South African Sports News – 23 December
So close, yet so far for Proteas
England survived a horrendous batting collapse to earn a nail-biting draw on the final day of the first Castle test match against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday. Paul Collingwood and No 11 Graham Onions were required to fend off 20 deliveries as England reached the close of play on 228 for the loss of nine wickets in their second innings.
Paceman Friedel de Wet (pictured), with the second new ball in hand, sparked the collapse as five English wickets fell for the addition of just 13 runs. De Wet produced an excellent final spell that saw him capture three wickets for just 11 runs off seven overs. The debutant ended the innings with the impressive figures of four for 55 off 23 overs …
The visitors, who began the day chasing an unlikely victory target of 353 runs, were chugging along fairly comfortably and reached 172 for three when the game suddenly changed in the Proteas’ favour. Kevin Pietersen, who was partnering Jonathan Trott and who had hardly been troubled by the South African bowlers all day, inexplicably set off for a suicidal single and was promptly run out by De Wet with his score on 81. Pietersen and Trott’s fourth-wicket partnership yielded 145 valuable runs and could have been worth a lot more if it wasn’t for the former South African’s moment of madness.
Pietersen’s knock came off just 143 balls and included 11 boundaries while Trott was more circumspect in his innings of 69 with the right hander batting for five hours and 17 minutes and facing all of 212 deliveries. Trott, also a South African born player, succumbed to a superb reflex catch from AB de Villiers at third slip, off a delivery from De Wet, which heralded a dramatic collapse from the English.
The loss of Trott had reduced England to 205 for five and just two runs later Ian Bell (two) followed suit when he edged another express delivery from De Wet through to ’keeper Mark Boucher, who pulled off a breath-taking diving catch. Boucher then snapped up both Matt Prior (off De Wet) and Stuart Broad (off left arm spinner Paul Harris) for nought and suddenly the English seemed ready to fold like a pack of cards. However, Graeme Swann (two) chewed up 22 deliveries before being trapped leg-before by speedster Morne Morkel and it was then left to Collingwood (26 off 99 deliveries) and Onions (one off 12 balls) to deny the Proteas a victory.
England started the day on 11 for one and night watchman James Anderson (10 off 23 deliveries) was the first batsman to be dismissed when the left-hander glanced a leg side delivery from De Wet into the ever-present Boucher’s dependable gloves. Anderson’s departure reduced England to 16 for two, which became 27 for three when opening bat Alastair Cook (12 off 56 balls) gloved a delivery from Harris on to his pad. Proteas’ captain Graeme Smith made no mistake with the catch and England appeared to be tottering.
However, Pietersen then joined Trott at the wicket and the pair set about constructing their impressive partnership that looked to have saved the match, quite comfortably, for England. The second game of the four match test series begins at Kingsmead in Durban on Saturday and another tight tussle is expected between these two well- balanced teams. It will be interesting to see who the South African selectors leave out for the Durban match as paceman Dale Steyn is expected to make his return to the starting line up after an injury niggle.
Newcomer De Wet bowled with lots of fire at SuperSport Park and took a couple of important wickets to boot, so it would be very harsh if the youngster was axed to make way for the returning Steyn. A better option would surely be to include De Wet at the expense of veteran quick bowler Makhaya Ntini who lacked penetration at SuperSport Park, returning match figures of two for 119 off 41 overs as opposed to De Wet’s far more impressive five for 127 off 43 overs. It remains to be seen if the selectors will tinker with a bowling combination that has more than proved its worth in the past, although they must surely realise that the 32-year-old Ntini does not have long to go at the top echelon’s of the sport.
Scores in brief
South Africa: 418 & 301/7 declared
England: 356 & 228/9
Result: Match drawn
SuperSport stay in front
SuperSport United stayed on top of the Absa Premiership despite experiencing mixed fortunes after the past week. United suffered a surprising 1-0 defeat to Golden Arrows last Wednesday, but bounced back with a convincing 3-0 win over Black Aces on Saturday with Anthony Laffor, Glen Salmon and Jabulani Maluleke (pictured) each finding the back of the net.
