58/1, collins to kirsten now. fullish, pushed to mid on, no run, 58/1 at the end of 13.
Prem -> wide of off again, dipenaar drives, not quite cleanly, thick inner edge takes it to square leg, single, 58/1, collins to kirsten now. fullish, pushed to mid on, no run, 58/1 at the end of 13.
Prem -> wide of off again, dipenaar drives, not quite cleanly, thick inner edge takes it to square leg, single, 58/1, collins to kirsten now. fullish, pushed to mid on, no run, 58/1 at the end of 13.
Prem -> drakes continues. good line this, drakes' expertise in these conditions showing, he is bowling just back of a length, ensuring the batsman is playing the ball just below his ribs, and cutting it back in as well so that cramps the batsman for room, not much scope for shotplay here and dipenaar pushing hard at everything, but fialing, successively, to beat cover, and mid off
Prem -> 221 still needed to win, drakes to dipenaar and again, all the batsman can do is push at a ball about half a foot above his waist, a short cover now in place to put more pressure, fields, no run. 58/1.
Prem -> drakes, to dipenaar, who drives, without seeming to know which way the ball is seaming, was looking to play it straight, got it on the thick outside of the bat, finds cover instead, no run. drakes, again, bowling a very tight spell here, outside off and that is the first bad ball he has bowled -- just enough width to allow dipenaar to push his front foot down, free his arms and hit through the line, over the bowler's head, four. 62/1.
Prem -> drakes, and that one cut in very sharply, beat the batsman hit him on the pad in front of middle -- but was doing too much, it started outside off, so would have missed leg the way it broke back. 62/1 at the end of 14 SA.
Prem -> and here we go -- carl hooper taking over from collins, who has gone 30 from four. hooper, in 222 matches, has 194 wickets, and usies his slow off spin superbly. there you go, that ball he slowed right down, kirsten went forward, then back, played his forcing shot and still found the ball hadn'g got to him. ended up in a tangle. next ball, a push, lets the ball fall at his feet, dipenaar quickly down for the single before jacobs can run around from behind the stumps and tidy up. 63/1.
Prem -> and here we go -- carl hooper taking over from collins, who has gone 30 from four. hooper, in 222 matches, has 194 wickets, and usies his slow off spin superbly. there you go, that ball he slowed right down, kirsten went forward, then back, played his forcing shot and still found the ball hadn'g got to him. ended up in a tangle. next ball, a push, lets the ball fall at his feet, dipenaar quickly down for the single before jacobs can run around from behind the stumps and tidy up. 63/1.
Prem -> hooper now to dipenaar, turned that one in at around 93 kmph, and dipenaar plays out on the on, gets a single. 15th ovrer in progress, sa needs 215 more, hooper slows things down even further, that ball was around 88k. kirsten trying to force it off the square but not getting the pace to work with.
Prem -> hoooper to kirsten, down the track, drives, finds long off, single, 65/1 at the end of 15.
Prem -> 6.29 the ask now, as drakes continues, and that is a superb shot. fullish length on off and kirsten moves across, changes the angle and plays a superb flick, off his pads, over midwicket, four. 69/1.
Prem -> drakes again, to kirsten, sa needing 210 more to win and kirsten this time takes it from outside off and steers it to third man, single, 16th over in progress and 70/1 the score.
Prem -> drakes, now to dipenaar, back to bowling back of length and angling the ball in to off, dipenaar pushes it back down the track.
Prem -> 16th over, and dipenaar cuts obe from drakes, outside off, behind point for a single, 71/1 the score and 208 still needed to win, remember SA has an over docked for slow over rate. kirsten now guiding one to third man, another single, moves to 33 off 46, dippenaar 13 off 22 and sa 72/1.
Prem -> drakes, to dipenaar, on off, played out to midwicket, single to end the over. 72/1 SA in 16.
Prem -> sorry, that should read 73/1 the score, and hooper continues. dipenaar takes him on, down the track, lifting the ball high, wide -- of long off, that is -- and handsome, huge six that. and next ball, he's gone. dipenaar down thet rack trying to repeat, hooper held it back, drifted it a bit, and dipenaar stranded, ridley jacobs whips the bails off and that is the second wicket. 79/2 windies, and dipenaar 20 off 25.
Prem -> that explains the 195 odi wickets hooper has as a part time bowler -- he thinks, he uses pace or rather the lack of it well, he has variation and he can never be taken for granted. meanwhile, that wicket singals drinks, back in a bit
Prem -> kallis the new man in, taking hooper and driving him gently on the on, single, 80/2 SA. hooper, now to kirsten, pushed off the back foot to short cover, no run, end of the over and sa 80/2 after 17.
