Cape Town - His body language left so few doubts: “I’ve got this.”

At a time when the writing was, sadly, already firmly plastered on the wall against India in Wednesday’s World Cup match, Chris Morris at least showed that there was still a bit of residual passion and urgency in the Proteas’ midst at the Rose Bowl.

It was never going to be a game-changing moment, but what his cool-headed caught-and-bowled effort to dismiss legendary wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni did at the start of the 47th over in the Indians’ (ultimately comfortable) chase was briefly arrest a developing rot.

Having hung on tenaciously for solid periods in the match - that was something - South Africa were just beginning to unravel in a pronounced way in the field, clearly digesting the grim reality that nought from three at the tournament was simply a few minutes away.

The Proteas’ fielding was getting even more scratchy than it had been for some time, while Dhoni and the game’s star player and century-maker Rohit Sharma began to open their shoulders and rattle off boundaries as the pressure progressively eased for the favourites to get the job done.

That the wheels were coming off for South Africa had also just been demonstrated by the highly unusual sight of David Miller, one of the team’s premier fielders by reputation, grassing an absolute sitter as Sharma skied a ball to the covers for a routine catch - the unwanted comedy to accompany the fast-developing “tragedy”.

Hugely deserving a wicket for his illuminatingly disciplined bowling services, though, Morris quickly found himself in an unenviable, Miller-like situation as Dhoni mistimed one into the heavens off his bowling, smack on the square.

Under the circumstances, it would have been so tempting for a variety of nearby Proteas fielders to shout “yours” by way of glorious cop-out, such was the intolerable pressure not to spill another dolly.

There was no need: the lanky Morris frantically gesticulated like a traffic cop on duty at a busy intersection that it was quite unnecessary for anyone but him to claim the offering.

He has trusty hands - so did his father Willie in his Northern Transvaal days - and they did not let him down.

Duly completing the catch with pleasing comfort, he inadvertently tumbled onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end, the sort of thing that can cause the odd, freak mishap to the body.

South Africa have had enough of those, and it didn’t ... besides, Morris was clearly not letting that ball go from his clutches, come what may.

It was all a bit after the fact, yes, but a spirited, defiant little cameo all the same from a cricketer who had a memorable all-round match (shrugging off a less auspicious one against Bangladesh) and had not been part, remember, of the original squad.

In addition, while highly rated as a Twenty20 player in India, his commitment to the national cause has been called into question at times by notably high-profile critics like Graeme Smith.

But Chris Morris, amidst a currently jittery group of players, has set a bit of a lead for the win-starved Proteas at this World Cup.

A couple more South African players saying “I’ve got this” in responsibility terms, and you never know: the embattled side could yet claw back one against West Indies on Monday at the same venue?

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