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June 6, 2013
The Champions Trophy got underway in cold and overcast Cardiff with an unusual opening ceremony involving soldiers in bearskins, beating drums with burning sticks. Not everyone was impressed.
South Africa suffered an early setback, as Dale Steyn missed out with injury.
Dale Steyn not playing. That light breeze you just felt was Suresh Raina's massive sigh of relief. #CT13— Alternative Cricket (@AltCricket) June 6, 2013
With Steyn, Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith not playing, the South African outfit looked like it had been cobbled together with whatever was available. A bit like their... outfit.
In Steyn's absence, the rest of the attack barely held it together. The bowling was predominantly short-pitched medium pace. Rohit Sharma took a liking to it quickly.
Doesn't matter how many times you see it, there is something life affirming about the perfect cover drive. Take a bow Rohit Sharma— Dean Wilson (@CricketMirror) June 6, 2013
10 overs gone- can someone rush out with gloves and tell rohit sharma that ISN'T half the innings over! #CT13— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravCNNIBN) June 6, 2013
Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan put on a 100-stand in quick time, setting a few interesting records in the process.
South Africa. Cheer up; at this rate you may avoid some bizarre sudden-death exit humiliation #CL13— Sports Freak (@Sportsfreakconz) June 6, 2013
The last time a 100-opening stand was made vs SA was when Sehwag & Tendulkar put on 142 at Nagpur in WC game - more than 2 years ago! #ct13— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) June 6, 2013
Rohit eventually fell, slapping a short ball straight to a fielder in the deep. But matters didn't improve for South Africa. Morne Morkel limped off with a groin strain, leaving the attack in dire straits.
1st 100+ opening-wkt stand for India outside Asia since March 2009; and the one before that was in 2007 http://t.co/ZCzn9tk2QZ— S Rajesh (@rajeshstats) June 6, 2013
NoMorne Morkel— Apropos of Nothing (@sidin) June 6, 2013
Morkel hobbles off. Only bowler having a good day. Robbie P finishes over. Apparently the Proteas team bus has been stolen, too. Kidding.— Neil Manthorp (@NeilManthorp) June 6, 2013
Dhawan stormed away to his maiden ODI ton, off just 80 balls.
Tsotslowbe.— Apropos of Nothing (@sidin) June 6, 2013
Dhawan is evolution in batting... And in moustaches.— Iain O'Brien (@iainobrien) June 6, 2013
Even South Africa's usually sound fielding withered away.
Yoh, but when Ganguly talks about the Saffas having slow fielders you must know you're in trouble— stuart hess (@shockerhess) June 6, 2013
Despite a mid-innings wobble, India recovered through Ravindra Jadeja to post 331 for 7. Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Rory Klienveldt suffered the most, going for 164 runs between them.
I'm going to start calling Rory Kleinveldt "Qatar" because of how robust his economy is.— Burton DeWitt (@bsd987) June 6, 2013
Robin Petersen was promoted to pinch-hit, and he was promptly hit by a sharp Umesh Yadav bouncer.
Myths dispelled today: India are weak against the short ball. SA have a chance in the tournament. Colin Ingram is an international cricketer— Antoinette (@mspr1nt) June 6, 2013
Then came the counter-attack. AB de Villiers showed South Africa still had fight in them by powering some electric drives through the covers. Petersen followed suit, as Ishant Sharma began to leak runs off the new ball.
Good to see Suresh Raina has a sense of humour, checking up on Robin Peterson after he ducks into a bouncer. #CT13— Alternative Cricket (@AltCricket) June 6, 2013
So long as Ishant has overs left to bowl, South Africa at least have a shot.— Burton DeWitt (@bsd987) June 6, 2013
Peterson and de Villiers strolled past their respective 50s.
Feeling really proud that this Indian team has one of the best fielding units in the tournament. Quite unlike the earlier Indian teams!— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) June 6, 2013
Jadeja continued to have a say, trapping JP Duminy in front with a quick ball, before catching de Villiers' miscue at midwicket. And right on cue…
For the first time ever, India have a better fielding unit than South Africa. #CT13— Alternative Cricket (@AltCricket) June 6, 2013
C word klaxon.— Hassan Cheema (@mediagag) June 6, 2013
BREAKING: India defeat South Africa by 113 runs. ALSO BREAKING: South Africa's hopes of ever winning another ICC competition.— Burton DeWitt (@bsd987) June 6, 2013
Worse was to come, when David Miller was run out following a terrible mix-up with Faf du Plessis.
Telecom companies won't be queuing up to sign the South African team #communicationbreakdown— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) June 6, 2013
SA hopes collapsing like a matchstick nun in a rugby match. Two schoolboy run-outs, and AB spoons one in the air. 199-6, 133 off 16 to win.— Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) June 6, 2013
Harsha Bhogle declared on air that du Plessis would have to play the innings of his lifetime if South Africa were to win. Alas...
Innings of his life happened 7 months ago in Adelaide Harsha. #HTH— Call me Ishmael (@thenugget111) June 6, 2013
Du Plessis kept trying, but meanwhile talk on Twitter shifted to whether it was appropriate to use the dreaded C-word.
This is fantastic. A word which used to send Saffas into a weeping mess now divides opinion and ignites debate.— Antoinette (@mspr1nt) June 6, 2013
A flurry of boundaries from du Plessis and Ryan McLaren briefly re-ignited South African hopes. They added 50 in just 27 balls.
McLaren and du Plessis rapidly reassembling that metaphorical collapsed matchstick nun. They've added 45 off 25. 233-6. 99 off 13 needed.— Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) June 6, 2013
But there was to be no miracle.
The matchstick nun hits the deck again. Not sure she'll be able to get off the canvas this time. du Plessis out.— Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) June 6, 2013
That was not the innings of du Plessis' life.— Peter Della Penna (@PeterDellaPenna) June 6, 2013
Kleinveldt out. SA's victory chances looking roughly the same as Kleinveldt's of getting nominated for the World's Sveltest Sportsman Award.— Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) June 6, 2013
McLaren made a fighting fifty, and Morkel came out to bat despite his injury to narrow South Africa's margin of defeat.
Thankfully Ishant Sharma has tried valiantly tonight to make sure South Africa's NRR isn't non-recoverable.— Burton DeWitt (@bsd987) June 6, 2013
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