Sri Lanka in SA
Symmo stands up for Boucher
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Pat Symcox (Gallo Images)
Cape Town – Veteran Mark Boucher has only confirmed that he remains the Proteas’ best Test option as wicketkeeper, insists former South Africa off-spinner Pat Symcox.
The under-fire, 35-year-old gloveman had an excellent first session on day three of the opening Test against Sri Lanka at Centurion on Saturday, first comfortably getting to a timely half-century – he was eventually dismissed as second top-scorer in the Proteas’ first knock for 65 – and then grabbing the first three catches of the Lankan second-innings reply as they crashed to 38 for four and the strong prospect of an innings defeat.
Along the way to his significant and necessary return to batting form (Boucher faced 101 balls and struck 10 mostly crisp boundaries) he posted a record last-wicket partnership at SuperSport Park of 61 with Imran Tahir.
Symcox used Twitter to announce his continued approval for Boucher in the national side: “Boucher’s contribution significant again. Those who think his time is up are wrong.
“There is no-one better right now.”
And in reply soon afterwards to a presumably dissenting tweet from a certain @MacToogie, Symcox added: “Keep playing on your bagpipes, bud! Bouchie is the best ‘keeper-batsman in the history of SA cricket!”
Symcox and Boucher are renowned, of course, for their famous, rescuing ninth-wicket stand of 195 against Pakistan at the Wanderers in 1997/98, in only Boucher’s second Test appearance, when the former notched an unlikely century from the No 10 spot and his younger ally scored 78 against Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar and company.