Prem -> 33 off 47 kirsten, kallis however on strike to drakes, 6.22 the run rate required from here on for the next 32 overs. drakes, fullish and a great shot from kallis, stood tall, stuck his foot out and hit it straight past mid off, four. 84/1.
Prem -> that was a tad overpitched, and kallis latched on quick, always an early indication of form if you can put away the errant ball as soon as you come to the crease. next ball, and drakes has kallis in trouble, ball outside off, kallis went to force, caught by surprise as the ball jagged ack and forced him to quickly adjust and defend. 84/2
Prem -> drakes again, and this time, kallis pushes to mid off, hooper, no run. drakes, to kallis, SA needing 195 more to win and again, kallis drives and finds mid off, but that is a no ball, 85/2 the score
Prem -> drakes in again, to kallis, wide of off, a gimme ball really but kallis overhhits it, thick bottom edge back down the track, no run and drakes escapes deserved punishment. 85/2 the score. kallis, again, drives from line of off this time, his footwork is good, has been since ball one, he is getting the ball off the middle of the bat every time, but finds cover here, no run.
Prem -> drakes again to kallis, one slip in place, short outside off, kallis on the back foot forcing it into the cover but again, straight to the fielder, 85/2 at the end of the over chasing 279 to win off 49 overs.
Prem -> I've this little theory -- which we asked Mohandas Menon to check out -- that the form teams rarely win the world cups. more on that later, hooper, to kirsten, who forces off the back foot and finds two behind point, 87/2. ball two, a little nudge, but can't beat a very short third man, no run this time
Prem -> Hooper, ball three, outside off and kirsten cuts, two behind point, 89/2 needing 190 more off 30.3
Prem -> hooper changes his line, on leg, turning in to middle, kirsten glances to leg but short fine leg is alzso up. short fine and short third man, good captaincy here from hooper. this really is classy bowling from hooper, he has slowed it down so much it is hard to force the ball away. single to midwicket ends the over as kirsten forces againt the turn, and sa at the end of 19 overs, 91/2
Prem -> kirsten on strike now to drakes, and a very neat dab down to third man from kirsten gets him one more, 92/2 SA, still 187 shy.
Prem -> 55 balls for his 39, kirsten, three fours so far, and drakes now to kallis, cramping him for room with a ball back of length jagging in, pushed out on the on, no run
Prem -> drakes again, to kallis, batting 5/11. 20th over in progress, outside off, that is a bad ball, too much of width and kallis cashes in, square driving with perfect timing and placement, four. that is the shot of a form player, 96/2. short ball, kallis gets under it, hooks, in the air but short of third man, single, 97/2.
Prem -> the quicks, barring dillon, are a bit untidy for the windies, they keep coming up with the gimme ball and releasing pressure, as contrasted with dillon and hooper, who in their own ways have bowled with thought, and care. drakes, to kallis, 98/2 the score, pushed wide of point, single, 99/2 ends the over.
Prem -> anyways, to get back to the form team not winning bit, barring 1979, the team that has the best record in odis between one world cup and the next has never won the competition. this time, the form team is australia with a 73.56 win percentage since the 2000 WC, winning 64 of 87 while SA has won 67 off 104 and has 64.62. Windies have 38 wins and 46 wins from 88 games, for 43.75, which puts them in the seventh place -- judrged by this game, you dont need to bother with the form book too much.
Prem -> hooper, to kallis, who flicks off his pads, behind squqre for a single, 102/2 the score, one ball left in the over. hooper, on off and kirsten hits it out to long off, single ends the over, kirsten 42 and SA 103/2 chasing 279.
Prem -> collins now comes back into the attack, replacing drakes, and the pressure on the quick bowler is going to be enormous. 176 from 28 needed, collins has gone 30 from his four overs, and really given away things early on. outside off and short, ball one, kirsten drives, but doesnt get hold of it, finds cover, no run.
Prem -> 103/2 and kirsten this time changes tack and goes across his stumps, takes the ball off his pads and drives to midwicket, gets the one. 104/2. full house here, figures since it is the opening game, features the home team what is more
Prem -> collins now to kallis, left arm, over the wicket, and hooper and lara discussing the field, lara really involved here, suggesting something to hooper then gesturing to what he wants. four on the off and that is the wicket. collins redeems himself, short ball angling across, kallis on the front foot looking to drive and finds the thick edge, kallis going too hard at that ball, and again, jacobs dives and produces his second blinder of the match. kallis gone for 13 off 18, SA 104/3 in the 22nd over.
Prem -> jacobs so far has been involved in all dismissals -- two superb catches, diving a long way to his right, and a clean stumping. meanwhile, SA now feeling the heat, after a great start, three wickets down and the ask is still above 6 an over, and batting is only going to get more difficult as the ball softens further. rhodes the new jman and hooper puts himself at slip.
