South Africa bow out of another ICC tournament with nothing to show for it. They have just one win under their belt and it took a bit of fluke to get them into the semi-finals in the first place. Gary Kirsten was brutal in the assessment of his own abilities, but he leaves his successor with a seemingly ill side. BY ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Lately, South Africa seem to find themselves more and more in situations representing past failures. They face England in a semi-final of an ICC event on Wednesday – the last time that happened they needed 22 runs off one ball. Can they continue slaying their demons past? AB de Villiers thinks so. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
After two unconvincing wins, the Springboks agree that they have to improve their play at the breakdown. They will also have to contend with another inexperienced referee and adapt to a less structured game against Samoa if they want to shine at Loftus in the final of the quadrangular series. By KEN BORLAND.
England booked its spot in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy with a win over New Zealand in a match truncated to 24 overs a side. Alastair Cook was outstanding and James Anderson looked at his swing-bowling best, but the middle order’s capacity for spontaneous combustion remains a problem. BY ANTOINETTE MULLER.
India and Pakistan squared off in a match completely irrelevant in context of the competition. India remained unbeaten, while Pakistan are being sent home without a single win under their belt. Coach Dav Whatmore was visibly irked and frustrated at the post-match press conference – and who can blame him? By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Picture this: A match tied on Duckworth-Lewis sees South Africa progress to the next round of an ICC knockout competition on net run rate. If you’d uttered those words a few weeks back, many cricket fans would have scoffed at the thought, but it was reality for the Proteas on Friday against the Windies. So now what? BY ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Australia continued its comical fall from grace as the team was sent crashing out of the Champions Trophy with just a single point to show for its efforts – or lack thereof. The result means Sri Lanka will take on India in the second semi-final at Cardiff on Thursday, while South Africa will square off against England on Wednesday. BY ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Although the Springboks trounced Italy convincingly, Scotland has traditionally not been an easy opponent to destroy. Heyneke Meyer’s reluctance to add to the 852 players in the index of South Africa’s capped internationals for Saturday’s Test against a depleted Scottish side has many people baffled, but the Springbok coach perhaps let slip his motivation with a throwaway line during the team announcement. KEN BORLAND.
It’s becoming rather familiar for the Proteas, being in a crunch situation with something to prove. They’ve come out in top in Test matches time and again, but now they’ve got a different monkey on their back. They’re in an ICC tournament, and while they might be in the group stages of the competition, their next match is a knock-out – lose and they’ll be sent packing with empty hands. BY ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Selecting players is a juggling act, as talent, experience and consistent form have to be measured against the probability of the player still being competitive for the 2015 World Cup. But coach Heyneke Meyer says he is loyal to performance, not players, so we can expect to see some new faces earning their caps in the quadrangular series. By KEN BORLAND.
When it rains, it pours, especially if you’re an Australian in England. The Aussies had their match against New Zealand washed out on Wednesday and had to settle for shared points, despite the fact that they looked like they might just clinch a win. Add this to the fact that David Warner was dropped over a bar brawl with Joe Root on Sunday night, and it’s not a good time to be Australian. BY ANTOINETTE MULLER.
David Warner is all over the headlines, once again for all the wrong reasons. An incident with an England player saw the opening batsman dropped from the Australian team for their match against New Zealand on Wednesday. There’ll be jokes aplenty, but one can only hope that along with a severe punishment, somebody is having a quiet word with him. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Misbah-ul-Haq is Pakistan’s trump player, and in the face of adversity, he has stood out - yet he was still booed at the post-match presentation after his side’s defeat against South Africa on Monday. He took the criticism in his stride, although it must be unbearably frustrating to be in his position. BY ANTOINETTE MULLER.
The Proteas went from “what on earth are they doing?” to “please keep doing that!” in the space of just a few days, as they beat Pakistan by 67 runs in Birmingham on Monday. Lonwabo Tostsobe was particularly impressive and stood out as the fine leader of a depleted attack. ANTOINETTE MULLER reports from Birmingham.
A handful of debutants made exciting starts to their international careers, but it was evergreen veteran Bryan Habana who stole their thunder, and Bok coach Heyneke Meyer’s admiration, with another sparkling performance in the green and gold jersey. And if the Springboks can capitalise on the momentum gained from this win, Scotland will have their backs up against the wall in Mbombela on Saturday. By KEN BORLAND.
New Zealand and Sri Lanka squared off in what started as an understated affair but ended up being one of the most enticing clashes of the Champions Trophy. A fine effort in bowling all round ensured that the action never let up and that the competition was still resoundingly exciting even four days in. BY ANTOINETTE MULLER.
The defending Champions Trophy title-holders got their campaign off to a horrible start as they lost to England by 48 runs on Saturday in Birmingham. Australian skipper George Bailey said the result quite possibly “flattered” them and that it should have been a much bigger defeat. England looked a changed team with their bowlers in near-perfect touch. ANTOINETTE MULLER reports from Edgbaston.