Category Archives: Nic Pothas

Friends Provident Trophy Final Durham v Hampshire

Hampshire won the toss and chose to field first, a decision they were going to regret especially after Kyle Coetzer and Shiv Chanderpaul put on a 111 run partnership off 119 balls for the 3rd wicket. At this stage, Durham were 180-3 off 32 overs and looking like a total of 270 would be in the equation. Six overs later, Chanderpaul was run out, for 78 off 79 balls including 8 fours and 2 sixes. The captain, Dale Benkenstein came to the crease and helped to put on a 58 run partnership for the 5th wicket before Collingwood was out for a painful 22 off 35 balls, a really slow innings in comparison to the rest of the side. Durham was placed nicely with 278 on the board and 13 balls to go.

Otis Gibson came to join Benkenstein in the middle as the non-striker and a single off the last ball meant he would wait a little longer to face his first ball. In the 48th over Tremlett managed to get a dot ball in and only allow a single to Benkenstein off the second ball before Gibson faced his first ball, which he carted for a six and then smashed a four off the next ball. Tremlett not being too pleased with this sent down a life flashing before your eyes beamer that had Gibson ducking for cover. Gibson managed 3 runs off Tremlett’s last 2 balls bringing up 16 runs for the over.

Powell was given the honour to bowl the last over and must have thought he was onto something with 3 singles off his first 3 balls. However, Benkenstein had other ideas. He finished the innings off with a six and two fours, bringing the total to 312/5 a record for a FP trophy final. Benkenstein ended up with 61 off 43 balls.

Hampshire knew that a good start would be vital and it was a dream start if you were a Durham supporter as Gibson, probably the oldest opening bowler ever in county cricket snapped up Michael Lumb with the first ball of the match and Ervine with the second ball. Hampshire were going nowhere after a start like this and just to ensure that there would be no revival Gibson picked up his third wicket in the 9th over which happened to be Kevin Pietersen leaving them reeling at 17-3 after 9 overs.

There was some resistance from JP Crawley and the rain which appeared just after Crawley was bowled by Collingwood. The reserve day had to be used, which allowed Hampshire to resume on Sunday where they left off at 153/5 chasing 160 off 18 overs. They managed 34 runs for the last 5 wickets and took a massive 125 run defeat at the hands of Durham. Nicky Pothas again re-enforced why I think he should be the first choice keeper for England with a handy 47 runs off 52 balls, the second highest score for Hampshire.

County Championship Stats for SA players

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.

Nic Pothas is the Best Bet for England

There is not much to say about this. The english seem to always have a poor keeper, with the exception of Jack Russel’s incredible SA tour years ago. Stewart was fairly decent, but Geraint Jones has had the limelight for too long. 

Mark Boucher was voted as the best keeper in the world recently, which is strange as I am sure if AB de Villiers was given the gloves, Boucher would be the second best in SA!!! However Boucher is a vital cog in the ODI side, de Villiers has his own part to play, and they work well for South Africa.

Many years ago, Mark Boucher was relatively unknown when selected, and pipped the popular choice of Nic Pothas, a man who was fantastic behind the stumps and could occasionaly contribute with the bat. Nic stayed in South Africa hoping his chance would come, and it eventually did, against Pakistan in 2000. He managed to play 3 ODI for SA, in Boucher’s absence then he was again discarded.

Pothas realised that his international future was not going to be based in South Africa, and promptly moved over to the UK, representing Hampshire. These days he has transformed from a specialist wicketkeeper, that could scratch a few runs to a batsman worth fearing. He now has 19 hundreds and 43 fifties to his credit, and average of 40.32 and scored over 8000 runs. (courtesy of cricinfo) He is a man that if selected, as he is know available for selection, will show to the rest of the players that you are never to old to represent your country. It will also indicate that the side hasbeen chosen on form not past performance. It is in Englands best interests to select this man, wait and see.

Round up on County Championship Performances 2-5 May

Derbyshire batted first and amassed 801, with centuries from the Australians, Simon Katich (221) and Ian Harvey (153) as well as South African, Ant Botha who reached 101. Charl Willoughby picked up 1-87 in 31 overs. Derbyshire managed 530 in their reply, with Willoughby picking up 23* off 23 balls. They were asked to follow on, scoring 309/4 and the match was drawn.

Essex batted first against Northamptonshire making 334 in their first innings. For some reason Johan van der Wath bowled 3 overs for 6 runs and no more, one must assume he was injured. Lance Klusener picked up 2-54 in 25. Northamptonshire managed 416 in reply with Klusener making 8 whilst van der Wath was 6 short of a century, making 94.  If he was injured, he recovered quickly as he came back to bowl in the second innings, taking 1-32 in 11. Klusener picked up 1-29 in ten. Essex managed 190, which was never going to be enough and Northamptonshire reached their target of 109 with 4 wickets down. Andre Nel picked up 1-20 in his 12 overs to compliment his 3-62 off 26.2 in the first innings. Nel is a very good signing for Essex and showed haul in many wickets this season.

