26 Dec 2013

Debate rages on after Proteas pull out of record run chase

11:32 am on 26 December 2013

The debate rages on in South African cricket after the Proteas shut up shop when they were close to an historic and epic first test victory over India in Johannesburg.

Set 458 to win on a wicket with variable bounce, the Proteas needed 16 runs from 19 balls with three wickets in hand, but they eventually came up eight runs short, having abandoned their chase for fear of losing their final three wickets and the match.

Victory would have comfortably eclipsed the current world record of 418 runs chased down by the West Indies against Australia 10 years ago.

Captain Graeme Smith, who was jeered at the post-match presentation, was quick to say that though Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander were not acting on team orders, he supported their decision to play out a draw.

The former South African captain Kepler Wessels suggested in his online column the team had far more to gain than lose, and most South Africans across social media platforms said they would rather have seen their side go for the win and lose than play out the draw.