Wills International Cup, Final, South Africa v West Indies

from Rohan Chandran and Alex Balfour in Dhaka.
28 October 1998

full tournament coverage

West Indies innings: 5 overs | 10 overs | 19 overs | 30 overs | 40 overs | end of innings
South African innings: 5 overs | 10 overs | 17 overs | 27 overs | 34 overs | 45 overs | end of match

West Indies innings 5 overs:

It was no surprise when Hansie Cronje elected to insert the West Indies after winning the toss, and another packed house at the Bangabandhu Stadium cheered enthusiastically as Philo Wallace walked out with Clayton Lambert to open the batting.

It had, however, been a surprise to see Lambert omitted in favour of Stuart Williams earlier in this tournament, after Wallace and him had destroyed the England attack repeatedly in the West Indies' last one day competition.

Cronje chose to open with the off spin of Pat Symcox, posting a man out at deep square leg, and another at wide mid wicket. The crowd voiced their approval as Symcox was right on target, and it was five balls before Wallace was able to get off the mark, which he did with a sweep to the man at backward square. Lambert took guard in his own inimitable style, square on, open chested, and flagrantly violating every rule in every coaching manual, but he could do no better, and an excellent opening over ended with just one run on the board, the West Indians’ worst start in the tournament so far.

Steve Elworthy took up the attack from the far end, and worked up a tremendous pace, bowling at near 140 km/h, as had Javagal Srinath yesterday. Wallace was flinging his bat at everything, but it took until the sixth ball for him to connect, but when he did, he did so in style, a glorious drive rocketing through the covers to the boundary rope.

Symcox was a different proposition, and when Lambert gave him the strike after a cheeky single out to mid off, Wallace could do little more than push forward both tentatively and defensively.

Sheer pace at one end, combined with nagging off spin at the other end, appeared to be tying the batsmen down, but in the fifth over, Clayton Lambert gave the crowd a glimpse of what he could do, striking Symcox for a towering six which landed some twenty yards over the wide long on boundary, the West Indies finishing the over on 18 for no loss.

10 overs: Rhodes’ error proves costly

With the sun shining down brightly, Lambert decided that he had dallied around for long enough, and he looked to drive Elworthy back over his head, but managed only to sky a catch to mid wicket, where Symcox made no mistake. Shiv Chanderpaul was the new batsman, and it was noticeable that he was still limping slightly as he ambled to the crease. The pairing had enjoyed phenomenal success yesterday against the Indians, but things weren’t going their way, until Wallace disdainfully pulled Elworthy through mid wicket for four.

The bowler wasn’t too pleased, and when a follow-up bouncer hit Wallace as he attempted a hook, some words were exchanged. Wallace was rattled, and he tried to drive Elworthy’s next ball over the top. The resultant edge should have been a straightforward catch for the man at third man, Jacques Kallis, but Jonty Rhodes had other ideas. Running down from backward point, he called for the catch, but his spectacular one-handed diving effort was not quite enough, as the ball popped out of his left hand, dropping at the feet of Kallis. A vital chance missed, and South Africa, just for once, badly let down by Rhodes’ penchant for the spectacular.

The runs now started to flow, as Rhodes was left to contemplate his error. First Chanderpaul lofted Symcox over mid off for four, and then Wallace tore into Elworthy, nearly beheading umpire Steve Dunne as he drove back down the ground, and then following that up with a huge six into the crowd at wide mid wicket. He wasn't done then either, and the over ended with a delicate glance down to fine leg, which brought the West Indies to 49 for 1 at the end of 10.

Arguably more entertaining than all the strokeplay was the interchange between Rhodes at point, and Kallis, still at third man. The two were communicating with ferocious hand signals, the kind usually seen on the baseball field, and while one can only surmise as to what they were saying, it certainly didn't seem to be an expression of affection.

