TELFORD VICE in Canterbury
Seldom has victory in a T20 been greeted as wildly as in South Africa’s three-run win over England at Taunton on Friday. Another success in Cardiff on Sunday will clinch the series and provoke even more giddy scenes.
As well it might. Of the eight games South Africa have played in England in the past month, they have lost five.
That’s not nearly good enough for a team significantly more used to winning than losing.
And it’s only the tip of an iceberg of deeper, darker questions.
Where’s AB de Villiers’ head at? What’s going on with Russell Domingo’s job? Will Imari du Plessis give birth in time for Faf to make it to Lord’s for the toss on July 6, when the test series starts?
So to emerge victorious in a game that, had it been lost, would have meant another series defeat, carried weight beyond its worth.
“As a country we deserve it, to show back home that we still really care about playing for South Africa,” Chris Morris told reporters in Taunton.
That’s a clear indication that criticism the team had endured for their performance in the one-day series against England and the Champions Trophy had found its mark.
“There’s a lot to play for,” Morris said. “First and foremost there’s that honour of playing for South Africa and the honour of playing international cricket.
“Not many people have ever lived the dream that we’re living at the moment.”
South Africa were also playing for Domingo, who has returned home after his mother was critically injured in an accident.
“He’s going through a really tough time,” Morris said. “It’s never a nice time in your life to have to deal with that.
“Coach, this one’s for you.”
Get well soon, mom.
And you lot: keep winning.