The end of a Proteas' era

2010-05-10 22:40

Johannesburg - South African limited overs cricket effectively came to the end of an era when the Proteas failed to reach the semifinal of a major ICC tournament for the second time in a row.

Failure to beat Pakistan in their Group E ICC World Twenty20 match at the Beausejour Stadium, St. Lucia, on Monday (they lost by 11 runs) meant that the Proteas were consigned to the foot of the log and had no chance of proceeding any further in the tournament regardless of the result of the final Group E match between New Zealand and England.

The tournament was an exact replica of the ICC Champions’ Trophy tournament in South Africa last year when the Proteas also beat New Zealand but nobody else.

“You can’t go on making excuses,” commented captain Graeme Smith afterwards in a clear indication that change is needed.

Gerald Majola, CSA CEO, said: “The early exit yet again by the Proteas from an ICC world tournament is a huge disappointment to say the least.

“Going into the ICC World Twenty20, the Proteas believed they had all the bases covered to get to the top regarding preparation, skills and support.

“The hardest pill to swallow now is that the squad was not marginally beaten on any of the finish lines, but faltered well short of their targets in the early stages.

“We now await an explanation for this from the team and management.”

In spite of losing the toss the Proteas got away to an excellent start when they had Pakistan three down for only 19 runs at the end of the power play overs.

Albie Morkel bowled the opening over in a change of tactics before the Proteas switched to the orthodox combination of Dale Steyn and Charl Langeveldt. The latter had an excellent match and deserved his return of 4/19 which included two ‘death’ overs.

Pakistan regained the momentum when Smith switched to an all-spin attack with Roelof van der Merwe included as a second specialist spin bowler at the expense of Morne Morkel in the only change to the team that had played the two previous matches.

Van der Merwe went for nearly 40 runs in his two overs and Botha had one of 9 in between as the Akmal brothers, Kamran and Umal, targeted the slower bowling.

When the elder Akmal departed, Shahid Afridi continued the onslaught while the younger Akmal raced to a half-century that earned him a well deserved man of the match award.

The Proteas conceded 92 runs in the period between the fifth and the 15th over and looked set to face an intimidating target.

Fortunately the seam bowlers produced their best ‘death’ bowling performance of the tournament, statistically at least, conceding only 38 runs in the last five overs to keep the target down to a very gettable 149.

As had been the case against England, however, the Proteas produced a very tentative batting performance in the top order and were always well behind the required rate.

There was brief hope when AB de Villiers hit the left-arm spinner, Abdur Rehman, for a four and two sixes in one over to reach his half-century.

The Proteas were still in the game going into the last five overs when they only trailed Pakistan at the comparative stage by 12 runs, but the dismissal of De Villiers, attempting a ‘Dil scoop’, virtually brought about the end although there was some defiant hitting from Botha.

The Proteas needed 19 from the last over from Saeed Ajmal but in the end did not get close.


  • Gen30 - 2010-05-10 22:57

    Drop Smith, Bouch, Kallis and JP, bring in young blood, Rusty, and please forget about Roelf, he is pathetic. Keep Langes, and Botha.

  • Luigi - 2010-05-10 22:58

    Goodness. it's 20/twenty cricket, hardly a major tournament.

  • podl - 2010-05-10 23:20

    Paging Dr Heimlich

  • sias - 2010-05-10 23:30

    Bring back the best coach, Ray Jennings, and a new captain, not a showman

  • Harjinder Gill - 2010-05-10 23:30

    HI! SA fans.......So bad.....again ....again SA could not do up to the hope left.......I can not watch SA cricket more to hurt myself ooh..........

  • lol - 2010-05-10 23:31

    podl, they didn't choke. They didn't even perform. Choking implies you were playing good but faltered when it mattered the most.

  • Cyril Savage - 2010-05-10 23:33

    Smith is tactically inept, his tactics here were a match too late. Should have had two spinners against the Ozzies. Time and time and time again SA lose because of his rigid wooden play. great batsman as he is, he is a kuk captain.

