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New Sports Blogging & Social Platform Launched

September 20, 2013 in cricket, Rugby

Hi Guys, a while ago these blogs where changed from the awesome, easy to use platform, Letterdash to the current troublesome WordPress platform, We have nothing against wordpress and as an individual bloggers platform it is an excellent way to get your views out there but as a community platform we thought we needed something flashier and faster. although there are still users who blog on this platform, plenty have left. For those that were around during the Letterdash days I’m sure you will agree that we lost some really interesting characters to the change of platform. And this place in general become a lot duller.


At the time there was a lot of talk about finding a platform or creating one which is similar to the Letterdash system however so many of the bloggers left that the idea became useless and unrealistic.screen


Thats changed now as over the past few months myself and a few fellow bloggers from the original bloggers24 platform have been working on a platform for sports mad fans across South Africa and the sporting globe. You may have already seen the Sportchat website, now it’s partner Sportbud has been launched. Sportbud is more than just an easy to use hassle free blogging platform but an entire social networking community for sports fans in South Africa and the sporting globe. It allows you to connect with friends and other sports supporters, share media, debate and banter in groups and forums and of course post your own blogs for the public to read, rate and comment on. Sportbud’s main focus areas are Rugby, Cricket and Football, however all sports are welcome and as we grow will become a major part of the community.


It is a non profit, free to all site and in order to make it a success we need users to join and begin connecting. The more it grows the more interesting and interactive it will become.


You can Join sportbud at


Proteas to have it Easy ?

September 15, 2013 in cricket

Although Cricket South Africa has been marred in recent times by the ongoing battle with the BCCI and whether the highly anticipated series against India will even happen is still under clouds, it is almost time for South Africans to turn their attention to the upcoming Pakistan series where their number one ranked South Africa could face a tough challenge on slow turning pitches, could but really shouldn’t.proteas


It certainly came as a shock to see Zimbabwe win the 2nd test match against Pakistan and level the two match series, given that it was their first win against a top team since they beat India 12 years ago. It wasn’t only in the first test that Zimbabwe made the Pakistanis’ look below average, they were also on top for most of the 1st test and things could have been different were it not for a second innings batting collapse by the hosts.



Congrats Biff!

January 31, 2013 in cricket

Just a quick congratulations to Graeme Smith, he will be captaining a test side for the 100th time tomorrow, a record that will probably stand the test of time and never be broken. he deserves all the accolades and honors he receives tomorrow and we should all be extremely proud of him. He really is a fine example of what South Africans stand for, gusty, steely, no nonsense and of course courageous and fearless.

He has had his critics along the way but has also had extremely loyal supporters (me being one of them) but even the most critic person can no longer brush aside the mans greatness, he truly is a South African Hero and cricketing legend and will one day go down in History as one of the Greatest South African sportsman and one of the greatest cricketers to pick up a bat.

Not only are his achievements with the bat brilliant but his attitude towards do or die situations has been superb, he has always led from the front and carried the team through tough times, there have been moments of diversity and darkness but he has always brought the team out of it, we are now the number 1 test team on the planet and Graeme must get a lot of credit for that. he is truly an inspiration to South Africans who want to achieve their goals in life, I wish him all the best for tomorrow and for the rest of his career. good luck and thank you Biff


“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. ”
Harry S. Truman


The Stuff of Legend – Part 2

January 23, 2013 in cricket

Last week, we had a look at the beginning of the Proteas rise to dominance in test cricket and although South Africa had been playing excellent Test cricket for a while (such as series wins in Eng and Aus in 2008/2009) they lacked a certain consistent ruthlessness that said “we are South Africa and we WILL NOT be beaten” as Graeme Smith puts it, the Proteas are now able to “skin the carcass” and although that might be a strange way of putting it, put some thought into it and Smiths words are spot on. A few comments last week suggested I may be jumping the gun and that a clean sweep of the Black caps is hardly anything to gloat about, well that may be true (although any clean sweep where all matches are won by an innings is cause for excitement) Winning series away against England and Australia for a second consecutive time is probably one of the finest achievements in test cricket especially since only one other team has done it in the games history. Last week we spoke about the indifferent home series against Australia and the satisfying series against Sri Lanka, it was now onto New Zealand then a mighty challenge in England where the number 1 ranking would be up for grabs.

