Never before in the history of World Cup was a semi final started in such a disastrous note for one team as it did for South Africa. Not even the first ever semi-final in 1975 when England were bundled out for 93 when Gary Gilmour returned with unbelievable figures of 12-6-14-6. The result of this second semi-final of the World Cup between Australia and South Africa was a foregone conclusion even before the South African fans settled down in their seats at picturesque Beausejour Cricket Ground, Gros Islet, St Lucia. Except for the coin toss everything went wrong for the Proteas. Their imbecile thinking of piling up a huge total going after the Aussie bowlers in the power plays is the only way to get better of Australia backfired terribly.
With still one ball left in the first Power Play South Africa was decimated to 27 for 5 with some accurate bowling from the ageless wonder Glen McGrath. McGrath took three wickets and broke the back of South African top order after their captain Graeme Smith was clean bowled by Nathan Bracken with just 2 runs on the board and Kallis continued his out of character batting style to gift his wicket to Shaun Tait. Then Ashwell Prince too followed Kallis example and chased a widest of the wides that McGrath bowled in his entire career to present a practice catch to Adam Gilchrist. When Boucher edged next delivery from McGrath to give one of the four catches that Gilchrist accounted behind the stumps, there were no two arguments about who will be playing against Sri Lanka at Kensington Oval in the 2007 World Cup final.
Shaun Tait took four wickets for 39 runs with Watson and Hogg chipping in with a wicket each. There were just three batsmen who could reach double figures in entire South African innings. Justin Kemp top scored with 49not out where as Herschelle Gibbs made 39 and for a while their partnership looked like resurrecting South African total to a reasonable number. AB de Villiers with 15 was the only other batsman who could score more than 8 runs.
Though Australia lost out of form Gilchrist to the first ball of the second over bowled by Langeveldt a target of 150 was never going to be an insurmountable for the current Australian team on any surface under any conditions against any opposition. Hayden made 41 and went past 600 runs for this tournament. Ricky Ponting made a relatively low score of 22 for the standards he setup in this tournament. But Michael Clarke flourished again with his fourth fifty (60*) of the tournament whereas Andrew Symonds made an unbeaten 18 and hit the winning boundary to take Australia to the World Cup finals for the sixth time and fourth in succession.
The brains trust of South Africa must be wondering what hit them to come up with such a pathetic display in a World Cup semi-final. They not only lived up their chokers tag but also were bowled out for their lowest total.
Today’s ‘Quiztion of the day’ relates to another semi-final match which was started on equally disastrous note. Here it is:
In another semi-final encounter which too involved Australia, the match was started on even worse note than this semi-final match. Surprisingly Australia was at the receiving end. In fact their fourth wicket fell at a much lower score than South Africa’s in this semi-final. But Australia went on to win that match with a huge fifth wicket partnership between an unlikely pair. Name the players and provide the details.
Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World cup Final.