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South Africa's nth grade meltdown

Lungi Ngidi

Albie Morkel
Dale Steyn's
Hashim Amla's
Jonty Rhodes
Faf du Plessis's
Imran Tahir
Jonny Bairstow's
Chris Morris
Mushfiqur Rahim
Eoin Morgan
Ben Stokes'
Dwayne Pretorius
Mauricio Pochettino
van der Dussen

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The Oval

South Africa's

this World Cup
the Champions League

Positivity     33.00%   
   Negativity   67.00%
The New York Times
Write a review: ESPN Cric Info

Every perceived moment of frailty feeds directly into the national narrative, to the extent that you end up knowing - whether you are sitting in the stands or on the sofa - that they know that you know that they are about to mess it up again.All of which makes it so surprising that, of all the aspects of South Africa's play that they could have used to project their authority into the contest, they allowed their fielding to be so atypically nth grade.To be clear, this was a matter of intent, not execution. According to ESPNcricinfo's own fielding statistics, they were actually no more or less sharp in terms of actual run-stopping than they had been against England in the opening match on this same ground on Thursday - they leaked 17 "saveable" runs in the former, and 19 today.But there was a strut to South Africa's play on that first occasion - epitomised by Faf du Plessis's funky decision to throw the ball to Imran Tahir for the tournament's opening over, and the richness of the dividend that Jonny Bairstow's wicket brought.

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