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More Overs, Same Result, Proteas!

Our guest writer Geoff Wakefield is back with more cricket and as the man will tell you, what a match it was in Kanpur.

A small change of personnel for the Proteas but no change in results. The result reads South Africa won by just 5 runs, like an entertaining thriller, and yes, it was oh so entertaining.

Former Australian international Tom Moody tweeted “One man scored 150 chasing 300 & you lose, doesn’t stack up,”, or does it?

Let’s start at the beginning: AB De Villiers wins the toss and bats. Every South African wicket added to the cause, from Quinton De Kock’s 29 to JP Duminy’s 15. Not one of the partnerships put on less than 41. The batting effort was a team one. This much was clear.

197 for 4 with 57 balls remaining was a great platform and AB, with Farhaan Behardien (yes that name AGAIN), exploited it to absolute perfection.

India were hurt by Ravi Ashwin’s side strain and without your best bowler, holes will be poked in any game plan especially when there is a batting genius the calibre of De Villiers plotting your downfall.

When South Africa entered the field, they kept their heads under pressure amid the weight of Rohit Sharma’s great knock.

From an Indian perspective, there is no doubt about the brilliance shown by Sharma, but when you examine the Indian innings more closely, you will see how much more effective the Proteas performance was compared to their hosts.

At 191 for two and Rohit set with over 15 overs to get the remaining 113 for victory, it should have been a doddle.

However, instead of rotating the strike and supporting Rohit in a canter to victory, the rest of the Indian order lost their heads, as the South African attack applied the squeeze to great effect, with boundaries coming at a premium.

It is a shame Rohit’s knock went unrewarded with a victory matching his endeavour but really, the better team won on the day.

The teams head to the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore next and much like game one, you can expect runs, runs and more runs.

In three ODIs at the venue, with 1790 runs at an average 298 per innings, expect the runs to keep flowing with the likes of Sharma, De Villiers and co lining up to feast on fours and sixes. Can South Africa maintain their squeeze when it counts? Tuesday’s action will give us the answer.

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