Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

12 August 2014

South Africa: Cricket - Slow and Steady Wins the Race

analysis

Eye-wateringly slow run-rates on a pitch that was as stodgy as stale pudding might not have won over fans in Zimbabwe, but South Africa's means were justified in the end when they claimed a nine-wicket win in Harare.

Test cricket takes up a lot of time. In a fully completed Test, it takes around 30 hours to get a result. Within that time, much can happen and much can be learnt. It requires plenty of patience. For many, patience simply means being okay with waiting, but in cricket, it also involves how you behave while waiting.

South Africa have had to do a lot of waiting over the last four days. They had to wait to bat, they had to wait for runs, they had to wait for wickets and they had to wait for a positive result. How they behaved while waiting divided opinion form the aggrieved watchers to players who were gripped by tenacity. What was most important is that the batsmen valued their wickets and the bowlers rarely strayed in their discipline.

Their efforts paid off as they claimed a nine-wicket win against a Zimbabwe side that pushed them far more than anyone anticipated....

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