Sunday, March 12, 2006

Johannesburg ODI!

Okay, I don’t normally do “Live” blogging – but IS ANYONE ELSE WATCHING THIS AUSTRALIA-SOUTH AFRICA MATCH? As I type this, Herschelle Gibbs is just out, having taken SA to 299 for 4 in 31.5 overs, chasing Australia’s world record 434. That dismissal might just spoil the party for SA (I’m not predicting anything) but whatever the result there will almost certainly be over 800 runs scored in a single day. I don’t usually get excited about batsmen-vs-batsmen contests on disgracefully flat pitches, but this is bloody special.

Anyway, this has to be among the best one-day series ever - possibly the best if your criterion is that the scoreline be tied 2-2 after four matches and the decider be a match with all the drama of a Lagaan.

(And while on cricket, got up this morning and switched the TV on just in time to see Lara out first ball at Auckland. Like I said to Chandrahas on the phone later in the day, the man’s initial movement as he shapes up to play a ball can be so graceful to watch it can make your day – even when he ends up losing his wicket.)


  1. Unbelievable, isn't it.

    I wish India had played like this in the WC final.

    And the way SA is batting should put the rest of the match in perspective: so much for talk of Ponting's being the best ever ODI innings.

  2. The pitch was flat as a witch's tits and both sides lost their head in the field.
    Fun match though

  3. I know, but even with the flattest of wickets, it takes nerves to bat the way SA did.

    I have a newfound respect for Smith and Gibbs, especially the former who set up the chase with a belligerent 90. If Lara's movement before a ball is special, Smith's is atrociously ugly, but still today's was a great, great knock.

    I know I am rambling, but it is past midnight and I am all excited.

  4. so i couldn't watch it, and had to follow it on cricinfo. (this is why i hate living in north america). and then my sister in england, watching it on sky sports, began giving me live commentary for the last five overs!

    absolutely unbelievable. and my thought on the match is that SA really needed this win. to set many many demons to rest. against australia. if they'd choked with 1/2 runs to win, it would have been terrible for SA cricket. so i'm not just pleased at the result of the match in general, but pleased for SA cricket as well.

  5. "it takes nerves to bat the way SA did."

    Karthik: can't agree with that. Faced with a target of 435, you can only bat one way - and after that of course it depens on whether everything comes together for you. South Africa had no choice in the matter, which is just as well for them. Given a more conventional big target (say 300-340), they'd probably have lost.

    (This is, of course, the world's biggest Australia supporter speaking :)

  6. Buchu: I can't stand the South African team, and especially the scaredy-cat way they've always played against Australia in the last 10 years. But yes, this probably will set some demons to rest (Personally I'm hoping it doesn't, though - have always loved watching Australia pummel the crap out of them).

  7. Australia effing deserved this. South Africa \m/


  8. I was really hoping for a draw (if Australia had won my mother would probably have murdered me). Ah well. This match was just what I needed today.

  9. the scaredy-cat way they've always played against Australia

    I think it all started after that famous defeat in the world cup semifinals. Hope they teach Australia a few more lessons like this :-)

    I wasn't aware of the match, let alone the results. Agree with Buchu...this is a bad place to be for cricket lovers!

  10. Jai,

    it takes nerves to bat the way SA did."

    Karthik: can't agree with that. Faced with a target of 435, you can only bat one way - and after that of course it depens on whether everything comes together for you.


    But once they started getting closer.. a hundred odd runs in the last ten, two hundred odd in the last twenty-five, and they lost Gibbs and Kemp and Kallis, they kept going, and going well.

    I can't stand SA either, but I think the Aussies deserved this for being too cocky. At the halfway point they probably thought they had it (who wouldn't?), but when things started going the other way they did what SA does very often: choke. Ponting did several dumb things in the last few overs - not that Lee is the greatest bowler at the death, but not using him for all his ten overs while persisting with Lewis was a sign of either brain malfunction due to nerves, or misplaced faith.

    But what a match!

  11. while watching it, was wondering what jai will have to say about this match. thats he's a big fan of aus is apparent if you read his old posts.

    funny thing is, this even got my usually reticent dad excited. he doesnt watch any cricket other than in which india plays. mustve been the glenfiddich!

    by the 40th over it was apparent that south africa wasnt going to choke, but then its one day cricket, as the cliche goes (for good reason too)...

    negative creep: still wondering why aus 'deserved' this?

    was hoping the windies would win the match... :|

  12. Aishwarya: tie, not draw. ODIs can't be drawn.
    Looking forward to a Nadal-Federer five-setter in the French Open final now...

  13. I am not a cricket enthusiast... but I watched this match. Truly unbelievable.

  14. What a match Jai, splendid.

    And you know what, I believe this new look Indian team, where shoulders never drop, where every man fights as if he is fighting for his life can go one up on this miracle of a match.

    Next time, we are asked to chase such big totals, I believe we will do a much better job than the World Cup final.

  15. I cant believe it. Can't believe Aus set the target and that SA won....Poor Ricky (heheh). How flat was that pitch...

  16. 'world's biggest australia supporter'
    Sorry sir, but that title has been taken for the last fourteen years. Proof? Have you ever shouted 'go, warnie' at a packed eden gardens and ended up getting nearly lynched by the fifteen thousand odd very un-amused people (it was, of course, an india-australia test, the one where azhar made a magnificent 153)in that block?
    but yes, even I was rooting for SA yesterday, though I too hope they haven't gained much of backbone. A flash in the pan is alright, as long as they don't make a habbit of it :D

  17. Great match.. but why the drama of lagaan?? unless the aussies were the imperialist oppressors?