Thursday, March 29, 2007

Proteas survived Malinga's late threat: World Cup Diary (2007)

Stage: Super Eight
Match: 2 (SL vs RSA)
Result: South Africa won by 1 wicket

Langeveldt showed variation, Kallis calmness & Malinga menace

What a match it was. The fight made by Sri Lankan bowlers in the end, even stunned once-settled proteans and gives a message that the world cup can only get better now.
Earlier, batting first after winning the toss, Pollock was being expensive again. Ntini kept it tight from the other end and was rewarded Tharanga's wicket early in the innings. Jayasuriya after his short cameo of 26 followed the suit with one untiming short off Langeveldt who mixed up his short balls, slower ones very well with his swinging action and earned a five-for. The fielding standard can't get any better as the world witnessed the replay of Jonty from Gibbs as he got Silva run-out in the same fashion as latter got Inzy in 1992. Once aiming for high score, SL was restricted to 98/5 in 25 overs. At the point Arnold joined Dilshan and they started scoring steadily as runs started coming in 1s n 2s. After Arnold falls, lankans faced a collapse as Langeveldt bowled a maiden 49th over with 3 wickets in it.

With the track appearing slow in the later half of the innings, Sri Lankans strike bowlers couldn't provide any major threat to Kallis n Smith after Vaas got de Villiers with a beauty, the one that bend back and disturbed the furniture. The next breakthrough came only in 17th over when Murli does his bit by bowling Smith a sucker bowl. For the first time, the next man Gibbs appeared comfortable as he drives, cut, sweep and kept the run flow going. But we all know Gibbs, Murli offered him a flighted one which he couldn't get past the bowler. Boucher was gone in the same minute he arrived, it seems Dhoni n Boucher are wicket-keepers in arms as he got out in the same fashion, lbw while trying a late cut. At this point, SA needed only 50 runs while SL needed 6 wickets. The match could have ended in an uneventful fashion after that. But thanks to SL bowlers and careless SA batsmen, spectators got to see something worth their money. Kallis was playing an anchor role by securing one end, before he became the third victim of Malinga's HATRICK.

44.5 Malinga to Pollock, OUT, BINGO! Finally Malinga strikes, that is a superb bit of bowling. It's a slower ball on the stumps, Pollock just does not pick it, plays inside the line of the ball and loses his leg stump. Even with the game all but gone Sri Lanka are fighting. Pollock played a good hand but now he's gone!

SM Pollock b Malinga 13 (23m 24b 1x4 0x6) SR: 54.16
44.6 Malinga to Hall, OUT, ANOTHER! Andrew Hall goes off the very first ball! It's another speared-in yorker, Hall just about manages to dig it out, but he can't keep the ball down ... it bobs up into the air for the man at cover to pouch easily! Is there a twise left in this game

AJ Hall c Tharanga b Malinga 0 (2m 1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Malinga on a hat-trick. What a funny little game this has been.

46.1 Malinga to Kallis, OUT, Would you believe it? Malinga has got the hat-trick! Full, furious, outside off stump, Kallis goes for a square-drive and nicks it behind. Loud appeal. Kallis stays rooted. Even louder appeal and Harper raises the fatal finger. SA eight down and choking real badly.

JH Kallis c wicket-keeperSangakkara b Malinga 86 (187m 110b 4x4 0x6) SR: 78.18
46.2 Malinga to Ntini, OUT, And then they were one! Malinga gets four in four. Unbelievable! Screaming yorker and Ntini drives, plays all over it and ball crashes into the middle stump. Malinga is slinging down magic deliveries and SA are nine down.

M Ntini b Malinga 0 (2m 1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Well, Malinga took 4 in 4 in his extraordinary spell of fast bowling, and SA were reduced to 207/9. With 2 runs needed in more than 3 overs but only 1 wicket in hand, it couldn't have gotten any better than this. Vaas n Malinga tested the last pair with the old ball doing its bit. Eventually, after surviving some close shouts, Peterson edged it pass the slip to third man boundary and SA pulled themselves off from choking.
I always say that every close finish results with a comment that the losing side were short of some 20-30 runs. It was no different today. But Malinga really tested proteas batters and Smith would be happy to get away with 2 points from this game.

Sri Lanka: 209 all out (49.3 overs) (Dilshan 58, Arnold 50, Langeveldt 5/39)
South Africa: 9 for 212 (48.2 overs) (Kallis 86, Smith 59, Malinga 4/54, Murli 3/34)

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nitesh said...

yaar now India out
ab match dekhne mein koi mazza nahi aata

can anybody stop australia
god save cricket from australian authority

waiting for liverpool vs arsenal match

nitesh said...

i guess now we should have again guess for who will be in semis

australia already in
with ireland and bangla to play

abhi said...

as if India were thr to stop Australia domination...anyways, well the interest has sure been diminished after India's exit, but the other teams are fighting well to survive in the tournament. Sri Lankans n Windies will not let go their good show so easily. Kiwis n England are yet to showcase their talent.