Gloucestershire batted first against Leicestershire, reaching 507 in their first innings. The South Africans, Claude Henderson and Charl Langeveldt did not contribute any wickets in either innings, although it seems that Henderson was injured as he didn’t bat in Leicestershire’s first innings. HD Ackerman finally came to the party for Leicestershire, and managed to make 59. Gloucestershire posted 249/4 off 51.2 and set Leicestershire 380 to win. Leicestershire were in trouble at 218/7 when the match ended. HD Ackerman made 28 in his second innings and might be finding some form. Ackerman has an average a shade under 45 at first class level and can be very dangerous.

Warwickshire posted 610/8 declared in their first innings against Worcestershire, with their wicket keeper Tim Ambrose reaching 251*. Heath Streak managed 66 and Tim Groenewald reached 13*. This was a massive total for Worcestershire to chase and they only managed 288 in their first innings and were asked to follow on, and only got 209, thus losing by an innings and 113 runs. Dale Steyn picked 3-56 in the first innings and 5-49 in the second. Heath Streak picked up 2 wickets in each innings going for 33 in the first and 29 in the second.

Phil Jacques might have been chuckling after Steyn sent him back to the pavilion on both occasions, knowing that South Africa’s best bowler has been over in England and not anywhere near the Caribbean!!! Dale Steyn has something the rest of the South African attack lacks, and that is pace. It won’t be any surprise to see Steyn being the leading wicket taker at the end of the season.

Kent batted first against Sussex, scoring 368. Martin van Jaarsveld didn’t help much only making 6 for Kent whilst Ryan Mclaren doubled his score getting run out on 12, he wasn’t much use as a batsman either. Mclaren made up for it when Sussex came out to bat picking up 4-12 in 7.3 with 3 no balls!!! Sussex crumbled to 102 all out and were just as pitiful in their second innings making 160. Mclaren picked up 1-19, whilst Simon Cook destroyed them taking 6-35 in 13.5 Kent won by an innings and 105 runs.

Yorkshire batted first against Hampshire and were skittled out for 299, with only Younis Khan really being useful, making 106. Jacques Rudolph made a paltry 3 runs. Hampshire didn’t assert dominance on their score reaching 296 all out with Nic Pothas again performing, making 70*. Lumb only made 5. In the second innings, Yorkshire got it right posting 439/4 leaving Yorkshire a target of 443. Khan made 202* Rudolph making 22 of them. Hampshire got to 366/8 with Pothas again helping out making 76*. The match was drawn.

England selectors should be smiling after this weeks matches, as there were plenty Wicketkeepers that made runs. Pothas should really be considered for the national side, although his age is against him. Ambrose and Brophy made centuries this week.

Round up of 29 April Friends Provident trophy matches

Kent faced Ireland in their second Friends Provident Trophy game on Sunday with the SA duo of Van Jaarsveld and Mclaren looking to come right in the one day format. Unfortunately Van Jaarsveld struggled again reaching 11 whilst Mclaren only got one better on 12. Kent reached 231 in their 50 overs. Mclaren performed much better with the ball after his disastrous first game where he was hammered for 71 off 9. This time round he showed why I wont be surprised to see him enter into the international fray, picking up 2-16 in 7. He has like Jacques Rudolph, entered into the Kolpak arena and is currently not available for selection. Kent won by 58 runs.

Yorkshire travelled to Scotland and were sent in to bat. Jacques Rudolph managed 34 off 40 whilst Yorkshire posted a very healthy 259. Scotland managed to sign Arno Jacobs, a classy left hander that has played for SA “A” side a few times before. Even though Jacobs only managed 7 and Scotland lost by 42 runs, he will be a good asset in their side and should score many runs in their fixtures.

Durham hosted Derbyshire and batted first with Benkenstein failing with the bat only making 1 run. Many fans of provincial cricket in South Africa will remember Ottis Gibson a man who reportedly hit the clock tower at the Wanderers stadium with an enormous six!! At the age of 38 he is still playing the game and managed 41 at a run a ball and picked up 1-39 in his 7. Benkenstein used the benefits of being captain and bowled himself, going for 1-27 off 7, a very tidy spell, but it couldn’t help Durham defending 212 and they lost by 4 wickets

Nic Pothas didn’t trouble the scorers and Lumb managed 11 in Hampshire’s embarrassing reply of 75 against Essex who posted 210

Lancashire batted first against Warwickshire managing 183. Steyn picked uo 2-35 in 8 and Groenewald managed 1-33 in 8.2. the best bowler for Warwickshire was another African, in the form of ex-Zimbabwean player, Heath Streak who claimed 4-37 in 10. In the reply, Jonathan Trott managed 5, Streak 28, Groenewald 36 with 5 sixes??!!! Surely that must be a typing error? His only boundaries being all over the rope? Warwickshire scraped home with a 2 wicket win.

Even the South African duo of Van der Wath and Klusener were powerless against Nottinghamshire who carded 328 in their innings, with Van der Wath going for 0-55 in 10 and Klusener 0-46 in 6. The reply was not good enough as Northamptonshire were all out for 206, Klusener contributing 2 and Van der Wath 20.

Charl Willoughby picked up 1-41in 9 against Sussex, and their total of 287 allowed them a 37 run win. Willoughby got out first ball to end the run chase of Somerset.

HD Ackerman is still struggling, managing only 9 for Leicestershire against Worcestershire, Henderson picked up 6 runs before being run out. He also picked up 1-26 in 5 overs.