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World Cup Vignette

Oram, South Africa and the curse

Inexplicable things happen to South Africa in ICC events, but how did they choke during a chase of 222 in the 2011 game against New Zealand?

"The monkey's almost become a gorilla now."
Mickey Arthur's grim humour came on the back of self-inflicted wounds in Mirpur, when South Africa failed to chase down 222.
New Zealand needed to grasp at straws as they watched the opposition cruise to 108 for 2. Things were turned their way when Jacob Oram, returning to the XI after being dropped for the last game, dusted off his magician's cloak: he raced across, flung his massive hands over his head and snagged a full-blooded pull from Jacques Kallis that was headed for the midwicket boundary.
Then Faf du Plessis' senses were dulled and a suicidal run removed the other set batsman, AB de Villiers. This was no longer a stray cut. It was a gash and New Zealand kept gouging away. Kyle Mills, the substitute, jogged in with the drinks and threw in a few sledges at du Plessis. Even Daniel Vettori, he of the Harry Potter appearance, got in du Plessis' face.
Eight wickets fell for 64 runs. South Africa suffocated in a mess of tame dismissals. Oram took a haul of 4 for 39, the second best in New Zealand's World Cup history while defending a total. "Thankfully, I am 6ft 6in, and I replaced Kane Williamson who, I think, is 4ft 6in," he said about the Kallis catch.
This article was first published in 2014