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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Plays of the game: What happened to Kagiso Rabada?

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Sport’s Stuart Hess looks at the, mostly lowlights from the Proteas loss to the Netherlands.


The Netherlands out-hit South Africa by 20 boundaries to 12 at the Adelaide Oval. Stephan Myburgh started it off taking three fours in Rabada’s first over. There were seven overs in the Dutch innings in which they didn’t score a boundary – four of those were bowled by Nortje. Meanwhile in 10 overs South Africa failed to hit a four or six. The Dutch bowlers deserve credit for their accuracy, but South Africa were also incredibly timid with the bat.


He was the worst performing Proteas bowler in this tournament – in five matches he took just two wickets, with his average 75.50 and his economy rate 9.43. 2022 has been an annus horribilis in T20Is for Rabada – in 14 matches he’s taken 7 wickets at an average of 57 with an economy rate of 8.3


The only Proteas player who could leave the Adelaide Oval with his head held high. His 1/10 in four overs are the most economical figures in the Super 12 stage of the competition. Nortje has consistently been the one Proteas bowler whose plans have been clear – bowl fast, with the odd 132km/h slower ball and smart use of the bouncer. He finished the tournament with 11 wickets


Myburgh hit good text book drives to put off Rabada, and in the fast bowler’s final over, the 19th of the innings, Scott Edwards got funky, with a reverse scoop over third man and then did so again two balls later, this time off a length ball heading down leg-side. They weren’t good deliveries and had Edwards stood still he’d likely have still hit those balls for boundaries, but the willingness to try those shots, showed the different mentality of the two teams.


Roelof van der Merwe is 37 years old, but he didn’t look like it as he sprinted back towards the boundary from his position at short fine leg and with the ball dropping over his left shoulder threw his body towards it and caught it centimetres off the ground to dismiss David Miller and end South Africa’s hopes. The full vein popping, fist clenching, throat screaming celebration ensued. Good on him


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