We were out most of yesterday and returned at around 8 PM. I happened to switch to ESPN to see what was happening. I saw South Africa at a handsome run rate (9+ runs/over) but the asking rate (8+ runs/over) seemed to be high too. I added up the score and the required runs and I was flabbergasted at the target. 435 runs?? How badly did the Springboks bowl?!!
Then I began to notice fours and sixes quite regularly. The man responsible was Herschelle Gibbs. He was over a hundred runs old then and was going quite strong. I was rooting for South Africa as Australia have been winning almost every game and I am really tired of seeing the same yellow shirts win each time. When Gibbs and Kallis got out, I thought - 434 is obviously a very difficult score to get but one had to give it to the South Africans for soldiering on fearlessly.
Then the gap began to narrow till Brett Lee's last over when only 7 runs were needed. When Boucher hit the final boundary, I leapt in joy and everybody at home shared my feeling. What a win for South Africa!
Australia's invincibility should end and it probably has. We need games to be more unpredictable for the good of cricket. Now, India, under Dravid, has vastly improved its game and so have England, Pakistan and South Africa. The cricket world as we see has become flatter now - no higher teams and no lower teams - but a bunch of teams with around the same level of ability. That should make the 2007 world cup very interesting!
Once again, congratulations South Africa!