Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/6/15/proteas-through-after-champions-trophy-drama

Proteas through after drama

UPDATED 15 June, 2013 10:21AM AEST | by Omnisport

South Africa qualified for the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals after edging West Indies on net run rate following a Duckworth Lewis tie.

The match in Cardiff was blighted by rain throughout, with the start being delayed by nearly three hours and the overs restricted to 31, but a heavy downpour in the 26th over finally ended West Indies hopes.

To add insult to injury, had Kieron Pollard blocked his last delivery before the downpour rather than taking a wild swing that was caught by Dale Steyn, they would have won the game when the Duckworth Lewis method was applied.

After West Indies had won the toss and elected to field, Ravi Rampaul opened the bowling, going for just two in his first spell, as star bowler Kemar Roach missed out through injury.

However, Colin Ingram and Hashim Amla settled in fairly quickly for South Africa and began to tot up the runs - Ingram letting loose in the seventh over to smash Sunil Narine right out of the stadium.

Their partnership came to an end in the 12th over when Amla (23) hit Marlon Samuels' delivery straight into the hands of Chris Gayle, who finally caught it after juggling the ball a couple of times.

Pollard then came into the attack in the 17th over and picked up the wicket of Ingram - on 73 - with his third delivery as the South African miscued the slower ball and skied it to Darren Bravo on the boundary.

New batsmen JP Duminy (2) departed after facing just five balls when he nicked with a feint outside edge to a ball from Dwayne Bravo, which was easily taken behind by Johnson Charles.

Francois du Plessis guided his first shot to the boundary, but he could not build a stand with AB De Villiers (37) who was run out by bowler Dwayne Bravo in the 22nd over, leaving South Africa on 153-4.

Du Plessis managed to make 35 in his 11 overs at the crease to steady the ship, proving to be a key man for South Africa, and after David Miller followed him four balls later, South Africa had set their opponents a tough total of 230.

A few more drops of rain in the half-hour interval threatened to restrict the match further but West Indies came out on time with Gayle and Charles ready to get cracking with the chase.

However, it was not long before South Africa were able to pick off Charles (16) as the batsman smashed a slower delivery off Steyn into the air, which De Villiers got underneath.

That proved the signal for Gayle to begin ramping it up, much to the dismay of the South African fielders. He was not as powerful as the West Indies might have needed, though, as he was soon caught by Du Plessis at point off the bowling of Chris Morris in the 11th over for 36.

Devon Smith was looking solid in the middle but his stint at the crease came to an end when he was trapped lbw, following a review, after hitting a quickfire 30 off just 29 balls.

South Africa and Samuels also followed Smith off the field as the rain started to come down again, but they were back out within 10 minutes to keep the game alive.

Dwayne Bravo joined Samuels when they returned to the field but his stay was short lived, as he was run out by Amla in the 17th over for 12, to leave West Indies on 104-4. With Pollard and Samuels at the crease, it became apparent that Duckworth Lewis was on their minds as the drizzle once again began to fall, as Samuels began to hammer Ryan McLaren in the 19th over.

After the pace bowler’s first delivery went for a dot, the second was smashed 85 metres for six, before the next two found the boundary for four, leaving the South African side in disarray.However, Steyn got the breakthrough three overs later as he took out his middle stump to dismiss the danger man for 48, scored off just 38 balls.

Steyn, who missed both the previous qualifying games through injury, could not be stopped as he also took the catch of Pollard (28) a few overs later, as he made a wild swing off the bowling of McLaren. And that dismissal proved to be decisive.

Barely had Pollard trudged off than the heavy rain began to fall, forcing both teams off the field.

With the clock ticking past the scheduled finish time, the match was subsequently abandoned - with a tie on Duckworth Lewis declared - and South Africa, crucially, progressing on net run rate.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 15 June, 2013 10:00AM AEST

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