2015 ICC World Cup: Proteas Gain Momentum

Two other South African players had just scored centuries, but the applause for their steps past the milestone wasn’t as loud as when AB de Villiers walked out to bat last night.

High expectations greeted the skipper, taking guard on the Manuka highway. Since he was last in Canberra in November, de Villiers has claimed two significant ODI records – the fastest 100 and 150 (in separate innings).

A hot late-summer (still holding on) afternoon fostered a joyful atmosphere at the neutral ground. An overriding feeling trumped any result: how lucky are we to be part of the World Cup!

And we were lucky the South Africans won the toss and elected to bat first, because we got to see at least one complete-innings. The Proteas scored more than 400 for the second time this tournament. And the Irish never looked likely in the chase.

So what to take from this fixture? The Proteas’ form is building – de Villiers carried the side in their Windies win, but he wasn’t needed here.

Hashim Amla scored 150-plus (159), becoming the fastest batsman to 20 ODI centuries – 10 percent of which he has scored at the humble Canberra ground. Played back to back, the sounds made by Faf du Plessis’ bat would be as satisfying as the first few bites into a packet of chips. He strolled past 100.

The captain’s innings was noteworthy, not for the amount of runs, but for how easy he found the gaps. He holed out for 24… off nine, but before that…

We shuffled with excitement after de Villiers hit his first couple of deliveries in our direction at long-off. All-rounder Kevin O’Brien must have been able to sense the skipper was shaping for a six out here, yet he still bowled just wide of off-stump. The stacked off-side was not protection enough, and there was no pulling out.  His T20 franchise price must now imitate his strike-rate – well above average.

The Irish… What passion they bring to the game! But when you watch them live against an in-form world leader, it’s very difficult to imagine a green future beyond the final-eight.

The Proteas walk on.


  1. Keiran Croker says

    Nice summary Keiran.
    They do look ominous.
    I like the reference to potatoe chips!
    Cheers, Keiran.
    And Go Swans in 2015!

  2. Keiran Deck says

    Yeah, they’re hitting it so cleanly!

    Up the Swans!

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