South African
South African Flag
Cape & Country
Biltong, boerewors, and all SA goodies. Click here to visit our website.
Proteas bounce back

Nathan Delaney

South African cricket bounced back this weekend, winning both games and giving the Proteas a 2-1 lead in the series with 3 games to go. The victories bring to an end a run of poor results but these last two games can only provide the team with spark to build on these performance.
Friday’s day-night saw Graeme Smith, who has been under some heavy criticism of late, battle out his first one-day century under the difficult Port Elizabeth lights. He was well supported by Herschelle Gibbs, who in his new pivotal no.4 spot, played his third successive innings of 50 or more since he moved into the middle of the order.
Gibbs’ Friday evening’s 50 was followed up on Sunday an awesome display which saw him reaching his 14th one-day international century and set the Proteas on course for the 108 run win over the English. There were also good performances by Kallis and Kemp.
Sunday’s game was certainly convincing. It has been a long time since South Africa has approached a game with such confidence. Going out from the start and tallying a massive 291-5, with Gibbs making 100, Jacques Kallis 71 and Justin Kemp 57 from 36 balls. Gibbs and Kallis, who both play for Western Province, set a new mark for the third wicket at Newlands and beat their own record - set last week - for the third wicket against England with a stand of 143. It was good to see Justin Kemp come to the party. Following Sunday’s bludgeoning of England’s attack, 57 runs off 36 balls, the press have been quick to make comparisons between Kemp and fellow big hitter Lance Klusener.
"Lance is an awesome player and did amazing things for South Africa and if I can come even close to some of things he did for the national team I would be ecstatic," Kemp said yesterday.
Klusener was considered the most destructive one-day batsman in the world in his prime and was named player of the tournament at the 1999 World Cup. "This was only one innings and I know there will be pressure on me to do it again every time I go out," Kemp said.
"I'm relieved to have finally done something for the team because I needed it. I felt under pressure for a place but I'm more experienced now and I am much more relaxed."
Following Sunday’s performance the selectors have opted to keep the faith and not to make any changes to their squad for the rest of the series against England. The teams meet in the fifth match in East London on Wednesday, the sixth on Friday in Durban and the final encounter at Centurion Park on Sunday.

Squad: G Smith (capt), N Boje (vice-capt), A Bacher, M Boucher, AB de Villiers, H Gibbs, A Hall, J Kallis, J Kemp, A Nel, M Ntini, S Pollock, A Prince, J Rudolph.


Previous Articles
Smith stays positive