SA vs NZ St. George’s

Today’s the day, our first test at St George’s park since 2007 and only our fourth since 2000!

That’s Graeme Smith and Morne Morkel at yesterday’s practice on the left (pic espncricinfo)

Entry to the ground is R30 (£2) I’ll be buying my ticket at the gate, as usual there is absolutely no public transport provided nor parking close by, my modus operandi today is to park and meet a couple of mates at a nearby restaurant (perhaps a mile away) and the owner has kindly volunteered to drop us off at the gate.

I do like to watch the first ball, its a 10.30 (08.30gmt) start.

It’s a glorious morning here, not a cloud in the sky, a very slight breeze coming in from the west, predictions are for more of the same over the next 5 days. (Not that I expect this test to still be on the go come Tuesday.)

So what chance New Zealand? Absolutely none if the local bookmakers are to be believed…


12 thoughts on “SA vs NZ St. George’s”

  1. G’morgen, Soutie. I think you should walk the mile to the ground, allowing time to stop for a rest/drink/chat on the way – whatever. Then you can sit down for 6 or seven hours feeling holy. Is it worth watching a dead-cert? (Apart from the pleasures of sitting and watching of course.) 🙂

  2. Oops, Ian bell run out! 158 for 1. I’d better stop watching or they’ll collapse big-time!

  3. Good morning, my fellow Jonah!

    I switched from TMS to Sky just in time to see it becoming 158-2. I’m off to work so Morgan and KP should be safe enough.

  4. Soutie, good evening.

    I hope you enjoyed the day. Amla is some machine! I will be watching tomorrow. I envy your being there in person.

    But, moving on to important games of cricket played today, I can only echo Janus. and his evocation of the spirit of the non-immortal Pheidippides delivering the news of the outcome of the Battle of Marathon.

    “Joy, ‘we’ win”.

    Came home from work at 4.30 pm, having deliberately avoided all input from any source, of any sort, and have just finished watching the recording from when ‘we’ were two wickets down. Who says 50 over cricket is dead or boring?

  5. What a day, no, let me rephrase that what a magnificent day.

    Entry was pretty seamless, a small queue at the gate for my ticket.

    Upon entry I received a free bottle of sun tan lotion and much to my surprise a free programme, visor and one of those 6 or 4 placards.

    I’m quite happy to buy programmes, I’m sure that colleagues have noticed that I always do but this was a cool start, I hadn’t sat down yet and already got more than my entry fee back in free stuff!

    The joy I felt as the 1st ball was delivered was everything that I had expected, test match cricket, clear skies, among fellow cricket enthusiasts, there was nowhere else I’d rather be.

    The ‘thwack’ that reverberated around St. Georges as Graeme Smith was struck on the helmet had me worried for his safety, it was loud, very loud.

    Petersen (stupid shot) was out caught (Patel) right in front of me, and then my moment of the day. As we applauded Amla’s stroll out to the wicket I said to myself ‘what a privilege this is to see this young man walking out.’ I haven’t felt like that since the days of Graeme Pollock (70’s) and perhaps the rebel tours!

    Amla didn’t disappoint, Smith, Kallis, De Villiers came and went but Hash stood firm. And then there’s Faf (du Plessis), playing only his 4th test, he proved over in Oz that he has both the ability and temperament for the big stage, he was quite brilliant today.

    I was impressed with the attitude and demeanour of Trent Boult, he spent the day (when not bowling) in front of me, fielding at fine leg or deep point, always a smile, always time for a couple of signatures on the young boys and girls bats, hats or programmes. He deserves a couple of wickets tomorrow but not ’till after lunch 😉

    A word about the band, I’ve been critical of them in the past, they’re okay! They’ve increased their repertoire, reduced the false notes, play intermittently and I rather enjoyed them today.

    All in all a memorable 1st day.

  6. Hi Soutie,

    I’m blue (you know me) with envy. I have never watched a game of cricket in a live setting. Sometime this summer, for sure, I’m going to get around to seeing a game, admittedly, it will be at the lower levels. Partick is not far from me and I think the West of Scotland team play there. What chance SA play a “friendly” against them?

    Faf looks a good ’un. Where in the name of the wee man do you keep producing these stars? Philander has been the most exciting thing to emerge in recent times and F du P looks like he will follow in his footsteps. I’m sorry to say I’ll miss most of your Test match (am going to the Rangers derby later on today) but will look in your bulletins. Enjoyed your previous comment.

  7. Môre Janus

    ” Is it worth watching a dead-cert?”

    You’ve half answered your question yourself but there’s more to it than that.

    We Eastern Capers have forever been told that we miss out on ‘big’ events because “there’s not enough support” (rugby, cricket, rock bands, stage shows etc.) Remember my oft mentioned ‘Cinderella province’ comparisons?

    I would have gone irrespective of the attitudes of the powers that be but I’m pleased to report that a sizable crowd turned up, the organizers should be pleased.

  8. Morning JM & TR, thanks.

    Of interest, I mentioned that my ticket was a very reasonable R30 (£2), would you believe after lunch R20 (£1.33p) and after tea R10 (£0.66p) pensioners and scholars half price!

  9. theroyalist :

    Hi Soutie,

    I’m blue (you know me) with envy. I have never watched a game of cricket in a live setting.

    Really? I think I’ve watched big encounters at all the test venues in England and been to lunch at the MCG. You’ve got to do it. I think I’ve enjoyed Headingley the most for crowd involvement and Edgbaston for sheer nostalgia, having been there with ‘Me Dad’.

  10. Day 2

    and what a day it was!

    Overcast all day, overnight drizzle delayed the start of play by 15 minutes, no chance of that today, it’s a bright sunny morning here with temperatures expected to get up to 30ºC

    I got my wish (comment #7) a bit earlier than expected, Trent Boult got his deserved wicket (Amla) early during the morning session.

    Amla was replaced by a nervy Dean Elgar whose previous 3 test knocks included a debut ‘pair’ in Perth and a miserable 21 at Newlands (average = 7) by the time the declaration arrived he was 103 not out! (average now = 41.3)

    Hats off to Graeme Smith for delaying the declaration and allowing Elgar his ton, what a boost for the young lad’s confidence.

    Faf? what can we say about Faf? Another test another ton, moving off 99 with a mighty six off Patel.

    All in all a mighty batting display (525/8) from the world’s no.1 test team.

    And then, what we (well certainly I) had been looking forward to for weeks, our bowlers charging in, there was certainly no complacency, they didn’t disappoint.

    Gupthill was dropped by Kallis in the 1st over (now there’s a collectors item, he doesn’t drop many and this one was a sitter!) it mattered not, our quicks tore through their top order and had them reeling at 27/4 and then? Well then came the Robbie Peterson show.

    RP is from Port Elizabeth, born here, schooled here, played club cricket here and started his first class career right here for Eastern Province. He’s oft been overlooked for the test arena being preferred for the shorter versions (60xODI’s, 19xT20i’s)

    Much to the delight of the crowd, the band, me, my dog, my mates,the announcer, his teammates et al Robbie took 2 wickets in his first over with consecutive balls, the ‘big fish’ Mccullum first and then their supposed allrounder Munro next ball, brilliant!

    The Black Caps finished the day in tatters on 47/6.

    It should all end today, my only regret? Not watching Kallis blast his 45th ton, we so want him to surpass Sachin Tendulkar’s record.

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