Jacques Kallis has refused to reconsider being the South African vice-captain, however he has committed himself to South African cricket in the future.
Andrew Hall has indicated that he is not interested in playing cricket for South Africa again and there is a strong possibility he will join the new Indian Cricket League (ICL) along with Boje and Klusener.
Loots Bosman has hit out at the national coach, Mickey Arthur calling him a liar and questioning his decision to drop him from the squad. Bosman stated “”I am tired of the lying, I am fine, ask my physiotherapist in Bloemfontein who treated me last week. I am very, very, disappointed. Mickey tells too many lies.” According to the Beeld newspaper.
Andre Nel has been selected for the 20/20 competition after SA lose a specialist batsman
Ryan Mclaren seems keen to sign up to play for England along with Vaughn van Jaarsveld while Garnet Kruger has turned his back on SA cricket accusing them of not picking players of colour in the side after selecting them for the squad – this might well be shown again in the Pro20 matches
These are just a few of the problems in South African cricket at the moment
On Saturday the twenty20 finals day were held. In the first semi-final Lancashire batted first against Gloucestershire and made 148 in their 20. In this form of cricket that is hardly ever good enough and Gloucestershire ambled home in just under 17 overs with Craig Spearman earning himself the man of the match award for smashing 86 in 55 balls. This innings included 5 sixes and 8 fours.
The second semi-final contest was slightly closer as Kent made hard work chasing down 141 set by Sussex. Murray Goodwin made the top score of 38 off 35 helping Sussex post 140. Ryan Mclaren managed to pick up 1-10 in 2 overs. On the batting side both Martin van Jaarsveld and Mclaren failed with each scoring 2 runs. However Kent were through to the final and there was still time for a South African to shine.
Kent decided to field first and chase down the Gloucestershire total, which would have been massive until the dreaded nelson came up. At 111-4 it seemed like the was little hope for Kent, but the curse struck and with it Ryan Mclaren removed the danger man Hamish Marshall for 65 off 49 balls. Not satisfied with sending the danger man to have a shower, he clean bowled their keeper the next ball, then trapped Fisher in front for the cherry on top and a HAT TRICK. This helped break the momentum Gloucestershire had and restricted them to 146.
Kent didn’t want the crowd to be bored by the game and managed to just scrape home with 3 balls left, after some controversy about the captain, Key’s dismissal. For obvious reasons Ryan Mclaren was made man of the match.
In every game, the side batting second won, and all the totals were under 150. It seems a game where it is much easier to chase than to set!!!
English County Cricket has been flooded by South Africans looking to make money and gain experience. In the County Championship, the 4 day competition, there have been some great performances. The players mentioned below are in the top 50 for most runs scored and wickets taken in the County Championship Division one.
On the Batting side it’s unsurprising that Dale Benkenstein has scored the second most runs in the season after Mark Ramprekash who has scored 1156 at an average of 89. Dale has made 836 runs with two hundreds and five fifties at an average of 60. Jacques Rudolph is in 8th spot scoring 713 runs with two hundreds and two fifties at n average of 51. Martin van Jaarsveld has 599 runs, averaging 43. Nic Pothas who must be one of the unluckiest keepers around has shown he is no monkey with the bat getting 476 runs so far and averaging 53!!!
On the Bowling side Ryan Mclaren is 8th on the list picking up 31 wickets at average of 25. Dale Steyn has got 23 scalps at an average of 26 as well, but has played 3 games less than Mclaren. Further down the list is Andrew Hall who has got 15 wickets at an average of 41. Interestingly he is just below Chris Tremlett who has been picked for England to face India. Tremlett has picked up 15 wickets at an average of 37 which makes him look on paper as a fairly innocuous player. He is 6ft 7 so that definitely has worked in his favour. Otis Gibson at 38 years old is third on the list behind Mushtaq Ahmed and Naved-ul-Hasan with an average of 26!!! He should have been used to bolster West Indies when they faced England last month!!!
Included in the County Championship Division two Top 50 most runs scored are: Lance Klusener with 687 runs at an average of 49 with two hundreds and three fifties. HD Ackerman has 632 runs an average of 40 and 3 hundreds and 1 fifty to his name. Johan van der Wath sneaked into the top 50 with 321 runs averaging 27 with 3 fifties.
On the bowling side Charl Willoughby is 4th on the list having picked up 40 wickets averaging 27. Ant Botha has got 30 wickets averaging 34 followed by Johan van der Wath on 27 averaging 28. Lance Klusener has 13 wickets averaging 51 Andre Nel has 10 wickets with an average of 39.
There have been some solid performances by the South Africans and many supporters will be wishing that Benkenstein could represent SA and try bring some consistency to their middle order in the test match format. Surprisingly Claude Henderson has not appeared on the list not has Garnet Kruger or Charl Langeveldt all of whom play for Leicestershire.
Durham posted 407 in their first innings against Kent, aided by their Australian opener, Michael Di Venuto scoring 204*runs. Dale Benkenstein only made 2 in the first innings, but made up for it in the second innings making 77* runs. Kent must be enjoying having Ryan Mclaren on board as he picked up 4-91 in 19.5 overs. Andrew Hall went for 48 in 10 without a wicket. He managed to make 42 runs in the first innings. Kent reached 400 in their first innings with captain Robert Key top scoring with 169 runs. Steve Harmison picked up 4 wickets for 75 runs. Martin van Jaarsveld managed only 10 in his innings. Durham managed 319 in 72.5 overs, setting Kent 327 runs to win. Durham managed to get them out in 50.3 overs for 169. Steve Harmison sent out a signal to the selectors as he picked up 5-61 in 19.3 overs, giving him a 9-wicket haul in the match.
Hampshire faced Lancashire, each side managed to bat once in a rain affected game. There were no special performances apart from Stuart Clark from Australia picking up 7 wickets for Hampshire.
Dale Steyn showed that he is becoming a better batsman, making 51 off 46 balls to help Warwickshire reach 326. His bowling wasn’t fantastic, but neither were the rest of his team mates as Surrey cantered to 400-1 declared. Again rain played a role, and Warwickshire were on 5 when the game was drawn. Mark Ramprakash and John Batty made undefeated 100′s, 120 and 154 respectively.
Jacques Rudolph made 129 not out to help Yorkshire post 521, which was way too much for Worcestershire, who folded making 129 and 132, allowing Yorkshire a comprehensive victory, a margain of 260 runs with an innings to spare!!!
HD Ackerman couldn’t continue his form as he made 1 in the first innings and 27 in the second as Leicestershire lost to Derbyshire. Charl Langeveldt picked up 3-64 and 1-40 for Leicestershire.
There must be a bit of controversy about the Northamptonshire vs. Somerset game. Somerset posted 641/6 declared, in reply Northamptonshire got to 400 and declared and were promptly sent back in to bat!! Seems fairly strange. Marcus Trescothick again showed why he is a fantastic player, making 284 in his innings. He has indicated he is not ready for international recall, if England will take him back. Klusener managed to pick up 1-99 whilst van der Wath went wicketless. Klusener made 36 van der Wath got 51 not out, Davey Jacobs opened and made 32 but was out for 3 when Northamptonshire followed on. Jacobs is a player that could break into the South African side in the future, and I predict a good county season for him
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.