SA bowlers lacking fire

2009-12-17 22:06

Christo Buchner

Centurion – South Africa’s fast bowlers will need to improve significantly on the third day of the first cricket Test against England at SuperSport Park on Friday.

If they don’t up their game, the 418 runs that the South African batsmen amassed in their first innings won’t prove decisive.

The tourists finished the day on 88/1, the runs scored in 23 overs at an average of 3.8 per over.

By contrast, the South Africans took 153.2 overs to reach their total and batted at 2.7 runs per over. With a four man bowling attack, the day could get very long if South Africa don’t strike early.

The English batsmen won’t be bothered by the fact that they are trailing by 330 runs because the wicket is still expected to be in good shape and likely to generate enough pace for the stroke players.

England captain Andrew Strauss (44*) and Jonathan Trott (18*) have already shown their intent. After Alistair Cook (15) became Friedel de Wet’s (1/46) first Test victim in the sixth over, Strauss and Trott put up an unbeaten partnership of 63 runs to get the visitors back on track and eating into the Proteas’ lead.

Jacques Kallis (120, 306 minutes, 225 balls, 16x4, 1x6) added only 8 runs to his overnight score before going after a James Anderson away-swinger and was caught by Paul Collingwood.

It was one of Collingwood’s four catches, which equalled the world record. With the ball following him like a magnet, he blew a great opportunity of holding that record on his own, but missed a simple chance off the bat of Paul Harris (38, 120m, 89b, 4x4) when he was on 24.

Harris was involved in a few stubborn partnerships and frustrated the English bowlers. He joined Mark Boucher (49, 157m, 100b, 6x4) and they added 36, before he and De Wet (20, 82m, 67b, 3x4) added another 37 for the ninth wicket.

The two cover drives that De Wet played for his first runs at Test level would have been the envy of more renowned batsmen.

Swann and Graham Onions (3/86) were England’s top wicket-takers, with Onions also doing physical damage. He flattened Morné Morkel (13) with a ball that lifted sharply and struck him on the side of the face. Harris was also struck by a short delivery.

Where survival was the SA batsmen’s chief aim, the English are batting with purpose in an attempt to haul in the Proteas’ total.

That is why the home bowlers will have to do their bit if they want to prevent a scenario where South Africa are battling to save the Test on the last two days.


  • Michael - 2009-12-18 07:14

    SA bowlers looked very average. I liked what I saw with de Wet. Ntini is way past a threat to batters, he is a medium pacer at best now. Lets see what happens today after 4 or 5 hours in the sun. I still put SA in front after first innings. What a boy Kallis. What do your critics have to say now.

  • CarloV - 2009-12-18 07:44

    Today is the day "booitjies". Come on Frieds - a new day with new challenges. i'll back you all the way!

  • Woden - 2009-12-18 08:24

    The balance of this team could have been improved by De Villiers keeping wicket. If Prince can be made to open, he can keep. That would have enabled another bowling all rounder into the team. De Wet looked ok, but nothing special.

  • Dgs - 2009-12-18 08:54

    If we do not get a couple of quick wickets this morning, then I'm afraid we could be up against it as Strauss and Trott looked far more comfortable at the crease than did any of our batsmen (including Kallis). They also seem to be scoring far more freely than did any of our batsmen (again including Kallis). JP said in an interview after the close of play that " you never really felt in". Looking at Strauss and Trott, I'm not so sure his statement has merit.

  • gph - 2009-12-18 08:56

    hahaha, have you seen the track, christo? it is just about as flat as flat can be. days two and three are famously the best for batting, and if the sun continues to beat down, i suspect that batting today will be even easier on an already easy surface. if de wet and harris can bat as long as they did, any sensible person would conclude that the wicket is not tough. so basically the headline is ridiculous, and your article so far off the mark it makes me wonder why you wrote it. obviously the bowlers will have to do their bit if we're to win; that is the very reason why bowlers are included in cricket teams.

  • StuartW - 2009-12-18 09:43

    A pity AB dropped Strauss in the first over, could have made a huge difference to the game.....

  • @Stuartw - 2009-12-18 10:07

    It was Cook that was dropped by AB in Ntini's first over and not Strauss

  • StuartW - 2009-12-18 10:53

    Sorry mate, but Cook is right handed and was caught by Boucher of De Wets bowling...Strauss is a lefty and he was dropped by AB...go have a look again....

  • @Stuart - 2009-12-18 11:33

    Cook is also a left-hander, don't know which math you are watching.

  • Mickey - 2009-12-18 11:53

    What do you call the two guys who are not South African on the field when SA play England? UMPIRES

  • StuartW - 2009-12-18 12:36

    If you say so...could have sworn he was righthanded....sorry...must have been the ice cold beers fault...thanks for the answer...

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