England v SA, Champions Trophy, semi-final, The Oval June 19, 2013

Ingram, Peterson star in poor parody

South Africa's effort with the bat, and some curious decisions for the batting order, was neither amusing nor intelligent, and made people swear

The Book of Mormon is a musical parody of the Mormon Church. It takes apart the church block by block in an amusing and intelligent way as people swear, dance and sing. The crowd love it.

South Africa's batting display was a parody of South Africa. It was neither amusing nor intelligent, and made people swear. But it was a different kind of parody, one that was to imitate feebly. The South African crowd did not love it.

The shots were a collection of comedy worsts that should be part of a Father's Day DVD in the near future. Leaving and being caught behind. Swiping across a straight one. Wildly swinging at a wide one. Cutting a full one. Stumping yourself by slip. And whatever Faf du Plessis's shot was.

JP Duminy faced 11 balls. It seemed like he was dismissed on everyone one of them. At once stage every single South African batsman decided every single straight ball should be hit to the leg side with the bat faced closed off. It was madness. Horrible disgusting putrid madness.

But even this madness should be evaluated. The shots were so poor, random and odd it is hard to even take them seriously. But their thinking, which wasn't under pressure but would have been thought out of sober analysis and pre-planning, was just as bad.

The repeated assertion that Colin Ingram couldn't open died down a bit when he actually made 73 against West Indies. But it doesn't change the fact that he is a makeshift opener with a first class average of 34.45 taking on a Test bowling attack in a must-win match. It's not solid thinking. Ingram has been a success down the order and South Africa have a spare opener in the squad. With Alviro Petersen making runs in county cricket, opening with Ingram seems like a risk you don't need to take.

Then to back him up with Robin Peterson, who has batted in the top order six times in 72 matches is actually insane. Why back up a makeshift opener with a makeshift No. 3? The ball is moving, you have proper Test hundred scorers in your line up, and England are already on top with an early wicket. That Peterson spent any time at the wicket was a testament to what a strong gutsy cricketer he is. That he was eventually out when James Anderson bowled four straight outswingers and then one that didn't was not a surprise, he did well to last that long.

To back up Colin Ingram with Robin Peterson, was insane. Why back up a makeshift opener with a makeshift No. 3.

In the place of Ingram and Peterson should be Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis. You can't replace them. Although if you are going to do so, adding a No. 9 at No. 3 and a makeshift opener is probably the worst way to try.

But this team still had class batsmen. Hashim Amla is a God who cover drives among us. JP Duminy averages over 40 in ODI cricket. Du Plessis has started his Test career like an alien monster in a bad mood. And AB de Villiers can do absolutely every-damn-thing, except write pop songs that aren't overly emotive. They were all there. All batting in the middle of The Oval. Facing England. As their country was reduced to 80 for 8.

In the end, it was a T20 slogger with a first-class Average of 29.57, and a bowling allrounder who managed to delay the inevitable and ensure that the score was not so embarrassingly low that South African fans couldn't see the number without vomiting in their mouth.

David Miller played the sort of innings he is unknown for, a composed international sensible knock. A man with none of the pedigree of the rest of his batsmen, and less of the technique, managed to play the right shots to the right ball. He did it on an incredibly flat pitch once the ball had stopped swinging. Mind you, had any of his team mates struck around, they could have done the same. The player who stuck with him was Rory Kleinveldt. Who as a batsman is solid, dependable, and bats much like any No. 10 in club sides the world over. He's clunky and unromantic, but you can't help but enjoy any success he has.

That partnership will help those two players. But it didn't help the team at all. All it did was prolong their misery.

De Villiers tried everything he could in the field. Had it been allowed, he would have suggested his bowlers try fancy dress and had his fielders singing Duckworth-Lewis Method songs in falsetto. His first three overs were by Chris Morris, Peterson and Duminy. After 11 overs, he'd tried five bowlers. He was essentially throwing bowlers at a wall, hoping one would fall down and trip the English batsmen. Few did.

