South Africa faced India in Ireland in a best of 3 contest losing 2-1. They went to Ireland missing captain Graham Smith and veteran Shaun Pollock. Jacques Kallis was appointed captain for the series. In the first ODI Hall and Nel were the pick of the bowlers. Hall picked up 2-40 whilst Nel claimed 3-47 in their 10 overs. India posted 242 with Tendulkar making 99 and Dravid 74. SA lost their first wicket with 56 on the board, a rarity these days which set up a solid platform for Kallis to come in and work off the runs. Kallis made 91, Morne van Wyk made a solid 44 opening in place of Smith. SA won by 4 wickets.
In the second ODI SA were sent it to bat and were struggling after losing De villiers and Kallis early, soon followed by Gibbs leaving SA at 46/3 with the inexperienced JP Duminy and Morne van Wyk to battle against the Indians. The pair on 85 runs before Duminy was out for 40. van Wyk made 82 before getting caught behind. Boucher managed to add some respect to the total with 55 off 55 balls. SA made 226 which was always going to be too few as India coasted home with 6 wickets in hand. Tendulkar made 93 and was supported by Ganguly on 42 and Singh on 49*.
The 3rd ODI was interrupted by rain and again the side winning the toss chose to field and again were rewarded with their decision. SA were struggling at 28/4 after 12 overs in a 31 over match. Gibbs and Kemp managed 99 for the 5th wicket which enabled SA to post 148 off 31 overs. Ntini bowled beautifully going for 18 in his 7, but the total was too low and India were too good to be beaten.
The tour was good for SA as the talent of Morne van Wyk and Philander was unearthed and hopefully they will feature in the future of SA cricket
South Africa faced Ireland in a rain affected game on Sunday. The Irish managed to win the toss which was about the only joy they would get from the game. South Africa didn’t massacre the bowling as some might have predicted, mainly due to debutant Alex Cusack picking up 3 of the top 4 batsman in his 4 overs. He ended up with 3/15 in his spell. Morne van Wyk made sure his recall wouldn’t go unnoticed as he top scored for South Africa with 52 off 84 balls. It might not have been the quickest 50 off his life, but will give him some hope of playing for the national side more often. He was supported by De Villiers making 40 and Jacques Kallis contributing 46 whilst Kemp made a brisk 18* off 13 balls.
The match was restricted to 31 overs and 173 might not have been enough against a stronger opposition and flashbacks from the world cup friendly against Ireland must have come to haunt the players as Ireland were on 45 off 9 overs before losing their first wicket. Dale Steyn picked up 2/30 off 7 which is fairly respectable in a comeback match. The hero for South Africa was Vernon Philander a man who could become South Africa’s best all- rounder in the near future. Vernon decided to celebrate turning 22 in an unforgettable manner making his debut for the Proteas and setting himself an almost impossible task of bettering his career-best figures in the future. Philander picked up 4/12 in 5.5 overs, and halted in resurgence the Irish had. On the other end of the debut scale was Thandi Tshabalala, who had a fairly innocuous start going for 22 in 3 overs but he did pick up a wicket.
South Africa managed a 42 run win against the Irish, which under the circumstances was a very comfortable win. The only surprising decision made by the Proteas was to not let JP Duminy come in earlier on in the innings, however he did get a bowl (maybe to make up for this oversight) and took 1/16 in 3 overs.
Essex batted first against Kent, making 234 Andre Nel contributed 6* whilst Andrew Hall picked 2-31 in 8, Ryan Mclaren 3-56 in 10. Hall came in at 3 for Kent, managing 7 off 16, whilst Martin van Jaarsveld wasnt much better, getting 14 off 29. Nel went for 42 and picked up Geraint Jones who opened the batting.
Lancashire posted 289/3 in their 50 overs. Van der Wath and Klusener both went for 50, van der wath 2-50 in 10 and Klusener 0-51 in 9. Northamptonshire got to 100-3 after 21 and lost by 20 runs on the Duckworth Lewis system.
Leicestershire faced Scotland who made 255 in their first innings. Arno Jacobs made 49 for Scotland. Langeveldt was wicketless in his 10 overs conceding 46 runs. HD Ackerman ensured that a South African scored a half century, making 51 in his innings and finding some good form. Leicestershire won the match by 4 wickets off the final ball.
Somerset faced Ireland, and Nantie Hayward did exactly as predicted and expected going for 60 off his 10 but picking up 3 wickets, lack of consistency has cost him at the international level, but maybe with age will come wisdom.
SA have a decent break at the moment, which will hopefully be used to sort out a few internal problems.
JUNE 24: SA VS IRELAND
JUNE 26: SA VS INDIA
JUNE 29: SA VS INDIA
JULY 1: SA VS INDIA
For some reason all these games are being held in Ireland, more than likely to promote the game to the Irish…. After these games South Africa are next seen in the Pro20 world cup!!!
The game of the tournament so far, took place yesterday between the two minnows, Zimbabwe and Ireland. It was a fantastic game to watch, I didnt get to see all of it, but there was a century scored by Jeremy Bray for Ireland who posted 221. Zimbabwe, looked like they were cruising, losing their 6th wicket on 203, needing another 19 runs to win off 38 balls.
The loss of the 6th wicket sparked a collapse, and Zimbabwe managed to lose their next 3 wickets for 10 runs, some of the run outs were elementary schoolboy errors, but that’s cricket and the pressure of the game. Matsikenyeri was on strike in the last over, with Zimbabwe needing 9 off the last over. He managed to get the first couple of balls away for 2, then a single off the third, leaving Rainsford the number 11 on strike. He managed a single off the 4th ball and Matsikenyeri needed to get 3 runs off 2 balls. He edged one over a deep gully, and managed 2 runs and the scored were tied. He missed the last ball, the keeper stumped him and threw the ball to the bowlers end and ran out the other batsman.
It would have been amusing, as Matsikenyeri was in his crease, and thus not out to the stumping and if the keeper missed the Zimbabweans could have run through for the single…. It is the third tie in history of the World cup, with South Africa involved in the other two.
South Africa are playing today, against the Netherlands, who have beaten SA comprehensively before, under Hansie Cronje and this might well have been a game that was intentionally lost… Ntini seems set to miss the game, but other than that it will be a full strength side that, will give the South Africa a chance to show how their form is after the first two atrocious warm up games.