Proteas surge to the top

2011-03-03 14:52

Cape Town - The Proteas surged to the top of Group B at the ICC Cricket World Cup when they overwhelmed the Netherlands by 231 runs - the fourth biggest winning margin in World Cup history - at Mohali on Thursday.

Video: Tahir's three wickets

Gallery: South Africa crush Netherlands

They now have maximum points from their first two matches plus a hugely positive net run rate of 2.76 and a bucket load of confidence going into their third match against England at Chennai on Sunday.

This is another day game starting at 06:00 (SA time).

Apart from the opening 15 overs when the Proteas, put into bat, had to battle their way through conditions that assisted seam and swing following early morning rain, they were in total command throughout the match.

After 15 overs and three balls (including the bowling power play) the Proteas had lost both Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis in putting a modest 58 runs on the board.

But the match changed forever with the arrival of AB de Villiers at the crease. He won his second successive Man of the Match award and set up the Proteas’ record total for this particular ground of 351/5 in a third wicket partnership of 221 with Hashim Amla.

De Villiers (134 off 98 balls with 13 fours and 4 sixes before he needlessly ran himself out) and Amla (117 off 130 balls with 8 fours) scored their 11th and 8th ODI century respectively. De Villiers is the first South African to score two centuries at a single World Cup and he has now eclipsed the record of Herschelle Gibbs (2 centuries) with his 3 World Cup centuries for the Proteas.

The manner in which he dominated is clearly demonstrated: The Proteas scored 225 runs while he was at the crease and he got 134 of them.

The third-wicket partnership went past several previous marks: the SA record for the 3rd wicket against the Netherlands was previously 105 (Gibbs and Kallis), SA’s third wicket World Cup record was 145 (Gary Kirsten and Daryll Cullinan), the Mohali 3rd wicket record was 153 (Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga for Sri Lanka), and the South African 3rd wicket record was 217 (De Villiers and JP Duminy earlier this season against Zimbabwe).

To complete a very positive day for the Proteas De Villiers led the way hitting 3 successive sixes in one over and 3 successive fours in the next to enable the side to score 136 in the last 10 overs. This included 69/2 in the batting power play which was the second best for the tournament behind the 70 scored by Pakistan against Kenya.

Duminy carried on where De Villiers left off hitting 40 off just 15 balls with 2 fours and 4 sixes. This must have dispelled the notion that the Proteas lack power hitters in the middle order. De Villiers had a strike rate of 136.73, Faf du Plessis 128.57 and Duminy 266.66!

If there was any prospect of the Netherlands repeating the batting heroics of Ireland the previous day they were quickly shut down as the only managed 44/1 in the opening 10 overs and 55/2 by the end of the bowling power play. Kallis was particularly impressive in taking a lively 2/19 in 6 overs.

Thereafter it was over to the spinners. Johan Botha dropped out of the starting line-up to make room for Morne van Wyk and his off spinning role fell to Duminy. The three spinners took a collective 6/57 in 17.5 overs as Netherlands lost their last 8 wickets for just 39 runs.

There was a direct run out for Smith while Dale Steyn took the important wicket of Ryan ten Doeschate.

Imran Tahir had the best figures of 3/19 in 6.5 overs and has now taken a collective 7/60 in his two World Cup matches. This amounts to a strike rate of a fraction over 14 balls per wicket.

De Villiers did not field because of a recurring back strain suffered while batting. This was a precaution with the England game coming up on Sunday.

“I’m enjoying my batting at the moment”, commented De Villiers. “I’ve worked really hard to get into this kind of form again. I’ve been struggling a little bit with the India series back home but it’s great to be back to some good form.”


  • - 2011-03-03 14:58

    Clinical. Early days yet. Lets hope our top 6 can continue in this vain till April 2! Tahir looks the real deal. Big call but let van Wyk keep and bat at 7. Botha not worthy of a place as far as I'm concerned.

      alessandroz067 - 2011-03-03 15:58

      i concur

      Wessel - 2011-03-03 17:29

      I will take peterson out and put Botha in.