After the match Alastair Cook said South Africa didn't choke, Gary Kirsten said they did. It doesn't really matter; they don't mark scorecards with choke or non-choke. If they did put random words on the scorecard, choke might be the most popular, but parody probably suits best. As whether it was in the satirical or imitating sense, that is what South Africa were doing today.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Duncan on June 26, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    The ODI side seems lost and it all points to CAPTAINCY, they have had some decent performances since Smith stopped being captain, but ABD was seriously at sea in this match, clueless, nice guy, but clueless!

  • Dummy4 on June 20, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    I stick by what I said on that Monday before the tournament even started and SA got whipped by Pakistan - Worst Protea side to ever tour anywhere, completely unprepared, shocking selections and at times even the most basic skills were completely absent, more inconsistent than Pakistan. Batting, bowling, fielding, captaincy, catching, running between wickets, six-hitting, all these went in meltdown at one time or the other.

  • Dirk on June 20, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    South Africa had better not believe they choked. Only a term that should have won can choke. South Africa should not have won.

    Both semifinals were won with large margins by the better team. Both semifinals might have been a lot closer if the worse team had won the toss; the worse team may even have won one of the matches. It would have been a travesty, The final will now be contested by the two best teams on show in this tournament. Both will have substantial support on the stands. Let's hope the British weather serves up a day on which the toss is not crucial.

  • Dummy4 on June 20, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    A below par and significantly under-strength South African team lost. Had Smith Kallis, Steyn, Philander and Morkel been playing I suspect the result might have been different... England are now a good ODI team, but are also not at full strength (KP and Swann are missing). Comments made about the number of South African-born players in this and other England teams requires some comment... and I'll choose my words carefully. When the abhorrence that is apartheid was consigned to history, South African cricket with the best of motives (but not always the best of outcomes) chose their sides to ensure they was properly representative of the new South Africa. However, the downside of this admirable goal was that some white players saw their opportunity to play international cricket greatly diminished, so they looked elsewhere (mainly England, occasionally New Zealand) so that they might... In terms of the count of South African-born Test players for England its about 10.

  • Dummy4 on June 20, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    Proteas will always choke in a match that has the word "Final" in it. Yesterday's game showed how mentally fragile south Africa is and how poor the selection committee is. Dummyniy is in such poor form, but continues to make the team. Ingram has only had one success as an opener but management continues with him. Where is Albie Morkel, an actual power striker? Alviro is there and has been scoring runs but they continue with hash.

  • Anupam on June 20, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Absolutely unnecessary bashing. SA are a great team, they had one bad day, and look at the bashing they receive. The fact is England played much better then SA and are perhaps a better team also. Had Peterson made 20 odd more runs, the move to send him up would have been hailed, remember he did played a blinder against India.Ingram just played a superb 73 against WI to ensure SA reaches the SF. Duminy and DuPlessis had an off day and Miller had a good one. To discredit this team and to humiliate these players who have brought so much joy to the fans (not only SA but all over) over the last few years in the flagship format of the game - TEST CRICKET, is taking it too far. The situation is not that bad as it is being made to, we should support our players when they don't do well also. Remember those string of 40's that SA inflicted against Aus, SL, NZ, Pak? They did not do well in CT does not take away the fact that SA is a fantastic team. Their time will come in ODI's- An Indian SA fan!

  • Dummy4 on June 20, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    Thank you for the new word 'parody'. Choke was getting overused. LOL

  • Saif on June 20, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    @hari.pes100 - This was Australia vs. South Africs. One set of people here are claiming how good they are, and another set is anguishing over how good they could have been. How does the Indian cricket team come into it?

  • chinmay on June 20, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    South Africans sending in Peterson at 3 is like Greg Chappel asking Irfan Pathan to bat one down.Completely insane from the south african management considering the fact that they were already a couple of chips down and the worlds no1 batsman waiting in the wings.Poor decisions led to poor results.

  • Sri Hari on June 20, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    @OhhhMattyMatty....I see your hand and raise you with Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Rahane/M Tiwary, W Saha/P Patel, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Nehra/Munaf, Pragyan Ojha, Yusuf Pathan.......

    And to think that 9 of the above listed players won the last ODI WC ....