South Africa thrash Pakistan in one-day series opener

Category : News

Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers blasted South Africa to an eight-wicket victory over Pakistan in the first one-day international in Abu Dhabi.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe took a career-best 4-27 as Pakistan collapsed from 140-1 to 203 all out in 49 overs.

Kallis then fired 66 before retiring hurt with cramp and AB de Villiers struck 51 from 53 balls.

JP Duminy and Colin Ingram saw South Africa home, reaching 207-2 with 10.3 overs to spare.

The situation had appeared promising for Pakistan when, after winning the toss and deciding to bat, Mohammad Hafeez (68) and the returning Younis Khan (54) put on 114 for the second wicket.

But the removal of opener Hafeez by Johan Botha sparked a collapse as Pakistan lost their last eight wickets for a mere 46 runs, with Tsotsobe their tormentor-in-chief as he snared three wickets in nine balls.

Captain Graeme Smith (18) retired with a finger injury early in South Africa’s response and Hashim Amla was then trapped lbw by Saeed Ajmal for a rapid 35.

Kallis came to the rescue as he put on 77 for the second wicket with De Villiers and looked to be steering his side to victory before he suffered cramp and left the field with 16 runs required.

Duminy (10 not out) and Ingram (12 not out) ensured there were no hiccups as the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the five match series, which resumes on Sunday.

South Africa won the two-match Twenty20 series 2-0.

Source: BBC Sport – October 29, 2010

De Villiers shows his versatility

Category : News, Photo

He is the ICC ODI Player of the Year and is currently the World’s No 1 batsman in the ICC ODI rankings. However, that has not stopped A.B. de Villiers from taking on extra responsibility in South Africa’s pursuit of the World Cup.

The 26-year-old de Villiers, also one of the world’s best fielders in the game today, will don the wicketkeeper’s gloves, a job he did against Zimbabwe recently and also scored two centuries.

The move will give captain Graeme Smith the option of playing an extra batsman or a bowler.

In an exclusive interview with Gulf News at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday night, De Villiers said he was keen to give his best.

The following are excerpts from the interview:

Gulf News: Since when have you been keeping wickets?
A.B. De Villiers: The first time I started keeping wickets was when I was an eight-year-old. I have played in that position before and I am pretty sure I can do it again. And I am prepared.
Obviously, I have not done it for a while but I am confident I will do well for the team.

Do you feel this new role as wicket-keeper will put some pressure on you?
Obviously, it is a different position. When you are in the field, whether you are standing at fine leg, extra cover or wicket keeper, you have a responsibility to take catches. I have a responsibility to get the balls going down the stumps as wicket-keeper and take the chances that come my way. So, it is the same discipline and hopefully I will get better every time I go out there.

You are known for your outstanding fielding, will you miss that?
Maybe I can pull off better stuff behind the stumps! I will work hard on my game there and I think I will get better.

How much has playing in the Indian Premier League (for the Delhi Daredevils) helped?
The more time you spend in the sub-continent, the better it prepares you for conditions like this. You play with guys that have been brought up in these conditions so you get used to the conditions as well. We have performed well on the sub-continent before and we are prepared to play in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the sub-continent where the World Cup is to be held.

Being a key member of this South African side, do you think the team can finally shake off the tag of ‘chokers’?
Hopefully, we will not choke again. We are just going to go up there. We know we have the potential to win the tournament. Our team will give its best shot, but I think we are a long way from there. We have to take it ball by ball, game by game. Right now our goal is to play Pakistan here in Abu Dhabi and then in Dubai. That is our focus now. Obviously the World Cup will come later and hopefully we will do well there as well.

Source: GulfNews – October 27, 2010 / M. SATYA NARAYAN

Amla on the rankings move

Category : News

Hashim Amla has achieved a career-best ranking of No 2 in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen to give the Proteas the top two spots for the first time in Cricket South Africa’s history.

AB de Villiers, who, like, Amla, scored two centuries in the recent MTN ODI series against Zimbabwe, remains No 1 and has achieved a career-defining rating of more than 800 points.

In ratings terms, 800 is the benchmark for all ODI batsmen.

Amla, who scored 110, 110 and 24 in the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, now shares second position with Australia batsman Mike Hussey who himself has moved up one position after scoring 69 in the only completed ODI against India in Visakhapatnam last week.

De Villiers, who scored 21, 101 not out and 109 against Zimbabwe, is the 44th batsman overall and fifth South African after Gary Kirsten (903 v Australia, 19 October 1996), Hansie Cronje (836 v New Zealand, 11 December 1994), Lance Klusener (829 v Zimbabwe, 28 September 1999) and Daryll Cullinan (809 v Pakistan, 2 November 1997) to achieve the 800-point mark.

The biggest mover in the latest bowling table is South Africa off-spinner Johan Botha who has climbed six places to occupy 14th position.

