Category Archives: South Africa

Jon-Jon Smuts Hits 150

I have mentioned Jon Jon Smuts previously on here about Jon-Jon. I am sure his classmates will tell you he is destined for greater things, after breaking the school record for the amount of runs scored for the first team. To recap, Jon-Jon’s statistics include:
-played 80 matches for the Graeme College 1st team
-represented E.P. U18 team for 3 years i.e. 2004, 2005 and captain in 2006
-scored 4220 runs at an average of 57,8 runs per innings
-scored 14 centuries. His highest was 190 runs (see detail below)
-took 141 wickets at an average per wicket of 19.4 runs

Smuts, reached 150 today, his second hundred in the supersport series, which was curiosly curtailed by a declaration on 315/3 some 76 runs BEHIND the Eagles total. After this knock Jon-Jon should keep a regular place in the squad, however he has performed well in the lower tier the CSA provincial challenge this year.

Keep an eye on Jon-Jon and his younger brother Kelly Smuts

South Africa vs Australia 1st Test Preview

The first test against Australia takes place at the Wanderers tomorrow at 10.30am (8.30am GMT) with South Africa fielding an unchanged side. The Australians are in tatters, with as many as 3 debuts handed out tomorrow, its fair to say they are in a new and unchartered phase for a team that has for so long dominated the game. It is debateable as to whether they are rebuilding or realising the loss or Warne, McGrath and Hayden can have on a side, and look a fraction of the team that played in the last ashes series

Australia have won the last three Tests between the two sides at the Wanderers and two of the successes were innings victories however Australia can be thankful the weather will be kind to them with showers predicted during the test, which will certainly hamper the chances of a result.

Apart from the good form the South Africans have shown in the batting department, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn will be difficult to face with the build up indicating that there will be plenty of swing, which should help the Australian bowlers who are lacking in the pace department.

Entering into this test, Jacques Kallis needs 12 runs to become the first South African to reach 10,000 and  only the 8th player to do so. AB de Villiers will become the fourth South African to play 50 consecutive Tests

Look out for Phil Hughes, a youngster who has set the domestic scene alight this season for Australia and at 20 is the youngest test debut since Craig McDermott in 1984!!!

Tomorrow will be interesting, especially interesting will be what the Australian side looks like, with the below being the probable sides:

1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Neil McKenzie, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 JP Duminy, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Paul Harris, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Makhaya Ntini.

1.Phillip Hughes, 2 Simon Katich, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Michael Clarke, 6 Marcus North, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Peter Siddle, 10 Doug Bollinger, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus, 12 Andrew McDonald.

SA vs Australia Fixtures 2009 in South Africa

Australia come to South Africa hoping to maintain their top spot - 3 tests will decide the world number 1 spot

February 2009
Fri 20 – Sun 22
10:30 local, 08:30 GMT South African Board President’s XI v Australians
Senwes Park, Potchefstroom

Thu 26 – Mon 2
10:30 local, 08:30 GMT 1st Test – South Africa v Australia
New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

March 2009
Fri 6 – Tue 10
10:30 local, 08:30 GMT 2nd Test – South Africa v Australia
Kingsmead, Durban

Thu 19 – Mon 23
10:30 local, 08:30 GMT 3rd Test – South Africa v Australia
Newlands, Cape Town

Fri 27 
18:00 local, 16:00 GMT 1st T20I – South Africa v Australia
New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

Sun 29 
18:00 local, 16:00 GMT 2nd T20I – South Africa v Australia
SuperSport Park, Centurion

April 2009
Fri 3 
14:30 local, 12:30 GMT 1st ODI – South Africa v Australia
Kingsmead, Durban

Sun 5
10:00 local, 08:00 GMT 2nd ODI – South Africa v Australia
SuperSport Park, Centurion

Thu 9 
14:30 local, 12:30 GMT 3rd ODI – South Africa v Australia
Newlands, Cape Town

Mon 13
10:00 local, 08:00 GMT 4th ODI – South Africa v Australia
St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth

Fri 17 
14:30 local, 12:30 GMT 5th ODI – South Africa v Australia
New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

SA Squad for India

Graeme Smith (captain), Ashwell Prince (vice-captain), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Charl Langeveldt, Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson and Dale Steyn.

The team has seen Andre Nel threaten to quit SA cricket (see more here) after being dropped for Charl Langeveldt. There is a lot more to it than his childish but understandable outburst about being dropped. He has been an integral part of the test setup this season edging out the legendary Shaun Pollock, no mean feat and something difficult to comprehend for the experts and casual followers. However if you saw him bowling against West Indies you will remember that he justified his inclusion in the side.

It is clear that the selectors who picked a squad of only FOUR players of colour for the Bangladesh tour (Peterson replaced Harris who was injured) when six was the target have now been instructed to pick a squad of six players of colour. Another clear message came from the 2nd test in Bangladesh where Botha had done nothing wrong to be dropped, yet he was dropped for Peterson which ensured the side had four players of colour.

I am still trying to figure out why there must be 6 players of colour in the squad if only 4 will play. In the current line-up which wont change much from the last few test the team has been made up of: Graeme Smith (captain), Ashwell Prince (vice-captain), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn.

This means that either Charl Langeveldt, Robin Peterson, JP Duminy or Paul Harris (if fit) will make up the last spot. If Harris is chosen which is more than likely, the squad will have to adapt, with the possibility of Morkel making way for Langeveldt/Peterson or McKenzie dropped for Duminy.

Andre Nel has had a good tour of Bangladesh and clearly was not impressed by the omission. The bottom line is the selectors have put their heads together and believe that Morkel is a better bowler than Nel, and thus he is left out. For quota reasons Ntini wont be dropped (nor should he be for any reason)

If you had to say which player of colour would be the first one to be picked out of the ODI squad, most people would have gone with Herschelle Gibbs ahead of Langeveldt. This is a clear sign to Gibbs to get his act together if he wants a place in the team to England in June.

Peterson bowled himself into contention picking up  5-33 in the second innings of the second test. That said we now have two spinners who are left arm orthodox, instead of Botha who would add another dimension to the team.

It is the toughest challenge yet for SA in this season, facing an Indian side that could have easily won the Test series against Australia and ended off on a high note. It will take another monster effort from the worlds best bowler, certainly most destructive bowler Dale Steyn and a massive performance from the inexperienced Morkel to give SA a chance of completing a clean sweep of the season. With a fragile top order on the batting front, it will be a remarkable series victory.