Capitulation - Outplayed and out-psyched
I commented over on Will's site
during the first devastating and match winning 10 overs of the Aus v SA semi-final, that I haven't enjoyed watching a one day match this much since 1999 - yep, that other semi-final.
Contrasting means, to the same end though. Many people say "we want good close, exciting matches". They must be supporters of other sides! When it's your side playing, I don't care how much they win by, and just quietly when it's South Africa you're thumping - I say bring it on! I'd rather that than a tie any day.
I sat down to take in this game thinking I wouldn't be able to stay up late enough into the night (with work the next day) to see anything too decisive. Especially when South Africa won what everyone thought would be potentially a match winning toss - I figured they'd post some sort of reasonable total and Australia would struggle. I honestly thought, based on what Botham and other commentators were saying, that 250 odd would be too much for the Aussie's to chase down, under pressure, late on a dieing wicket.
Well the wicket never got a chance to die, and by the time I was forced to retire to bed, the matched seemed fairly safe. Thanks mainly to a mind melt down by captain Graeme Smith, who seemed to think he was Matty Hayden, walking down the track - twice - missing both, the first nearly an edge and second taking off stump, then disintergration by Kallis, who was completely sucked in by the Aussie's talk. Kallis fell hook, line and sinker for the talk about "letting him occupy the crease and take up valulable deliveries", managing to strike one nice four then being cleaned up by a regulation, full pitched McGrath ball, while Kallis was stretching across from somewhere over on the leg side? Mind boggling! Even Andre Nell was seen to be shaking his head - no doubt because bowling to the looming low total was never going to leave him much room for sledging.
McGrath, who many believed shouldn't go on this tour, moved to front runner for taking out the player of the series. No-one will write him of now, even when he's been out of the game for 10 years! He cleaned up Kallis, was lucky when Prince chased what, had it not been for his thick outside edge would've been a side, then, possibly the most important one of all - Boucher - so often a lower order thorn in the side of the opposition, was dismissed by a ripper, moving away, taking the edged and finished off by big Matty Hayden. At 5 for 27, SA got another let off with Gibbs given not out, from what seemd like a fairly obvious inside edge. 6 for 27 would've seen a total around 50 I believe, as it was they only managed to limp to 149.
Australia cruised passed, the one concern - Gilchrist again failing. Surely now, he'll make up for everything with a classic Gilly ton in Glenn McGrath's fair well performance, a World Cup Final which could be a "three-peat" for the Aussies.
Labels: 2007 world cup, australia, south africa, world cup, world cup final