S.A v Aus, Newlands, Cape Town

Picturesque Newlands

Probably one of the prettiest cricket grounds in the world. Pictured above is where I often sat, round about square leg under the shade of the trees, with the Kelvin Grove end bar within easy walking distance.

In the background (the silver towers) is The Ohlsen Cape Brewery and unseen, just in front of it runs a railway line, just as well because even when capacity was probably half of what it is now parking was always a problem. That would be back in the early ’80’s.

But it’s the mountain that gives splendour, the mountain that you see in the background is of course Table Mountain (currently a finalist as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.) The mountain of course can and often does interrupt play with either a rolling mist smothering the ground or low cloud affecting the light.

Graeme Smith

What about the cricket? I hear you say.

Well much has been made of the Graeme Smith / Mitchell Johnson duel, the fact the the Aussies don’t have a recognised test spinner (Newlands has always been a turner come day 4 and 5, perhaps the only pitch in S.A. to be so) and of course the selection of the repective squads.

Time will tell, it’s a 10:30am  (08:30gmt) start.

Tickets are a most reasonable R50 – R80 (£4 – £8.) I’d certainly be there if I lived in the area, we, that is The Eastern Cape have lost our Test match status to the wealthier and more powerful provinces, that despite the very first Test outside of England and Australia being played right here at St. Georges Park, Port Elizabeth.

So, today is the start of a two match visit by the Aussies, is the the umpire decision review system (DRS) going to be used?  I hope so!

29 thoughts on “S.A v Aus, Newlands, Cape Town”

  1. It’s going to be a very interesting game, Soutie.

    Can Australia live up to its pre-match bragging?
    Is SA as rusty as some accuse it of being?
    Which way will the pitch go, and what choice will the Captain who wins the toss make?

    I shall be glued to radio and Cricinfo!

  2. Indeed, must bat first, nobody knows what the pitch will do on day 4 or 5, if not spin certainly uneven bounce.

    Haven’t heard much untoward from your lot in our press and yes S.A. will definitely be rusty, fortunately our 4 day provincial series started a month or so ago so hopefully the S.A. players are out of the one day mode.

    Enjoyed your edit, I often make silly mistakes and only notice when reading after publishing, despite proof reading the thing at least 5 times before I publish, I also had to add the ‘s’ on the picture caption!

  3. I am afraid to say the weather is not very promising, though there are patches of sunlight. Looking forward to local boy, Jacques Kallis’s overtaking Lara’s position as 4th highest run scorer of all time. Ricky Ponting next! And he can bowl too! Kallis is considered by some to be the greatest cricketer of all time.

  4. Morning Sipu, pity about the weather, hope it clears up quickly.

    Drat, just looked at weathersa cloudy and possible rain all 5 days

    Jaques Kallis, certainly the greatest all rounder of the modern era and the best that I’ve ever watched!

  5. Covers are off, there’s quite a bit of mopping up to do, play unlikely ’till after lunch.

    Our commentators are expecting more intermittent rain today and tomorrow 😦

    Looks like we’re in for a rain interrupted couple of days, no toss yet and no news yet on the respective elevens.

  6. Play to start 12:15, lunch moved back to 13:30.

    Smith wins the toss and elects to bowl ❓

    Clarke says that he wanted to bat anyway, so both captains should be happy, I would have preferred S.A. to bat but I’m not there and hope that Smith’s decision doesn’t backfire.

  7. What a great knock from Clarke, an almost run a ball hundred, without him the Aussie innings would be in tatters. At 214/8 they’re not in great shape but still alive. Great bowling from our quickies, Steyn showed why he’s the world #1, Morkel was okay but what a fine debut from Vernon Philander.

    Ponting’s dismissal was a vindication for the DRS, it took forever, I assume that the onfield umpire must have thought that Ponting nicked it, replay after replay, hotspot after hotspot, then the Hawk Eye, must have taken 5 minutes, no doubt about it smashing into leg stump OUT!

    So, where are we, Smith obviously wants to dismiss the Aussies early tomorrow, say 230 or so, then bat for two days (when the wicket will definitely flatten and be much better for batting) get 400+ on the card and only have to bat once. Pressure will be on the Aussie bowlers tomorrow.

    I’ve just heard that play might be starting an hour early tomorrow, either 9:30 or 10:00 (7:30 or 8:00 gmt) weather permitting of course.

