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Pakistan in South Africa


An Tarbh

Pakistan in South Africa 2007

6-8 v South Africa A, Kimberley
Match drawn

11-15 1st Test, Centurion
South Africa win by 7 wickets

19-23 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth
Pakistan win by 7 wickets

26-30 3rd Test, Cape Town


2 1st ODI, Johannesburg

4 2nd ODI, Centurion

9 3rd ODI, Port Elizabeth

11 4th ODI, Cape Town

14 5th ODI, Durban
Can any fellow South Africans give me reasons why Bloemfontein gets overlooked lately in terms of International Cricket?
Is it because of the ground?
or are the UCB ignoring the Free State for some reason.
Bloem actually has a wonderful ground, and there`s no problem with light etc, a pretty decent batsman-friendly wicket, so yes I agree that they probably deserve another shot at hosting test matches- I can only recall the 1 real test vs. New Zealand quite a few years back, when Donald got his 300th wicket. Reckon it`s probably because the likes of Wanderers, Kingsmead and Newlands can give bigger revenue guarantees at this stage. But at least the boys from Bloem will get the 1 rugby test vs. England this year, more than what us poor Eastern Cape buggers can say!

Anyway, SA looking handy at 254/4 in reply to Pakistan`s 313- thanks once again to Ashwell Prince. Here`s hoping he`ll get his 100 tomorrow, and some recognition at last for what has been a largely one-man battle at the top of the batting order for the last 12 months.
Amla seems to be finding some form as well, nothing to write home about but 2 half centuries is a start, will need a big score though soon if he's to keep his place I'd imagine, same probably applies for De Villiers
Yup, Amla is a very special talent alright- he averages 50 at first-class level. Also has a reputation at domestic level of getting his runs in pretty big chunks- very seldom gets to 50 at domestic level without pushing on to 150+. Has found the step-up to Test level a bit tough early on, but hopefully the selectors will stick with him- Jacques Kallis also averaged in the 20`s during his 1st 15 tests or so before becoming comfortable at this level.

AB De Villiers seems to have acquired a bad habit of leaving a gap between bat and pad, hence not getting into line properly, that seems to be why he`s nicking off to the slips or keeper so regularly. Nothing that some coaching can`t address, cue Mickey Arthur..........

Anyway, today becomes extremely important- the scores are level, Pakistan are 2 down- just very disappointed that SA didn`t push home the huge advantage that we held at lunch on day 3- the top teams like Australia wouldn`t have allowed Pakistan back into the game at that stage.
I've travelled past Bloem's cricket ground many times, and I know how nice it looks. I probably didn't state it properly, but I was wondering if Bloem was having major renovations at the moment and maybe that's why they had no decent matches recently. (Last time I went past the ground was two years ago). But, you are right, money is the major dictator as to who gets the top matches.

I love St. George's, and I hope they get a good crowd for the up and coming test match. It really is a great ground to watch cricket. Plus the atmosphere really is fantastic when the band starts going.
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE</div><div class='quotemain'>"F*#king Pakistanis" = not racist! - "bloody animals" = not racist!

Whats all the fuss about?
Herschelle Gibbs is the man in question.

My thoughts exactly Truth. I didn't find anything racist at all. When I first heard of the saga, I thought to myself, "Here we go, this is going blow out of proportions and somehow end up as a racism thing." I'm darned sure Gibbs didn't mean it to be racist. He was talking about the spectators having a go at Harris.