Prem -> collins seems to be feeling better about himself now. that ball was good, shortish, but climbing into the ribs and on middle, cramps rhodes for room, no run. 175 needed from 27.1 overs. last ball of the over, rhodes drives, finds short cover, no run.
Prem -> hooper in again, to kirsten, and the intent seems to be to bowl as slow as he possibly can, now going around 87k, kirsten to the second ball steps back, hits it in the air through point, gets one. 105/3 the score, kirsten 44.
Prem -> hooper now to rhodes, three in the ring on the off and rhodes moves across, tries to tuck it around, lara at short third man makes the save, but a single is on. 106/3. kirsten finally gets the bad ball, fullish on leg and a controlled sweep beats the short fine leg, four for that. knew where the fielder was and did just what he had to do to beat him. 110/3. hooper, despite that aberration, putting on a trremendous performance here, has caused all batsmen problems, even getting some turn here. 111/3 at the end of the over thanks to a single to midwicket off the last ball off a forcing shot by kirsten
Prem -> 5-0-21-1 hooper, kirsten 49 off 66 facing collins, fullish on off and kirsten drives, awkwardly, thick edge back down the track.
Prem -> 111/3, collins to kirsten who gets a short ball, leans away, and cuts late, beats third man's attempt to cut it off, four, and that is kirsten's 50. 115/3 and kirsten 68 balls and five fours, going at 77.9 runs. collins next ball straightens one on line of off, kirsten looking to whip off his pads beaten, and struck on the pad but outside line, no damage.
Prem -> 115/4 SA, chasing 279 and that was close. inswinging full toss aiming to york, kirsten whips, misses, rapped on the pads, collins appeals but no support, that could have just been missing leg. quick single next ball though kirsten was in a tangle trying to keep out a delivery cutting back in, collins seems to be bowling much better with the old ball really. 116/3 sa, rhodes on strike and pushing to mid on for a single, 117/3 at the end of that over.
Prem -> hooper and there goes another wicket. rhodes has this thing of moving all over the place, bustling about and trying to upset the bowlers, hooper bowled it full and turned it in a bit, rhodes was outside off facing the ball, tried to go back and cut, hit it into the ground and onto his stumps. that is four down.
Prem -> mark boucher the new man, and facing hooper, driving out to mid off and gets the single, 118/4 SA. 25th over in progress here, hooper now to kirsten, who takes it on the pad, ball landing outside line of leg so no problem and that ball was 83k, the slowest yet. next ball, quicker, kirsten tries to make room and force, cramped for room there, finds short third man, no run, ends the over and sa 118/4 in 25. 161 more needed, at 6.71 in 24 overs with six wickets in hand.
Prem -> collins contines, and that was almost another wicket. inswinging delivery on full length, boucher flicked, the shot aimed to have the ball go through midwicket, it ended up at wide third man and boucher very lucky not to have played on. single, 119/4 the score, and collins with a good slower ball now to kirsten, who mishits the on drive, finds mid on, no run.
Prem -> collins, to kirsten, outside off, and kirsten pushes, finds cover. 26th over, 119/4 SA and under pressure here.
Prem -> collins, shortish on middle and kirsten, looking to flick, has to take his top hand off and play at around rib-height, to fine leg for one. collins into his 7th over, he's pulled back from having gone 30 in four, to 39 and a key wicket in 6.4 at this point. 121/4 SA with a single.
Prem -> collins this time with a faster ball outside off, short, kirsten looks to pull, then pulls his bat out of line, end of the 26 it is 121/4.
Prem -> 23 overs to go, and it is hooper to boucher. hooper tossing them up around off, and turnbing into middle, boucher looking to go with the spin, finds midwicket three shots out of three, key position that for this kind of bowling, and hooper has his best fielder, powell, manning it.
Prem -> single off the fourth ball, to long on, first run in four balls, and brings kirsten on strike, 122/4 the score, kirsten leans back and cuts, gets two behind point. 124/4.
Prem -> grim faces in the SA dressing room just now, 155 more needed off 22.1 and kirsten tries to cut the last ball, finds short third man, no run, end of the over.
Prem -> 7.05 now the ask, 155 off 22 needed, 124/4 the score at this point and the ask going above 7 for the first time, things gtting tighter and tighter for the home team.
Prem -> collins to boucher, who moves across his stumps and pushes out on the on, single to mid on, 125/4 and kirsten, 57, back on strike. boucher batting 5, collins in his 8th over, on off, good line, good length, kirsten defensive.
Prem -> collins this ttime with a full toss down leg, wide called, 126/4.