  • Post-IPL - 2010-05-10 23:48

    The Proteas are not hungry for sucess anymore. Just check the enormous amounts of money the Indian Premier League paid for Kallis, Duminy, Steyn, Morkel, etc. Parnell got a R1m without bowling a ball! They were flat and were unable lift their game and compete. Opening the batting with Kallis and Smith did not work. Back to the drawing board. Mickey where are you when we need you.

  • sp00ff - 2010-05-10 23:50

    They didn't even get far enough to choke this time

  • Gen30 - 2010-05-10 23:53

    @Luigi, you better get use to it, T20 is here to stay, Even Strauss being the England Skipper, stepped down from this form of the game, knowing that he is not up to it. Smith should so the same, or step down as Skipper, its the right thing to do on his part, You fall on your sword if you can no longer lead from the front. And He has no leadership skills. To weak. And let's get a Captain that can unite the team, he is not capable of that.

  • mipeda - 2010-05-10 23:58

    Enough is enough, Smith and Gibbs must go. Make Johan Botha captain, and bring back Mickey Arthur.

  • donald - 2010-05-11 00:15

    there is quite an alamring trend creeping into the psyche of SA sportsmen - it's cool to hang out adorned with designer sunglasses and having gorgeous shmodels on each arm but when the time comes to deliver they just "can't go on making excuses" (sic). Pathetic - lose some weight too - you fat overpaid idiots!!!

  • Selvan - 2010-05-11 00:22

    SA urgently needs to introduce joung players like the other big nations . Grame Smith and Kallis must stick to test cricket only . They continuously choke when it matters. I think that a lot changes must be done urgently inlcuding the coach .

  • VinChainSaw - 2010-05-11 00:30

    Hardly worth crying about... its not even real cricket.

  • larry - 2010-05-11 00:51

    Sad, let's fire someone---Corrie---and old showboat Biff---he simply does'nt have it.His insecurity about Johann Botha breathing down his neck finally got the better of him. Bye Greame !

  • Letsdrawpositives - 2010-05-11 00:56

    At least they beat Afganistan so they are not the worst team in the tournament!

  • veebot - 2010-05-11 00:59

    profoons profoons!!!

  • shamiel - 2010-05-11 01:11

    i think its time for Kallis to step down and introduce new players to the team,there are many young talented players out there who could easily out perform them,the entire team is totally pathetic.I dont even bother to bet on them despite been a big fan of the Proteas, they hopeless loosers.Introduce some new players

  • abrar - 2010-05-11 01:14

    SA needs changes from how the game is managed to bringing in new talent and a new captain seems inevitable.

  • Will - 2010-05-11 01:15

    "We now await an explanation from the team and management ..." Now that is the problem - we have a leadership team that is not close enough to their team to know what is going on. Oh I forgot - it is a managment team that does not know anything about cricket ... (I do not need to expand that I guess) ... I can just imagine the Australian head of cricket saying that.

  • William Shakespeare - 2010-05-11 02:07

    Did the selectors not see Johan Botha's natural captainship in those games against Australia, played in Australia, that South Africa actually won? For heaven's sake. Apparently Clive Rice (a winner through and through) also schemes that Botha should be captain. "Botha" is a name that has served South African sport very well. Has a nice ring to it methinks. He also kinda looks the part. Good posture. And I haven't seen him chewing gum.

  • Pieter - 2010-05-11 03:03

    Only pay them when they perform, that will get them going. SA cricket is at the lowest level in years.

  • Stephen - 2010-05-11 03:31

    "They had an era"?

  • KUNZIE - 2010-05-11 03:51

    The definition of the same thing over and over expecting a different result.Proteas tactics since World Cup 2000 has been save wickets for the finishers (Lance Klusener,Justin Kemp & Albie Morkel) to smash the ball in the back end of the innings.Yes these guys were great hitters with wickets in hand but they cannot do it every innings and expiecally not under the pressure of knockout tournaments and our hitters have always struggled against slower and spin bowling bowling.Pakistan knew they were in the game yesterday while all their spinners bowled all day. We have the talent but there is a serious problrm with the tactical approach and we are far to regimented with our batting line up and bowling choices.Morne Morkel should have been in the team not VD Merwe.

