England were consigned to their biggest defeat in ODI cricket as South Africa and Heinrich Klaasen seemed to be on a mission – mission maiden World Cup trophy – and the defending champions got obliterated at the Wankhede Stadium.
Heinrich Klaasen, who Kevin Pietersen hailed the best spin bashed in white-ball cricket currently in the world, produced a breath-taking innings of 109 runs in 67 balls with the help of 12 fours and 4 sixes. He shared a dominating partnership with number 7 Marco Jansen, the pair adding 151 runs in only 77 balls.
South Africa were in a bit of trouble at 243/5 in the 37th over at the fall of David Miller and looked as if they could fall short of 350. But some outrageous hitting from Klassen and Janse, aided by ordinary bowling from the Englishmen, propelled their total to 399. South Africa smashed 143 runs in the last 10 overs of their innings, 84 in the last five.
In a tall chase, it’s mostly go big or go home. England suffered the latter. The defending champs were bowled out for 170 runs, losing by 229 runs, their biggest defeat in men’s ODI cricket.
After he got out, as he was walking back to the dressing room, Heinrich Klaasen got a standing ovation from the Wankhede crowd for his thunderous knock.
Watch: Fans at the Wankhede gave a standing ovation to Heinrich Klaasen
Baggin the Man of the Match award, Heinrich Klaasen said: “One of my best (knocks) ever, I was hitting the ball nicely, this knock will go down as one of my better ones. It was proper heat, saps all the energy out of you. The heat out there was extreme. They (England) were physically under the pump but a couple of wickets got them back in.
“Next level (Jansen’s knock). This award needs to go to him (Jansen). He kept me going and pumped me up saying you are not leaving the ground without an 100. He has been phenomenal, has been batting so well. The runs he scored were so vital for us. That loss (against Netherlands) was a tough one, but we know we are playing good cricket. One loss doesn’t make us a bad team. Had some chats and our boys bounced back with the training sessions. It was a fantastic performance today.”