Prem -> collins, to kirsten, fullish and kirstren clips off his pads, just the one to deep backward square, 127/4 the score
Prem -> collins to boucher, now, the safrican keeper has been looking for the boundary hit for a while now, finally finds it, lets the ball come on, then forces through wide midwicket, good use of his wrists to take the ball from just outside off, four. 131/4 the score, 148 more needed.
Prem -> collins, outside off this time, boucher cuts, dillon fields on the line at backward point, two more to boucher.
Prem -> 133/4 the score, 146 m,ore to get, collins ends the over with a ball on off that boucher forces square but cant beat the fielder.
Prem -> hooper out of the attack, 7-0-32-2 and chris gayle takes over. amazing to think the windies actually have hooper as their fourth bowler, not the fifth. meanwhile, gayle bowling well, like hooper he is keeping it slow, using his height to get some bounce., and some turn. kirsten flicsk, finds short fine leg, cuts, finds short third man, drives, finds the bowler, forces, finds point -- this is getting to be fun. 133/4.
Prem -> the ask is climbing, and kirsten down the track, lifts, drakes ran around the line well at long on, had it covered, slippped on the dew covered ground, and watched the ball sail over the ropes for six. that could have been a wicket, as it is, it is a six. next ball, a controlled shot in front of point, four more, and sa 149/4 in 29 chasing 279.
Prem -> is that where the match turns? kirsten could have gone, instead he gets a six, moves to 68. dillon meanwhile returns, bowled 6-0-24-1 in his first spell, hooper looking for a wicket here, boucher on strike and defending to a ball cutting back in off the seam.
Prem -> 30 overs gone, dillon makes one lift and off th thick edge, ball flies to third man, lara wide there, does well to run around, dive, and stop the four. gets two, boucher, for that shot.145/4 the score, and the next ball is a beauty, dillon going wide of the crease, bowls it back of length, hits the deck hard, makes the ball climb and cut in, boucher cramped, plays it defensively. 145/4.
Prem -> fullish, this time on middle and boucher on drives, gets one, moves to 14, 146/4.
Prem -> 133 still to get, dillon to kirsten, short, that could have been fatal as kirsten flirts with one moving away, lucky not to touch it to ridley jacobs. 146/4
Prem -> dillon again, slower, fuller, looking to york, kirsten guides square, finds point, no run, ends the over. 31 gone, 18 to go, keeping in mind SA was docked an over for slow over rate. 146/4 the score
Prem -> gayle continues, ask rate here 7.00 exact,, 113 balls, 132 runs to get. kirsten facing gayle, ball goes down the leg side, nudged around, shoft fine leg, single, leg bye signalled, 148/4.
Prem -> boucher, to the next ball, rocks back and aims an almighty heave -- which, with the ball very reluctant to cross the 22 yards from bowler to batsman, is not a good ploy. overhits it into the ground, finds midwicket, no run. next ball, played off his pads, that is better, waiting for the ball and turning it around, two for it, SA 150/4 and the home crowd gives the side a standing ovation! another single, next ball, 151/4 at te end of 31.
Prem -> dillon continues. boucher on strike. on target first up, dillon, very impressive bowling this, keeping it back of length around off, boucher pushes, finds cover, no run. 32nd over in progress here. dillon, ball two, loses his run up and has to do it all over again. 151/4.
Prem -> dillon, to boucher, who walks across his stumps, tucks it around to deep square, single, 152/4.
Prem -> the official attendance today is 24,222 which is pretty much a full house for newlands (actually, that would be one stand in the Gardens, Calcutta, when you come tothink of it). wide ball meanwhile, 153/4 the score
Prem -> dillon to kirsten, on off, driven, and a single to mid off, good fielding there by collins to cut it off. 154/4
Prem -> dillon, to boucher, drifting to leg and a leg bye results, 155/5.
Prem -> And that is the softest possible dismissal -- Kirsten had determined to go across his stumps and push, Dillon kept one back a bit, and kirsten got it on the maker's label and popped it back to the bowler, kirsten caught and bowled dillon 69 off 92 balls and that is a crucial blow, hooper's captaincy still spot on, bringing his best seamer back has paid him dividends.
Prem -> drinks being taken at the fall of that wicket, so a lull here as well.
Prem -> pollock the new man in, gayle bowling to pollock, 158/5 the score needing 121 more off 16.5. nice ball that, very straight, very full, using his height well gayle, not giving polly room to free his arms. pollock, to the next ball, square drives from off stump, gets two, 160/5.
Prem -> and that is pollock gone! gayle tossed that up, pollock had a hit at it, and a brilliant catch at covers by no less than carl hooper, that was a brilliant take and pollock gone for four off four to stunned silence from the home crowd.
