The Cobra’s won by just 4 runs after scring 207/2 with Davids smashing a century in 41 balls, finishing on 112 runs off 4 balls. He hit 7 fours and 9 sixes as he set the highest score in the Standard Bank Pro20 series.
The Kaboom series is well and truly on its way with just the second day of the series already lighting up the rather dreary provincial scene
If ever the ICC were looking for a fairy tale start to a new venture, they would have to perform a miracle to improve on the start of the Twenty20 World Cup. Over 400 runs in under 40 overs. Pro 20 cricket was designed to entertain and if there are going to be more exciting matches than the opener – Twenty20 cricket will take the world by storm.
SA decided to field first and after Gayle destroyed their attack with TEN yes TEN 6’s and 7 4’s in his 57 ball 117. Smith might well have regretted the decision, with all of the bowlers being smashed around.
Smith decided to lead by example and introduce himself into the attack as the only spinning option. He performed admirably for his ability and showed the side that with his limited bowling talent the over cost only 17. It did indeed spur on the rest of the attack with far superior bowling skills, and the 12th over bowled by Smith was the highest for the rest of the innings!!!
The Windies were cruising along until Van der Wath removed Gayle in the 17th over and only conceded 4 runs followed by Morne Morkel conceding 3 runs in the 18th over. This was the least runs conceded in the innings. There was little support to Gayle apart from Devon Smith who opened the batting with Gayle making 35 off 34 balls
The Windies set SA 206 for victory however as mentioned in “The Players to Watch” post, West Indies didn’t have the bowlers to back their batsman up and whilst 200 should be defendable by any team, SA managed to get there with 14 balls to spare.
The West Indies surely set a record for the most wides in a 20/20 international game conceding 23 of them!! Not that this detracts from the beautiful 120 run partnership between Gibbs and Kemp, Gibbs making 90 off 55 whilst Kemp carved 46 off 22 balls.
South Africa managed an 8 wicket victory which should be more than enough of a warning to Australia that they are looking to knock them off their perch as the favourites.
Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist. Symonds can win matches in this format, he is a brutal hitter which can swing the game into Australia’s favour and is my key man for an Australia assault.
Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright. Luke has had a fantastic time in the English county season and has the ability to murder an attack. The legendary Kevin Pieterson will be looking to prove a point to his old country and should be their top run scorer. Prior also needs to fire at the top for them to post something remotely defendable with their limited bowling attack.
Dhoni and Singh. India will hope Dhoni can blast the various attacks all over the place while Singh could enjoy this format of the game. India has a great all round side and are always a threat.
Bond and Styris: Bond can ruin the top order on his day and they have various batting options but performances from McCullum McMillan and Styris will be vital
No surprises in this line up who the star could be. Afridi has proven to the world many times that he can rip up an attack as well as perform admirably with the ball. A dark horse in this tournament and could easily end up victorious in the inaugural event.
The Morkel brothers. SA has picked a side full of all rounders. Captain Smith is the leading Twenty 20 run scorer, De villiers is an incredible talent and Philander showed he is class in the emerging players tournament. However my pick for SA are the Morkels. Albie Morkel can be termed a forgotten man of SA cricket yet he is more lethal than Hall, with the bat and certainly no stranger to bowling at the death. A few years ago he starred for SA “A” against New Zealand “A” in SA. Morne Morkel is going to be vital to the SA bowling attack. With the best bowler SA has in the form of Dale Steyn sitting on the sidelines – SA need to ensure that if Pollock and Ntini get knocked around there is adequate support and Morkel is the key man here. If SA win one of the Morkels will have a huge part to play.
Sanath Jayasuriya and Malinga. Jayasuriya is as deadly as ever and Malinga can be the weapon in the bowling department with his unnatural bowling style. A team to watch as they can beat anyone on their day.
Gayle and Smith: and co can chase down big totals but it will be up to the bowlers to try defend their scores. I don’t think they have the bowlers to offer much threat in this tournament.