Jacques Kallis (10th for batting and 5th for all-rounders) and Dale Steyn (11th for bowling) both lost ground as a result of their injuries that caused them to miss the Zimbabwe series.

In the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship, India has gained two ratings points while South Africa has earned one ratings point. As such, India is now on its own in second place on 117 ratings points while South Africa is on 116 ratings points.

Source: SuperSport – October 25, 2010

AB is Man of the Series

Category : News, Photo

It was always likely that South Africa would dominate this series, but Zimbabwe’s plucky performances with the bat in the Twenty20s and first two ODIs meant the scale of their crushing defeat in Benoni was unexpected. The hosts started the tour in slightly laboured fashion, their bowling and fielding well below their usual standards, but in the final game all three departments clicked and they duly ran to a record-breaking 272-run win.

“Tonight was a good night,” said South African captain Graeme Smith. “It can be hard to maintain intensity when you’ve got 400 on the board and you clean them up cheaply, but I was happy with the intensity we showed. When you’ve got 400 it’s really easy to drift but the bowlers really set their own standards tonight, which was encouraging.

“We’ve had a few issues in this series on the bowling front, but there were a lot of positives that came out at the end,” added Smith. “I think we’ve set up a good base despite there being a couple of changes that lie ahead. There’s good confidence around the group in terms of performances, and it doesn’t really matter who you play, your confidence is always the key in sport.”

South Africa have been forced to experiment in this series in the absence of senior players such as Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. While their rookie batsmen, Colin Ingram and David Miller, have slotted into the side seamlessly, the back-up bowling pack initially fired in fits and starts. But Rusty Theron eventually finished as the leading wicket-taker in his debut series and Wayne Parnell also improved with each outing.

“I think it’s great,” Smith said of their performances. “You want to see these guys coming in and performing well. Initially there was a question about the back-up bowling unit, and we had a lot of young batters coming through. It’s never going to be easy replacing Steyn and Morkel, but it’s nice to see guys like Rusty and some of the other guys coming in and impressing.”

South Africa’s Man of the Series, AB de Villiers helped himself to 231 runs in three innings, including two consecutive hundreds in Potchefstroom and Benoni. With Mark Boucher not picked for this series de Villiers also shouldered the burden of keeping wicket, taking six catches. He credited a break from the game since South Africa’s tour of the West Indies concluded in June for his energetic start to the season.

“I think the break was very good for me, just getting the mind off cricket for a while,” he said. “Especially after last season, which was a very long season that was a little bit of an up and down season and quite tough mentally. So getting away from the game totally for two months was really good, and I’ve come back really refreshed and energised.”

Source: CricInfo – October 22, 2010 / LIAM BRICKHILL

JP and AB celebrate tons

Category : News

Inspired centuries by JP Duminy and AB de Villiers saw South Africa go to a massive 399 for six in the third MTN One-Day International against Zimbabwe at Sahara Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday.

Duminy and De Villiers shared in a third-wicket stand of 219 in 31.4 overs – South Africa’s best for that wicket and their third highest in any game – before Albie Morkel, David Miller and Colin Ingram provided a late flurry of runs that should ensure the home team make an impressive clean sweep of the series.

Duminy and De Villiers came together after openers Graeme Smith (26) and Hashim Amla (24) had given the innings a brisk start with 59 runs scored in the first seven overs.

De Villiers was happy initially to play the foil to Duminy, who was timing the ball sweetly from the outset, with both batsmen mindful of the need to keep picking up the singles.

Duminy reached his half-century in the 23rd over, in 53 balls and looked in fine touch. De Villiers went to fifty in the 25th over, in 54 balls, before unleashing a furious onslaught that saw him race to his second successive century in just 37 more deliveries.

De Villiers reached his century two overs before Duminy, but was also out before the elegant left-hander, slicing a pull off Hamilton Masakadza to deep midwicket after scoring a dazzling 109 off 99 balls, an innings of sheer class.

Duminy went to his century off 96 balls and went on to stroke 129 off 117 deliveries, a career-best score and an innings that should surely serve to silence any doubts over his ability to bounce back from his troubled previous summer.

The Duminy/De Villiers partnership meant Zimbabwe were well and truly down on the mat and Morkel capitalised by providing a pleasing teaser as to his finishing ability, lashing 37 off 21 balls.

Miller continued to confirm his rich talent as he thundered his way to 33 not out off 19 balls, but Colin Ingram would be even quicker as he smashed 20 off eight deliveries.

Shingirai Masakadza might have claimed two wickets, but he conceded 95 runs in his 10 overs, while other Zimbabwean bowlers who will want to erase their efforts from any highlight reels were Ian Nicolson (7-0-74-1), Graeme Cremer (5-0-37-0) and Elton Chigumbura (7-0-53-1).

Source: http://www.sport24.co.za/Cricket/ZimInSA/Proteas-win-toss-elect-to-bat-20101022ort24 – October 22, 2010 / KEN BORLAND