The quote was correct “we don’t break records, we set them” – ProteaFire
Some might argue that this ICC World Cup 2015 has too many statistics. So many that it is hard to keep up. While statisticians and number crazy people appreciate the statistics.
South Africa recorded their first win in a World Cup knock-out match with a 9 wicket victory over Sri Lanka. The victory was the biggest win for any team in a World Cup knock-out match, in terms of balls remaining as South Africa concluded the match in exactly 18 overs. The three South African batsmen who led the charge, took South Africa to their fastest 100 in the current World Cup after 13.5 overs. To add insult to injury, the quarter-final was the fastest in World Cup history, coming to a conclusion in 55.2 overs.
On a pitch which was expected to produce 300+ runs, Sri Lanka could only manage an unexpected 133 in 37.2 overs. South Africa requiring 134 runs to win at a run rate of 2.68 in 50 overs. While fearing the “chokers” tag, South Africa have never lost chasing a total under 150 and to put South Africans at ease, Sri Lanka have never won defending a total under the same number.
After the encounter, the two teams are now equal on 29 wins each. Before the World Cup quarter-final, Sri Lanka had won 29 of the 59 matches played with South Africa, the latter winning only 28.
The new ball pair of Dale Steyn and Kyle Abbott, supported by Morne Morkel managed to restrict Sri Lanka to their lowest World Cup powerplay score of 35-2. Then moved on to score their slowest hundred in the World Cup, which came after 28.1 overs.
Although Kumar Sangakkara slipped through the cracks and passed 500 World Cup runs and became only the second player after Sachin Tendulkar to do so, South Africa did not let him score a 5th consecutive century. However, his 45 against South Africa was his 5th high score of the World Cup 2015. In their final match for Sri Lanka, Sangakkara finished as the 3rd leading run scorer with 1502 runs in 37 matches and a best of 124 reached in this World Cup against Scotland. The other retiree, Mahela Jayawardene, finished as the 9th leading run scorer with 1096 runs from 40 matches and a best of 155 not out.
There was more joy for JP Duminy and South Africa, as Duminy became the first South African to take a hat-trick in World Cup matches.
In the beginning it seemed the fast bowlers would pave the way for a South African victory however, spin bowlers Imran Tahir and Duminy took 7 wickets between them for 55 runs.
While those who are not involved in the selection process were calling for his head, AB de Villiers stuck with Quinton de Kock. Little did we know, de Kock would be on top of his game during the quarter-final. As short as the innings were, he batted through and finished as the top scorer with 78 runs from 57 deliveries after reaching his 5th half century.