19 overs: Philo pastes South Africans

Unsurprisingly, after another relatively tight over from Pat Symcox, Cronje decided that spin from both ends was the answer, and Nicky Boje, playing in just his tenth one day international, was given his chance. Boje has an unusually long approach to the wicket for a spinner, and there is something in his action which stands comparison with Phil Tufnell, but he was bang on target right from his first delivery, and conceded just two runs in his opening over.

Wallace finally got his act together against the spinners, hoisting Boje over square leg for six, and following that with a brilliant sweep which unfortunately found the man on the fence at deep backward square. The quickness of his eye became evident in the next over when he came down the track to Symcox, realised the ball was a little too short for his stroke, and instead got down on one knee and swept him through square leg. It was only worth a single, but it was a shot which spoke volumes about his batting.

The fielding restrictions were lifted, and Boje continued, with just one extra man on the boundary now, posted at long off. Wallace showed him a lot of respect, obviously intending to play a long innings, and Boje earned it, his immaculate line and length forcing the batsman to play out a maiden.

Symcox rounded up a superb spell with another tight over, forcing Chanderpaul to present a defensive bat at everything, and finishing with figures of none for 29 off his allotted 10. Mark Boucher will have been particularly glad, as after receiving a black eye in the semi-final, a Symcox delivery struck him a nasty blow right where it would have hurt him most. Drinks were taken at the end of the over, with the West Indies on 76 for 1.

30 overs:

Mike Rindel apparently fancies himself as a bit of a modern day Garfield Sobers, and after the break he came on to bowl, surprising all and sundry by opting for some left arm orthodox. Wallace welcomed him with a sweep through square leg for four, but he conceded only one further single off the over.

Wallace brought up his fifty with a deftly worked single off Boje, but the personal landmark will have been insignificant to the West Indians, who must have been a little worried as their overall run rate slipped below the 4 runs per over mark.

Chanderpaul looked to take matters into his own hands with a thumping crossbatted swipe through mid on off Rindel, which fetched him four, and Wallace added another when he square cut a shoulder high full toss, which ought to have been no-balled by David Shepherd.

Chanderpaul's tortured innings finally came to an end when Steve Dunne raised the finger as Bojes arm ball trapped the left hander plumb in front. The crowd were delighted, as this brought skipper Brian Lara to the crease, and having played a long innings yesterday, there was some hope that he would show signs of returning to his best.

Spin continued at the other end, but now it was the turn of off spinner Derek Crookes. Wallace greeted him much as he had done Rindel, pulling him twice in succession to the mid wicket boundary, taking 11 off the over in all.

40 overs: West Indies falter after Wallace falls

Cronje decided that he had had enough of spin, and brought himself on at one end, and the pace of Steve Elworthy at the other. Nobody could have been more delighted at this than Philo Wallace, and having pulled Elworthy through mid wicket for four, he drove him dismissively through extra cover off the very next delivery to bring up a richly deserved century off just 98 balls. Hooper was no gentler in his treatment of Cronje at the other end, cutting him exquisitely backward of point for four, and then driving handsomely through the covers.

Elworthy was still bowling at full pace, approaching 140 km/h with every delivery, but Hooper was untroubled, and made this all too clear to the hapless South Africans with a nonchalantly played lofted drive wide of mid wicket.

It was Cronje who finally got the breakthrough for his side, bringing Wallace's stay at the wicket to an end. Seeing the batsman advance down the wicket, he fired one down the leg side, and Mark Boucher did the rest from behind the stumps. If the South Africans were expecting any respite however, the new man at the crease was Keith Arthurton, and with two good scores behind him, the West Indies will have been confident of continuing their march towards a good score.

Drinks were taken after the 36th over, with things evenly poised, the West Indians on 184 for 4.

Kallis and Cronje took up the attack after the break, as the lights were switched on under darkening skies. The runs were still flowing slowly, as Hooper and Arthurton gradually adjusted to the medium pace, which was proving difficult to work off the square. In the 37th over, Kallis finally struck, trapping Arthurton leg before with one which came back off the seam. Steve Dunne deliberated extensively before giving the decision, but TV replays suggested that it was a good one.

