Thu, 13 May 2021

  • The Proteas being unable to defend a 200-plus target is nothing new for them.
  • They've failed to do so five times and three of their failures feature in three of the five highest successful run chases.
  • On Wednesday, Pakistan joined the West Indies, England (twice) and Australia in rendering SA's bowlers null and void.

The bowling carnage the Proteas were on the receiving end of in the third T20 against Pakistan may have been shocking, but it was far from a rare event.

The Proteas have a grim history of being unable to defend 200-plus totals in T20 cricket, having done so five times.

Three out of five highest successful T20 chases have come against SA and they've all come in the past six years.

It is an odd stat considering they were the first team to haul in a 200-plus total while the game T20 game was still in its nappies.

When South Africa beat the West Indies by eight wickets in the opening game of the ground-breaking 2007 T20 World Cup on these shores, they became the first team to haul in a 200-plus target.

The West Indies' 205/6 was fuelled by Chris Gayle's 57-ball 117, but Herschelle Gibbs's unbeaten 90 off 55 balls, along with Justin Kemp's 46* off 22 balls coupled with 23 extras, meant SA's 208/2 was made in just 17.4 overs.

That 208/2 remains SA's highest ever T20 chase, but here's South Africa's not so glorious bowling moments after piling up the runs, which includes Wednesday's battering.

South Africa (231/7) v West Indies (236/6), January 11, 2015 in Johannesburg

When Faf du Plessis's 119 of 56 balls anchored SA's impressive 231/7, there was a feeling that the total was at least 15-20 runs short. David Miller added a priceless 26-ball 47, but the other five batting contributions didn't go past Justin Ontong's 19. They proved to be costly on an overcast day, but unforgivingly flat Wanderers surface where Gayle equalled Gibbs's 90 that upstaged him nearly eight years before, but his came in 41 balls. There also was Marlon Samuels' 39-ball 60 that set up late assaults by Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy that would see the two-time T20 Champions home by four wickets with two balls remaining in what remains the second highest successful T20 chase. The West Indies hit 25 fours and 11 sixes to SA's 18 fours and 12 maximums.

South Africa (229/4) v England (230/8), March 18, 2018 in Mumbai

The Wankhede Stadium was an unforgiving ground for defending teams in the 2016 T20 World Cup and SA was the first team to feel the wrath of the dew. Put into bat by Eoin Morgan, SA's total was impressive. It was buttressed by rapid fire half centuries from Hashim Amla (58 off 31), Quinton de Kock (52 off 24) and JP Duminy (54 off 28). England were still at the infancy of their hi octane limited overs game, but the containment of their spinners in Adil Rashid (1/35 in four overs) and Moeen Ali (2/34) sowed the seeds for a superb chase and spin bowling strangulation. Jason Roy's 16-ball 43 provided the early fuel, followed by Joe Root's class 83 off 44 balls that ensured England got home with two balls to spare. This chase was odd that SA had the higher boundary count (20 fours and 16 sixes to England's 19 fours and nine sixes) but conceded 26 extras to England's four.

South Africa (222/6) v England (226/5), February 16, 2020 in Centurion

When Heinrich Klaasen complained about the flatness of the SuperSport Park pitch, it came from a good, but dark place. On a day where SA could have and should have scored more runs, they didn't. Klaasen's 33-ball 66 was ably supported by Temba Bavuma's 24-ball 49 and Miller's 20-ball 35. This is England, the 50-over World Champions who could set as easily as they could defend. Having defended 204 two days earlier in Durban, they breached the stiffer target with five balls in the bank. Jos Buttler (57 off 29), Jonny Bairstow (64 off 34) and Morgan (57* off 22 with no fours, but seven sixes) made light work of the chase.

South Africa (204/7) v Australia (205/5), March 16, 2016 in Johannesburg

It shouldn't come as a surprise that open season for bowlers tends to take place on the Highveld, regardless of who wins the toss. It was the same here for South Africa as their 200-plus total needed the full 20-over allotment to be chased down. What Du Plessis (79 off 41), De Kock (44 off 28) and Miller (33 off 18) did was bettered by a rare middle order union of David Warner (77 off 40) and Glenn Maxwell (75 off 43). The eight overs bowled by Imran Tahir and David Wiese went for 105, something that proved to be the difference in a tight game.

South Africa (203/5) v Pakistan (205/1), April 14, 2021 in Centurion

The Babar Azam batting exhibiting upstaged the workmanlike efforts of Janneman Malan (55) and Aiden Markram (63). Klaasen complained about the pitch, but when you didn't capitalise on the conditions in the same way Azam did, there's no cause for complaints. That said, Azam had a stroll at the SuperSport Park orchard, picked off the run-making apples he liked and left SA with the bitter and accustomed dejà vu of not being able to defend big totals.

Source: News24

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