No contest

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.

Play resumes at 10:30 our time (08:30gmt)

Match fixing sentences

It all seems a bit harsh to me.

They already have career destroying bans from the ICC but imprisonment!

Agent Mazhar Majeed was jailed for two years and eight months for his role in the fixing.

Pakistan Test cricket captain Salman Butt jailed for 30 months.

Former world number two Test bowler Mohammad Asif  jailed for one year for his involvement.

Mohammed Amir sentenced to 6 months in prison.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going soft, in fact I’d lock up the agent and throw away the key, and Salmaan Butt, well he can sit, he should have known better and it appears that it was he who recruited the other two.

I remember the Hanse Cronje scandal, he was quite rightly banned for life, but the guys that he involved, where are they now? Well two of them have just finished playing in the Champions League Trophy in India (of all places).

Sure, the culprits have to be punished, but jail?

Not for me, not today.