Simmons strode to the crease, the confidence in his gait belying his mediocre showing to date. Sure enough, it took him 7 balls to get off the mark, as the West Indies reached the 200 mark in the 40th over.

End of innings:

As Simmons continued to struggle, Hooper, when he could get the strike, continued to impress, on one occasion sending the crowd into raptures with a spanking cover drive off Cronje. Simmons didn't last much longer, slashing an attempted drive off Kallis into the hands of Rhodes at gully, the fielder making no mistake this time.

As Ridley Jacobs, with a career average of just 11, came out to join Hooper, the West Indies were teetering on the brink, with much depending on Hooper's mercurial talents. With just four wickets in hand, the batsmen struggled in their search for the right balance between going for the big hits, and keeping their wickets intact, knowing that they needed at least 275 to give themselves a fair chance.

Just when he was looking great though, Hooper gave it all away, driving at Kallis and edging to Rhodes at backward point. His 49 had been a good knock, but there was a lot of work left for the West Indian tail, and when Kallis squared Lewis up and had him leg before off the very next delivery, Brian Lara must have been a very worried man indeed. Reon King averted the hat trick without any difficulty, but already 250 was looking a long way off.

At 243, in the 49th over, Ridley Jacobs holed out to Jonty Rhodes at mid wicket, and it was left to Dillon and King to negotiate the final over, to be bowled by the impressive Kallis. They lasted just 3 balls, Kallis claiming his fifth wicket when he had King given out leg before wicket.

West Indies ended on 245, a good 40 runs short of what they would have wanted.

South African innings 5 overs: South Africa off to a great start

South Africa came out to start their chase, with Mike Rindel and Daryll Cullinan looking to be positive from the outset. Rindel in particular was prepared to flash at anything, and twice edged Dillon just wide of Carl Hooper at second slip, the first going for four, and the second just a single as Hooper got his fingertips to the ball.

His intent was no different when he faced up to Reon King at the other end, but it was Cullinan who looked more capable of dominating, as he played a sweetly timed on drive which just beat Rawl Lewis to the mid on boundary.

As the batsmen swapped ends, Dillon was just as impressive bowling to the right hander, cutting him in two with a sharply lifting off cutter, and generally causing Cullinan some problems with his timing. Rindel then produced the shot of the innings thus far when he picked a slower ball from Dillon and met it with the full face of the bat, driving him through long off for four. The shot was all timing, the bat never even going past the perpendicular.

Cullinan then began an assault on King, aided and abetted by some specacularly unspectacular fielding on the third man boundary by Dillon. Lara responded by going on the defensive, removing his slip fielders and stationing them at short cover and short mid wicket. Rindel received less respect from the West Indies skipper, the slip going back in for the left hander, but by now the well oiled machine that is the South African one day batting line up had settled into its early groove.

Rindel flashed at Dillon again, with little footwork, but the shot was well timed and placed, and brought him four runs through backward point, and he followed that up with a much more pleasing drive through the covers. Dillon was clearly unhappy, and sought to bowl around the wicket to try and improve his prospects. The change of angle seemed to work, Rindel missing a pull as the ball passed just over his off stump, but at the end of the fifth over, the South Africans will have been the happier side, well poised at 34 for no loss.

10 overs: Rindel on the rampage

Brian Lara, known for his advocacy of spin bowling, brought Carl Hooper into the attack in the sixth over, no doubt hoping he could do the job Pat Symcox had done earlier in the afternoon. It didn’t quite work out that way, and helped by some poor efforts in the field from Reon King and Keith Arthurton, Rindel helped himself to eleven runs, including two sweetly timed back foot drives through the vacant cover region.