Nearest rivals Mamelodi Sundowns also had a good end to the year with victories against Maritzburg United last Wednesday (1-0) and Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday (2-1). Third placed Santos despatched Black Aces 2-1 last Tuesday, but were held to a goalless draw by Orlando Pirates at the Coetzenburg Stadium on Friday evening. That result left Santos on 39 points – two adrift of Sundowns and eight behind United. Chiefs are in fourth place on 38 points with Pirates a point behind.
With the year at an end and all the PSL teams having a break until February, following which only six rounds of the competition remain, it seems likely that the 2009/10 champions are going to come from either one of the current top five teams. However, there is still a fair amount of soccer to be played and even teams like sixth placed Bloemfontein Celtic (34 points) and seventh placed Ajax Cape Town (also 34 points) could spring a surprise and lift the championship.
Results (from left to right)
Black Aces 1 – Santos 2
Orlando Pirates 0 – Free State Stars 0
Kaizer Chiefs 2 – Ajax Cape Town 1
Jomo Cosmos 0 – Bidvest Wits 0
Moroka Swallows 0 – AmaZulu 4
Golden Arrows 1 – SuperSport Utd 0
Mamelodi Sundowns 1 – Pmb Utd 0
Bloem Celtic 2 – Platinum Stars 5
Santos 0 – Orlando Pirates 0
Over the weekend
Kaizer Chiefs 1 – Mamelodi Sundowns 2
Bidvest Wits 2 – Golden Arrows 1
Pmb Utd 1 – Moroka Swallows 1
SuperSport Utd 3 – Black Aces 0
Bloem Celtic 4 – Ajax Cape Town 2
AmaZulu 0 – Jomo Cosmos 0
Platinum Stars – Free State Stars (postponed)
Cobras cement their place at the top
The on form Nashua Cape Cobras comfortably defeated the bizhub Highveld Lions by four wickets at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday to remain on top of the SuperSport series standings. The match was over shortly after lunch on the final day after the visitors successfully chased down a moderate victory target of 215. Stiaan van Zyl (72) and Robin Peterson (eight) were the unbeaten batsmen at the crease.
The Cobras started the day 130 runs behind the Lions on 85 for the loss of four wickets, but the visitors enjoyed a productive morning session, losing only Justin Kemp (44 runs off 96 balls) with the total on 156. Kemp, who played a very circumspect innings, and Van Zyl (pictured) had put on 72 runs for the fifth wicket in just over 27 overs, after the Cobras lost four wickets in the final session on Friday. The Cape franchise lost just one further wicket after lunch before Peterson stroked the winnings runs with a four off Pumelela Matshikwe to seal the win.
On Friday, the Lions were dismissed for 308 in their second innings courtesy of a half-century from Vaughn van Jaarsveld and a valuable 37 off 50 balls from Monty Panesar. The Cobras had earlier been bowled out for 296 in reply to the Lions’ first-innings total of 202.
Scores in brief
Highveld Lions: 202 & 308
Cape Cobras: 296 & 215/6
Result: Cape Cobras won by 4 wickets
Botha can’t save Warriors
Shaun von Berg grabbed four wickets to help the Nashua Titans to a crushing 229-run victory over the Chevrolet Warriors at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Saturday in another SuperSport series encounter. Set an improbable victory target of 381, the home team slid to 79 for five at tea before being bowled all out for 145 on the final day of the match.
In the morning session, the Titans had declared their second innings on 401 for seven after the Warriors had scored 370 in their first innings in reply to the Titans’ 343. The home side went to the lunch break on 13 for one, but then lost four wickets for the addition of only 66 runs in the afternoon session, which put them under severe pressure to save the match. In the end, they surrendered meekly as they could only add another 66 runs after tea, while losing their remaining five wickets in the process. Skipper Johan Botha (pictured) scored a defiant 54 not out, but never received any meaningful support as the Warriors crashed to a heavy defeat.
Von Berg was the destroyer in chief, recording impressive figures of four for 51 from 23 overs, with Albie Morkel (two for 46 from 18.1), Ethy Mbhalati (one for 33 from 10) and Pierre Joubert (one for 11 from eight) also amongst the wickets.
