Friday, January 8, 2010

The Curse continues for the Proteas even in tests

Well until now, the South African team used to make fools of themselves only in the one day and the T20 formats of the game. But, in yesterday's third test match against England at Cape Town, it was as though that the Proteas were desperate to extend that to test cricket as well. For, South Africa did each and everything to snatch a test victory from England, first by taking a small margin lead of 18 runs in the first innings and later on put up a mammoth total of 447 before declaring by setting a target of 466 runs for England to chase. But at the end of the test match, it was England who came out smiling.

A chase of 466 is never easy for any team and England is no exception whatsoever. But, one has to indeed congratulate England for attempting to chase that mammoth total by putting up a 101 run 1st wicket partnership between Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook. But, it should have been South Africa and only South Africa from there onwards. But that didn't happen. The last thing that any team would want had to be embraced by the Proteas. On the other side of cricket, Pakistan made a mess of their run chase by failing to chase a modest total of 176 imposed by Aussies and here, South Africans made a mess of their bowling to get rid of the English batsmen.

And this is the second time in the ongoing series that South Africa have let away an opportunity to win a test match. The first instance was in the first test at Centurion where South Africa still fell short of 1 wicket to claim a victory with England took to chase a decent 364 runs with a failed attempt. I wonder as to how come any team could be so stupid and that too repeating the same mistake in a span of one test match? And the match which the South Africa lost was lost by a mile when they were over thrown by an innings and 98 runs at Durban.

The only point to cherish for the South Africans this time was that the man of the match was awarded to the South African captain Greame Smith no matter for what reasons, unlike in the first test where the man of the match was handed to Greame Swann for his 5 wicket haul and 85 runs in the first innings. The only chance left for the Proteas is to win the fourth test scheduled at Johannesburg where in case South Africa manage to grab a win the series would be leveled 1-1. But, if superstitions are given a close look at, the Proteas have lost the 2nd test and the 1st & the 3rd ended in draws with South Africa needing 1 wicket to win.

So, it would not be a surprise if England in the 4th test to take a 2-0 lead to take home the series.

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