Click here for part 1


7 – 27 March –South Africa are tasked with a 3 match test series against Lowly ranked NZ, expectations are that South Africa will brush them aside and that this is just preparation for the

Philander again showed off his impressive accuracy

England tour later in the year, only two members of the current South African team have played test cricket in New Zealand, Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis.

Smith and Amla made no mistake in chasing the Total the Black caps set them.

The first test in Dunedin is drawn and despite centuries from Graeme Smith (115) Jacques Kallis (113) and Jacques Rudolph (105) weather gets the better of the match and the Proteas can not force a result. The disappointment of the 1st drawn test would be overshadowed by a 9 wicket win for the Proteas in Hamilton, Vernon philander again showed he is something special with match figures of 10-114 and Graeme Smith scoring a meaty 4th innings 55 not out to take his team to victory, South Africa were now up 1-0 in the series with the final match to be played in Wellington. There would however be bad news for Smith and his men and despite a massive first innings score of 474 thanks to hundreds by Alviro Petersen (156) and JP Duminy (103) the weather once again had the final say despite an aggressive declaration by Graeme Smith. The Proteas had won the Series 1-0 and it was more than a satisfying result. Captain Graeme Smith continued his rise in form as he finished as the leading run scorer with 282 runs at an average of 56.40.


19 July – 20 August –  South Africa’s next challenge was a big one, they were to go to England to play a 3 match test series (Basil D’Oliveira Trophy) but there was more at stake, much more. Should South Africa win the series they would overtake England as the number one ranked side in world cricket. The task was massive and would take a top performance by the Proteas,

Graeme Smith became only the 7th player in History to score a ton in his 100th test match

they were up for the challenge, what made matters even more interesting was that South Africa’s captain Graeme Smith was to play in his 100th test match in the first test at the oval.

The first test, probably the most spectacular of the series started on a rocky note for South Africa as Alistair Cook’s ton guided England to 267-3 after day 1, South Africa needed something special if they were to get back into the match and as they so often do, South Africa fought back and England lost their last 7 wickets for only 118 runs to be bowled out for 385. South Africa’s reply started disastrously as Alviro Petersen was struck LBW for a duck but what was to come would be sketched in the record books forever.

Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla came together at the cease and tormented England’s bowling attack into the ground, Graeme Smith’s 50 came off 160 balls, his slowest 50 ever, and his dual with Graeme Swann was scintillating, but it was after reaching his 50 that Smith opened up and smashed the bowlers to all parts of the park, and it was in the 64th over that the special moment came when smith hit Tim Bresnan for two consecutive boundaries to bring up the South African captains 25th Test Hundred and in doing so became only the 7th player in history to score a hundred in their hundredth test, He received a standing ovation as if playing in front of the Newlands Cape Town crowd. Smith departed for 131 for a majestic innings and it was now the Kallis and Amla show.

Jacques Kallis brought up his ton on day 4, pointing to his eye in honor of his best friend Mark Boucher who sadly, had been struck in the eye by a bail in a warm up match and was forced to announce his retirement from international cricket. Kallis went on to make 182. but the real millstone was still to come, a man who’s beard probably grew a few millimeters during his innings, the Might hash became the first South African in cricketing history to score 300 runs in an innings, it was simply fantastic, and by the time Graeme Smith declared Amla was on 311 not out, a number that will stay in the minds of South Africans for a very, very long time. South Africa had plenty of runs on the board, they couldn’t lose, and it was now up to the bowlers to deliver and deliver they did. Led by Dale Steyn (5-fer) South Africa bowled England out of the game during the last session to take a 1-0 lead with two tests to come. The second test match ended in a draw but some top batting displays were on offer, most notably 182 by Alviro Petersen and a fantastic

In another record, Hashim Amla became the first South African to score a triple hundred

149 by Kevein Pietersen, Proteas captain Graeme Smith also weighed in with two 50’s. The third match which was another milestone for SA great Graeme Smith who was to overtake Alan Border as the most capped test captain but this achievement was overshadowed by the Kevin Petersen SMS sagas which also lead to KP being dropped for the 3rd and final test. The 3rd test was a nervous one for the Proteas as their top order flopped in their second innings, but another fantastic hundred from Amla saw them post a decent total and set up a scintillating final day at the home of cricket. Lords.

