South Africa Knocked Out

South Africa were knocked out of the ICC Champions Trophy tonight, but cricket in South Africa has not looked better. Graeme Smith decided at last to play a captains innings and if he has turned a corner the rest of the team will follow suit. For years we have watched Smith make 30 off 20 balls or some equivalent, occasionally getting to 50 and then getting out. Smith has been great to score at a run a ball in his innings but has failed to put together a captains knock under pressure for ages.

 

Hopefully tonight is the coming of age for Smith, and for some of his peers. Watching the replays of how the guys got out, apart from Duminy who had a fantastic arm ball the rest of the team imploded. Morkels run out effectively ended the game, but Kallis and De Villiers fell for the trap while Gibbs and Botha mishit one. I am still at a loss of why Steyn is at 11 and Parnell at 10. I might be wrong but I dont think Parnell has batted for SA and senior level yet. I understand he has hit the middle of the bat once or twice but Steyn is fairly accomplished with a test 50 and some great runs in the England circuit.

 

There were mistakes made tonight and we all hope that Mickey, Graeme and SA learn from it but only time will tell.

ICC Champions Trophy England reach 323/8 SA to win?

Unfortunately I am nowhere near live coverage of the game and what a cracker it could turn out to be. Following the commentary on cricinfo I picked up that it is a flat track. The shots described make the pitch sound an absolute belter. Looking at the english line up, only Jimmy Anderson poses a problem with his mixed bag. If Jimmy gets it right this wont be a contest, however knowing Anderson’s general performance, Onions and Swann will be the men to be careful of.

I predict SA to win it, and it will be close. SA will have to break the record for highest run chase at Centurion but it can be done and I hope it will be otherwise SA will again be embarrassed on home soil.

Update: 3/0 after the first over

Sri Lanka Smash South Africa

I have questioned Mickey and Smith before – what on earth makes you field in a day night game???? Without doing any research I can guarantee you the side batting second loses the game more often than not. Granted on the highveld it can be different but I will still go out on a limb and say the side batting second is disadvantaged. I will go one step further and challenge any reader to indicate a ground in a day night game that the side batting second wins more often than not????

 

Day games are different but on day night games unless the weather is terrible to begin with BATTING is the answer. I have mentioned before about Smith and Mickey choosing to field and LOSING – its not the right strategy and I would think SMothers has learnt from this but its a mistake that has been repeated often.

ICC Champions Trophy 2009 Squads

Squads:

Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Nathan Bracken, Callum Ferguson, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Tim Paine (wk), Peter Siddle, Adam Voges, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

 

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England: Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Joe Denly, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Adil Rashid, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright, plus AN Other.

Andrew Flintoff ruled out by injury  

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India: Mahendra Dhoni (capt), Yuvraj Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Abhishek Nayar.

 

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New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (capt), Shane Bond, Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Brendon Diamanti, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Gareth Hopkins (wk), Brendon McCullum (wk), Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Daryl Tuffey.

 

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Pakistan: Younus Khan (capt), Imran Nazir, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Yousuf, Kamran Akmal (wk), Umar Gul, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif, Rao Iftikhar, Saeed Ajmal.

 

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South Africa: Graeme Smith (capt), Johan Botha, Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher (wk), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Albie Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Roelof van der Merwe.

 

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Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Upul Tharanga, Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Angelo Mathews, Chamara Kapugedera, Thilina Kandamby, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dammika Prasad, Lasith Malinga

 

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West Indies: Floyd Reifer (capt), David Bernard, Tino Best, Royston Crandon, Travis Dowlin, Andre Fletcher, Kevin McClean, Nikita Miller, Kieran Powell, Dale Richards, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, Devon Smith, Gavin Tonge, Chadwick Walton (wk).