Highlights from the first days play
Highlights from the first days play
Bangladesh have again been battered in the ODI format losing by nine wickets to an under strength South African outfit. Bangladesh won the toss and decided to bat first, posting a meagre total of 178. The only decent score was made by Tamim Iqbal, who made 82 his top score to date. Iqbal is still a teenager and this being his fourth half-century in 22 ODI starts, hopefully he can bring some composure to this side.
The South African bowlers all got in on the action, Nel picking up 3/24 in 10, Langeveldt, Harris and Albie Morkel each getting two wickets. Botha managed one wicket and was the most expensive bowler conceding 43 in ten overs.
Smith added to his improving form by getting 103* a good sign for South Africa who face India after the Bangladesh leg of their tour. Gibbs is also finding some form as he made 57 in uncharacteristically slow fashion. That said, Herschelle knows that he is playing for his place and the mediocrity shown more often than not in the last two years is now catching up with him. Especially after Neil McKenzie managed a double century in the test series. (Click here for match report)
It is difficult to remember why Bangladesh are in the first tier, and when looking at their track record of 36 wins in 167 games one might point out that their winning average is just over 20%. This may be correct, however when you scratch the surface and see whom the victories are against there is little ground supporting top teams playing against them.
Of the 36 victories 15 are against Zimbabwe, (they have lost 18) and 8 against Kenya (lost 6). It is easier to indicate whom they have beaten. They have won 1/13 against Australia, 2/17 against India, 1/18 against Pakistan and 1/10 playing South Africa. They have never beaten England, New Zealand or West Indies.
It might be harsh to say Bangladesh are a waste of time, the side is a developing one. One has to wonder how long they will take to develop. There are some promising players in their line-up however, when you look at the current sides’ batting averages (CLICK HERE) and only two players average over 30 it seems that the development stage is still in its infancy.
On the bowling front things seem slightly better. There are four bowlers with averages below 30. (Click here) This is encouraging for the Tigers, and hopefully if they can develop their batting they will be a side that is worth paying some attention to. They are exciting when they get going, some incredible shots and skill comes out, but with any young side, these high risk and possible high reward shots come out too often and lead to their downfall.
South Africa have been embarrassed in the final group match of the inaugural Twenty20 championships. Eric Simons might have an ironic smile on his face as this defeat brings back memories of the heartbreaking 2003 exit.
After the 2003 debacle, Shaun Pollock resigned as captain and Pat Symcox stood down as a selector. In this instance the stakes aren’t as high as this format of the game doesn’t hold as much weight in the eyes of cricketers and the fans in comparison to the other formats.
South Africa have only themselves to blame. At the interval there is no doubt in my mind that the coach and captain would have been aware of the minimum required to get to the semi-final. The all important figure was 126 off 120 balls, by no means a tough ask, yet if you watched the match you would have thought differently.
South Africa started off badly with the three specialist batsmen in the squad sent packing with twelve runs on the board. This brought the all rounders to rescue the game and at this stage it should be stressed that 126 would have been the victory target although it didn’t seem the case.
Boucher and Morkel rescued the side from a disgusting 31/5 to take them closer to qualifying before Boucher was dismissed. This left SA needing 26 runs off 20 balls and 4 wickets in hand to qualify. Whilst this isn’t the easiest task it certainly was obtainable yet they managed 16 runs, 4 of which were to Ntini the only batsman to score faster than a run a ball.
It was a pathetic display from the Proteas, who now are firmly in the driving seat as a nation of chokers in the important games. There is nothing more to say about this the guys weren’t good enough and it certainly isn’t in the talent department, SA have some of the most talented players in the world. The mindset is all wrong, and this needs to be addressed quickly. There is a saying that the rot starts from the top, is this true about SA cricket??
Pakistan and New Zealand are through to the semi-finals, England and Bangladesh are out, Australia have to beat Sri-Lanka to qualify.
Today SA face NZ, tomorrow they take on India. India have to beat England today in order to give themselves a chance of qualifying. The winner of this group will face Australia or Sri-Lanka, depending on the outcome of tomorrows game. Pakistan face bangladesh and surely must win tomorrow?
Pakistan and South Africa have looked like the danger sides thus far in the tournament and If SA win their last two game these sides will contest the final if they win the semi’s, which will be deserved and an absolute cracker!!!!
If ever the ICC were looking for a fairy tale start to a new venture, they would have to perform a miracle to improve on the start of the Twenty20 World Cup. Over 400 runs in under 40 overs. Pro 20 cricket was designed to entertain and if there are going to be more exciting matches than the opener – Twenty20 cricket will take the world by storm.
SA decided to field first and after Gayle destroyed their attack with TEN yes TEN 6’s and 7 4’s in his 57 ball 117. Smith might well have regretted the decision, with all of the bowlers being smashed around.
Smith decided to lead by example and introduce himself into the attack as the only spinning option. He performed admirably for his ability and showed the side that with his limited bowling talent the over cost only 17. It did indeed spur on the rest of the attack with far superior bowling skills, and the 12th over bowled by Smith was the highest for the rest of the innings!!!
The Windies were cruising along until Van der Wath removed Gayle in the 17th over and only conceded 4 runs followed by Morne Morkel conceding 3 runs in the 18th over. This was the least runs conceded in the innings. There was little support to Gayle apart from Devon Smith who opened the batting with Gayle making 35 off 34 balls
The Windies set SA 206 for victory however as mentioned in “The Players to Watch” post, West Indies didn’t have the bowlers to back their batsman up and whilst 200 should be defendable by any team, SA managed to get there with 14 balls to spare.
The West Indies surely set a record for the most wides in a 20/20 international game conceding 23 of them!! Not that this detracts from the beautiful 120 run partnership between Gibbs and Kemp, Gibbs making 90 off 55 whilst Kemp carved 46 off 22 balls.
South Africa managed an 8 wicket victory which should be more than enough of a warning to Australia that they are looking to knock them off their perch as the favourites.