Dillon continued from the top end - despite being the more expensive of the two opening bowlers he had also looked the more likely to take an early wicket, which Brian Lara desperately needed. Cullinan however had other ideas, and treating him with scant respect, flicked him through mid wicket and then drove a full toss straight back into the sightscreen for a boundary.

Hooper’s second over was a great improvement on his first, and off the second ball, some brilliant work form Keith Arthurton in the field resulted in the run out of Cullinan. Too little too late perhaps, but there was still a long way to go in the contest.

Mark Boucher was again promoted up the order, in order to give the innings further impetus, but he didn't last long, as Hooper beat him down the leg side, and Ridley Jacobs effected the easiest of stumpings. Jacques Kallis, very much the man of the tournament for South Africa thus far, strode purposefully to the crease to replace Boucher, with the crowd chanting their approval.

17 overs: South Africa remain in control

Despite the wicket, Hooper’s next over was treated with no more respect, and Rindel twice found room outside off to cut him away. The green outer circle of the outfield, which seemed to have sprung up overnight, held the ball short of the boundary rope. Rindel, now totally uninhibited, chose to swing at every ball of Dillon’s next over even though the bowler had at last found a good length. Twice he hit the ball straight at Lara at short midwicket, the first perhaps dropping just short of the West Indian captain but the second a clear, if difficult, chance that bounced out of his hands.

Kallis too wanted to hit every ball and decided to produce the reverse sweep to Hooper. Kallis plays the shot well, but on the back of two failed sweeps it did nothing to convince aficionados that he is a classy batsman.

Simmons came on for Dillon in the last over before the restrictions. If captain Lara had brought him on to cause an upset, the plan failed as Simmons’ line strayed once too often down leg side, offering Kallis some easy relief. The next over he made his own way, coming out to Hooper and skying him over long off. Simmons continued to offer easy runs neither bowling accurately nor cleverly enough to do anything more than offer easy runs. Kallis brought up the hundred with a lousy top edge over the keeper’s head for four trying to sweep. It’s as well Kallis is unlikely to have to take domestic work when his career is over, because he can’t sweep for toffee.

27 overs: South Africa stumble as Simmons strikes

The poor West Indians seemed to have completely lost their form. Hooper offered Kallis a leg side dolly so feeble that even he could sweep it behind square for four and the next ball beat the near side field with a shot that could have been snapped up yesterday. In his next over he missed a chance to run out Kallis when the batsmen hit the ball straight to him and set off for an improbable run by a good 6 feet, when yesterday every West Indian throw was drawn to the stumps like a magnet.

Against the run of play, Simmons got the break through picking up a Kallis attempted drive off his own bowling. South Africa were now 118 for three. Straight away Lara reintroduced King who showed his class, conceding just one from his first over with South Africa. In his next over Simmons was treated with far more respect, and was extremely unlikely not to have Rindel trapped leg before off his last ball. Turned down by Steve Dunne, Simmons stared at the ground in disbelief.

While the left hander laboured, captain Cronje began to show signs of the class that makes him an occasional devastating force in one day cricket. He glanced King for an elegant four, and then hit Simmons for a solid three through the covers. But his fluent batting and running was partly to blame for the next wicket, as, glancing King to gulley he set off for the run, unaware that Arthurton was prowling behind the wicket. Running round Arthurton took the ball on the bounce in his left hand and slung it at the wicket still running. The throw took out middle stump and Arthurton just went on running to long leg in triumph, with Rindel a good eight feet short of his ground. It was, simply, a quite stupendous piece of fielding.

South Africa were clearly rattled by Arthurton’s genius, fending the rest of King’s over away with quiet reserve. The West Indians must have sensed that things were turning their way, and in the next over Jonty Rhodes stepped out uncertainly to a full delivery from Simmons and offered the finest edge to Jacobs who snapped up the chance. Just as the pressure had circumscribed the West Indians attacking instincts earlier in the game, so now the South Africans were showing themselves unwilling to take the game to the West Indies. The question was would South Africa fluff yet another ODI final?

