Wow! What a terrific game! Australia was at its best but SA came back very strongly. For the Aussies, Hayden was his usual self, over powering with his brutal muscle power. Michael Clarke on the other hand was great to watch. Clarke was in truly sublime form and clearly overshadowed his captain. His innings underscored the reasons for his top billing in Australian circles.
It was a treat to watch the South African openers maintain a superb run rate right from the get go. They McGrath was greeted with three successive boundaries! Shaun Tait and Bracken were whacked around the park. Ponting & co. were at a loss until de Villiers run out. Hats off the Graeme Smith. The guy can really walk the talk. Unfortunately for him, the South African innings came apart after the loss of both openers. Kallis was too slow and simply didn’t do enough to maintain the momentum. None of the other batsmen really got going. To give credit to the Australians they came back strongly through Brad Hogg. His stumping dismissal of Gibbs immediately after being hit for a six was a classic. It was the turning point of the South African reply.
When you see these two teams performing it is very clear that Team India simply did not have what it takes to compete at this level. Andrew Hall’s final over (he conceded 4 runs to the likes of Symonds) was sheer genius at work. India’s opening bowlers in contrast gave away over 20 runs in extras in the very first 2-3 overs against Sri Lanka. The fielding standards in the match were also pretty high despite which so many runs were scored. A final between these two teams would probably be the best. But then you never know. My predictions seldom come true! 🙂