The majority of South African cricketers might not be able to achieve it, but Allan Donald has worked out the best way to win a World Cup knock out match.
The Kiwi coach has cleary learnt from previous experiences and was seen joyfully celebrating pitch side as the last wicket fell, when Morne Morkel holed out to sub Jamie How in the deep.
I couldn’t believe it when I heard the stat, that South Africa have never won a world cup knock out match in 5 attempts. That is remarkable for a country that has produced some of the best players and teams in the world over the last 20 odd years since readmission.
I was also amazed by the shot that Jacques Kallis got out to, if ever there was a time and a place for Kallis to play a ‘typical Kallis test style innings,’ it was in this game and on this pitch.
I’m not singling Kallis out for blame, he can’t always be relied on to be the man to get them over the line, and afterall, he top scored for SA in this game.
I just think had he batted through in his usual risk free manner, then South Africa would have won. They also may well have won had AB de Villiers not been stupidly run out not long afterwards, that looks to be the passage of play that ultimately decided the match.
After the early loss of the openers New Zealand seemed to adopt the Aussie approach from the previous day in looking to set a sensible total. Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor’s 114 run partnership was played in a cautious, watchful manner, they realised that a score of 240-260 would keep them well in the match – and so it proved.
At the half way stage they did look a few runs short, but I thought they played sensible cricket. 221/8 is far better than going gung-ho and getting bowled out for 160-170.
Not just that partnership won the match. New Zealand’s attitude and exceptional ability in the field created the pressure that ultimately caused South Africa to crumble from 108/2 to 172 all out, that’s some collapse.
The Kiwi’s were great, their heads never dropped, they chased everything down like Cheetahs and Vettori knew the right times to keep up the pressure.
Small margins win tight games, Jacob Oram being big tall enough to reach the catch off Kallis and Martin Guptill’s excellent work in the field to run out de Villiers played a massive part in this victory.
As did New Zealand’s canniness, I keep hearing ex-players say that a lot of cricket is played in between the ears, New Zealand clearly did that better here.
New Zealand are now 13/2 with Bet365 to win the tournament.