    Have I ever mentioned that one of the reasons I left Cape Town back in ’82 was the weather? Thought not 😉

  8. As a cricketing neutral (and with no risk of saying anything anti-English) I echo Soutie’s comments about Pup’s innings. Never write off he Aussies though, England have done so at their peril on many occasions (oh bother…I just can’t stop myself)

    On balance, the SA team should just be too strong with home advantage and a better bowling attack and some doubt in the Aussie selectors as to who should play. Perhaps Warney could make a comeback? He’s probably the best spinner in Australia even now.

    I do take some issue with the suggestion of Kallis’s greatness – I note Sipu you don’t agree or disagree with the some who say he could be the greatest cricketer of all time. I hope you tongue is firmly in your cheek because that is almost as ridiculous as suggesting David Beckham is the greatest soccer player! Very good accumulator of runs granted, and a useful bowler when all other options have been tried, but great? I think not. There are a few dozen players over time who would easily be voted greater than he in an international poll. Including a few SA players I hasten to add! (but only one pom of course,Sir Beefy 😉 )

    I’m glad to see DRS is being used, it backs up the umpires 90-95% of the time. I still can’t work out why the Indian’s don’t support it.

    Newlands looks like a beautiful setting Soutie. One day perhaps I shall get there (after watching a rugby game or two first). Cricket pitches have a magical quality that I just can’t define – many a happy lazy sunday afternoon on them or around them!

  9. Cuprum, you are right, I did not confirm or deny, Kallis’s greatness, but more than most sports, success in cricket is empirical. Kallis will soon be the 4th highest run scorer of all time. He also has one of test cricket’s biggest wicket hauls. By either measure, he would be considered a great. Combine the two skills and add in his fielding ability and I think you would struggle to find anybody who deserves the accolade more. It does not matter how you look, or what you say on or off the field, if a team does not take wickets and score runs it is not going to win. Kallis has scored more runs and taken more wickets than Gary Sobers, who has been considered in the past to be the greatest. The thing about Jacques, is that he is not a showman like many more famous players. He is quiet, modest and decent. When he pops into the pub for a drink, as I have seen him do, there is no fanfare or entourage. He is just an ordinary bloke. He has done one or two commercials, but he is seldom if ever in the press for his off-field antics in the way that people such as Warne, Flintoff and Botham were. If he is, it is for doing the right thing rather than the wrong thing. Cricket is not about showmanship it is about skill, and Kallis has demonstrated his skills better than anybody else; I suggest.

    I would be interested to know who you would put above him and why.

  10. Incidentally, did you know that Sobers was born with two extra fingers, one on each hand, which he removed himself with a knife and catgut, when he was a child? I did not know that.

  11. DAY 2

    Weather looks good, forecast says no rain!

    Play to start 10am, (I think) but our idiot commentators waffle on about everything instead of the important things we need to know!

    That’ll be in about 20 minutes.

    Enjoy, I know that will 🙂

  12. Hello chaps.

    Didn’t see any of day one or this morning’s play. Hoping to watch some in the next three days.
    Sitting on the fence as a neutral I hope the Aussies get beaten. 🙂

    Sipu #16. One of the reasons this is a great place.

  13. Sorry JW, I missed your comment earlier.
    It’s on Fox here, which I don’t subscribe to, so I’m listening on ABC radio.

  14. You couldn’t make this up, if this was an entry for a creative short story writing competition it would be laughed out of town!

    I have no idea where to start, so I’ll let ESPN do it for me…

    “How can such a day be summarised? It began with South Africa in control, and it has ended with South Africa in control. But what a ride it was. The day began in the first innings of the Test, and ended in the fourth. 23 wickets have fallen, 12 in the second session. South Africa were dismissed for 96, giving up a lead of 188. And then they came out and razed Australia to 21 for 9 before dismissing them for 47. A comeback of epic proportions.”

    155 to win with three days remaining, how difficult can that be?

    I might not bother watching tomorrow 😉

    No. I’ll have to watch, who knows what is going to happen next? Not me, but I want to watch it!

  15. Who is Nathan Lyon?

    Certainly needs moving up the batting order for The Wanderers Test 🙂

    When last did a no. 11 top score?

    I’ve no idea and wouldn’t know where to look 😕

  16. Blimey – I’ve just got in from work, read this post and had to check on the sport websites as I simply can’t believe it! 23 wickets in one day?

    Soutie – are questions being asked of the pitch? In the English league that number of wickets would be heavily questioned with the home team normally receiving a points deduction and/or a substantial fine. Or was it simply terrible batting?

