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04 Apr 2007 07:49
All-rounder Jacques Kallis hit back at his critics after he led South Africa to victory with an unbeaten half-century against Ireland in a World Cup Super Eights match on Tuesday.
Kallis followed up his knock of 86 against Sri Lanka last week by top-scoring with 66 in South Africa’s seven-wicket win on Tuesday.
However, before those two performances Kallis’s slow batting was blamed for South Africa’s 83-run defeat by Australia in the group stage of the tournament in St Kitts.
Some commentators said Kallis should be axed from the team but the all-rounder has had the last laugh.
“I’ve been playing a big role in helping South Africa win games and that’s the most satisfying aspect,” Kallis told a news conference.
“I’ve never minded criticism but I think there’s a line you don’t cross and certain people crossed that line. That’s fine, I will remember who those guys are in future.
“But that’s life, you’re up one day and down the next.
The only way you can prove people wrong is by putting in performances and winning games for South Africa.
“I’ve never been too worried about what’s been written, I’m not going to change my game just because a few people aren’t happy with it.
South Africa’s next match is against Bangladesh on Saturday, while Ireland will take on New Zealand on Monday.
Taking it on the chin
Meanwhile, Ireland were irritated with the way a revised target was calculated for South Africa in their rain-shortened match.
Ireland began their innings in the mode of a 50-over match and after the first rain break it was reduced to a 47-over game. Following another two-hour delay the match was readjusted to 35 overs a side.
Ireland scored 152-8 and South Africa secured a seven-wicket victory after reaching 165-3 with 21 balls remaining.
South Africa’s adjusted target was 160, which puzzled Irish captain Trent Johnston.
He felt the target should have been “about 15 or 18” runs more than Ireland’s final total since South Africa were able to pace their run chase for 35 overs from the start.
The recalculations, known as Duckworth-Lewis, are designed to make games fair for both teams when the match is shortened.
“At the start of an innings you don’t bank on it being a 35-over game,” Johnston told reporters.
“You’re building for a 50-over game and when it gets restricted… I’m not really sure how Duckworth-Lewis works but it didn’t help us all that much.
“That’s the way Duckworth-Lewis works and you have to take it on the chin and go out there and do your very best which we did.”
South Africa captain Graeme Smith said Ireland were not helped too much because they lost eight wickets which affected the calculations.
Johnston, however, was proud of his team and said there were plenty of positives to take into their next match against New Zealand on Monday.
“I’m not overly disappointed, we’ve come close to the number one-ranked team in the world and we’ve fallen short by about three overs,” Johnston said.
“It’s another huge performance from a team of amateurs. I’m disappointed but I’m very proud as well as we weren’t disgraced or humiliated. It was another fighting effort from us.” - Reuters
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