Proteas Blog

Posted on/at 3:25 PM by The Cricket Corollary

Thursday's Game

Wayne Parnell

Cricket gives you the biggest ups and downs, and so close together! It was horrible after Tuesday when we played so badly against Sri Lanka and then just 48 hours later we were celebrating victory over New Zealand.
I couldn’t have imagined losing and being eliminated from the tournament so early, especially after bowling poorly in the first game. I started alright with the new ball but I became a bit tentative in the middle and lost my rhythm completely at one stage. It was the most pressure I’ve felt in my international career but I got through it and I know I’ll be a better player and a better person because of it.
Graeme could have changed the plan and given the ‘death’ overs to somebody else because I’d gone for more runs in both games than I should have but he showed faith in me and I really, really appreciate that. There’s nothing better than having a captain who backs you and trusts you not to let the team down. Fortunately I was able to repay him with five wickets, including the vital one of Ross Taylor which probably made the difference between chasing 250 and 215.
Some cricketers never get to play in an ICC event and others have to wait years to get the chance – and there’s me playing in two world events within three months at the age of 20. I am very, very lucky and I know it!
Herschelle and Makhaya have too much energy at the best of times but when they aren’t playing they are like two fireworks in the changing room. But it was a great relief to have them there on Tuesday night because they refused to let anybody feel ‘down’ and they were so positive, constantly reminding us that we could win the next two games and the defeat wouldn’t matter.
People probably imagine that we have two days ‘off’ between matches but it doesn’t feel like that with practise sessions, physio and various functions that we attend for the BCCI or sponsors. The time will go very quickly until we play England on Sunday which is a good thing because I’m raring to go and can’t wait to get back on the field again.

Sri Lanka Match

Johan Botha

There is no doubt that a lack of hard, international match practise counted against us on Tuesday but we did everything we possibly could to prepare for the tournament and we certainly cannot have any excuses.
Sri Lanka came straight from a tough triangular series against India and New Zealand and they hit the ground running. It also helps that they have one of the most talented and well balanced squads in the tournament!

SA were in complete control

Jonty Rhodes

The prospect of South Africa being eliminated from the tournament after three days was too horrible to contemplate - so I didn't! I was always confident that they would be too strong for New Zealand even though the Black Caps have some dangerous players.
The Proteas have not only stayed alive but did some useful work in repairing the damage which Sri Lanka inflicted on their net run rate. It didn't look like they were deliberately trying to score quickly which pleased me because you don’t take liberties with the game of cricket at any level, but certainly not in a tournament involving the best eight teams in the world.
Having bowled and fielded brilliantly to dismiss New Zealand for just 214, it would have been unforgivable if South Africa had assumed that the hard work was done and taken victory for granted.
It was an absolute pleasure watching them construct the run chase in the methodical and clinical way they did and, although the people around me in the Standard Bank hospitality box became a bit nervous when wickets fell, I always thought they were in complete control. It was a comprehensive win and will give the team's collective confidence a vital boost after the shock of the Sri Lanka game.
 The only thing which didn’t work for the guys was their throwing at the stumps. JP Duminy must have had a dozen unsuccessful throws while AB de Villiers tried even more often from backward point without making contact once! It reminded of the last guy to spend a lot of time at backward point for South Africa, that Rhodes guy. He was hopeless at hitting the stumps.
Actually, there is quite a lot of luck involved and sometimes it’s just not your day. We always learn to throw at the base of the stumps when the 'keeper can't get there and sometimes the ball hits a piece of turf and defelects away - or bounces straight over the top. You just have to console yourself with the fact that you’ll hit them all the time in the next game.
 I said after the heavy loss to Sri Lanka that South Africa’s habit of starting quickly and fading may be about to turn around. If they can maintain the intensity they showed against New Zealand and win again against England on Sunday, then they should reach the semi finals with huge momentum piled up behind them.
For now, though, I think we can all breath a collective sigh of relief (apart from Kiwis, of course) because the tournament might just have felt a little flat if the hosts had been eliminated before half the teams had even played a game.


Purna said...

'It reminded of the last guy to spend a lot of time at backward point for South Africa, that Rhodes guy. He was hopeless at hitting the stumps'.

I love him.