There were 6513 people in the stadium tonight. By the end, all of them were singing "Bye Bye Bushrangers, we hope to see you again." It's something of a tradition here in Port Elizabeth to sing a farewell to the opponents. Davey Jacobs heard it at covers. He smiled. He has heard it increasingly over the last two seasons here.
For 18 years, Warriors had not won a thing. Then Jacobs became the captain. Youngsters were drafted in. The culture was changed. The trophies came home but that's a story for another night. Tonight was his; it was his game, his triumph as a batsman, as a fielder, and as a captain. It doesn't come often in a life of sportsman but some days everything falls into place. Tonight, it was Jacobs v Victoria. Or so it seemed. He would be the first to deny that of course.
"I would rather try to make someone else play better than make myself better," Jacobs told ESPNcricinfo this morning during breakfast. "I always believed that if you try to make someone else better, you will get better without realising. That's how life works eh. The game will look after you. You throw down the ball to help better some one's cover drives and for some reason yours gets better. That's life."
It had taken him a while to talk about himself. Admittedly for the first 30 minutes the questions were about his team, the turnaround his captaincy had brought about in the culture of Warriors, but he never tried to lead the questions to himself, the player. When the shift eventually happened, naturally, one was stunned by his self-confidence.
Davey is 27. In the subcontinent that's old. In South Africa it's young. He is young and thirsty. "I am ready now to play for South Africa. I know I will be successful." He then said these words: "It will be amazing for me of course but it will be massive for them [South Africa] as well because of what I can bring on to the table."
The musk he is wearing is called confidence. What registered most was that there didn't seem to be even a hint of arrogance in the way he said it. It's a thin line anyway. Currently, Jacobs has pitched his tent on that line. "I want to play for South Africa. I am pushing for it now. They [South Africa] do need some fresh approach. Especially in T20 and in ODIs they need a fresh approach. And change. I know I can provide that."
What makes you so special? "I don't wait for things to happen, I make it happen," he said. "If there is a play to be made I will be the first guy to go and do it. I don't wait for someone else. I try to lead by example."
Tonight, there were several plays to be made. Several moments were waiting to be seized. He pounced. With the bat, he set up a rapid-fire start: It's a simple technique he possesses - His wrist is already cocked as he waits with the bat slightly raised. That cocked wrist has its disadvantages of course, but it also means he can play the ball very late. Just uncork by snapping the wrists at the last instant. He blazed away but saw his team squander the start. In the change-over, just before his team left to field, he pointed the obvious to them: "We would have taken 160 at the start. Of course we are all slightly disappointed but let's not forget 160 is a damn good score." Sometimes, the obvious is what you miss. Sometimes, you just need to hear a calm voice of authority state the obvious.
Sometimes though, words are not enough. You need to walk the talk. The first moment came when Brad Hodge, Victoria's leading bat, crashed Makhaya Ntini over mid-on. Or so it appeared until Jacobs decided to intervene. He flew upwards to take a stunner. He was to take another good catch, though as he later admitted, it perhaps was more of a made-for-TV catch. His catches nearly derailed Victoria. Only David Hussey could have stopped the Warriors. Jacobs brought on Kreusch, who produced a fatal yorker. Game over.
Sometimes, everything you touch turns to gold. For the last two years, Jacobs has been a goldsmith for Warriors. For the last two years South Africa has been slipping in Twenty20 and ODIs. Has the time come then for Jacobs to be given a chance at the top level in limited-overs? Ntini thinks so. "You saw today. He was unbelievable," Ntini said. "He always leads by example. If given a chance, he will be successful."
There is one further thing that Jacobs said in the morning that leaps to memory now. It was another thing he said so calmly, slipped it in so quietly that its gravity didn't hit you then. "Johan Botha is my vice captain here. I am looking forward to be his T20 vice-captain at the national side."
Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo