Round Up of Performances 18-21 April

HD Ackerman managed to score 18 and 112 whilst Claude Henderson scored 47 and 10. He picked up 1-64 in 21 overs and 1-50 in 9 overs. Leicestershire lost to Nottinghamshire by 9 wickets.

Dale Benkenstein managed a paltry 10 in his first innings, however he came back strongly and managed to top score for Durham on 103* against Worcestershire and enable them to win by 241 runs

Warwickshire played Lancashire, where Dale Steyn managed to get 9 runs and then came in as a pinch hitter in the second innings and got 17* off 11 Whilst Tim Groenewald 16 and 30. When the pair came out to bowl, Steyn got 4-70 in 25, Groenewald managed 1-37 in 11 in the first innings and in the second, neither picked up a wicket and the match was drawn

Kent faced up against Sussex, which was not a fruitful experience for Martin van Jaarsveld who was back in the hut after his second ball and managed 26 in the second innings. Ryan Mclaren was slightly more successful with 44 and 29, but his bowling was poor collecting 1-95 in 28 which included 4wides and 3no balls Kent lost by 8 wickets.

Jacques Rudolph sent a message to the South African selectors with 122 and 28 and was given a chance to bowl, going for 25 in 5 overs.

South Africans in the English county Leagues

For the next few months, this blog will be focused on SA players in the English leagues. I am not sure who is playing for who, but as I found out I will add them to the list

Charl Willoughby – Somerset

Claude Henderson, HD Ackerman, Charl Langeveldt - Leicestershire

Lance Klusener, Johan van der Wath – Northamptonshire

Michael Lumb, Nic Pothas – Hampshire

Jonathan Trott, Dale Steyn, Tim Groenewald – Warwickshre

Dale Benkenstein – Durham

Jacques Rudolph – Yorkshire

Ryan Mclaren, Martin van Jaarsveld – Kent

Arno Jacobs – Scotland

Nantie Hayward – Ireland

Nick Compton – Middlesex (He has represented England at u19 level) 

I am sure there are more players, if you want to add to my list pls do thanks

Australia crush South Africa

Australia gave South Africa a solid lesson in cricket yesterday, one that will not be easily forgotten. However from every lesson there are always things to be learnt. When reading the news today it saddens me to see that our side has not learnt.

In the build up to the game, instead of Smith adopting an attitude along the lines of: When we play Australia, we win half the games we play, and when we face them we are confident we can win. He instead took the nauseating approach of we are the best we will win blah blah….

After the match instead of coming out and admitting that the strategy was wrong, the voices telling Jacques Kallis he must be more innovative and move half a meter outside leg stump in his first 10 balls, was off track and there were some shocking shot selections made by the team, the coach and captain have defended their decision, believing that brave cricket is still the way forward. The idea to score 100 off the first ten seems to be the benchmark set.

“I don’t think we played reckless shots and threw the wickets away,” said Arthur. “We had a plan, we wanted to destroy Australia’s momentum somehow and we needed to get on top quickly. It was part of the plan, but it never came off.”

This so called plan has its merits, however I am sure Australia would be more worried if South Africa were 120/2 after 30, knowing what the rest of the order can do, would be far more worrisome than watching the SA players moving all over the crease trying to reach 400 runs.

This was the first thing that got up my nose, followed by Smith stating “Life becomes a bit difficult when a strike bowler like Shaun Tait comes in as the first-change bowler,” Well Mr Smith, it might be a surprise to you that they chose their strongest line up, a line up which has varied options, not like the South African attack.

It must be time for changes in the side, a side that has become predictable, and led by a man whose words are much louder than his actions.

SA vs West Indies

South Africa are finally batting first, not by choice, as the West Indies won the toss and put them in, much to the disbelief of the bbc online commentator. It seems to be a good thing, as SA are currently 125-1 after 24 overs.  Kemp was dropped from the side – justifiably so and Bosman has come in, who must be itching to get a good score. The situation is tailored for SA to post at least 300, with Gibbs, Boucher, Bosman, Pollock and Hall in the wings, with Prince able to steady the ship if things go awry. Windies have a 3rd power play to still complete, it seems they are waiting for a wicket to fall, which could be the opening up of an explosive finish!!! The windies must already be worried the game has slipped away from them, especially with all the run out chance they have been gifted with.

Hopefully this will make SA rethink their strategy, they are far too one dimensional at the moment. The other thing to watch in this game is the debut of The windies youngster, Pollard….

Yesterdays match, was of no interest to me, watching SA, the number one side in the world play the Mickey mouse minnows, really doesn’t arouse my interest. There is no pleasure derived form watching a slaughter, so I missed the game. I did hear on the radio, that the cracks on the pitch have widened, and whilst watching the rugby at the firemans, out of the corner of my eye I saw Bangladesh make 250 odd, their highest world cup score. In the back of my mind I found it a bit odd, this is the second side, that has posted their highest World cup score, against us. Maybe its even the third? Has Australia made more than 377?? That was Australia’s highest world cup total, which means that 3 teams in 6 matches have posted their highest total against us in world cups!!!

There is no need for me to make a smart ass comment, like it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that our bowlers are struggling. For some reason South Africa relishes batting second. Even though over years of the game being played, and many experts advocating that if you win the toss, bat, South Africa has chosen to field. South Africa has the logic that the there is assistance for the team bowling first. If this is true I shudder to think how poor our bowling would be if we bowled second!!!!

There might still be some mental scarring from the ICC championship where the Windies, particularly Gayle, came in and murdered out attack. This is the only reason I can think of for bowling first. Yesterday, from some reports I have read indicated that the pitch got worse not better, there was assistance for the spinners, which South Africa don’t have and graft a score was necessary, not hero shots which caused the demise of some of the players.

If South Africa want to get anywhere, a complete re-think is needed, there are middle order batsmen that need to be replaced, and the spinner – presumably the best spinner in the country needs to play – however Peterson will do…….