Scores in brief
Nashua Titans: 343 & 401/7 declared
Chevrolet Warriors: 370 & 145
Result: Titans won by 229 runs
Quinton not friendly to Eagles
Six wickets from Nashua Dolphins paceman Quinton Friend (pictured), including three in a single over, propelled the KwaZulu-Natalians to a nail-biting six-run victory over the Diamond Eagles in Kimberley on Saturday in yet another SuperSport series match. Set a paltry 168 to win, the Eagles were coasting along at 134 for two at the lunch break, needing just 34 more runs with eight wickets in the bank. However, Friend had a nasty surprise in store for the home side as he sliced through their batting line-up like a hot knife through butter.
The fiery paceman dismissed Con de Lange, Johan van der Wath and Gino Vries, all without scoring, in a drama filled 43rd over to leave the Eagles tottering on 154 for nine. Ryan McLaren then tried manfully to get the remaining runs, but was trapped leg-before by Andrew Hall for 15 with the score on 161 to give the Dolphins a most unlikely victory. In the end, the home side lost their remaining eight wickets for the addition of just 27 runs as Friend finished with the excellent figures of six for 45 off 16 overs.
The Dolphins had earlier been dismissed for 236 in their first innings and trailed by 91 runs going into their second innings after the Eagles had notched up 327 all out. The KwaZulu-Natalians then scored a modest 258 all out in their second innings to leave the Eagles with a seemingly easy victory target.
Scores in brief
Nashua Dolphins: 236 & 258
Diamond Eagles: 327 & 161
Result: Dolphins won by six runs
The weekend’s results mean that the Cobras stay on top of proceedings with 94.44 points, while the Titans (79.08) are second and the Warriors (73.92) third. The Lions (71.70), Dolphins (66.14) and Eagles (62.38) are in fourth, fifth and sixth place respectively. There are still two rounds of the competition remaining, but they will only be played in March next year as the domestic focus falls on the MTN 40 Championship.
MTN 40 results and fixtures for the rest of the year
Nashua Titans beat the Diamond Eagles by four wickets
Nashua Cape Cobras vs bizhub Highveld Lions – Newlands, Cape Town: 4.15pm
Chevrolet Warriors vs bizhub Highveld Lions – St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth: 4.15pm
Nashua Cape Cobras vs Nashua Titans – Boland Park, Paarl: 10.00am
Nashua Cape Cobras vs Diamond Eagles – Boland Park, Paarl: 4.15pm
Chevrolet Warriors vs Nashua Titans – St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth: 4.15pm
Durandt doesn’t want his ‘Angel’ back
Meanwhile, it has been reported that Isaac ‘The Angel’ Hlatshwayo is not welcome back in the stable of ex-trainer Nick Durandt (pictured) after the former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion’s crushing knockout loss to Jan Zaveck of Slovenia in Johannesburg last weekend. “Zaveck’s business adviser, Jean-Marcel Nartz, advised Hlatshwayo to return to my stable if he wanted to pick up the pieces,” Durandt said last week, “but my answer is ‘no thank you’.”
The fiery, and at times controversial, Durandt, was in Hlatshwayo’s corner when the Soweto resident outpointed Delvin Rodriguez in August to lift the vacant IBF title. Soon afterwards, Hlatshwayo announced he was leaving Durandt and rejoining his former trainer, Manny Fernandez. “I’ve never felt so hurt in my long career as a trainer,” Durandt explained. “We sweated blood to get him the title, and we expected a thank you, if nothing else. Instead we got a slap in the face. “Now he’s undone all the hard work and surrendered the title so meekly in his first defence. That’s what really hurts,” added Durandt.
Durandt says “to this day” he has no idea what prompted Hlatshwayo to turn his back on him. “But if you want to leave Manchester United to join Bolton or Hull you have to accept the consequences,” he quipped.
Jubatha is SA’s new featherweight king
Sabelo Jubatha scored a 10th round TKO over defending champion Luthando ‘The Slugger’ Vukuza to capture the South African featherweight title in East London on Friday evening. Vukuza was outboxing the hard-hitting Jubatha and was miles ahead on points when he was knocked down late in the ninth round by a swinging left.
Although he managed to get to his feet at the count of nine, Vukuza turned his back on Jubatha at the beginning of the next round after being drilled with another hard left. With Vukuza’s actions clearly demonstrating that he had no desire to continue, referee Andile Matike had no option but to call a halt to proceedings at 1 min, 29 secs of the round. The scheduled 12 round contest at the Orient Theatre, which was the main bout of a tournament presented by Koko Godlo’s KK Productions in conjunction with Siphatho Handi’s Mamali Boxing Promotions, began at a torrid pace as both combatants tore into each other with reckless abandon.