England’s chase was a show of fight back and character, It was also England captain Andrew Strauss’s 100th but unfortunately for him, he was not about to have the same joy Graeme Smith did in his 100th and despite top batting performances by Trott, Bairstow and Matt prior aided by contributions by Swann and Broad England fell just short and South Africa won the series and become the number 1 ranked team in the world. It was a sign of things to come


South Africa became the number 1 team in Test cricket after the Series victory in England


Part 3 to follow next week


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

Michael Clarke was in disbelief

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

Vernon Philander took 8-78









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

Jacques Kallis smashed his way to a second test double ton

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

Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and captain Graeme Smith with their trophies










Part 2 to come next week

Rob Houwing’s Post Isolations TestXV

December 14, 2012 in cricket

Original Article :


A few things to note :

Although A spinner is key in your team, I feel Morne Morkel missed out here, but who would you replace him with? To be honest I would rather go to battle with Morke than Adams. thoughts?


1 Graeme Smith (capt) – 105 caps, 2002 to present: 8,569 runs at 49.53

Remarkable longevity as a successful captain, coupled with growing reputation for being a “slayer” of beaten, rival skippers. Also such a big, steel-jawed presence at the crease, with a penchant for really weighty innings, even if not the finest batsman aesthetically that you will ever see.

2 Gary Kirsten – 101 caps, 1993 to 2004: 7,289 runs at 45.27

Another whose stroke-play wasn’t necessarily even the best in his own family … but he’s never minded that sort of tag. Kirsten was an intelligent, gritty and industrious opener who knew his strengths and weaknesses and played accordingly. Responsible for some famous match-saving actions, too.

3 Hashim Amla – 65 caps, 2004 to present: 5,323 runs at 50.69

Part of a new age of dominators at the crease; an absolute joy to watch with his wristy enterprise and increasingly mastery of just about all other aspects of batsmanship. Significantly unflappable, and just gets more and more consistent.

4 Jacques Kallis – 158 caps, 1995 to present: 12,980 runs at 56.92 and 282 wickets at 32.57

Little need to say anything, eh? Legend of the game, and an unparalleled, priceless part of the Test-team furniture for some 17 years, and counting …

5 Daryll Cullinan – 70 caps, 1993 to 2001: 4,554 runs at 44.21

A singular man, but there have been many other singular, high-calibre cricketers. You want “easy on the eye”? Well then, watch DJ Cullinan in full cry, especially if the road is not littered with the stones of a certain Australian leg-spinner who, it must be said, mesmerised many others too. Remember also that he lost some potentially vintage years to isolation. Those stats are more than half decent, nevertheless …

6 AB de Villiers – 80 caps, 2004 to present: 5,894 runs at 49.11

Considering the calibre of those above him in this order, there’s a good chance this team will be “pushing on” by the time De Villiers takes guard … and going hard is his forte! Dazzlingly versatile sportsman, often evident in his enterprising, varied approach to swift accumulation of runs. Not bad to have a No 6 averaging just a tad under 50, yes?

7 Mark Boucher (wkt) – 147 caps, 1997 to 2012: 5,515 runs at 30.30 and 555 dismissals

His batting fell away a fair bit in later years, but Boucher was always a no-fuss, ultra-reliable, record-smashing gloveman and at the peak of his powers also a scrapper of note at the crease. A mischievous thought might be to ask De Villiers to ‘keep in this XI, freeing up other selection opportunities, but forget it … Boucher offered 15 years of mostly exemplary service. Besides, who else is there to enthusiastically say “ooh, I like it!” when a Proteas spinner bowls another straight one?

8 Shaun Pollock – 108 caps, 1995 to 2008: 3,781 runs at 32.31 and 421 wickets at 23.11

Just look at his numbers … which Test team wouldn’t want someone of Polly’s stature at No 8? Apart from being capable of either
gutsing it out for an occasional Test century after top-order failure or giving it a hearty smack before a declaration, his bowling was initially swift and penetrative and in later career eternally cunning and parsimonious.

9 Dale Steyn – 60 caps, 2004 to present: 299 wickets at 23.79

He has been the planet’s top-ranked Test bowler for some time … say no more? The Phalaborwa Express is richly respected the world over for his ability to land the ball regularly in the corridor of uncertainty while simultaneously nipping it away lethally from the right-hander. At his best when manic-eyed and in irresistible rhythm.

