Well the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 cricket tournament couldnt have started off more explosively than if you had given sticks of dynamite to religious Muslims and pointed out that McDonalds is over charging for their burgers in Zimbabwe.
Fireworks, dancers and a stadium atmosphere that would skrik vir niks nie made for an exciting atmosphere as South Africa and West Indies kicked off what promises to be one of the most exciting sporting events this year. South Africa won the toss and sent West Indies into bat, a decision Graeme Smith must have immediately regretted as West Indies went about completely obliterating our bowling attack. Chris Gayle was in phenomenal form, smashing a huge 117 off just 57 balls – the first international century scored in this shortened form of the game. Gayle hit 10 sixes and 7 fours, hitting one of the balls clean out of the stadium! Luckily he eventually succumbed to the bowling of Johan van der Wath or things could have been a whole lot more nasty. After his fall, West Indies lost a bit of their momentum, eventually posting a sizable target of 205/6.
South Africas inning started off with a bit of drama, with Graeme Smith being hit on his hand with the very first ball. He soldiered on, scoring a useful 28 off 21 balls. AB de Villiers started off well, but fell early, only managing a paltry 16 off 9 balls. However, it was Gibbs and Kemp that took charge and steered South Africa to a massive 8 wicket victory by smashing their way through the West Indies bowling attack. Gibbs scored an impressive 90 of 54 balls (not out) and Kemp gathered 46 runs off 24 balls. Their winning total of 208/2 is a new international Twenty20 record :)
It must be said that the West Indies should really be kicking themselves for their role in their massive loss. They gave away 28 extras, unacceptable at this level of cricket, and dropped three catches – missing out on the opportunity of dismissing both Gibbs and Kemp, something that may very well have changed the face of the game.
If the action of this single game is an indicator of what is yet to come, then we had better strap in and get prepared to be thrilled! Cricket has never been this much fun!