Proteas in England

JP: Proteas’ ‘contract killer’

2012-09-09 09:23
JP Duminy (File)
Cape Town - There is growing appreciation in England for the new maturity displayed by JP Duminy for the visiting Proteas in all formats of the game.

The little left-hander only showed once more how vastly improved a player he is from the one who laboured during England’s visit to our shores in 2009/10, as he helped that established, adhesive batting factor Jacques Kallis make light work of winning the first Twenty20 international by seven wickets at Chester-le-Street on Saturday.

It was a tonic for South African sports fans lamenting respective defeats, in roughly the same 24-hour period, for the national soccer team in Brazil (admittedly only by a 1-0 margin after a gutsy display) and the Springboks in Australia.

Circumstances were uncannily similar to those in the final one-day international at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, as the Proteas quickly lost three wickets - mostly to rash shot-selection - in pursuit of a modest target.

But they breezed home then, and did so once more, this time with Kallis and Duminy the engineers of the inspiring turnaround instead of Hashim Amla and captain AB de Villiers.

There have been a few media and Twitter mutters about the seemingly “shock” decision to rest Amla for the first T20 game, but as De Villiers pointed out afterwards: “He’s scored so many runs ... he needed a break.”

Even the very best batsmen can fall prey to sudden staleness after golden spells (something that has previously happened to heavy-scoring Amla himself) and it is crucially important that he be in best possible mental space for the ICC World Twenty20 which is just around the corner.

So coach Gary Kirsten and company were shrewdly keeping bigger-picture needs in mind.

Besides, the value of giving essential players time off - Kallis sat out the ODI series and had some recreational time in New York - was clearly demonstrated as the evergreen all-rounder looked sprightly in the field and then batted as though he had never left the crease.

Both he and Duminy fell just short of half-century marks in their unflustered, unbeaten knocks, which saw them coolly amass 90 runs for the fourth wicket in 15 overs to grind the hosts into the turf.

The Cricinfo commentary on the match aptly described the pair as “like cold-blooded contract killers in knocking off the runs”, adding that “the psychological blows of the summer seem to have stupefied England, as this was another heavy defeat”.

Andy Wilson of The Guardian, meanwhile, noted in his online match report: “Duminy, another low-profile but vital cog in this efficient South African touring machine, proved the perfect partner (to Kallis).”

During television commentary a little earlier, former England captain Nasser Hussain went out of his way to enthuse that “his (Duminy’s) stock has risen and risen this summer ... you can see why South Africa have stuck with him; he’s become a very organised player”.

It has also escaped few critics’ notice, during the successful overall tour for the Proteas, that Duminy, who developed a bit of a reputation as Graeme Swann’s bunny when England last visited South Africa, has not got out to the highly-touted off-spinner once yet in 2012.

Apart from looking in generally good touch during the limited-overs portion of the tour thus far, Duminy had also continued his resurgent Test form after being less than a guaranteed selection just a few months ago.

Although he did not even get to bat during the first-Test “Amla and Kallis-fest” at The Oval, the Cape Cobras favourite averaged 67.50 over four innings in the remaining two Tests at Leeds and Lord’s.

The catalyst for the Proteas’ clinical victory on Saturday was their collectively polished bowling effort in restricting England to a glaringly inadequate total inside the 120-mark despite the hosts ending with three wickets in hand – a relatively rare occurrence in this format.

Main spinners Johan Botha (anything but a cobwebbed performance after a long off-season by the ‘offie’) and Robin Peterson gave England plenty of problems, whilst Dale Steyn showed excellent rhythm and achieved his most economical figures yet (4-0-13-1) for a completed stint in T20 internationals.

Their stranglehold was illustrated by the home team failing to achieve a single boundary between the 9th and 18th overs.

The series moves to Old Trafford, Manchester, on Monday (19:30 SA time).

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing
 

Read more on:    england  |  proteas  |  proteas in england  |  jp duminy  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Cool Cobras see off Knights

2014-10-22 23:08

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
11 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running
Fixtures
23 October 2014
New Zealand v South Africa, Mount Maunganui 23:30
26 October 2014
New Zealand v South Africa, Hamilton 23:30
05 November 2014
Australia v South Africa, Adelaide Oval 10:35
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

The Proteas' three-Test tour of Australia is:

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.