Category Archives: SA cricket

Nick Compton to switch to Worcestershire

 

 

South African born and raised until his early teens, Nick Compton has been given permission to switch county sides in order to gain vital first-class practise against Australia ahead of the Ashes later next month.

 

The opener lost his place in the Test squad after disappointing outings against New Zealand this spring, England selectors instead opting for Joe Root alongside captain Alastair Cook.

 

With Compton out of the Test scene he quickly headed back to Somerset and hit a neat 81 in his first display against a touring Australia side. That innings proved to cricket betting pundits that Compton hasn’t lost his batting confidence and thankfully for England he’s been allowed a transfer to Worcestershire next week, to again face the Aussies.

 

In earning two practice matches against Australia before the Ashes, Compton has a great advantage over his batting rival for a place in the starting XI at Trent Bridge.

 

Root is his main adversary and almost certain to earn the call, but much relies on the Yorkshireman impressing during England’s warm-up with Essex this weekend. Even if Root does hit a century or two, he won’t have direct experience facing Australia’s bowling attack until that first delivery on 10 July.

 

Compton, meanwhile, will now receive two matches worth of experience against England’s opponents and that could sway a selection in his favour. It is gratifying to see the counties working so well together to ensure their England internationals are as prepared for Australia and even if Compton misses out on the first Test the competition will keep Root on his toes.

 

England are favourites in the cricket betting odds to win the Ashes this summer but they must not let that status lead to complacency. The team suffered that ignominy against South Africa last year and when touring New Zealand this spring, two Test results that proved how fragile the top order can be when lacking competition.

England vs South Africa 1st test preview

 

As the South Africans LOOK TO GAIN TOP SPOT on the world rankings one could be forgiven for thinking they are up against the blind school.
England seemed to be mucking about in the lead up to the most anticipated series of the year. South Africa, like England, also have a renowned pace attack and Strauss confirmed he was expecting a tough time.

“South Africa have a bowling line-up as good as anyone in the world and that’s a good challenge for us,” he said. Strauss is looking forward to playing against his fellow country men and enjoys the opportunity to chat in the local dialect something frowned upon in the dressing room when KP, Trotters, Prior and himself get going. The lads think we mocking them he insinuated when probed.

England (possible) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Ravi Bopara, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson

South Africa (possible) 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 Jacques Rudolph, 7 JP Duminy, 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir

The weather forecast is perfect English Summer weather – bet on a draw as we likely to lose vast amounts of time to the weather. 

It will be an interesting struggleand the players to watch are: 

Vernon Philander - averaging just 13 and some change in tests, already collected 50 wickets he is a danger man. 

Alistair Cook – Run machine and no signs of letting up, he will be seen as the corner stone of the top order

Matt Prior/John Trott – Keen to stick it to the Saffas these lads will be fighting with all they have to ensure Smithers and the boys know they made the right decision. 

Dale Steyn – Arguably the best bowler in the world, hasnt got much of a chance to pick up wickets as Vernon mops up the top order like its the tail.

Biggest disappointment: KP – lots of turmoil in the mans life as he resigns from the short format then changes his mind. The weather conditions and the SA bowlers will be too much for him to trouble the scorers in both innings. Will be lucky to make 25 in both innings combined.

 

Result: Draw


Sri Lanka thrash England – SA to top the rankings?

Despite a heroic final innings total of 264, England were bambooooozellled by Herath who spun a web around the English taking 6 for 97 in 38 overs. A fine effort by the boy who seems to be following in the twinkling footsteps of the great Murali.

An outstanding effort by South African born Jonathan Trott who managed 112, a fine effort by the man who is one of many England players who learnt his trade in South Africa but like so many other rejects, couldn’t make the cut and barge his way into a very strong Proteas squasd, and so opted to join the SA ‘B’ side, which has a few locals in it to make up the ‘quota’ of English born players to make sure they can technically call it the English cricket team.

England are on a slippery slide after getting dominated by Pakistan (who also spun a massive web around the English batting line-up) and now losing to Sri Lanka, are set to lose their number 1 test ranking to South Africa in a few weeks, with South Africa on a very good run of form, comprehensively beating New Zealand away from home in the recent test, one day and T20 series.

South Africa are looking forward to the upcoming test match series in England, with test match captain Graeme Smith quoted as saying “It will be nice to see some of the boys again. Its almost like playing a domestic match back in SA, so our boys will feel right at home, its the only place where we go on tour and cant speak about on-field tactics in Afrikaans.”

Just a reminder, if England lose the next test match against Sri Lanka, they will slip to 2nd place in the world rankings, with South Africa, who are on a great run of form, taking their rightful place at the top of the world rankings and we can finally have a team there who is actually winning.

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

Preview of 3rd SA vs AUS ODI

The series is levelled at 1-1 after SA managed to throw the last game away. There are going to be many justified questions around Neil McKenzie’s place or the rather curious decision to send him in at such a crucial time of the match.

SA needed 94 runs from 14 overs (84 balls) which is not a tough ask, especially when you are only 4 wickets down. I have nothing against Neil McKenzie, however he is not the man I would send in to win the match with 36 overs down and more than a run a ball needed – especially when there is Mark Boucher, Albie Morkel and even Johan Botha to choose from – in fact Dale Steyn can swing the willow successfully!!! After 15 balls Neil had managed just 8 runs and the scoring in the 5 overs he was in for didnt get past 4 in the over, in fact it was a 15 run partnership off 30 balls effectively making a score easy to chase with 6 wickets in hand a massive task.

Boucher came to the crease scoring more than a run a ball as did Morkely but the fat lady had sung and the poor Saffas that had to sit through were tearing the hair out possibly shouting obscenities at the coach and captain.

The 3rd ODI is at Sydney and should be a cracker – it will be interesting to see if Warner gets another chance and whether SA will toggle with the team – its a difficult match to call and no doubt it will be tight however SA should have the upper hand.