Rain denies South Africa World Cup points in Australia, again

Published on Oct 24, 2022 09:13 PM IST

South Africa looked on course for a win in a curtailed tie against Zimbabwe before heavens opened up.

South Africa's Keshav Maharaj, left, chats with Quinton de Kock during a match(AP)
South Africa's Keshav Maharaj, left, chats with Quinton de Kock during a match(AP)
By, Mumbai

Quinton de Kock came out with his flashing blade, playing catch up not so much with the asking rate but the weather gods. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t finish off before nature intervened. In a match that was severely affected by rain and saw only 12 overs of action, South Africa were left stranded just 13 runs short of Zimbabwe's target, under the revised Duckworth-Lewis equation, when a steady downpour hit Hobart in the day's second match on Monday. Despite being dominant throughout in the shortened 9-overs match, they were forced to share a point with their African neighbours.

De Kock wasn’t even born when South Africa were robbed of a fair crack to make it to the World Cup final in 1992 due to rain and a farcical rain-rule in Australia. But he would grown-up listening to stories of the resentment South African cricketers felt in that semi-final against England at Sydney on being asked to chase 22 off 1 ball under the revised equation from 47 needed off 30 balls. De Kock and South Africa would hope the point they lost here wouldn’t come back to bite them when the semi-final qualifications are calculated.

DE KOCK GOES HARD

Left to get 80 runs at less than 9 runs-an-over, De Kock decided to push the run-rate up while chasing a quick win. Tendai Chatara kept attacking the stumps in the first over and De Kock kept depositing him to the boundary ropes; 23 runs coming off the over -- four 4s and a maximum. After 7 balls were bowled, there was another rain interruption. With the target revised to 64 runs off 7 overs, de Kock continued to blitz his way with boundaries. But the rain soon got heavier and the final weather interruption sealed the match’s fate with South Africa 13 runs short.

Umpires Michael Gough and Ahsan Raza did their best to keep the players on the field despite showers beating down, until it became impossible. Commentators lip-read Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams remind the umpires’ ‘this is a World Cup’ after which the stumps were uprooted. Play had to restart within 8 minutes of action to constitute a 5 overs match. Had that happened, South Africa were already in front on the rain rule. But the rain Gods didn’t show any mercy.

When the match began, it appeared Zimbabwe seemed to have got the short end of the stick, having chosen to bat for a full match before heavens opened. The disadvantage of having to defend in a shortened match had widened the gulf between the two sides. South African quicks continued to bang the ball on the surface holding cross seam for better gripping and boundary scoring became difficult. Only the diminutive Wessly Madhevere’s inventive stroke play late in the innings lifted Zimbabwe to 79.

IMPACT ON GROUP

With South Africa having lost a point that was theirs for the taking, it would please Pakistan, who lost a close encounter to India on Sunday in Group 2. While Zimbabwe would count themselves fortunate to open their account on the points table, it could end up being a close finish between India, Pakistan and South Africa for a place in the final four. Bangladesh and Netherlands are the other teams in the Group.

Taskin 4-for helps Bangladesh beat Netherlands

Taskin Ahmed used his pace effectively to rock Netherlands with his spell of 4/25 and help Bangladesh successfully defend 144 at Hobart in their first Super 12 tie.

With the bat, Bangladesh had lost half their batting side in the first 11 overs. But thanks largely due to the late hitting of Afif Hossain 38 (27b) and Mosaddek Hossain’s 20 (12b), they were able to give their bowlers a fighting chance. Taskin’s fiery opening spell in which he picked up wickets off the first two balls and their impressive ground fielding kept Netherlands out of the contest for most of their batting reply. Some feisty batting from Paul van Meekeren in the death overs gave Bangladesh a late scare, where he brought the equation down to 12 needed off the last two balls. But Soumya Sarkar kept his cool to create history for the Bangla tigers.

This was their first ever victory in the second round of a T20 World Cup. “This (win) was important. From 2007, I have been playing, but we haven't won,” Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said after the match. “That's why we were a bit nervous with the batting. I am very happy with our fast bowling. And fielding is one area we think we can be the best in the world.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rasesh Mandani loves a straight drive. He has been covering cricket, the governance and business side of sport for close to two decades. He writes and video blogs for HT.

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