Prem -> 32.4 overs gone of a possible 49, and south africa now well and truly behind the eight ball. they have a long batting lineup but they also have the most brittle nerves in the tournament, that is showing here
Prem -> sorry, had a bit of a bother there, meanwhile, klusener the new man in replacing his captain, boje left among the batsmen types, in the hut, 161/6 thes core at the end of 33 overs, chasing 279 off 49 and now it is another off break bowler, ricardo powell, coming in to the attack replacing dillon who die his bit by taking out kirsten. klusner has a club at powell and misses completely, first ball
Prem -> ball two, pushed to long off, single to klusener, 162/6 and boucher on strike now. dillon 2/32 in his 8, collins has two to go, drakes has 3, hooper has three, so options in hand for the windies skipper who has handled his side brilliantly today. and that wa almost another wicket. powell with an off break which boucher pushed abck down the track, in the air, powell dives and gets both hands to it, and out she slips, that is a costly miss, the wicket would have nailed SA to the mast here.
Prem -> and to think the best fielder in the side made that mistake! powell, now to klusener after boucher gets a single off the next ball. as krishna prasad, who has joined redfiff for the duration of the world cup, pointed out just now, only hooper could be nerveless enough to smile at powell after a miss like that. ice cold that guy, i'd be willing to bet he has no pulse rate at all.
Prem -> 115 needed in 15 overs at 7.67 now, 164/6 the score and gayle to klsuener, the 35th over of the inniings. klusener hits one back down the track, clubs at the next one on line of off and inner edges onto pad. no run. ball three, driven, finds powell at cover, no run.
Prem -> gayle again, fullish on off and played back down the track, no run. 164/6. 35th over, last ball and gayle en route to delivering a maiden here. tries to turn the last ball, misses, leg bye, just the one run in the 35th over, which is superb work from chris gayle.
Prem -> 35 overs gone and with every passing over, the task getting harder for SA. powell now to klusener, who pushes it out on the off, no run. ball two, single as klusener turns it off his pads, lara does well to ruun in and field and shy before they can think of the second.
Prem -> powell to boucher, who rocks back to pull and misses, but the ball called wide as it goes down the leg side, 167/6. next ball, and a good hit, boucher standing tall and clubbing one from line of off, wide of mid on, one bounce and four. took a skip down the track to get into position, then used pure muscle to get it away. takes another hit to the next ball, and hits it straight enough to bisect long on and long off, two fours off two balls eases the tension a little bit. powell again, and boucher forces to cover, single. 176/6 the score.
Prem -> 30 off 31 boucher, thus far, and powell to klusener who tries to turn it round and finds short fine leg, no run, ends the over.
Prem -> at this point, heading into the straight, you'd have to say windies have the upper hand still. wickets are running out for SA, they can't afford any more wickets, and need over a 100 still at over 8 an over now. 176/6 at the end of 36.
Prem -> gayle to boucher who looks to glide to third man, but the fielder is up inside the circle, no run. gayle again, and boucher moving down thet rack, gayle keeps his head, follows him and gets him in a tangle, no run as the ball is played out to short third man. ball three, boucher winds up and has a hit, but straight to powell at midwicket. ball four, he tries to turn to leg, again in a tangle, ball lands at his feet, no run
Prem -> ball five, quicker one, wide down leg and called, gayle, 177/6 the score, first run in the over, two balls to go. gayle to boucher, who tries to turn it around, finds one to square leg. 101 more to get in 12.1 overs, 178/6 the score, klusener facing the last ball
Prem -> kgayle to klusener, shorter, quicker, and played back down the track, no run. so just two in that over. when you need 8 per over, that is a deficit of 6, gayle doing very well here, taking over from hooper and if anything, bowling even tighter than his captain.
Prem -> hooper brings himself back, now. 7-0-31-2 and an economy rate of 4.43, remember he came in to bowl in the 16th over and that is a magnificient performance on top of his rapidfire innings. boucher sweeps ball one, square, gets the single. assume we look at eight an over needed, plus deficit of 6 in las tover, that meant that to bring it back to status quo, they need 14 in this over. two singles off two balls, and the deficit is 12. ball three, boucher sets himself, swings, taking it from middle, down on his knee, swinging over the squqre leg boundary, six. deficit, 6. next ball, turned around, behind square, two more, deficit now four.
Prem -> hoooper again, and again oucher swings, high, and over midwicket this time, again down on his knee for a clean wing, four more, 192/6 and as of this moment, the SA have the 16 runs they needed off the last two overs. hooer, and boucher tucks that through midwicket, gets two, so they go 194/6 after 38, with a +2 position going into the 39th over.
Prem -> this is one way of keeping track of the ask. 7.73 the ask, so assume 8. two runs already in the bag thanks to that great last over by boucher, gayle to klusener and one run off the first ball, tucked to midwicket. four more to get, to manage the ask for this over, and five balls to go, boucher 46 now on strike, pushes, and finds powell at midwicket, no run.
