Game on

Graeme Smith and Michael Clarke pose with the Test series trophy ahead of the first Test in Centurion

1st ball 10.30am our time (0830 gmt)

With 5 of the top 10 bowlers in the world (SA 2 – Oz 3) and 4 of the top batsmen (SA 3 – Oz 1) this is going to be some series. (Test rankings here, Morne Morkel isn’t even in the top 10)

With Jaques Kallis having retired from test cricket (he played in our T20 final this last Sun, took 4 wickets!) we are suddenly TWO players short, how will our selectors fill that void?

The Aussie camp also have their ‘all rounder’ trouble, Shane Watson has had to withdraw with a recurrence of a calf problem, so that evens things up a little for this first encounter.

Today’s venue is a suburb of Pretoria, it’s up on the highveld at altitude, the air is thinner and the ball goes faster and further than down here. I first visited the ground back in the ’80’s when the town had that politically incorrect name of Verwoedburg and the new (in those days) cricket stadium called Verwoerdburg Park. (Hendrick Verwoerd prime minister back in the ’50s and credited with being the architect of apartheid.)

I’ll see if our idiots at SABC are broadcasting today, if they are I’ll put a link here for members.

They are!!

Ball by ball commentary from SABC”s Radio 2000 HERE

20 thoughts on “Game on”

  1. I often wonder who sponsors of sporting events / teams are and what they do.

    So for those wondering who Sunfoil are, they’re cooking oil.

  2. I’ll be glued to Fox Sports 3, providing Boadicea allows me to be.

    Based on my intensive recent experience of watching almost every ball of the 5 Tests, 5 ODIs and 3 T20s against England, I can confidently say that I haven’t a clue how this series will turn out.

    But it’ll be fun finding out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Bearsy :

    Iโ€™ll be glued to Fox Sports 3, providing Boadicea allows me to be.

    Based on my intensive recent experience of watching almost every ball of the 5 Tests, 5 ODIs and 3 T20s against England, I can confidently say that I havenโ€™t a clue how this series will turn out.

    But itโ€™ll be fun finding out. :-)

    Bearsy, so far not so good, methinks. 2 for not very many. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  4. Get Thee behind me Satan or rather Soutie.

    Working at home testing laptops to make sure that wireless and home access software are installed properly.on them.

    I had deliberately sited myself in another roomfrom the TV to keep away from the curling but I did a quick check on the Chariot (just to test Internet access of course) and saw your post. It’s on the Evil Empire so I am now recording both cricket and curling for later enjoyment or despair.

    Took a quick look naturally and rather enjoyed Warner getting himself out.

    Back to the laptops.

  5. Soutie:

    I find it quite amusing that you think Clarke and Watson so good – we think they are just about ready for retirement! They are both like that little girl with the curl:
    When they are good they’re very good, but when they are bad they are … well dreadful! And they are too often pretty dreadful.

    There’d be blood on the sands (well the tiles!) were I to complain that our new TV was used for something other than the cricket…

    The last one blew up (literally!) half way through the Oz-UK series. It was right under where I was sleeping -didn’t wake me up – I learnt to sleep during the blitz in the middle of London. But we’ve never chosen a new TV quite so fast!

    At least this time I can support Oz 100% – ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Morning Boadicea (well it’s evening here but I know it’ll be morning for you by the time that you read this ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    Watson me? Never! Never enjoyed his attitude or performances, I merely mentioned him because our topnotch all rounder is no longer available and neither is he. Having said that he’s probably the best you’ve got as a top order batter come quick bowler.

    No, on an earlier post (perhaps one of the Ashes ones or maybe one of my Proteas / India ones) I happened to mention that the only Aussie that I’d put in my S.A. side was pup, I did add a rider that I thought that Mitch was good enough to be in the squad as back up, nothing’s changed ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Interesting Day 1. ๐Ÿ˜€

    As Warner screwed up (as usual), followed rapidly by Doolan (promising lad, but why on earth did CA select yet another newbie when we have quite a few older and better batsmen back in Oz?), Rogers (he’s usually better) and flaming Michael Clarke gave his wicket away, I came to the sad conclusion that we had reverted to the pathetic mob who were around for the last 3 years, back from the proper team who had suddenly appeared for the recent contests with the Poms.