10 Paul Adams – 45 caps, 1995 to 2004: 134 wickets at 32.87

Spin bowling: perhaps the one area of obvious limitation for South Africa in the last two decades. But who will ever forget the sensational arrival in the mid-90s of the frog in a blender? “Gogga” was a quirky, appealing character in more ways than just his bowling action, and for a while a glorious possessor of X-factor. You always want a slow bowler in your ideal Test side, and he is a comfortable enough choice, based on both superior average and strike rate to others tried.

11 Allan Donald – 72 caps, 1992 to 2002: 330 wickets at 22.25

“White Lightning” is one of the leading shock bowlers, in the most fulsome sense, of all time and would be an unlikely omission from a South African team throughout its Test history, never mind just since ’92.


Cricket or Rugby

December 7, 2012 in cricket, Rugby


If by some strange reason you were given a choice which you had to make of choosing Rugby or Cricket what would it be?


It’s harsh question but If you had to chose which sport would you drop? Springboks or Proteas?

Me? I would have to chose cricket, if you had asked me 2 years ago I would have said rugby any day. so whats changed?


I don’t think it’s because we have the best cricket team on the planet no it’s not that,


PS : Seems Biff is becoming so good at destroying opposition captains career’s that Ross Taylor’s been sacked before the series has even started.

Protea Myths and going Forward

December 6, 2012 in cricket

Since the Protea’s Recent series win over Australia in Australia there have been a few comments on certain aspects of the team, some positive but to my surprise a few negative comments have been made too. So the reason for my post is to give my opinion on some of those comments, and given that I watch, eat, sleep, play, breathe and talk cricket some of my opinions might be useful.


1. Graeme Smith didn’t use Tahir properly hence his career ended.

Ok yes, sure, Biff went up to Tahir and said “here my boy, here’s the ball, this little red thing, see how many runs you can conceded in an over, the more you concede the better you are and hey while you at it, don’t take any wickets, you’ll be dropped if you do”  and Tahir didn’t bloody disappoint did he? did exactly what his captain asked of him.

2. Ab Can’t bat when he has the Gloves

Yip we all know cricketers are superstitious sometimes. but AB takes the cake hey? Those damn wicket keeping gloves have some magical power which turn a brilliant batsmen into jelly, Give it up, the guy went through a bad patch of form all cricketers do, keeping wicket has nothing to do with it.

3. Jacques Kallis is getting old.

Ya think? The guy wears a wig for Fu**s sakes of course he is getting old, he can’t bowl anymore, Kallis has another 2 or 3 years in him max (if not less) will he leave a big hole? Yes the size of the one in Kimberly

4. Morgan Deane is Smoking hot

Yes she is


My Team for NZ and P


Graeme Smith (Cap) Alviro Pietersen Hashim Amla Jacques Kallis Ab de Villiers Faf du Plessis JP Duminy Robbin Petersen Vernon Philander Dale Steyn Morne Morkel


A few observations:

Our openers – Smith is probably the most prolific opener of his time and should be around for another 5 or 6 years if he wants to. he has in the past talked about stepping down as the captain so he can pump up his already brilliant average( 49.53) but has sine put that suggestion to bed saying “as long as I feel I can contribute as a captain, there is no reason to walk away” Smith is also on the verge of captaining his 100th test. nobody in  the History of cricket can say that. wow. Alviro is a top batsmen, one just feels he has a habit of throwing his wicket away once he is set. hopefully he works on that and we start seeing some big hundreds, all in all our opening pair average over 45 which is pretty good and they are becoming a settled unit.

The Three Musketeers:

Amla, Kallis and AB provide a sensational top order and if by some chance our openers fail these guys are more than reliable however I think it’s time we start looking for a long term replacement for Kallis, his time is coming and we can’t ignore that as much as we would love to

Middle/lower order:

With faf, JP and Robby P there, we have more than enough batting power down the order and Phillander being the all rounder that he is can also score a good 50 or 60.


