January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
So this last week has been quite interresting in terms of sport and there are a few things I would like to focus on.
Firstly, I would like to touch on the EPL. I witnessed a gross injustice on Sunday afternoon. After a challenge for a ball about ten metres outside Spurs’s box, Mario Balotelli intentionally stamped on Scot Parkers head. After his initial yellow card, he should have seen the ref (Webb i think his surname is) giving him his marching orders. Instead, Webb unfortunately followed the ball and did not see the moment when this thug tried to inflict harm on an opposing player. I thought to myself that Karma will make an appearance, Parker will steal the ball off Balotelli and Spurs will score. Instead (to my dismay as I am a United supporter) he wins a penalty and puts away the winner for City. Where is the justice in that? Balotelli has been seen sporting a shirt saying “Why always me?” I can tell you why bad things happen to you, you are a bad sportsman and human being. Be that as it may, Manchester put Arsenal away after Wenger subbed one of the better Arsenal players on the pitch with someone that clearly lacks form or comitment and the 3 point gap remains….
The Proteas continued their inability to defend big scores on Sunday by losing to Sri Lanka by two wickets at the Wanderers. What is going on here? It seems that the bigger the score they make batting first, the worse we defend the total. This is something that Gary Kirsten AB, and to a lesser degree Graeme Smith will have to address as a matter of urgency! Batting first, it looked like the Proteas were never going to get past 260 but AB and Graeme stood up and were counted. I was especially happy for Graeme as I have supported him from day one and I believe he still has a lot to offer. This was supported by the way he initially sytruggled (Strike rate of about 40) and them once he found his feet, obliterated the Sri Lankan bowling attack. Let’s hope that in the near future he can get back to his best form and do that from the beginning of the innings. Now, I am not blaming the batsmen for the loss, but i feel that we were about 25-30 runs short. I know the pitch was a tad more difficult in the morning, but I feel we could have gone a bit harder from the outset. Having said that, AB has his first series victory under his belt and I am sure he has learned a lot from these last two defeats. We also have to take into context that we were missing the number 1 ODI batsment as well as the greatest cricketer of all time, so all is not lost.
Staying with cricket, what an epic fall from grace for the number one ranked test team in the world. I understand that it is their first match of the series and they havent played much cricket of late, but with all their backroom staff and all the preperation going into this series I expected better. The batting was abismal, nobody, except for Prior in the first innings showed any determination to stop the rot. I wonder if any bookmakers were invloved? It has opened the series up though and I am expecting some fireworks in the next test.
Onto rugby, and it looks likely that Meyer will be appointed as Springbok coach. Bitter-sweet for me, as it will be a loss for the Bulls franchise but I see the bigger picture and I am extremely happy for Meyer as well as Springbok rugby. Should Meyer be appointed I do not expect a 180 degree turn around after the circus that was Pieter de Villiers. Much like what he did at the Bulls a couple of years ago, I expect Meyer to identify and build structures, young players and a gameplan over the nest two years, perfect the beforementioned in the third year and then demolish all before him in the fouth year. But we want to see results, right? Results dont just happen, they are planned for, and with Meyer, I believe we will have the best plans in place.
Now, on a more personal note, my LMS cricket team played our 2nd fixture on Sunday morning in Benoni. Having rained the night before, the outfield was quite wet but the pitch was dry, being covered the night before. The next time I hear commentators making excuses for bowlers because of a wet ball, i will be morte sympathetic. I went for a “couple” in my first two overs but came back nicely in the closing overs when the ball was a bit drier. Had a good day in the field though, inflicting two run-outs and taking a catch. We won our second game in a row, being a bit lucky as the opposition dropped 5 or 6 catches.
I cant wait for the Super rugby seasopn to begin!
Have a good week guys!