The first test of the three match series started on Friday, February 1st, Graeme Smith’s 32nd birthday. It also marked the 100th time that ‘Biff’ had captained a test team, (99 SA, 1 world XI) what a remarkable achievement!
Other captains noted for their longevity in the job include Border (93), Fleming (80), Ponting (77), Lloyd (74)
Smith won the toss and decided to bat, it’s never easy on the first day up at The Wanderers, Protea’s wickets fell at regular intervals but I was buoyed by a comment from Andrew Samson that an average first innings score up there was ‘only’ 260. Average is rarely good enough but I was reasonably satisfied with our 253 at the end of the day.
Who could possibly have predicted yesterday morning’s carnage Pakistan 49 all out! Just slightly better than NZ’s 45 last month and Oz’s 47 in Cape Town (Nov 2011.)
S.A. ended the day on 207/3, a lead of 411.
A bit more batting practice for our middle order today, improve those averages, get some time at the crease, build confidences where necessary and then unleash Steyn, Philander, Morkel and (perhaps) Kallis.
This was my preferred position when watching cricket at The Wanderers, the stand wouldn’t have been so high back in those days and the seats (well, we didn’t have seats but rows and rows of wooden railway sleeper benches, complete with splinters) wouldn’t have been as comfortable,
The Wanderers, affectionately known as The Bullring, prior to the construction of the new stands it actually resembled a bullring, is the venue for today’s test match.
Have I mentioned my absolute dislike of the big cities? If not, I’ll just restate quickly that I absolutely hate them, the rush, the traffic, the insular attitudes, the crowds, I’m sure that there’s more but you get the picture.
I had to go to Johannesburg last week for a couple of meetings, I’d tried so hard to get out of the trip but the supplier / principle insisted and so reluctantly I booked my ticket. 9:00am flight up 15:45pm flight back.
In brief I was collected from O.R.Tambo (newspeak for Jhb international or Jan Smuts for those of you with longer memories) precisely on time, whisked off to Springs for a presentation and demo, then off to Rosebank for another and finally to Orange Grove for a quick lunch.
Needless to say up until the lunch everything had gone meticulously to my rather cramped schedule, then some old friends heard that I was in town, Continue reading “Gautrain”