    Sipu #15 I don’t deny your statistics, but the word greatness, over used as it is, has to take into account personal views and more than just a cold analytical approach. I understand what a nice chap he is, and I agree that is a relief compared to the rest of the primadonnas these days, but, the spirit of the game as well as the skill required in the days of uncovered pitches and less professional eras when things weren’t made easy for the player like they are now means so much more for me when measuring greatness.

    Sobers is rightly called a great for what he did during his career and to compare Kallis with him I would suggest embarrass Jacques himself.

    I am not denying Kallis’s achievements, but there are still plenty of “greater” players. For me, the best at all three components as a combo was Steve Waugh, but I don’t know the statistics. He exemplified the ultimate professional, but what he did for me was beat the other team mentally before they even took the pitch.

    Murali and Warne are clearly the best bowlers and changed games dramatically and frequently. I suggest Kallis hasn’t ever really changed or been dramatic in a game too often.

    Bradman and Tendulkar are in a differnet world to Kallis for batting. Jonty Rhodes is the best fielder ever by a country yard.

    As for all rounders apart from Waugh there are too many others to even go on about! (Imran Khan, Pollock, Richards, are some of my favorites – not to even mention the good Lord Adam Gilchrist who changed the game of cricket with his shear talent! 😀

  17. cuprum426 :

    Soutie – are questions being asked of the pitch?

    Not yet.

    Funny enough most (perhaps all) commentators are talking about exceptional bowling and pretty poor batting.

    I raised the ‘pitch question’ this afternoon, we’ve come to the conclusion that so long as it isn’t dangerous to the batsmen, which it clearly isn’t, there’s not much the ICC can complain about!

    It is after all the same for both sides, (who incidentally both had a go today, and there is no reason whatsoever for the Aussie collapse, Smith and Amla looked almost comfortable at the close scoring at nearly a run a ball!)

    I just wish that I was there 😦

  18. It’s my own fault for having to work!

    It’s an SA v Oz match and I’m only a neutral albeit with self-confessed strong rellie leanings towards the Proteas, due to my Aussie brother-in-law being a total waste of space, sports-wise, when weighed in the balance against Mrs M’s SA cousins.

    But I just wish that I had been here/there/wherever today. 23 wickets in a day and I did not see it live. Highlights on at 10pm our time. Positively drooling.

  19. DAY 3

    155 runs or 9 wickets, which shall it be?

    A spectator already at the ground has posted “”It’s fine and sunny this morning at Newlands – not much of the cloud cover Australia’s bowlers would have been hoping for.”

    Another 10 o’clock start, that’ll be about 20 minutes, can’t wait.

  20. How about this?

    Spectators with tickets for Sat & Sun would normally ‘lose out’

    Not for Cape Town cricket supporters…

    “The conditions of sale for the current Test match clearly state that tickets are not refundable or returnable, but given the freakish course of this exciting Test match, the Western Province Cricket Association has decided to allow the loyal cricket supporters at Sahara Park Newlands to use tickets for Saturday and Sunday today, or alternatively for the Cape Cobras v Titans 50-over one-day cup match next Friday, 18 November. This offer is on a first come first served basis. Bring your tickets for Saturday/Sunday to the ticket office at Newlands so they can be swapped for today’s cricket or next Friday’s match. The offer does not apply to complimentaries.”

    I think that’s rather neat 🙂

  21. All done and dusted by lunch, 155 runs in 33 overs, no demons in the pitch today. Wonderful centuries for Smith and Amla.

    Mind you, ‘Mr. Cricket’ dropped Amla off the last ball last night and Watson dropped him at first slip early this morning, for the Aussies to have even an outside chance they couldn’t afford those lapses.

    So, a most remarkable 2 and a bit days of Test cricket, the dismal performance of The Proteas in their first dig overshadowed by the utterly unbelievable performance by the Aussies in their second.

    Wanderers next Thursday, (that’s Jhb, up at altitude.) I hear that it’s been baking hot up there, expect a hard seamer friendly pitch and a Test match that will in all likelihood go the full 5 days, can’t wait!

  22. Evening Sipu, that’s quite correct, here’s the relevant commentary from cricinfo…

    Siddle to Smith, 1 run, that ball bounced a bit more from a good length and hit Smith on the glove as he moved across to play on the leg side

    Ok weird. It’s 11.11 in Cape Town and South Africa need 111 to win. And today’s date is of course … The Newlands crowd loves it. Many standing on one leg.

    Siddle to Amla, no run, driven to cover on the front foot ”


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