Prem -> 195/6 and boucher again tries to force gayle, but cannot get him away. plays it back down the track, and now takes fresh guard. four still needed in this over. he pushes to midwicket, gets one, three needed, two balls to get it in, klusener on strike. 10 overs left after this one, and klusener takes a single, flicking behind square off his pads. 197/6. one needed, one ball left, and boucher drives, finds hooper, no run. Deficit, one, so Gayle has recovered the ground Hooper lost in his last over.
Prem -> 39 overs gone, 47 off 45 boucher, 83 more needed at 8.2, or 82 off 60 the ask. so let's say, 9 needed an over here on, to be safe. dillon to bowl, let's see how they go. klusener facing, pushes, gets one to mid off off the first ball. 198/6.
Prem -> dillon, ball two, to boucher. of nine needed in six balls, SA has managed 1 off 1. boucher, batting 47, squares up to dillon, fullish, yorker length ball on leg stump, boucher digs it out, single to long on, 2 off two thus far and seven still needed. 8- off 58 the ask
Prem -> dillon to klusener, now. bouncer, perfectly timed, thhat is the one bouncer for the over and no run off it, so 80 needed off 57 and if you look at that calculation, of 9 needed in this over, SA have managed just 2 in three. dillon again, and klusener swings one round, finds lara at wide and short fine leg, no run, 80 now off 56 the ask.
Prem -> the deficit climbing here, 7 needed in this over off two balls, dillon doing a great job for his team, klusener waits on that ball, turns it around off his hips, gets two behind quare leg. 78 off 55 the ask, 201/6 the score.
Prem -> dillon, to klusener, and the cut finds powell at point, no run. that is a second successive good over for the windies.
Prem -> 40 ovesx gone. 201/6 the score, and the umpires now looking at the discolored ball, the batsmen wanted it changed but the umpires after discussion are having none of it. 8.67 the run rate required, now.
Prem -> gayle continues. boucher on strike. ball one, on off, pushed abck down the track. ball two, driven, but not enough pace on the ball, just one.
Prem -> 202/6 the score, gayle looks relaxed and in control, to klusener and he holds this ball back, klusener pats it back down the track. no run again
Prem -> ask now over 9 per over, klusener down the track, but can only get the single out to long on on the drive, 203/6.
Prem -> 76 needed off 50 balls, boucher tries a paddle, finds the keeper instead, but for some reason, harper calls that one wide. and the next ball gets the wicket. boucher tries to step away and hit, that ball was full in lenght, boucher hits over the ball which crashes into the base of the stumps and that is the penultimate nail in the Protean coffin.
Prem -> 49 off 49, boucher, but that good knock to no avail, SA now has only Boje and Klusener to pull this off.
Prem -> chris gayle couldn't deliver with the bat, but he has sure as hell delivered with the ball today. boje and klusener at the crease, boje one off one, 11 off 26 klusener, 41 oves gone, 205/7 the score. and another discussion on the state of the ball. 74 off 48 balls the ask, and this time, the umpires decide to change the ball, so stand by for a lull.
Prem -> the box of spare balls coming out now. meanwhile, me for a much needed break.
Prem -> dillon, continues, and boje pushes the single, to mid off. two left handers at the wicket now, dillon to klusener who finally gets under one and clubs it high over wide mid on, six, reduces the ask to 67 off 46. the fat lady was just clearing her throat when klusener pulled that one out of his hat.
Prem -> dillon again to klusener, fullish this time and klusener cuts, thick bottom edge, single to third man, drakes doing well to cut it off. 66 off 45 the ask now.
Prem -> dillon again to klusener, fullish this time and klusener cuts, thick bottom edge, single to third man, drakes doing well to cut it off. 66 off 45 the ask now.
Prem -> dillon, to boje, shortish and pushed out to mid on, single taken, 65 off 44 the ask now, SA 214/7.
Prem -> 9 runs off four balls so far this over, thanks to that six. 8.86 the ask from here, three wickets left, donald the next man in. dillon, yorker length, dug out for a single, klusener the batsman. 19 to him, brings boje back on strike.
Prem -> 9 runs off four balls so far this over, thanks to that six. 8.86 the ask from here, three wickets left, donald the next man in. dillon, yorker length, dug out for a single, klusener the batsman. 19 to him, brings boje back on strike.
Prem -> dillon, last ball, 10 in the over so far, to boje, shoft and lifting, tucked off his hips by boje, one for it to end the over.