Anyway, asides from that little drama, congratulations Proteas. Win the next test, and then give some of the up and coming players a chance to play at the top level in the final test, thus giving them exposure and allowing the older and more experienced guys a break, bringing them back for the Pro 20 game, 5 one-dayers, and then a 2 week break before the World Cup.
its a great call

was indirect, not directed at any in particular.

go back to the zoo blah blah blah

he is just emphasising the circus act the pakistani cricket world is

"ur a bunch of animals, go back to the zoo"...is no different to

"ur a bunch of clowns go back to the circus"

they'll be plenty more of that in the world cup........Gibbs is just warming up.....good on him!!!
On the racial slur issue: you need to take into context what was happening with a certain section of the crowd(Pakistani supporters) just prior to the incident: Gibbs was fielding down on the boundary, and was copping some seriously racist flak from them. I mean, he was referred to by the dreaded K-word, and some idiots were even making monkey calls at him- obviously not because he is of mixed( both African and European) descent, or was it? Shortly before, Paul Harris was also sworn at, and shortly afterwards, Makhaya Ntini was actually smacked on the head by a Pakistan flag- nice day at the cricket, isn`t it? In fact, that section of the crowd got so out of hand, 7 of them were ejected by the security staff- one actually ended up getting into a fist-fight with a police officer, and spent the evening cooling off in jail.

What Gibbs actually said was(with some editing of swearwords, but you get the idea): "Bunch of fkn animals, they should go back to the fkn zoo, bunch of fkn Pakistani`s." This was obviously, as stated, an aside intended for his teammates only. Should have ended right there, except for the Pakistani team manager going off to make an official complaint, stating that Gibbs was racially abusing his team members- what a crock of shite. But of course, the limp-wristed ICC would generally see a racist behind every rock nowadays, since Pakistan are calling all the shots in world cricket nowadays, what with them overturning drug bans, ending elite umpires` careers etc.

FFS, current match referee Chris Broad is out of contract with the ICC at the end of this series, and apparently the chances of his contract being renewed is quite low, what with him having referred several sub-continent chuckers for review of their actions. He was always going to find Gibbs guilty, no matter what happened. Look even at poor umpire Billy Doctrove- he gave only 1 decision, either way, for the duration of the Test- scared stiff after the forfeited Test probably. I shudder to think where all of this will end.

Anyway, back to the cricket- well done to SA, although some questions still remain- 53/3 top-order collapse in the 1st innings, 5 dropped catches in the 2nd, yet another wagging tail- these issues were evident against Australia in Oz and at home, and have plagued the side since then. Fortunately, in Prince and Amla, we seem to have at last found some stability in the middle order to bat with Kallis, and in Harris we have found a spinner worthy of the name- at least some issues are being addressed.
Anyway, back to the cricket- Gibbs is appealing the decision and can thus be considered for selection. For Pakistan, record-breaking batsman Mohammed Yousuf is back, and Umar Gul and Shoaib Steroid Akhtar seem to be considered for selection following injury/match fitness scares. Looks like SA are to rest either Pollock or Ntini, after a pretty heavy workload over the last 4 weeks. Prime candidate to be rested probably Ntini, looked a bit "flat" in the 2nd innings of the 1st Test, and we can hardly afford to lose our bowling spearhead so close to the World Cup.

Apparently quite a grass covering on the St George`s pitch this morning- would probably have been shaved off though. The weather is excellent here in the Eastern Cape, today was 30C plus, so if there is any moisture or tinge of green on the wicket, it should be gone by lunchtime tomorrow anyway.

Interesting fact about St George`s Park- it`s SA`s oldest ground, having hosted SA`s 1st Tests in both cricket and rugby. Traditionally a low and slow wicket, much like what we saw at Centurion. That said, Centurion is traditionally a bit of a fast and bouncy track, so who knows what the groundsman has laid out for us. This season it`s been a bit of a spinner`s paradise- the home franchise, the Warriors, relies very heavily on their spin duo of Johan Chucker Botha and Robin Peterson, so therein lies a hint of what to expect.
And that, ladies and gents, is why I`m not involved with pro cricket- the wicket was everything St Georges isn`t normally, with decent pace and bounce. That said, certainly NOT a 124 all out wicket- or even a 135/6 wicket. Very ordinary display by both sets of top-order batsmen. Fortunate for SA to still be in this one after such a horrible batting display- thanks to 2 very poor shots in the last 2 overs by Younis and Akmal. Now, if SA can actually remove a tail for a change, AND get the top-order collapse sorted, maybe, just maybe they might still be in it.

