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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2015 World Cup - thoughts on first semifinal

Though I had backed New Zealand to win the match, I thought that South Africa were wronged in this crucial match. How?
  1. Rain-rule. Though the match had a reserve day, overs were reduced when there was a rain delay. The rationale was that all efforts would be made to complete the match during the scheduled time. Why then do you have a reserve day, ICC? What might have happened if NZ had to face only 20 overs? The target would have been a par-score for a regular T20 match (we all know how D/L score for T20 is)
  2. Revised target. Have a look at the typical run-rates of South Africa in this World Cup - what he says is that in the last five overs, South Africa typically score at 16 runs per over. That means 80 runs in 5 overs. Add 2 more overs at 10 runs per over. Now, add 100 runs to the score of 281 and you will know what would have been the score that South Africa might have achieved. This was very much possible as South Africa had AB De Viliers and JP Duminy at the crease and NZ had Corey Anderson to bowl 3-4 overs more. The mere numbers would have put high pressure on New Zealand. Definitely, they would have crumbled. But, it was not meant to be.
Even though these two points were to the disadvantage of South Africa, they have themselves to blame for the following turning points:

The botched run-out attempt by AB De Viliers during the partnership of Anderson and Elliot. This could have made a difference. I feel that it was because the fielder was such a hyper-energetic personality like ABD, the runout could not happen. He reached the wicket faster than anyone would have - that pace made him trip over the stumps!

The missed catch of Elliot, thanks to JP Duminy crashing into his colleague. Very poor cricket indeed - definitely, JP must have seen that Behardien was in a good position to catch the ball but still JP bumped into him!

Of course, Steyn was injured in the final over and that also hampered his bowling. If I was a South African fan, I would point to many factors during the match. But, there have been none mentioned by their captain or the players. Definitely a great way to accept a close loss in sport, showing that there is much more than just cricket. Good stuff, South Africa!

All photos courtesy Cricinfo Site
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