ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
South Africa v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, Delhi
A botched anthem and some aggravation
Plays of the Day from the Group B match between West Indies and South Africa in Delhi
Sharda Ugra and Firdose Moonda at the Feroz Shah Kotla
February 24, 2011
Halfway through the South African national anthem, one line before it was about to change from Sotho to Afrikaans, instead of the name of the country being belted out in high-pitched melody, it stopped. Instead of that throwing the team off, they carried on singing, helped by a section of touring fans. The group had walked in with South African flags draped over their clothes and had no problems helping the fifteen men on the field sing the anthem to completion. The ICC apologised to the team and said it will use a better quality version of the anthem in future matches.
The optical illusion
It was the only one in the West Indian innings, early on in the contest, just after it had been proved that the Kotla was back to its low, somnolent, unban-able business. Morne Morkel, in his second over, bowling round the wicket made full use of his height to find wherever shred of bounce there may have been in the wicket. The ball leapt off the ground and at Darren Bravo's nose like a drone in a bad mood. Bravo got his wrists out of the way, turned his body convex and lived to see many moments more. For the next three hours, it was normal service again.
The alarm-clock moment
After more than 11 overs of West Indies batsmen scratching around and being (pardon the word) choked mid-innings by the South African spin trio of Botha, Tahir and Peterson, Dwayne Bravo decided enough was enough. Botha tossed one up, Bravo Sr leapt at it, swinging angry, clean and over midwicket for six. A journalist in the press box spontaneously hollered, "Jamnapaar!", which translates into 'Across the Jamna!" . The Jamuna/Jamna/ Yamuna being the river that splits Delhi's posh southwest from its eastern edges. In baseball they would call that a lusty home run. The Bravo 'fireworks' promised by Gayle had been lit.
Imran Tahir dispelled any doubts about his patriotism to South Africa when he emphatically kissed the Protea badge on his jersey after taking his first wicket in international cricket. Tahir's joy knew no bounds, and with each of the subsequent wickets he claimed, his victory dance gained another step. From a mad dash into a circle of fielders to pumping his arms as though in a gym and screaming his lungs out, Tahir was enjoying every moment on the international stage.
Kemar Roach competed with Tahir for the most animated celebration when he dismissed Hashim Amla in the second over he bowled. After Amla was caught at slip, Roach ran wildly away from his team-mates, an excited pack of fielders in pursuit, and charged at the dressing room. He pulled on his shirt and thumped the logo so hard his heart must have jumped in his rib cage.
The West Indies have a way of getting under South Africa's skin and they did it again today. When Graeme Smith gestured for spectators to move away from the sight screen and refused to take his guard until they did so, Chris Gayle was impatient for play to resume. He kept mockingly approaching the crease, as though he was about to bowl, and then lobbed the ball over to Devon Thomas behind the stumps. Thomas removed the bails and, for a laugh, appealed. Smith was, predictably, unimpressed.
Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo. Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Sharda Ugra
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