Lots of credit to Pakistan though, they kept the ball in the right areas and just waited for the mistakes- didn`t have to wait too long, only 40 overs for the entire innings!
Pakistan wins the 2nd Test, score level at 1-1.

Some comments on the SA performance: if you get into 40/3 type of situations every innings, somewhere along the line the middle order will fail to get you out of jail. Didn`t happen in the 1st innings, and at 124 all out you`re always behind the 8-ball.
- Why oh why can`t we get rid of a fkn tail? If 100+ added in the 1st Test for the last 3 wickets didn`t really hurt us, the 74 for the 10th in the Pak 1st innings certainly did. Also, getting the top 5 out for 93 in the 2nd innings, and then allowing a 99 unbroken stand for the 6th, not good enough.
- Dropped catches- Younis was dropped by Pollock on 11- went on to 68 not out. Why are critical catches still going down, more than 12 months after they hurt us so much vs. Oz down under?

Anyway, credit to Pakistan, they were in charge of the game for the duration. For SA, hopefully back to the drawing board, to reassess the ongoing shortcomings. Also a good time to rest Nel in the 3rd Test, he just wasn`t up to it during this series- too much aggro and no execution.

Wrt the batting, it all depends on Gibbs` appeal- if the ban is enforced, Rudolph in to open and drop De Villiers down the order maybe. If the suspension is waived, easy really- Rudolph for De Villiers in a straight swop at the top of the order. And please get rid of Arthur and give us back Ray Jennings as coach.
Gibbs` ban affirmed today- he`ll definately miss the 3rd Test in Cape Town starting tomorrow. Jacques Rudolf just signed with Yorkshire for 3 years as a Kolpak player, so he`ll most likely also miss out- leaving Boeta Dippenaar in pole position to open the batting with Smith, and De Villiers to move down to no6. Also waiting anxiously to see what`ll happen wrt the resting of key SA bowlers.

News from the Pakistan camp is that Akhtar and Gul have returned home in an effort to get fit for the World Cup in March, and Shabbir Ahmed and Shoaib Malik has been sent out as replacements- Ahmed will probably come in as a straight swop for Akhtar.

The Newlands wicket has proven to be a conundrum over the previous 3 tests- vs Aus it was a serious green-top, vs. NZ it was an absolute featherbed, and vs. India a sub-continental dustbowl- your guess is as good as mine how it`ll play this time around. Apparently quite a good covering of grass on Wednesday, but what`ll it be like tomorrow?

All in all, series tied at 1-1, hopefully both teams brings their A-games and we get a good cricket Test.
News just in- Shaun Pollock and Andre Nel will be rested for the 3rd Test, Andrew Hall and Dale Steyn will be their replacements. No problem with Steyn for Nel, a better proposition on current form anyway, but would have preferred Morne Morkel to Hall, he`s much more of a threat with the ball, and probably a more correct batsman, although obviously still very inexperienced- only 17 FC matches to date, but he was pretty good in his only Test to date with both bat and ball. Hall`s more of an ODI specialist IMO- bits-and-pieces cricketer really.
Series win, 2-1, and a big thank-you to the 2 go-to men of the Saffa middle-order, Prince and Kallis, to get us home today.

So, onto the Pro-20, and the 5ODI`s.
whats the pro 20? is that the 20Twenty? if so why is it called the pro 20?

Yes, very much 20twenty, but the sponsors in SA, Standard Bank, insists on it being called the Standard Bank pro-20. When in Rome, do as the sponsors say.........
Darn... Didn't make 400 :( . Oh well, 392/6 isn't bad. :D

Pakistan put up a fight, but still a way off. Adding insult is that Afridi is possibly facing a ban for shoving his bat at a spectator when leaving the field after being out.
The less said about the second game the better. <_< All I can hope is that South Africa learn from it. Well done Pakistan.

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