Prem -> 216/7 at thh end of 42 overs. 279 off 49 the target. 19 off 29 klusener, 4 off four boje, gayle continues. ball one, boje turns it around, cantt beat short fine leg, no run. ball two, full on off, played out on the off side, no run
Prem -> 216/7 at thh end of 42 overs. 279 off 49 the target. 19 off 29 klusener, 4 off four boje, gayle continues. ball one, boje turns it around, cantt beat short fine leg, no run. ball two, full on off, played out on the off side, no run
Prem -> gayle, ball three, boje checks a sweep, to midwicket, two -- that is two runs off three balls so far, 218/7 and the ask rate climbing all the time.
Prem -> gayle, ball four of the 43rd, to boje, on leg and middle, and boje cramped, can only push it back. that is two runs in four balls to a part time spinner. next ball, down the track boje looking to hit, but cant get pace on the ball, gts the single, 60 more needed off 37. 219/7 the score. 9.73 the ask, klusener plays the last ball straight back to the bowler, no run. 60 now to get off 36 balls.
Prem -> 219/7 SA chasing 279. 60 off 36 needed. klusener and boje the last ofthe recognized batsmen out there. hooper bowling, 8-0-47-2 his analysis. boje looks to paddle sweep, misses, almost bowled, ball missing off by about an inch. ball two, fullish on off and driven, finds hinds at wide cover, no run. 60 off 34 the ask.
Prem -> shortish ball and this time, boje cuts, times and places it well, gets four, 56 more needed in 33.
Prem -> hooper to klusener, 56 off 33 the ask, and squre driven, just two for this, 54 off 32 needed, 225/7 the score.
Prem -> hooper, looking pretty much in control, floats one up, boje onto the front foot, but can only hit it back down the track. last ball, he comes down, hooper sees it, follows him, cramps the bastmsn forces the push out on the off, no run. end of the over. 6 runs came from it, but SA needed 9.7 so they are 3.7 short on that over.
Prem -> major midwicket conference between the two batsmen. 54 off 30 at 10.8 now the ask. gayle continues, he has been absolutely magnificient, immaculate control and nerveless bowling, 8-1-30-2. ball one, klusener makes room, clubs it, lots of power on the shot, compensating for the lack of pace, over wide long on, six!!
Prem -> gayle continues, ball two, 48 off 29 the ask, gayle spears tthat one down quicker and full, klusener cant get under it, takes it on the pad, no run. gayle again, and klusener pulls away, not ready to take
Prem -> gayle, again looking to make room, again gayle follows him and puts it in the blockhole, klusener plays it back. 48 ffom 27
Prem -> ball five, and this time, klusener's attempt to make room succeeds, he swings it high, and again over wide long on, six more. that is two sixes in 5 balls, can klusener get back his 1999 form?
Prem -> anbothyer heave, to the last ball, caught on the line -- but I think that is not out, it looked like the fielder stepped back and got his foot on the line, and that is six, collins the fielder. what is interesting is, he had taken the catch well inside the rope, took three backward steps for nothing and klusener gets a third six, collins could be the villain after all.
Prem -> 243/7 the score, gayle has one ball left to bowl, and has gone for 18, where it should have been 12 and a key wicket. single to end the over, 244/7 at the end of the over, 45 gone, four to go.
Prem -> 35 off 24 is a far more manageable ask. klusener could have had two off the last ball of th previous over, opted for one, so obviously, instructions that came out two overs back were for klusener to try for glory and for boje to stay out there. hooper, quick and on leg, klusener manages to make room, and gets enough bat on it to beat shoft fine leg, four for that. no reaason for hooper to bowl outside leg, that was the problem. next ball, on middle, turns it away, thick outer edge to third man, two more. 29 off 22 the ask now and another turn aropund coming up
Prem -> 250/7 the score, hooper now looking a touch concerned. two mistakes in the field, one inadvertent when hinds slipped and missed a catch off boucher, the other silly when collins trod on the line after nicely controlling a catch, meanwhile, two more as klusener rtucks one off his pads, 27 off 21 more needed, 252/7 the score.
Prem -> hooper, to klusener, on off, plyaed on the off, single. 26 from 20.
Prem -> hooper, to klusener, on off, plyaed on the off, single. 26 from 20.
Prem -> 47 off 40 klusener, 50 off 30 the partnership, another single this time to boje square on the off gets sa to 254/7. hooper moving his fielders around, putting a guy out at wide long on, an off break on middle, klusner cant get it off the square, no run, end of the over.
Prem -> 25 off 18 the ask, boje the man now on strike, 46 overs gone, 254/7 on the board. gayle continues. bopje turns it round, they get one, and klusener back in business.
