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Well-balanced performance from Proteas

Tony Cozier, [email protected]

Well-balanced performance from Proteas

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SOUTH AFRICA’S overwhelming World Cup quarter-final victory over Sri Lanka at the SCG yesterday, by nine wickets with 32 of their 50 overs still available, was a template for others, not least the West Indies, to follow.

It was based on an attack perfectly balanced by the different styles of their fast bowlers, Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel, and an attacking, rather than defensive, spinner, Imran Tahir, purveyor of a combination of sharp googlies and skidders. Throughout they were backed by their usual flawless catching.

The teams entered the first of the quarters well matched, South Africa perhaps just
ahead because of their greater all-round depth.

Both had shown signs of vulnerability in the qualifying round, Sri Lanka succumbing to the two Antipodean hosts, New Zealand and Australia, South Africa overturned by two sub-continental opponents, India and Pakistan.

The two leading batsmen in the tournament were on either side. Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara brought a Cup record of four consecutive hundreds with him, South Africa’s captain AB de Villiers began with an average of 83.4, a strike rate of 144.29 and general acknowledgment that he is the finest batsman in the modern game, whatever the format.

Please read the full story in today’s Daily Nation, or in the eNATION edition.