Proteas – The Stuff of Legend part 1
January 17, 2013 in cricket
Sitting back and actually really reflecting on all that the Proteas have achieved in the last 12 or so months is more than just an eye opener, it’s a realization that we could be watching not only the best ever Proteas side but maybe, just maybe a side that will go down as on of the best ever in world crickets history. The way the Proteas have gone about their business has been relentless and ruthless and when it hasn’t been utter dominance it’s been gritty and no nonsense cricket by the South Africans.
I don’t think us as South Africans fully understand exactly what the boys have achieved recently and I think it’s time to recap a little here.
9-21 November 2011 – Australia arrived on our shores to play a controversially shortened 2 match test series against, at the time, 2ndranked South Africa. The first test match at Newlands
makes headlines across the globe as 23 wickets tumble in one day. The Proteas were dismissed for 96 with a top score by Graeme smith of 36 as all-rounder Shane Watson tore through the South African order before a disastrous 2nd innings catastrophe saw Australia bowled out for 47 with a top score by number 11 Nathan Lyon of 14 and Vernon Philander capturing a breathtaking 5 for 15.
South Africa go into their second innings with a target of 236 runs to win. After the turmoil in previous sessions, it seemed like mission impossible, however as he so often does in diversity, Graeme Smith (101 not out) together with Hashim Amla (112) smashed their ways to centuries to lead South Africa to a win and a 1-0 series lead with one match to come. The second match in Johannesburg proved to be fruitless for the Proteas and despite another magnificent Amla hundred it was not enough to stop an Australian victory.
Home Series result DRAWN 1-1
15Dec-6 January 2011/2012– A test series against Sri Lank was always going to be tricky and South Africa had to find away to improve their home record which at the time looked
worse than their away record. Sri Lanka’s strength was always going to be their batting with the likes of Dilshan, Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, but could they handle the bouncy fast paced pitches of South Africa? The first match proved a one sided affair as Sri Lanka were put in to bat by Graeme Smith and skittled out for 180 before South Africa amassed 411 with half centuries coming from Smith, Boucher and AB de Villiers who was caught on 99. Sri Lanka failed to apply the pressure as they were all out for 150 in their second innings giving the Proteas an innings and 81 run victory. The second test match was played at the Proteas Hoodoo venue, Kingsmead in Durban and once again proved a ground too much for South Africa as they were bowled out for 168 in their first innings and never recovered which meant going into the last test with the series deadlocked at 1-1. The Proteas had nothing to worry about as they were playing this series deciding match at Newlands, Cape Town a cricketing fortress for the Proteas, and it did not disappoint as the Proteas smashed Sri Lanka by 10 wickets led by a Kallis double ton, his second in test cricket and top contributions by Alviro Petersen (109) and AB de Villiers (160 not out) South Africa had won the series.
Home Series result WON 2-1
Part 2 to come next week