    But joy of joys, Marsh and Smith had obviously not seen or had ignored the instructions from the powers that be, so they continued to play their best, putting on a couple of hundred, and eventually treating the Saffer bowlers with disdain. Which, quite frankly, is what they, most unusually, deserved yesterday.

    Now I know it can all change tomorrow in the blink of an eye and a couple of wickets, but 297 for 4 ain’t bad, in anyone’s book.

  8. As was the case with the December tour here by the Indians and our trip to the UAE prior to that to play the Pakkies our bowlers were very good for the 1st 40 overs or so, after that, nothing!

    Let’s see if after a good night’s rest our bowlers can limit the Aussies to somewhere between 350 – 400, the ball is still relatively new, only 8 overs old, so I’m expecting some fireworks first up.

  9. Boa, “I learnt to sleep during the blitz in the middle of London.” I don’t want to be indelicate, but are you really xy? ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Dear me! Not the sort of question that a gentleman should ask a lady, Janus.

    Boadicea’s age is 21 and a little bit.

    Her remark about sleeping during the London Blitz was, of course, as any fule kno, an artistic reflection of your own experiences in Coventry. ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Dear me too! I assumed that the Blitz reference was the programme that was on the TV when it blew up ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Bearsy :

    Dear me! Not the sort of question that a gentleman should ask a lady, Janus.

    Boadiceaโ€™s age is 21 and a little bit.

    Her remark about sleeping during the London Blitz was, of course, as any fule kno, an artistic reflection of your own experiences in Coventry. :grin:

    Funnily enough, Bearsy, I had a flash-back to the MyT squabble even as i wrote! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Before I go to Coventry, let’s talk cricket.

    Looking forward to the weekend and to watching the last two days this weekend..

    Credit to Mitchell Johnson. He came back from Barmy Army ridicule to shove it right up ‘us’ and is now turning it on against the Proteas. That was awesome, hostile bowing and a superb catch from him today. I think it’s the moustache and that SA should be scouring the country for possible Delilahs to shave it off.

    Bearsy, a Good New Year to you. I know well that we will never see eye to eye in re Pup and I agree that he did throw away his wicket this time. But he is a pretty impressive Captain, in my opinion, and did the job again today.

    I assume that SA will avoid the follow on, not that it would probably be enforced, and I look forward to enjoying a weekend of good cricket. It really seems so long since I could hope for that.

    I remember the Coventry spat on MyT. Didn’t enjoy that.

  14. What a shambles!

    206 all out, not good enough, hats off to AB for a fine, fighting 91 but the rest? Pathetic!

    Crikey, on the exact same wicket where Johnson ripped through our batsmen, Warner and Doolan proceeded to score 205 on their own!

    There is a lot of time left and the Aussies have been bitten more than once by fighting rearguard actions by South Africans recently. Having said that, I still expect a declaration before lunch, I reckon 550 ahead or 45 minutes play left in the morning session, whichever comes first.

    It is of course not all bad news for me, it does make my game (the 2nd test) starting Thursday a hugely significant one ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. The Proteas were outplayed in every department of the game, not just batting and bowling but fielding and catching too.

    Not much time to regroup, next test starts on Thursday.

  16. If any have ever wondered what Andrew Symonds is up to these days he’s been down here this last week commentating for our national broadcaster SABC.

    We have two channels broadcasting the cricket, the satellite one with it’s array of international broadcasters (some of whom drive me to distraction with their drivel) and a local free terrestrial one (made compulsory I believe irrespective of who has the broadcasting rights by our government.)

    The SABC also have on their panel ex cricketers Makhaya Ntini, Peter Kirsten and Hershel Gibbs (who speaks just as he bats, explosively!) they are all a breath of fresh air ๐Ÿ™‚

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