For me it was such a relief to watch Robby P in the action and I honestly don’t want to see Tahir near the side again (at least not for these two home series’) It’s a perfect balance. The speed and accuracy of Steyn, the Bounce and power of Morkel, The seam of Phillander and the mystery and intelligence of Robin P



Cricinfo’s Protea ratings

December 4, 2012 in cricket

 Hashim Amla was on 99 at stumps, Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, 2nd day, Perth, December 1, 2012
Hashim Amla (377 runs at 62.83)  9/10


Two sides of Hashim Amlawere on display in this series: the one who can survive a series of streaky shots and chances and still score a century and the one who incorporates flair and flamboyance to achieve the same thing. Amla’s hundred in Brisbane helped South Africa build a foundation in the match but it was his innings in Perth that took the series away from Australia. In a frenzied second afternoon, his scoring rate was at times above seven an over as he and Graeme Smith batted the morale out of Australia’s attack. He fell four short of a double-ton and will end the year as second on the run charts behind Michael Clarke, but he has a Test mace to go with it, unlike the Australian.

Faf du Plessis (293 runs at 146.50) 9/10

For the second successive tour, a South African debutant has been the catalyst for creating history. Du Plessis showed immense presence of mind when he batted out more than four sessions against a talkative Australian side to save the Adelaide Test. There, he also became the first South African to score a half-century and a hundred on debut. With South Africa again in trouble in Perth, du Plessis knuckled down to post 78 and his knock was the reason the team had a first-innings lead. Beyond a solid technique, it was his temperament that stood tall. When South Africa held their post-match fines’ meeting, du Plessis was named their man of the series because of the impact he had. Few would disagree.

Graeme Smith (255 runs at 42.50, 10 catches) 8/10

Likely to be judged South Africa’s best captain, Smith led the team to a second successive series win in Australia by example. His only hundred came in Adelaide, after South Africa had conceded 550, and the recovery by du Plessis in the match saved Smith’s record of always winning after scoring a century. He also contributed a meaty 84 in Perth in a towering stand with Amla. His slip catching was unmatched as he pouched wickets from all angles and there was only one instance in which he let one through, with the ball going between him and Jacques Kallis. While the numbers speak of his ability to perform, the trophy tells the story of his work as captain. Smith continues to inspire the team to new heights. Having taken them to No.1 in the world, he also played a significant role in defending the crown.

Morne Morkel (14 wickets at 28.50) 8/10

The highest wicket-taker of the series, South Africa’s most loved big baby has grown up. Morkel‘s control was better than ever before, his cleverness in the using the short ball and varying his lengths was seen, and he was rewarded in every match. Despite taking wickets off no-balls in Brisbane, he was South Africa’s best bowler there and in Adelaide, where he was also the most economical in the second innings. He was overshadowed by Dale Steyn in Perth but still displayed exemplary ability to make batsmen feel awkward. It seems that Morkel now understands his own capabilities better, and they were aptly displayed on conditions that suited him.

Jacques Kallis (339 runs at 56.50, 2 wickets at 24.50, 5 catches) 7.5/10

In the shadows of Ricky Ponting’s retirement, talk has drifted to Kallis and the legacy he will leave when one day he too plays his last. Widely acknowledged as being among the best batsmen and all-rounders in the world, Kallis proved his worth in Australia again. His century in Brisbane was the perfect complement to Amla’s, and his 58 and 46 in Adelaide was the stuff of legend. Battling a hamstring strain, Kallis did his bit to save the match even while clearly in pain. It was also in that match that his worth as a bowler was underlined. He turned around the South African effort with two wickets before pulling up. Kallis could not bowl in Perth and only scored 39 runs, but without him South Africa may not have gone to Perth with a chance to win the series.

AB de Villiers (276 runs at 55.20, 8 catches, 1 stumping) 7/10

He left it late but when AB de Villiers returned as the batsmen we knew, it was spectacular. After struggling with the bat in Brisbane, he showed signs that he was coming back in Adelaide when he partnered du Plessis in an epic match-saving effort. For 220 balls, de Villiers showed enormous restraint as he concentrated on safety first. By the next Test in Perth, he was ready to explode, and once he had found his front foot again, he did. His innings was a fireworks display of reverse paddles and cheeky cuts but it is worth remembering that it came after the least amount of overs spent in the field. De Villiers’ keeping has also been considered adequate and he upped that a gear too. He was nifty behind the stumps, efficient in his catching and pulled off the stumping that dismissed Michael Clarke in Perth.