  • Peter - 2010-05-11 04:01

    They act like their name. Look beautiful like a Protea on the field but last only a few days. Let them play first against the provisional teams of South Africa and send the winner overseas.

  • dave - 2010-05-11 04:03

    it's tough to be a SA supporter. Kallis thought it was a 50 over match. Kallis, Gibbs and maybe even Smith should go

  • Ossie - 2010-05-11 04:27

    Change the team, it clear that the team with their Captain is in bad shape! There are far better players out there!

  • Mike - 2010-05-11 04:41

    South Africa always look too tense. The Aussies look like they're enjoying it and put the pressure back on the other team. We need to change the makeup of the T20 team. Smith looks punch drunk. Bosman should be given a longer run and I think Justin Kemp and Ryan Mclaren should be in the mix. Gibbs needs to be consigned. I don't see why JP does not get a bowl. vd Merwe doesn't spin the ball and is a waste in my view. We can only afford 1 Kallis. The others have to play their shots. How about: Bosman, Amla (capt), Kallis, de Villiers (wk), Duminy, Kemp, Morkel, Mclaren, Botha, Steyn, Langeveldt

  • Kevin Rack - 2010-05-11 05:08

    Very poor in deed. Funny that our AA/BEE(Pietersen and Kieswatter) discards are performing while the Proteas flounder. Where is Alviro Pietersen that he got selected ahead of Kevin! Funny that!

  • AJ - 2010-05-11 05:18

    The team does have too many passengers. I would like to see Loots Bosman, and some youngsters given a permanent chance in this team in the shortest form of the game at least. Sorry Mark, whilst your keeping is still at required level, your batting is not. Gibbs is not worth 10 bad innings for every good one. Duminy, has wasted a golden opportunity and shgould be satisfied with Domestic cricket and some IPL if he's lucky. Kallis is still performing and performing well (good to have especially with youngsters coming in). AB is not short of talent and can be amongst the best but needs discipline. Bottom line this softly softly run chase approach with singles tucked around the side for a few overs is where we lose the games. This team should be able to get 175 on any wicket. Smith has a lot to answer for here as well.

  • Al - 2010-05-11 05:21

    Poor batting from AB. He hogged the strike while scoring slowly and forced Kallis to play a poor attacking shot, which resulted in his demise. Then he tried to play stupid shots that he can never pull off. Never mind the 2 sixes and 1 four in an over, his batting and decision making was extremely poor. Drop him!

  • Ex SA - 2010-05-11 05:29

    Yip once again....I don't need to say it!!!

  • Simon Says - 2010-05-11 05:29

    Graeme Smith as talented and inconsistent as he is is not a leader or a Captain that South Africa need right now. We need to review the overall structures within SA cricket. We desperately need to appoint Gary Kirsten as the coach of South Africa. He has done an absolutely remarkable job with the Indian side. He also comes from the era where hard work and fitness were essential. Paddy Upton should join him and SA cricket should look to rebuild. India has an incredible amount of talented youngsters that Gary was bold enough to give the opportunity to and many of them have shone. I think Hashim Amla would make a really good captain. He is humble and understanding where Grame Smith comes across as arrogant and autocratic. GIVE THE YOUNGSTERS A CHANCE AND I AM SURE GARY KIRSTEN WILL ONCE AGAIN RESPOND TO HIS COUNTRY IF APPROACHED!!!!! Goodbye Smith.... your captaincy won't be missed!!!!

  • Peter - 2010-05-11 05:51

    No more than expected. How about putting a decent captain in charge that actually cares more about the game than his personal image

  • Gunnerboy - 2010-05-11 05:52

    PATHETIC CHOCKERS !!! Bafana has a far greater track record than the proteas, having won AFCON and reaching semis in CONFED Cup. Let us all support our boys who will surprise us all and reach the semis in the World Cup.

