Morne van Wyk (Gallo Images)
Kolkata - Morné van Wyk didn't just appear to be asleep behind the stumps in South Africa’s thrilling victory over India last Saturday – he was!Gallery: The Proteas win against IrelandBlog: Are you Smithophants going to continue to bury your heads in the sand?
The Proteas wicketkeeper had a nightmare match, despite the Proteas dramatic win by three wickets in Nagpur.
Van Wyk dropped three catches – one of them off opening batsman Virender Sehwag when he was on four.
Sehwag went on to score 73 and shared in an opening partnership of 142 runs with Sachin Tendulkar. That partnership almost cost South Africa a chance of victory.
Van Wyk only contributed five runs to the South African scorecard as they chased 297 for victory, which Robin Peterson and Faf du Plessis finally secured in the last over.
Proteas spokesperson Lerato Malekutu confirmed on Tuesday that Van Wyk had accidentally taken a sleeping pill shortly before the game.
“It sounds as if Morné confused the sleeping pill with a vitamin pill,” said Malekutu.
“By the time he realised his mistake, the match had almost started and he was struggling to stay awake.”
Fortunately, the 31-year-old from Bloemfontein did not suffer the same fate on Tuesday in South Africa’s penultimate group match against Ireland at Eden Gardens.
Thanks to his whirlwind innings of 42 and JP Duminy’s 99, South Africa were able to post a solid 272/7 in their allotted 50 overs.
Van Wyk then took four catches as the Proteas bowled out the Irish for just 141, giving them victory by 131 runs.
With the victory, the Proteas are now assured of a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament and currently also top Group B.
Proteas captain Graeme Smith said that it was a “huge relief” to qualify for the playoffs.
“The rest of the teams will be fighting hard this weekend to make it through and it’s fantastic for once not to have to worry about what may happen,” he said.
“We are not concerned about who we play in the quarter-finals as we'll have to win to advance, irrespective of who our opponent is.”
South Africa play Bangladesh in Dhaka on Saturday (05:30 SA time), after which a quarter-final eliminator against one of Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand or Sri Lanka awaits them.