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Vendetta’s weekly wrap-up and bowling with a wet ball

January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hello blogland,

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!

2012: Some good, some bad

January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hello fellow bloggers,

I truely hope that all of you have had at least some sort of break from your jobs and that the time spent with family over the Xmas period was cherished and enjoyed to the fullest.

The theme for this post is not very specific but captures a summary of what has happened in 2012 so far, some good and some not so good.

It seems that all the South African S15 franchises are very busy with their pre-season preperations. As most of you know already my blood is baby blue and my favorite flower is the Barberton Daisy. The good news from the Bulls camp in terms of their pre-season prep is that Big Vic has joined the coaching staff yesterday as consultant and will no doubt add immense value, not only to the line-out analysis, but also the general structure of the Bulls’ game plan for the season. Some more good news is that the Bulls have not had any disruptions, other than Wynand Olivier’s injury, that I am aware of. The Cheetah’s and Lions have also been very quiet, the Cheetah’s less so, being added to the pre-season tournament to be played in the Cape. So on the premis of no news is good news, I am sure that the preperations in the two Cats’s camps are going as planned.

Unfortunately the same can not be said about our two coastal franchises. With Rassie apparantly being forced to leave Province and the Sharks to scared to play provibnce in the pre-season tournament begs the question what is going on in those franchises. The Sharks have also lost a fair amount of talent during the off season, the latest being JL Potgieter making yet another move, this time overseas.

I for one am very excited about the rugby season ahead. I am not expecting my Bulls to win much silverware this year (I am not writing them off) but with some very exciting youngsters, a new captain, and hopefully a tweaked game-plan, the prospects of what they could deliver is very exciting. What’s the saying? A change is as good as a holliday. In that case, the Bulls have had ample of both.

On the cricket front SA have had a very promising start to the year. Winning our first test series on home soil since 2008 has put away the lack of ability the side has shown recently to put away opponents in a test series. I must admit i was fearing a draw at Newlands after the dsastor at Kingsmead. I have to admit that JK had an absolute incredible 150th test and has shown the critics once again, that he is probably the most complete cricketer to ever play the game. Th ODI’s have also started with a bang under the leadership of myt favourite cricketer, AB de Villiers. I feel sorry for Graeme Smith and his curr4ent lack of form, especially with everybody else around him in rich vains of form, but the time has come for him to make a century or go back to franchise cricket.

On the “bad” side of the coin when it comes to cricket, what the hell has happened to India? The look like a team without guts, plans, skills, patience, leadership and most of all test cricket players! There current performances against the Aussies are nothing other than pathetic! Is the the result of Gary Kirsten leaving their structures or that their batsman are using the test matches as warm-ups for the opcoming IPL??

Also, the number one ranked team in test cricket England, or SA (A) if you prefer, have had a horrible start to their year. They are 111 for 7 (Nelson) at the moment. One would have thought with all the training camps they have had prior to the start of this series againsts the Pakistanis, they would have had a better start. On top of that, they have elected to bat first, and at 111/7, im sure that Strauss would rather have bowled first. Having said all of that, a test consists of 4 innings and not only one, so we will see if they continue the rot, or come back and prove themeselves the best at test cricket.

On a more personal note,I have started playing outdoor cricket again. The league is called Last man standing (www.lastmanstanding.com) and is played by amateurs. 20/20 8 a side with some interesting rules and loads of fun. If any are you are also playing in this league (it is played world wide) we can maybe deicate some posts to our stats etc….

Our team was off to a good start as we won our first game in the last over and here are my stats.

Batting: 5* of 5 deliveries to finish the game.

Bowling: 1 for 13 of 4 overs, having bowled in both the power plays.

Not too shabby for someone that hasnt played outdoor cricket in 9 years hey???

What has been some of your sporting/personal highlights/blunders of the year so far?

Peace out!

Vendetta