Meyrick Pringle’s Perfect Day

The 1992 Cricket World Cup was South Africa’s debut outing at the sport’s pinnacle event.  After defeating Australia in sensational fashion in their first match, the South Africans suffered back-to-back defeats against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.  The debutants faced the mighty West Indies next in Christchurch looking to bounce back.  After posting 200/8 in their 50 overs, fast bowler Meyrick Pringle single-handedly dismantled the Caribbean top order and set up a famous win for his country.  Here Pringle recalls that day at Lancaster Park when he took 4/11 in 8.1 marvellous overs.

I was a little bit unlucky against the Aussies in the first one and I did go for a bit.  It wasn’t all that bad at all but 0/52 was a lot of runs in those days and I was left out for the second and third games in favour of Tertius Bosch and we lost those two.  For the fourth game against the Windies I was brought back and it all just clicked.  I actually went for 8 in my first over and then after that it all just came together.  The ball swung a bit and it was one of those days I just got it right.

In those days anything over 170 was a high score and we had scored 200.  I would say back then 240 would be over 300+ today so it was a competitive score.  I think if Desmond Haynes wasn’t hit on the hand by Richard Snell it could have been different.  Playing the West Indies you never know because we all know that they can pull off wonders but they can also just collapse.  But when you have a side 19/4 you tend to relax and you have the freedom to just come in and bowl.  We all bowled pretty well that day.

I think getting Brian Lara out is always great.  He probably played a shot he shouldn’t have.  He was quite flashy outside the off stump and Richie Richardson missed a straight one.  I had huge respect for Richardson and Carl Hooper.  They were great top order batters and Keith Arthurton (Pringle’s fourth victim – Ed) had scored many ODI hundreds for them.  They were all top players.  Was it my best performance for South Africa in an ODI?  I would say so.  I would also put another game against them in Cape Town on my list.  They needed something like four runs to win and they were nine down and Kepler Wessels gave me the ball and he told me to relax, enjoy and bowl to Patrick Patterson and I did that.  He told me to think about an inswinger and I did that and Cyril Mitchley gave him out lbw.  Those two performances were my best.

Pringle’s career ODI bowling statistics:

17 22 4/11 27.45 4.16 39.5

You can follow Meyrick on Twitter: @MeyrickPringle