New Delhi: It may not be a great day for African teams at the 2015 Cricket World Cup, but Saturday witnessed four batsmen from the continent occupying the top four spots in run-getters chart. The individual achievement, albeit temporarily, will not serve the team cause, but it nonetheless serve as consolations to great teams – South Africa and Zimbabwe.
South African captain, AB de Villiers tops the chart with an aggregate of 318 runs, followed by his compatriot Hashim Amla with 295 runs. The Proteas are followed by two Zimbabweans in Brendan Taylor with 295 runs and Stuart Williams with 289. They have played five match each.
On the team front, South Africans – despite starting as favourites against Pakistan – suffered a 29-run defeat in Auckland. The script could have been different for the Zimbabweans. But the thriller in Hobart meant the African team leaving home early, losing the must-win game against the Associate side Ireland by mere five runs.
In the day's first match, chasing a revised target of 232 runs from 47 overs, South Africans conspired against themselves and lost the match by 29 runs. However, the captain fantastic AB de Villiers stood tall in the ruins, scripting a 77-run innings off 11 runs. His efforts, as it turned out, were not enough to save his team. Hashim Amla was the second highest contributor in the losing cause, with a 51-ball 38.
In the second match, Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams produced a 149-run partnership to give a realistic chance to record highest run chase in the World Cup. Taylor scored a stroke-full 121 runs off 110 balls, while Williams toyed with Irish attack for a 83-ball 96. His controversial dismissal, thanks to a stunning catch on the ropes by John Mooney, effectively swung Ireland's way and ended Zimbabwe's journey.