Australia v South Africa, Game 7, Aus-Pak-RSA Tournament

Australia v South Africa, Game 7, Aus-Pak-RSA Tournament

Post by David M » Wed, 26 Oct 1994 22:47:35

One-Day International, Australia v. South Africa

Abarb Miaz Stadium, Peshawar

Monday, 24 October.

Australia had the last laugh at Abarb Miaz Stadium today,  albeit
nervously, defeating South Africa with two balls to spare despite
Hansie Cronje's undefeated century, reached from the  final  ball
of  the  morning's  innings.  In  a rousing finish, rookie Justin
Langer struck fours from the last three balls of the 49th over to
level  the  scores,  Jo  Angel was bowled for a duck by the third
ball of the last over but Craig McDermott drove the winning  sin-
gle next ball.

It was  a  gallant  performance  by  Australia  since  the  light
throughout  the  afternoon was said by an Australian photographer
to be dimmer than in a night match  at  the  SCG.  Every  batsman
played  a  part  but it needed the eyes of the young tyros Langer
and Michael Bevan, as keen as the birds of prey circling endless-
ly above the ground, to save the fading day.

This was Australia's fourth win in five qualifying matches in the
tournament and South Africa's fifth successive defeat.

Peshawar, at the foot of the Khyber Pass,  has  a  lawless,  wild
west  feel about it, and today there were armed police scrutinis-
ing the crowds from nearby water tanks and  rooftops.  The  crowd
threw  litter constantly at the outfielders, and even a few fire-
crackers, one landing so near David  Boon  that  it  stopped  his
heart  for  a  couple  of  beats  and  the  match for a couple of
minutes.

But the Peshawar people showed an  enthusiasm  for  cricket  that
shamed some of their countrymen elsewhere, three quarters filling
the stadium although Pakistan were not  playing,  and  generously
applauding when Shane Warne came on to bowl and Jonty Rhodes came
out to bat.  They approved heartily when Fanie de Villiers donned
a  topee,  a  traditional local woollen knit hat and. later, when
Cronje tried on a policeman's riot helmet.

The tournament has come alive in the last week,  with  all  three
teams suddenly able to score at around five per over and Cronje's
100 not out today the fourth individual century in the last three
matches.

Cronje has become a nemesis  for  Australia,  having  made  three
scores  in  the  nineties, and now this century against them, all
this year.  Cronje has only failed to reach 50 once in  five  in-
nings in this series.

He arrived at the crease upon the fall of the man he is  destined
to  succeed  soon  as  captain, Kepler Wessels, in just the third
over. The shadows were long since it  was  just  after  9am,  but
Cronje  seems  immune to regional peculiarities and distractions.
It is doubtful that even a firecracker on middle  and  leg  would
have  shaken  him.  He  played straight, hit hard and once he was
sure he had all the dimensions  of  the  pitch  and  the  attack,
stamped his authority by lofting Tim May for six twice, and later
dealing with Warne in the same summary fashion.

Cronje established partnerships of 85 with Gary Kirsten (45  from
55  balls)  and  65 with Daryll Cullinan (36 from 34 balls). Cul-
linan even took the previously unsampled liberty of pulling Warne
over  mid-wicket for six and when South Africa were 2-156 from 30
overs, they seemed bound for a score of more than 300.

But South Africa's Achilles heel is their lack of depth in  their
batting, and once Warne had bowled Cullinan behind his legs, Aus-
tralia were able to bind up the  ensuing  batsmen  so  that  they
scored  only 95 from the last 20 overs. Glenn McGrath was notably
the meanest of the bowlers, which means that he almost  certainly
will  replace  Damien  Fleming  for the third Test in Lahore next
week.

Cronje looked likely to be stranded yet again  in  the  nineties,
and finally needed a boundary from the last ball to gain 100.

Michael Slater (54 from 81 balls), Mark Waugh (43 from 54), David
Boon  (39 from 43) and Michael Bevan (45 from 55) all played well
but run-outs were costly and it needed the derring-do  of  Langer
to  secure  the  victory. Playing just his third innings on tour,
Langer remained 33 not out from merely 19 balls.

- Greg Baum, Sydney Morning Herald.

- David Mar.

Cricket on WWW: http://www.physics.su.oz.au/~mar/cricket.html


Astrophysics Department, University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia