SA VS PAK WARM UP MATCH CWC

South Africa recieved their first clouting in the Caribbean, with Pakistan restricting SA to 199 and reaching the total with 3 wickets to play. The excuses have started, “It was a tale of two pitches,” Mickey Arthur, South Africa’s coach, told AFP. “When we batted it was wet and difficult, but later the pitch dried up and became easier.”

I am not sure how the rest of the coutry feels about the excuse handed out by the coach nor if his side feel the same way. I am sure that its a poor excuse. In many games, the winning of the toss is a huge advantage, and no doubt was this one. However, the top scorer was Loots Bosman, a man who has been mentioned previously in this blog. Loots has been shifted, i mean shafted all over the place, with very little regard for giving the man some stability and confidence about his role in the side. He clearly isn’t meant to be a regular in the side, yet he can score 53 on this terrible pitch.

One must wonder if the pitch was really wet and difficult, and if so why didnt the South Africans sacrifice some of the lower order players upfront? Either way, its two warm up matches and two poor results. However they were irrelevant warm-up games and next week brings the real challenge.

SA SCRAPE HOME

South Africa managed a 35 run victory against

Ireland, in their warm up match on Monday. The saying a miss is as good as a mile, comes to mind when the world can think of what could have been. I was nervously watching the updates which were rather delayed on cricinfo, and when they were 138/4 with both batsmen seemingly settled, I was pondering how I would write the story of

South Africa’s humiliation to the minnows. 

As mentioned in my previous post,

South Africa have relied on the heroics of Mark Boucher and other individual performance that have won matches in the past 12 months. There is good reason for Chappell indicating SA is not a contender in this cricket world cup. The biggest weapon SA has is unpredictability, or rather inconsistency.

There might be merit in the opinion that SA is one dimensional, however there are some of crickets finest destroyers from the past and future game breakers lined up in the side. Pollock, Ntini, Kallis, Hall, Gibbs, Boucher, De Villiers, Kemp and Smith can all destroy a side on their day, and if they all fire on the same day the side is unbeatable. Simply put

South Africa are world class, they can beat any side on their day. Unfortunately there is lack of consistency and the only players that have been consistent match winners in the last year are Boucher, Pollock and Ntini. The rest of the side has been below ordinary, and if one had to dig up the 2006 performances – by runs scored it is sad reading.

 Boucher top scored with 713 runs, then Gibbs on 691 then Dippennaar on 651. What shocked me was the attacks on Gibbs about how out of form he was and how he should be dropped. The stats speak differently: Boucher, De villiers and Dippennaar had an average above 40, Gibbs 35, Kallis 31 Pollock and Kemp 29 and the captain Smith on 28!!! These are the averages of our top players, Dippennar has fallen away, as had Rudolph who averaged 34……  The side currently playing has plenty of ability, however I along with many other cutthroat supporters want results not abilities!!! There is little excuse for the ICC champions trophy, amd there is no excuse for failing in this world cup.  

The side was selected with full knowledge of the pitches in the Caribbean and although the target quota was met, one has to wonder why Peterson is there, when Smith treats him with contempt, preferring to bowl himself and Bosman (A favourite of mine) who in the warm up match is batting at 8 – there is no excuse for that, what is his role?? If

South Africa are really serious about the world cup, the selctions don’t show it. Two places have been wasted which in such a small squad will prove costly.

 The beauty of cricket is its unpredictability, but if the pitches in the Caribbean are low and slow the history of South African cricketing failures will rear its head and it will be another 4 years before we can try win the tournament. Forewarned generally means forearmed however Failing to plan is planning to fail!!!

SA V IRELAND CWC WARM-UP

South Africa have just finished their innings against Ireland, in the first warm up match against minnows, Ireland. This is Irelands first cricket world cup, and no doubt as the minnows they are going to be slaughtered. Smith won the toss and elected to bat, obviously looking to post around 400 and show the rest of the world why there are the worlds number one side.

 Only Ntini has been rested for the game – he is on Daddy duty in South Africa, otherwise the side consists of: Smith, De Villiers, Kallis, Gibbs, Prince, Boucher, Pollock, Bosman, Hall, Peterson and Telemachus. The line up reflects the batting order.

 Bosman, has again been shafted, after his failure at three, it seems SA wants to try him out at 8, after Boucher and Pollock – there is no reason to have him in the side as a specialist bat, so he is quite clearly in as a specialist fielder!!! One would think that after 50 overs SA would have reached 300 at least, however this is not the case!!! We managed a measely 192 which would have been far less without the 67 not out by the regular “12th man”, Andrew Hall, an unsung hero, he managed to save some pride and salvaged the innings wehen he came to the crease at 66/7 YES 66/7!!!! Yes against Ireland and yes its not an April fools joke!!!

The president of South Africa indicated that they would win, there is talk by Pollock that is the most confident team he has ever played in and there is a general feeling that SA will win the cup – in South Africa, however experts from around the world have other thoughts. ‘>Chappell indicated the other day that it is a hard to choose a winner and predicts the semi finals to include Australia, India, New Zealand and West Indies. “Depending on what actually transpires in the way of pitch behaviour, teams like South Africa will either have no chance [if they are slow and low] or a real threat [if they provide pace and bounce] and the reverse holds true for Sri Lanka and India” Warne also had a go at SA, but that is par for the course, however the infamous man is usually accurate in his predictions.

South Africa are lacking in the bowling and batting department and if Boucher didn’t rescue the side half the time SA would be nowhere near number one in the world. Hopefully our bowling is better than our batting today.

Australia’s New Record

Whats the right thing to do when a team is down?? Kick them!! Just kidding, however Australia in the last few days, namely the last 2 matches they have played, set a record they will want to get rid of very quickly. They are now the team that the 4 highest successful run chases are held against. The highest being SA chasing down the 434, followed by 346 aginst NZ yesterday, 336 in the previous match and around 330 against NZ in 2005!!!! Well done Australia, you really have the abilty to choke…..

World Cup Predictions

As I look at the beautiful map on this blog, I see there are readers from all over the globe and I wonder a few things:
1) How the hell did you find this blog??
2) How much do you know about Cricket?
3) What are your predictions for the World Cup??

So if you read this post please comment and give a prediction. I am backing SA as any loyal supporter would do!!!