34 overs: Final hangs in the balance

South Africa are, and this risks understatement, a very solid one day side, but they are always susceptible to the spectacular. The spectacular, or at least the more than ordinary, was exactly what was now needed from captain Cronje with five wickets down and 137 on the board. His cut shot was proving his most potent weapon. He cut Simmons for four through gully so sweetly that even Arthurton at full pace could do nothing to cut it off. Benkenstein looked capable too coming out to King and connecting well if not hitting hard enough to pick up any more than the occasional single.

Lewis returned to the attack for Simmons in the 31st over, blowing on his hand and spinning the ball in his palm before each delivery like Boris Becker. His first over was tidy, but unremarkable, allowing Cronje to settle further. Increasingly Lara must have been looking to King to take his much deserved first international wicket, and the likeliest victim had to be Beckenstein. Sure enough Benkenstein survived an lbw appeal off the third ball of his next over (the ball rapped him above the knee roll and was probably too high), but still held his form.

Cronje was clearly the danger man, and he continued to make hay with the cut shot, keeping Simmons at gully when facing Lewis, twice beating him, and twice making him reach out to recover the ball. Why captain Lara did not put Arthurton at gully where he had been so succesful at the other end remained a mystery. The South African’s progress looked to be taking an uneven pattern of singles, attempted runs and occasional boundaries.

Benkenstein added to the total with a solid on drive that a flailing Dilllon chased down but could not reach as he clattered into an advertising hoarding. At drinks, 34 overs bowled, South Africa were 175 for five with everything to play for.

45 overs:

Perhaps the Pepsi, or whatever it is they serve at the drinks break because the only thing that seems to come out of the giant can is small boys dressed in Pepsi sweatshirts, seemd to be just the tonic for South Africa. King’s next over was his most expensive yet going for six runs including a four through midwicket from Cronje. The debutant finished another wicketless spell which did nothing to deter his growing band of fans to think any less highly of him. Lest anyone doubted South Africa’s game plan, Cronje reverse swept Lewis past Arthurton, now returned to gully, for four in the next over.

Hooper returned from the pavilion end. He pitched the ball up at the batsmen, but both Beckenstein and Cronje were in no mood to take him seroiusly and pushed him repeatedly round to the leg for simple runs. The 200 came off the first of Lewis’ next and South Africa were beginning to look in incontrovertible control. Neither bowler was causing the batsmen much trouble, unlike the crowd who were causing trouble themselves over at the square leg boundary where a fight broke out, probably a disagreement over which ball batsman would see South Africa home.

Cronje’s fifty came off Lewis and off 56 balls, the genuine captain’s innings. Lara’s last throw of the dice was to bring on Dillon from the pavilion end. The plan worked almost immediately as Beckenstein drove his second ball straight into Hooper’s hands at short mid on. Where his captain had failed before Hooper did not. But the contained joy of the West Indies was an in dication of what the crowd already knew, Cronje was the wicket the islanders needed. Crookes settled in immediately, picking Dillon’s slower ball. Interestingly, after 42 overs, the West Indians had been 205 for 6 to South Africa’s 211, but the statistic flattered to deceive.

Dillon looked too tired to make the break through, hoping that a yorker or a slower ball would do the work. The faster ball was the weapon lacking and in his penultimate over he barely topped 120 kph. Arthurton too was looking past his best as Cronje hit a gentle cut through him taking two where he should only have had one.

End of match:

In the 46th over Lara was still looking to get something out of the game, spending almost five minutes assembling his field. But Crookes, like Arthurton yesterday, decided enough was enough. He cheekily reverse swept Lewis’ ball second for four and pulled the next four through midwicket. Two over cover and a sweep through midwicket and it was all over. At last South Africa had found a late order batsman who seemed choke proof. In the end the hungriest and most professional team won, and the victory was well deserved.

Source: CricInfo
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