A thrilling knock of 138 by David Miller helped the Proteas finish on 339-4 in their World Cup opener against Zimbabwe.
The temperament exhibited by Miller and JP Duminy for the better part of 30 overs was nothing short of outstanding. The pair came together when South Africa were under pressure at 83-4. At that point, Zimbabwe had their collective hands on the Proteas’ throat, and were applying a slow but steady squeeze.
Crucially, Miller and Duminy did not panic. They tempered their natural instincts to counter-attack, taking their time to adjust to what was a slow and two-paced Seddon Park pitch. They waited until the 35th over, when the platform had been set, before taking the fight to the Zimbabwean attack.
South Africa added 188 runs in the final 15 overs. Having begun in a relatively circumspect manner, Miller shifted gears from fourth to fifth, reaching his second ODI century in just 81 balls. He slipped into sixth as the innings approached a climax, clearing the boundary with ease and at one stage hitting a Solomon Hire delivery into downtown Hamilton.
Duminy played the anchor role for much of the 256-run partnership. And yet, he too accelerated at the death to score a well deserved century.
If not for the temperament displayed by this pair in the middle overs, South Africa may not have reached 250. As it was, Miller and Duminy fought the Proteas back into the contest, and then into a commanding position at the back end of the innings.
SA 339-4 in 50 overs (David Miller 138 not out, JP Duminy 115 not out)
Zimbabwe need 340 runs to win