Prem -> 24 from 17 the ask, now. gayle after an eventful last over, back to klusener. driven hard, gayle gets his hands to it, takes the sting off, just one. 23 off 16 now and boje back on strike
Prem -> boje makes room steppoing way outside leg, gayle follows him, batsman puts it back down the track, gayle fieldes, no run. this is gayle's final over. 23 more off 15 need34d. gayle sweeps, collins covers it from the sweeper position, but fumbles, two for it. 21 now off 14.
Prem -> 4 in four balls the score. klusener clubs the next ball out on the leg side, but just one in it to the sweeper, gayle pulling it back here, just five in fivce balls so far. 259/7.
Prem -> 20 from 13 needed, gayle to bowl to boje, but a bit of a chat first with hooper before he bowls his final ball. 54/2 in 9.5 gayle, thanks largely to those three sixes in the previous over. klusener again, and swings, high, wide, and handsome, this one over midwicket, six more, and 14 off 12 the ask, klusneer gets his half century in the style that made him the toast of England 1999.
Prem -> 54 off 43, klusener, the ask now 14 off 12. windies watching a game they had won, slipping away from them. 265/7 the score, 61 off 37 the partnership for the 8th wicket.
Prem -> hooper taking his time to set the field herede. collins to bowl.
Prem -> wide of off, first ball, and boje lunges to put bat to ball, takes the single to point and puts klusener back on the plate. 13 off 11 the ask, and now the odds with SA.
Prem -> collins, to klusener, outside off, klusener was backing away, ended up too far to get to that ball. dot ball, 13 off 10 the ask
Prem -> quick chat between the batsmen, collins in again to klusener, fullish on the stumps, klusener clubs it away and chanderpaul runs a long way to his right at long off then dives full length, stops the four, two for it, 11 needed off 9.
Prem -> klusener swings again, at a short ball on middle, doesnt really connect, but enough on it to get one, 10 more needed off 8, klusener batting 57.
Prem -> collins, and boje swings and misses to a ball just outside off. 10 now from 7 the ask
Prem -> collins must be under enormous pressure after that goofed catch, but he is handling it well here. full toss this time, on leg, and just one to boje, who retains strike. 9 needed now off the last over.
Prem -> vasbert drakes the man with the ball, 9 needed off 6 balls, three wickets in hand, boje on strike. major handwaving and field adjustments going on out there
Prem -> drakes running in. ball one, full on off, swung around, single, 8 from 5 now and klusener on strike
Prem -> klusener taking fresh guard. hooper readjusting his field, moving a slower fielder in, moving a quicker one out onto the line
Prem -> drakes not happy yet, telling his captain he wants another adjustment. everyone in the SA dressing room on the edge of their seats.
Prem -> drakes, wide of the crease, klusener tries to make room by stepping to leg, drakes follows him, cramps him, n room, hit back down the ground, drakes fields, appeals for a catch but that was hit into the ground, really. 8 from four now
Prem -> drakes again to klussener, full toss, hit out and guess who is out at wide long on waiting? Hoooper,. the ball is straight into his hands and windies have done it. 8 from 3 now needed, and klusener walks back.
Prem -> 57 off 48 klusener, but that could well be heroics in vain, standing ovation from the crowd as he walks back. ntini the new man in, boje will take strike, having crossed while that one was in the air.
Prem -> 57 off 48 klusener, but that could well be heroics in vain, standing ovation from the crowd as he walks back.
Prem -> the biggger mistake is, the batsmen didnt bother to run, though that was in the air for a while. this means, ntini has to take strike, not boje. 8 needed off 3 and the wheels look to have finally come off the protean wagon
Prem -> drakes, and a short ball, perfect timing to bowl tthat bouncer, dot ball, now 8 needed off 2.
Prem -> 271/8 the score. resiggnation on the faces of the sa players in the pavilion. drakes taking his own time, adjusting the field again. bowls that on yorrker length, ntini makes room, swings, high in the air and sarwan this time runs around on the line at backward square, takes a great running catch and now it is 8 runs off the last ball and unless drakes bowls a ball that is wide and goes through for four, that is the game to the windies.
Prem -> allan donald the last man in.
Prem -> at the non strikers end, drakes to boje, last ball of the final over of the innings, 8 runs needed off it.
Prem -> drakes, to boje, on the full on off, boje hits it out on the on side, four, and that is the game to the windies, by three runs, sa 275/9.
Prem -> so, after almost giving the game away, collins -- the guy who stepped on the line there to give klusener a life and a six as bonus - redeems himself with the 48th over, drakes finishes the job with a tight last over, the protean nerves crack, and what qualifies as an upset begins the tournament. good start to the world cup, a match that is decided off the last ball, and the windies taking a lap of honor to a standing ovation.
Prem -> with which, we will end our coverage for the day, and be back tomorrow around 1.50 IST for the game betwen New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Prem -> adios, all.

Copyright 2003 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.