East London: South Africa showed unconvincing form as it secured a 118-run win over Canada in the World Cup match at Buffalo Park on Thursday. Boeta Dippenaar made 80 as he steered South Africa to a respectable total of 254 for eight but the host nation failed to bowl out the Canadians, who made 136 for five in reply. Ishwar Maraj, 32, a left-handed opening batsman, played the slowest innings of the World Cup as he battled his way to an unbeaten 53 off 155 balls, surviving four of the five catches put down by South Africa. Allan Donald, South Africa's veteran fast bowler, was unable to make an emphatic statement about his readiness for a crunch game against Sri Lanka in Durban on Monday as he failed to take a wicket. But he had a catch dropped off his first ball when Ian Billcliff slashed a short delivery to Herschelle Gibbs at backward point. "Allan bowled well and hit the right area, but the dropped catches are a bit of concern," South African captain Shaun Pollock said. "The players had a good knock out in the middle which is good for us." Like the rest of the South African bowlers, Donald was economical conceding only 27 runs in 10 overs. South Africa has to beat Sri Lanka in its final group match to reach the Super Six stage. "That's what the World Cup is all about," Pollock said. "We'll be up to it and make sure we do what we have to do."
Monde Zondeki, the 20-year-old challenging for Donald's place, took one for 24 in nine overs. South Africa crashed to 23 for three after being sent in, losing its three leading batsmen, Herschelle Gibbs, Gary Kirsten and Jacques Kallis in the space of three overs. Canadian opening bowler Ashish Patel, playing in his first One-day International after being overlooked for Canada's first four matches, and veteran Davis Joseph, both gained awkward movement in the early overs. Dippenaar and opening batsman Graeme Smith (63) put on 109 for the fourth wicket but South Africa was unable to dominate a steady bowling attack until some late hitting by Pollock, Andrew Hall and Makhaya Ntini enabled South Africa to score 46 off the last three overs.
Dippenaar, who has yet to make a One-day International century, missed another opportunity when he spooned a catch to short fine leg in the 46th over after making 80 off 118 balls with seven fours. Patel, 27, took two for 17 in a five-over opening spell before surprisingly being taken off. He came back later for two single overs which cost 10 and 14 runs. He bowled Ntini in the last over to finish with three for 41 after Ntini hit him for a straight six which sailed out of the ground. Pollock bowled five successive maiden overs at the start of Canada's innings, taking the wicket of Desmond Chumney. Makhaya Ntini had John Davison, who scored a century against the West Indies, caught for a single off a mistimed pull to mid-wicket.
But Maraj was dropped in the slips off both bowlers before he reached double figures, setting the scene for a frustrating afternoon for the South Africans. South African wicket-keeper Mark Boucher, who has had a disappointing World Cup, dropped two chances, both off Maraj, with Jacques Kallis and Zondeki the unlucky bowlers. It was the first time in five matches that Canada batted for the full 50 overs. Maraj, whose personal score was lower than the overs bowled for much of the innings, reached his half-century off 148 balls in the 49th over. Copyright AFP 2001