South Africa starts off their Twenty20 campaign with élan
Sep 12: South African opener Herschelle Gibbs ripped apart West Indies bowling attack, scoring unbeaten 90 of just 57 balls studded with 10 fours and 2 sixes, propelling his team to register an eight wickets resounding victory over Windies and chased down the highest score in the previous 20 Internationals in the opening match of the inaugural Twenty20 World cup last night at the Wanderers in South Africa.
The Twenty20 World cup got off with some great fireworks from the South African and the Caribbean were menacing their best to make this cricket extravaganza a joy to watch.
The slam bang version of the game saw some flying colours when Caribbean opening batsman Chris Gayle thrilled the spectators with a bludgeoning century knock of 117 in mere 57 balls to set the pace for the Windies, after putting in to bat by the rival captain Graeme Smith. His innings was truly a nightmare for the South African bowlers as there were none in their armoury to stop Gayle’s hurricane.
Gayle created the record of the highest score in the history of the Twenty20 game, surpassing Ricky Ponting's 98. He hit 7 fours and 10 sixes during his staggering innings to take his team to a respected total of 205 for the loss of 6 wickets in the stipulated overs. Apart from Gayle, his opening partner Dwayne Smith added some useful contribution, with a quick fire 35 of 34 balls in team’s total.
Chasing the target, being the highest score 206, South African team was never looking in a fret. They had no blemishes of the past when they lost to Windies in the ODI World cup opener early this year. It rather appeared from their batting approach as if; they were in a hurry to finish off the match as early as possible.
Gibbs with his captain gave their team a fine start and added 54 runs for the first wicket, which was crucial at that juncture as they were chasing the biggest target so far. South African team got an early setback when their captain Graeme Smith, got a zipper from Darren Powell in the very first ball of the innings, which gave a sickening blow in his right wrist. But the courageous Captain continued with typical bullishness before falling down Rampaul’s delivery.
AB de Villiers looked bit dangerous but he was caught early, behind the stumps, at the individual score of 16. Then follower Justin Kemp who added misery to Windies wounds, by scoring a blitzkrieg of unbeaten 46 in just 22 balls. Both Gibbs and Kemp put on an unbeaten 120-run crucial partnership for the third wicket that made South Africa the first team as a winner of the Twenty-20 World Cup History.
West Indies had to blame themselves for their defeat as they were very sloppy and sluggish in their fielding. Gibbs had got two reprieves at the individual score of 20 and 43 and Justin Kemp was also dropped at deep mid-on by Marlon Samuels when he was on 13. If those catches would have been taken; it might have surely turned the fortunes in Windies favour.
The shorter version of the game has really brought a death blow for the bowlers as they have been slaughtered like lamb all over the park and they can’t do much for their revival. The batsmen will whack them around in any case whether the ball will be placed in good length spot or not, which is quite evident from the bowling spells of Pollock and his Windies counterpart Rampaul, as both conceded 52 runs with an average of 13.00 in their respective quota of overs.
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