Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

3 September 2014

South Africa: Cricket - Australia's Win Exposes South Africa's Underbelly

analysis

South Africa's bowling at the death, and their fragile middle order, was exposed on Tuesday, as they lost their first ODI of the tri-series against Australia.

On a rare day of failure for Dale Steyn, where he was whacked for three consecutive sixes for the first time in his ODI career, South Africa came up well short against Australia in Harare. It was the pace ace's worst set of figures in the one-day format since November 2009, and while those figures will stand out like a sore thumb, South Africa still has far bigger worries.

Bowling at the death and, more crucially, a fragile middle order, showed that South Africa still has a very long way to go before reaching World Cup equilibrium. Imran Tahir, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Ryan McLaren all had a crack at the Rubik's cube of death bowling, but - how shall we put this? The cube won. South Africa's bowlers once again looked bereft towards the latter part of the innings. It seems almost incomprehensible that bowlers of Morkel and Steyn's calibre should be made to look so clueless when asked to do a simple task. Yet the lack of ability...

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