When it comes to World Cup-Cricket, I think South Africa has always been quite unlucky (and trust me, I’m not the only one to think so). In spite of being a strong team all along, they’ve never been able to get their hands on the coveted cup. The match against Australia yesterday only reaffirms my thoughts about their ill luck.

    Ever since I read the World Cup schedule, I had been waiting for the Australia vs. South Africa match and I, quite naturally, wanted SA to win. But after Australia’s batting, I wasn’t much hopeful, considering the tough target of 378. However,SA started off their batting so amazingly well that I chided myself for underestimating my long-time (if not, all-time) favorite cricket team. AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith were doing a real good job.

    The match was clearly moving the way I wanted. However, just when I had stopped touching wood and started relaxing, de Villiers was run out. The fact that he scored one run more than Ricky Ponting was little solace at this point. His wicket proved costly for South Africa. Kallis who came in next was a disappointment, yet ‘hope’ remained in the form of Graeme Smith. In spite of de Villiers’ dismissal, SA was still ahead of AU in comparison and the match was proceeding well in its favor. That’s when Lady Luck (the rude side of her) chose to strike. Smith was injured (how, I’m not sure) and had to leave the field. Gibbs, who entered next, was as disappointing as Kallis and I started losing hope bit by bit (rather, ball by ball). Boucher did play quite ok but not good enough to gain the momentum that was lost with Smith. Smith resumed his batting towards the end of the match but it was too late then. The damage was done and recovering from the damage became the goal at hand; the chase forgotten! :(

    I do admit Australia played well and I wouldn’t be doing justice if I didn’t acknowledge Ponting and Hayden’s batting performance (in case you didn’t know, Hayden’s century yesterday was the fastest in the WC history so far). Shaun Tait’s bowling was awesome too. However, SA chased and they chased well. I strongly believe they would’ve won the match, if it hadn’t been for Smith’s injury at the most unexpected moment. It was SA’s bad luck that turned good for the opposite team and hence, though appreciable performance by AU, I’m not giving them the ‘winning’ credit for yesterday’s match (not that it would matter to AU anyway!).

    Anyways, I’m glad SA still have their chance of winning the World Cup but I hope a little of Australia’s good luck rubs onto them. I know I’m sounding a bit silly here but come on, winning the WC, two consecutive times (thrice, altogether) can’t be with performance alone. Before you ask, no, I don’t have anything against Australia, per se. I do like the team and if it hadn’t been for SA, I would’ve supported them for the WC. It’s just that I’ve waited too long for SA to win the World Cup and I really really hope they get the cup this time. They deserve it more than any other team in the world and…they also owe it to Hansie Cronje who, in my opinion, is the best captain ever (may be that’s where my affection towards SA sprouts from :) )