Tuesday, April 17, 2007

World Cup Cricket: South Africa v. England

As I type South Africa is running down England in their World Cup Cricket Super Eight match. This is the game I have been waiting for since the Super Eight fixtures were announced, and as the weeks have passed it grew more and more clear that the South Africa-England competition would be huge and probably would decide the last spot in the Championship round of four. Given my affiliation with both South Africa and England, these are the two teams for which I root in international cricket, but my heart is always with South Africa, especially in cricket, soccer, and rugby.

England won the toss, chose to bat first, and from the outset were in trouble. To make a not-so-long story short, the South Africa bowling attack overwhelmed the hapless Brits, and South Africa put England all out at a pathetic 155. Now South Africa is at-bat and their attack, which has been lethargic for nearly the whole tournament, is clearly energized by the blood in the tank. They currently stand at 108-1 after 13 overs, which is, for you neophytes, an absolute ass-kicking. They could, at their current pace, win this before the 20th over and almost certainly will have it by the 25th, which is the halfway point for an at-bat in a One Day International, and with several, possibly 7 or 8, wickets to spare. I have to assume that this will go down as a historically embarrassing loss for the English.

If you act quickly you might be able to catch the remaining over-by-over coverage here.

Update: South Africa indeed did get it done with a whopping 29.3 overs to spare, winning by nine wickets in a thrashing. Australia looms for the Saffies, but if they play a complete match like they did today they will be a threat to nay team in the world. And for the record, I think South Africans and Brits are united in their loathing of the Aussies.


Ken Owen said...

As a helpful hint, Cricinfo gives ball-by-ball coverage, and it's often pretty amusing, too. www.cricinfo.com, if you don't know it.

It's been a very depressing day for an England cricket fan. We seem to roll over at any opportunity. The coaching of the team has been nothing short of abysmal. SA, on the other hand, have, despite their tendency to choke, shown that their players are more than capable of competing strongly in the semis and the final.

dcat said...

Ken --
Thanks for the heads up. I'll be in England for five days, leaving tomorrow, and was hoping to catch some meaningful matches on the telly while there (imagine, no cricket on tv in Texas -- I'm shocked!). I'll be returning even as the first semi-final match begins.

I do think South Africa, if they play to their capacity, can make some noise and win the whole thing, but which South African team will show?

If you in in Leicester at all in the next week, we should have a pint . . .


Ken Owen said...

Sadly I won't be in Leicester (possibly should be, but have only found out about the conference quite late, and looking at the schedule it doesn't seem like there's too much for a Revolutionary grad student!).

I'm disappointed the joys of cricket seem not to have found their way to Texas! It reminds me of a story my brother told me, about trying to find the Rugby World Cup final in 2003 when in California. He found a pay-per-view channel showing it, but even then the description was only "Rugby Union", and he was somewhat worried about haven't shelled out many dollars for a nonentity of a game.

As for South Africa's chances - they'll have to play well to knock off Australia, who seem to be in awesome form right now. If Hayden bashes Pollock about, then the match could slip away quite quickly. Then again, on yesterday's form, Smith is quite capable of doing the same to the Aussie attack. I'd love to see the Aussies lose - there's just too much arrogance that abounds when they get on a winning streak.

Mike said...

England choosing to bat first was a really losing idea. In the Super Eights, of 12 winners of the toss who chose to field - 10 of them won.

More here - http://www.nowombats.com/?p=25 .