Big day here tomorrow.
Scotland are in town.
For my fellow enthusiasts I’m reprinting the report from today’s daily read. It will / should give you …
a) An insight in our approach to the game, and
b) Perhaps a different perspective from whatever sports reporters are scribbling in your neck of the woods or
C) For those with no rugby reporting in their local press whatsoever a reminder that there’s a game on!
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)
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.
They say that there’s a first time for everything, today is certainly the first time that I’ve sat down and watched a complete innings of test cricket over breakfast and 2 cups of coffee!
Reminiscent of that famous demolition of Australia back in 2011 (also at Newlands, 47 all out, 18 overs, 95 minutes, Philander also bagged 5!) scorecard here. The Kiwis lasted 8 balls and 5 minutes longer!
Here we go, the decider.
Last time we played here we scored over 400 in the fourth innings to win. How is the Adelaide match going to effect the psyche?
Did I hear that this is Ricky’s last outing? If true, hats off to a remarkable batsman and captain, a thorn in our sides for what is it? At least 10 years?
Slightly better timing for me, a 02:30 gmt start, can’t wait!
Wanna watch? Click the picture.
Lunch day 5
Perhaps you don’t have access to which ever satellite provider has the rights in your area, my commentary seems to be alternating between Sky (Botham, Hussain) and the local Indian broadcaster, both more than adequate.
Anderson doesn’t look too happy, the wicket looks flatter than Brisbane, it’s going to be hard work for the bowlers!
The current ODI series between England and The Proteas will as you can see decide who tops the ICC rankings come Sept 5th.
Match 2 (of the 5 match series) a day / nighter starts at 12.00 GMT Tuesday 28th August, would you believe that the 1st game on Friday was washed out? With a 4 day break between matches why not have a reserve day? (or 2?) It’s time that the ‘men in suits’ who run the sport get with the programme!
But there’s more at stake then simply topping the ODI rankings for The Proteas.