  • Jack22 - 2011-03-03 15:00

    Can we just please get rid of Peterson. When we get to the finals, India, Pakistan and Australia will murder him. Why's he in the team. He played more than 40 ODI's and has taken only 25 wickets at a cost of 50 each. He's batting average is 17. He's our weak link and we're going to pay dearly.

      george.traut - 2011-03-03 15:55

      Stop moaning you Idiot. I am not a Peterson fan, but who are you going to replace him with, Botha? All you do is regurgitate the same thing that all the other critics say. Ignore his 40 ODI's. Look at his 2010/2011 season because 2007 is just to far back. For the 2010/2011 season he has an average of 31.88 (Botha: 34.93, Vettori: 34.54) at an economy of 5.14 (Botha: 4.75, Vettori:4.04) with a strike rate of 37.2 (Botha:44, Vettori: 55.6). He is not that bad. In fact, he is pretty decent. Will you drop Vettori out of your team? I don't think so, so stop moaning about Peterson!

      alessandroz067 - 2011-03-03 16:00

      Botha's ODI bowling average is actually above 40. He is the weakest link

  • zulufox - 2011-03-03 15:02

    You beauties!

  • Gorilla - 2011-03-03 15:05

    The England/India draw was brilliant for SA. early days yet, but the guys are looking like they have found some form. Top order is looking OK. Lets hope they all start putting on some runs, AB is in fine form, long may it continue.

  • BigWig - 2011-03-03 15:14

    Bucket Loads of Confidence by beating teams way down the pecking order !!!! - What does this say about SA ? - Is this style of writing due to journalistic editoral licence ? Does the reader have to read in between in the lines when reading every article .? Is it a case any article will do that gets readership. Why do we read anything at all come to think about . Why is the public continually being fed b@@##*(@$t .

      Jack22 - 2011-03-03 15:24

      Thank god you're not the journalist - you can't spell or string two words together. You're clearly way to dof to understand anything about ckricket. Give it up.

      Zandi - 2011-03-03 16:49

      BigWig, why so negative? They win and you still have to find something negative to say.

      sannahan - 2011-03-03 19:51

      I follow the cricket on Sky Sport. The studio panel as well as commentators like Ian Botham and Ian Chappell are impressed with our team. Yes, they performed against weaker teams, but they did it in style. They know what they should do anthey do it big time. They stick to the basics in a fresh way. Cricket lovers love quality cricket while you stumble along in your verbal swamp.

  • stack - 2011-03-03 15:21

    hehe we're enjoying your batting too AB!! go on you good thing !! and Awesome HIGh Fives to Tahir and Amla as well - well played guys - lets bring it home!!

  • MactheKnife - 2011-03-03 15:34

    yeah yeah but wait for the big guys, then the Proteas nemesis will take over, the chokers.

      sannahan - 2011-03-03 19:54

      Don't you have something better to do than waiting for our team to have a hiccup? May you wait a LOOOONNNG time and be put to shame by a well drilled class act.

  • HappyInCapeT - 2011-03-03 15:48

    Good that we won, and good for momentum, but let's not lull ourselves into a false sense of security in hammering one of the minnows of the tournament, the real test are yet to come.

      ChumScrubber - 2011-03-03 19:24

      Windies can't really be described as minnows I'd say.

      GP - 2011-03-03 19:44

      The West Indies are ranked 9th in the world. Bangladesh is ranked higher than them. I'm just saying.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-03-03 17:55

    So far in this column the word "choke" has not been used. Until now, that is.

      ChumScrubber - 2011-03-03 19:24

      You seem to be wishing. Sad wish.

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-03-03 19:23

    Now we just need Kallis to come to the party. JP is amazing - small guy with the ability to hit huge sixes, just like Hersch. 40 of 15 - mayi babo! The oke is on fire!

  • navarac - 2011-03-04 08:44

    Why doesn't Sport24 have an up-to-date statistics page on the current and past CWC's?

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