Proteas

Biff running into UK form

2013-05-07 14:02
Graeme Smith (Getty)
Cape Town – Cricket South Africa are anxiously monitoring his slightly troublesome left ankle, but it seems to be a case of “so far, so good” for Graeme Smith in the lead-up to the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in the United Kingdom next month.

Smith is finding a measure of consistency at the crease after a tentative start to his new responsibility as captain of county outfit Surrey, which will be heartening news for the Proteas brains trust ahead of the event.

The burly left-hander has been struggling for first-knock runs, particularly, in the four-day County Championship, but registered an unbeaten 48 in the second innings of a drab “London derby” draw with Middlesex at Lord’s recently, and on Monday followed it up with a breezy 74 as his charges smashed Hampshire by nine wickets in the Yorkshire Bank 40 limited-overs competition.

The visitors were bowled out for 228 off the last ball of their 40 overs and, with Smith to the fore, Surrey cantered home in only 31.2 overs in reply.

“Biff” amassed his runs off 55 deliveries with 10 fours and a six, and was involved in an opening stand of 162 in just 20.3 overs with unbeaten century-maker Steven Davies.

National coach Gary Kirsten and company will be heartened not only by Smith’s apparent clean bill of health at this point – though the ankle has recurring flare-ups – but also his improved form at a good time.

South Africa’s Champions Trophy campaign starts against India in Cardiff on June 6, and Smith’s 193 ODI-cap experience could be vital, particularly in the absence of his old senior ally Jacques Kallis, who a little unexpectedly declared himself unavailable last week.

Smith has not been in vintage touch for the Proteas at ODI level in recent times, but his big-match temperament is likely to be called upon in a big way for the event – he also has rich knowledge of sometimes challenging UK conditions in early summer and a certain aura on those shores considering his Test run-scoring and captaincy exploits over the years.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    proteas  |  graeme smith  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

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
9 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Wednesday, 24 January 2018
South Africa v India, Johannesburg 10:00
Thursday, 01 February 2018
South Africa v India, Durban 13:00
Sunday, 04 February 2018
South Africa v India, Centurion 10:00
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

India may be ranked No 1 in the ICC Test rankings, but after their series defeat to the Proteas, do they really deserve the mantle as world's best?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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