Indeed, more punches were thrown in the opening three minutes than in most heavyweight ten-rounders, although both fighter’s defences left a lot to be desired. Vukuza clearly won the first two rounds, but started to breathe heavily in the third and seemed to be running out of gas as Jubatha began to take charge of proceedings. However, the defending champion staged a spirited rally in the fifth and began to open up a useful lead as both fighters adopted a more sensible pace. Jubatha quickly began to fall behind as he started missing with many of his punches, and it looked as though Vukaza was going to emerge as a clear points winner. However, it was not to be as Jubatha caught Vukuza with that swinging left just before the end of the ninth round and connected again with a chopping right to the jaw, that forced his foe to surrender early in the next stanza.
Jubatha (57.10kg) improved his record to 5-0 (4 KO’s) with the win, but will have to tighten up his defence significantly if he wants to hold onto his new belt. He took far too many punches from Vukuza during the bout and was lucky that he was facing an opponent who doesn’t carry much power in his fists. Vukuza (57.05kg), a southpaw who was making the first defence of the title he won by defeating Manelisi Mbilase on points in July, dropped to 6-5-1
(0 KO’s) with the loss.
Mncedi Yokose TKO 4 Lindile Petse (bantamweights)
Odwa Matima KO 1 Simphiwe Foba (junior lightweights)
Ramsay triumphs at Pearl Valley
Scotland’s Richie Ramsay birdied the first hole of a playoff to defeat Shiv Kapur of India and win the 99th South African Open Championship played at the Pearl Valley Golf Estate. The 26-year-old Ramsay got himself into the playoff with a superb final round of seven-under 65 to chase down overnight leader Pablo Martin, Sunshine Tour Order of Merit winner Anders Hansen of Denmark, and finally, Kapur. Martin, who emerged victorious at last week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship, simply ran out of gas after his roller coaster third round on the 6681m, par-72 course.
The Spaniard seemed rather discouraged when he bogeyed the third hole in the final round and never recovered, managing only a single birdie on the 15th, and a final bogey on the 17th, which saw him share sixth place with local boy Darren Fichardt (pictured), who closed with a disappointing bogey six on the 18th to end his chances of challenging for the lead. Fichardt, however, was the leading South African after James Kingston was only able to shoot par for a share of eighth spot with Chris Swanepoel, Michiel Bothma and the Scandinavian pair of Michael Jonzon and Soren Hansen.
Defending champion Richard Sterne had a respectable tournament, but was never able to reproduce the magic that saw him race to victory last year. Sterne finished seven shots off the pace on 282 for a share of 18th place with fellow South African Jacques Blaauw and American Scott Dunlap.
Top 12 finishers (RSA unless stated)
275 – Richie Ramsay (SCO) 67 75 68 65 (won at the first play-off hole), Shiv Kapur (IND) 71 68 69 67
276 – Anders Hansen (DEN) 66 69 72 69
277 – Fredrik Andersson Hed (SWE) 71 68 68 70, Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 68 69 69 71
278 – Darren Fichardt 73 71 68 66, Pablo Martin (ESP) 65 68 72 73
279 – Soren Hansen (DEN) 70 72 70 67, Michael Jonzon (SWE) 68 75 69 67, Michiel Bothma 68 73 68 70, Chris Swanepoel 72 69 68 70, James Kingston 72 66 69 72
So close, yet so far for Proteas – Photo – Friedel de Wet: Source – supersport.com
SuperSport stay in front – Photo – Jabulani Maluleke: Source – sufc.co.za
Cobras cement their place at the top – Photo – Stiaan van Zyl: Source – cricinfo.com
Botha can’t save Warriors – Photo – Johan Botha: Source – abc.net.au
Quinton not friendly to Eagles – Photo – Quinton Friend: Source – cricinfo.com
Durandt doesn’t want his ‘Angel’ back – Photo – Nick Durandt: Source – sabc.co.za
Ramsay triumphs at Pearl Valley – Photo – Darren Fichardt: Source – zimbio.com