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South Africa managed to end close day on an impressive 340/3. South Africa started like a house on fire and set the tone with a maximizing Power play as they rushed to 50/0. As they seemed to gaining further momentum the West Indies managed to pull three wickets back in fifteen balls. Dean Elgar (28), under fire Alviro Petersen (27) and Far du Plessis (0) all fell with the score at 57 with Roach being in inspired form with two brilliant deliveries.



When it seemed the West Indies had kicked on and were about to turn the screw on the Proteas entered the majestic duo of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers who not just steadied the ship but managed to direct it to an island of paradise. An unbeaten double century partnership, a new record and a display of the strokes in their arsenal all but ended any hope of the West Indies revival. An injury to Kemar Roach (2/52) all but ended any hope of a revival as they lost their best performer with ball in hand. Inexperience and youth brought about the exuberance and energy this West Indies side had but it could not match the experience, calm and class that the Proteas managed to display. In charge and looking set to posting a massive score the underdogs will have a mountain to climb as they look to have an early breakthrough before tea tomorrow. Amla on his first day as Proteas Test captain at home ended on 133 not out, while ODI captain Abraham de Villiers ended on 141 not out.

AB de villiers [Image by Deon Maritz]
What we learnt:

  • Despite a top order collapse the Proteas have a strong batting line up as de Villiers and Amla managed to steady ship. Alviro Petersen is on borrowed time and will look turn his form around in the second Innings or face the axe. 
  • Young and still raw, the West Indies are in a building phase showing glimpses of what they are capable of. This side could reach the heights of the great West Indies sides of the past. How long could Kemar Roach lead their attack? Could he be consistent?
  • The visitors must improve their bowling accuracy significantly or face the punishment. The South Africans look in good form and at this rate could be well over 450 by tea.


Article contributed by: Benedict Chanakira

Twitter: @bchanakira2

One hundred days before the Cricket World Cup and the preparations are starting to slow down for most countries. The show piece will be held in Australia and New Zealand. The showpiece has been dominated by Australia and this could yet another star for them. We look at the teams, and we start with South Africa: The Proteas, Labeled chokers, world beaters and the inconsistent team.
South Africa:

South African ODI captain AB de Villiers
The Proteas are ranked top of the ICC rankings and have been the most consistent side this year. Unfortunately they suffered an embarrassing 1-4 defeat in Australia and this taught them valuable lessons ahead of the World Cup. Time zones, pitch adaptation will be factors atop their list as they look to prepare for the show piece. They are the best side at adapting in world cricket and they must master the time zone factor which will see them move not just between states but countries. Their best performances have been in the 1992, 1999 and 2007 were they crushed out in the semi-finals stage. The Proteas need to find their mental breakthrough as they always seem to come short. This could be the last chance for several stalwarts in the side to win the tournament. Can they finally break the duck? They play the West Indies and after that it will be the World Cup.

Key performers:

AB de Villiers is the captain of this side, taking over from legend Graeme Smith. The batsman has put in some eye catching, game changing, and game defining moments. The batsman who managed to use the ball recently against Australia, always used to compete with Kumar Sangakkara for the number 1 spot. If South Africa are to win their maiden trophy a consistent display is needed.

Dale Steyn is the best bowler in the world: Aggressive, fast and a weapon of mass destruction. Can the bowler be rattling the bales as the Proteas look to glory? Steyn has the ability to hit a ball as well when desperate times call for a tail end fight. Could this legend further cement his name in Protea fans folklore by winning it for them. At 31, Dale is no more a spring chicken.

Article contributed by: Benedict Chanakira

Twitter: @bchanakira2

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