Dale Steyn (12 wickets at 30.83) 7/10


Dale Steyn gestures after claiming Michael Hussey's wicket, Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day, December 3, 2012

Dale Steyn saved his best for the final Test

Having provided an entrée with a fiery spell in the warm-up match at the SCG, Steyn served cold food until Perth. He did not get his pace up and did not have the success he normally does as the go-to man. He was aggressive in the lead-up to the final Test and took it out on the field. On the second morning, Steyn decimated the Australian top-order to turn the match and the series South Africa’s way. He found swing, and bowled with speeds in the early 140s throughout, and when Steyn builds up a head of steam that hot, batsmen can only fear. He saved the best for the last and ended the series one wicket short of 300.

Alviro Petersen (200 runs at 33.33, 1 catch)6.5/10

The lowest scorer in the top six, Petersen did not have a defining innings on the tour, although he looked well set for one twice. His 64 in Brisbane was a glimpse into his promise which ended in a soft dismissal, and his 54 in Adelaide was cut short by a needless run-out. The quality is evident but the ability to convert affected him in this series. He also took a stunning catch on the boundary to deliver one of the best entries in the scorebook, c Petersen b Peterson.

Robin Peterson (6 wickets at 28.50) 5/10

Having thought he would do nothing but carry drinks on this tour, Robin Peterson was surprised with a Test recall. It came after four years on the fringe, and it showed a more mature player who has obviously benefitted from the experience of being around the side. He contributed sensibly with the bat in the first innings in Perth and claimed three wickets in each innings with the ball. Some of the time, that was based on luck. Peterson was expensive, but he had the runs at his disposal to be, and showed his lack of fear in flighting the ball. His game-plan of drawing Michael Clarke forward paid off and he also accounted for Ricky Ponting’s last dismissal as a Test batsman.

Vernon Philander (4 wickets at 49.75)  5/10

Philander had to wait until the Perth Test to get his first wicket of the series. In Brisbane, he was as ordinary as the rest of the attack, and the second highest no-ball offender. It looked as though batsmen were learning to leave him better and his usual fourth-stump channel was not working. A back injury kept him out of Adelaide but he returned to Perth to find swing and create havoc with Steyn on the second morning. Both Ponting and Shane Watson were added to his tally of big scalps in that innings, and he had an impact with the new ball in the second innings too. It’s been a long time coming, but this series was the gliding back to earth for Philander.
Rory Kleinveldt (4 wickets at 60.75, 1 catch) 4.5/10

As part of a four-pronged pace attack in Brisbane, Kleinveldt was the weak link on debut. He was nervous and it showed. He overstepped 12 times and was wasteful due to an over-reliance on the short ball. He would not have played in Adelaide if not for Philander’s injury and proved an opportunity for him to give a better account of himself. Kleinveldt took the first three Australian wickets and demonstrated his ability to extract bounce and produce seam movement.

Jacques Rudolph (74 runs at 18.50) 3/10

Having struggled to settle in at the top of the order a year ago, Rudolph is now battling to do the same in the middle order. A technical fault is stunting his progress as he struggled with offspin in this series. He was out all four times to Nathan Lyon in the first two Tests, to take his tally to seven in the last eight innings. Rudolph was dropped for the Perth match.

Dean Elgar (1 match, 0 runs, 1 catch)  1/10

In the match after du Plessis debuted for South Africa, Elgar was handed his first cap. He could not have had a more contrasting maiden appearance. He was worked over by Mitchell Johnson in the first innings by three pitched-up deliveries and then fell to the pull shot off the short ball and trapped lbw by the same bowler in the second, having been barraged with bouncers on that occasion. His only mark on the game was the catch he took at deep square leg to dismiss Ed Cowan, a well-judged one taken over his head.

Imran Tahir (1 match, 0 wickets, 260 runs) 0/10

It’s not often that at the culmination of a series, a player has performed so poorly that he does not deserve a rating at all. It’s probably even rarer that a player on the winning side has to endure this embarrassment. But, for Tahir, there is no escaping it. He was amateur in the only Test he played in Adelaide, persisting with the full toss and short ball even though he got tonked. To make it worse, he overstepped seven times and took a wicket with one of them. Tahir was sent home early in the hope that he would be able to do soul searching and restore confidence. After a showing like that, he may need to.

The best Proteas team of all time

December 3, 2012 in cricket

I’m speechless, words can’t describe how I feel being such an avid Proteas supporter, wow what a series, what a team, what players, what a coach and what a fine captain. Smith’s South Africa are number 1 and there they shall stay.