Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

27 August 2014

South Africa: Cricket - South Africa's Lost Art of Death Bowling

analysis

South Africa cruised to an emphatic seven-wicket win in their opening tri-series fixture against Australia on Wednesday. Faf du Plessis notched up his maiden century and AB de Villiers chipped in with a ton of his own, but the bowling, particularly at the death, left much to be desired.

It's a good thing South Africa's batsmen were so industrious in their clash against Australia on Wednesday, because their bowlers certainly didn't help the cause. South Africa, having elected to field first, chased down 328 runs in Harare with ease. Faf du Plessis scored his maiden ODI century, while AB de Villiers returned to his freakish form with an unbeaten 136.

It is significant that South Africa won chasing a total and that they opted to do so. The pitch looked to have plenty in it, especially on a bright, sunny day in Zimbabwe, but South Africa's chasing record has left much to be desired over the last few months. Prior to this result, eight of the last 10 matches have seen them chasing. Against an Australian attack with the likes of Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc, it was a significant step forward in their World Cup preparation....

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