  • Scott - 2010-05-11 05:54

    The selectors must be shagging Gibb's sister.

  • peter - 2010-05-11 05:55

    I have been saying for a while that Smith is not an effective captain. He initially was so much of a hero he eclipsed the team and deprived lower order players of game time. I personally believe he is also a source of contention and loss of confidence inside the team and Arthur's departure pointed to that internal disquiet. I am not convinced he is teachable or leadable and the team is being caught up in the resulting power struggles. Personally, I don't think there is a more natural leader than Johan Botha (who almost saved us last night). Our last real victory (against Oz in Oz), was also led by Botha. He has real onfield presence, confidence and organisational/tactical skills, The team has great talent including Smith, it just has poor leadership - heroism is not enough.

  • Daffy - 2010-05-11 06:02

    Smith must go as the ODI and Twenty/20 captain. Botha did a fantastic job as stand-in captain in Oz. Make him captain for these 2 forms of cricket and foget about van der Merwe, Gibbs and Morkel Jnr. Where was Rusty? Pathetic performance and lousy tactics by Smith!!!

  • Louis - 2010-05-11 06:02

    Sad, really. I thought we'd see an SA squad featuring Kallis lift a World Cup trophy somewhere in his career. It seems very unlikely now. The squad needs a complete overhaul.

  • vince - 2010-05-11 06:05

    agree with Gen30 100% they should have dropped kallis long ago in the 20 format all he wants is his 50 runs if possible at his pace we are the laughing stock of the cricket world

  • ProBotha - 2010-05-11 06:11

    Something seriously wrong with this team. Bring Botha back as Captain. At least won a series against the Aussies. Smith's body langauge not that of a motivating winning captain. Always seems to be at odds with coaches etc. No will to win, no urgency.

  • Martin - 2010-05-11 06:13

    Free at last, free at last, thank God I'm free at last ... That was the last Protea's match I watch, live or on TV with Smith and Kallis in the team. That was more painful than the dentist...

  • Ricky P - 2010-05-11 06:19

    In comparison, only a few of the Australian cricket team members did take part in the IPL. That in itself is an indication of the commitment of the Australian team & probably why they're back as the No 1 cricket team in the world. Go Aussies go, you deserve to be at the top.

  • @ Post IPL - 2010-05-11 06:20

    Parnell didn't get R1m for not playing in IPL u muppet. Het got R6m.

  • Hasie - 2010-05-11 06:22

    The team has been riding on the heritage of Hansie and Polly up to now. Now the old guard are just that - old - and the youngsters led by a pathetic captain aren't up to the challenge.

  • @cyril - 2010-05-11 06:27

    U hit the nail on the head - someone hit Smith on the freekin head so we dont have to put up with any more of his wobbling and whining. Botha is my man for T20 games - lean mean awake and keen

  • wtf - 2010-05-11 06:30

    So easy to blame the players. They seem to have lost all confidence. Why? Maybe SA cricket need to take a long hard look at themselves. Anyone who says drop Kallis, Smith, Bouch has no idea about cricket so please refrain from making comments. Maybe our team also need a little bit more confidence from their fans. Look at India. All the good teams have there "choke" moments. Australia win through confidence and support, not because they have more talent.

  • godfrey - 2010-05-11 06:31 bunch of losers

  • AlienArmy - 2010-05-11 06:32

    Sad to say, but they lost a supporter last night. I just can't watch our pathetic cricket anymore. All it does is ruin my day and make my blood pressure go through the roof!! Every time we have a team on the back foot, we'll do something to let them back in, like bowling 2 average spinners in tandem. Then send Gibbs up the order only to tap it around for singles?!?! No intent, no BMT, no fighting spirit...I'm done!

  • Andre - 2010-05-11 06:33

    Please please get a captain that can either bat or bowl. Smith can't do either, so what use is he? Then JP - ai tog...please leave him out until he learns to play cricket again! Then get a mental coach so these guys can be helped to keep mind on matter when they start playing matches. Can't believe that we can be so good one day, then so pathetic the next day.