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South Africa began the quest to win their maiden World Cup title by defeating Zimbabwe on Saturday at Hamilton. Their victory came by 62 runs in their opening encounter of 2015 ICC World Cup. After losing the toss, South Africa was sent to bat. The side were in early trouble after a devastating spell by the Zimbabwean bowlers. They reduced AB de Villiers side to 67 runs for 3 wickets in 17 overs. Then David Miller walked out to join his captain in the middle order as the duo began to get their team back on track.
AB de Villers got out at 25 and the Proteas found themselves in further trouble when the score showed 83 for 4. David Miller took the seat to help his side put up a competitive score on the board.
Rescued the Proteas after a poor start
The left-handed batsman David Miller started his innings on an aggressive style, hitting his first six off just his 5th delivery. His plan was to keep the scoreboard ticking by combining ones and twos and some occasional boundary, and then reaching his 50-mark off just 55 balls.
After reaching the landmark patiently, Miller started to unleash his vast array of super strokes on the Zimbabwean bowling attack, hitting them to all parts of the field and in partnership with JP Duminy, brought his team back into the game.
Miller reached his well cherished century courtesy of a single off the bowling of Tinashe Panyangara. His second fifty took a mere 26 deliveries. It was his second century in 64 ODI matches.
David Miller, the 25-year-old didn’t stop there. He continued to hammer the Zimbabwean bowling line and finished not out on 138 runs off just 92 deliveries. He smashed 7 fours and 9 huge sixes all over the ground. JP Duminy also got a hundred of his own and the partnership put on a world record 256 runs for the fifth wicket to help South Africa post a massive score of 339 for 4 in 50 overs.
In reply, Zimbabwe team looked on course to chase down that massive total but following the dismissal of Brendon Taylor for 40, they lost their way. Eventually, they were all out for 277 runs in 48.2 overs.
David Miller was undoubtedly adjudged the Man of the Match award for his brilliant cricketing performance.
Miller is capable of demolishing attacks: de Villiers
David Miller received a rich praise from the captain AB de Villiers. He said that he was thrilled to see Miller tearing apart Zimbabwean bowling attacks on the media, after the match.
Villiers said on expressing his feelings,
” We have seen David demolish the bowling attacks like that and David is capable of that.”
He also added,
” There is no doubt that Zimbabwe played a good part in getting them ahead early on as it seemed difficult wicket to bat on for the first 20 overs. Then it got easier gradually and luckily David and JP made full use of that opportunity and played exceptionally well to build up that great partnership, which ultimately won us the game today.”
In this 2015 ICC World Cup, South Africa is one of the favorites for the title. Their big strength in this tournament is the amount of depth they have at their disposal in the bowling and batting departments. This strength certainly brought a good advantage on Saturday match, as despite losing the likes of Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Du Plessis cheaply, they managed to put on a score of 339 in their 50 overs.
Also Read: Top 10 scores in Cricket World Cup history