In my last article, I had mentioned if The Proteas harbour any ambitions of toppling the West Indies, they have to change their buzz words from ‘A Team in Transition’ to ‘Can Surmount’.
Well, with happiness galore and a feeling of unparalleled ecstasy, I have to admit my beloved South Africa have done exactly that.
Yes, The Mzansi have not only beaten the team from the Caribbean Islands, but literally annihilated them by a whopping margin of an innings and 63 runs, ending this contest or lack of one in just two and a half days.
Yes, you read that right!
A performance akin to a sage finally finding salvation after years of desolation.
For a team who for the better part of the last two years have literally been in the pits of hell when it comes to their cricketing exploits, this certainly has been more than a breath of fresh air.
The Men in Green and Gold have had their most miserable run in recent memory since the 2019 World Cup, losing to the likes of India, England and Pakistan, in fact both home and away to the Men in Green.
Perhaps so meagre has been their performance that a predator would die in shame, knowing he has lost his natural hunting skills.
Well, no more.
The new Proteas test captain, Dean Elgar at the onset of this series had mentioned to harbour a resurgence, he wants to see hundreds from his batters and fifers from his bowlers.
And boy did that happen, with Quinton de Kock hitting a majestic 141 not out of just 170 balls comprising of twelve fours and seven maximums after a gap of nearly 22 months to get his team to an all but winning total of 322 in their first innings.
This after, South Africa had skittled out The West Indies for a paltry 97, their lowest total against the Southern African nation thanks to an outstanding five-wicket halt by Lungi Ngidi, who did well to clean up the tail with the initial damage happening courtesy the enforcer, Anrich Nortje who also grabbed four.
Having said this, as someone who respects West Indies cricket, I truly expected this team to bat better in their second innings chasing a lead of 225 runs.
Alas, what happened next was something of little consequence if you are a Calypso supporter!
That’s right, West Indies even in their second innings could barely put up a fight as they were bundled out for just 162, with the only person worthy of putting his name in the chase, being Roston Chase as he made a fighting 62.
What amazed me was the complete lack of application demonstrated by the other Windies’ batters in their second innings, having seen their mode of dismals first time round.
One would have thought, the Calypso batting force would have learnt a lesson from their South African compatriots, with the way they applied themselves on the crease, in particular Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen and the centurion de Kock on a pitch conducive to swing and seam with the more prolific dukes’ ball vis-à-vis the kookaburra.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be as my favourite bowler, Kagiso Rabada was the chief tormenter in their second innings taking a fifer for the first time in 33 innings, dating all the way back to March 2018 against Australia in Port Elizabeth.
A complete performance with both bat and ball to give South Africa their first away win since 2017, when they had decimated England at Trent Bridge.
As I conclude this piece, feeling satisfied is an under statement to describe my emotions as this team, I literally live for has to realise that rock-bottom is now a thing of the past and from here they can only soar upwards.
My Dear South Africa, going forward, south is definitely not an option for you. Always keep rising as when you play well, my vigor for the Proteas has renewed meaning!