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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Indian spinners floor South Africa at Cenutrion

I remember this Kiwi Wicket-keeper batsman Lee Germon playing at Chepauk !

Those not following up Cricket regularly would have wondered how a player who has just played 2 ODIs walk for toss with Virat Kohli ~ With Faf du Plessis missing with a finger injury, the SA national selectors decided to enact a plan they’ve had for the future earlier.  Youngster Aiden Markram was  appointed as the stand-in captain of the Proteas for the remainder of the ODI series against India. Markram has replaced Faf du Plessis, who has been ruled out of the series due to a fractured finger. The 23-year-old captained South Africa ‘A’ and the Titans teams this season, and also led the South Africa U19 squad to ICC U19 World Cup glory in 2014.

Centurion in Gauteng Province of South Africa, is  located between Pretoria and Midrand (Johannesburg). Fossils discovered at the Sterkfontein Caves revealed  that hominids lived in the vicinity of Centurion between 2 and 3 million years ago. The Sterkfontein Caves, a World Heritage Site, is less than 50 km from Centurion. The town of Irene was established in 1902 when 337 plots were laid out on the farm Doornkloof.  Centurion developed from the initial Lyttelton Township and it is here that the 2nd One dayer was played today.

Kohli won the toss and opted to bowl … Amla succumbed to a lovely in-swinger  from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, that nicked the inside edge that was gobbled by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.  Amla, who normally walks, reviewed umpire Aleem Dar’s on-field decision, but the ‘ultra-edge’ device picked up the edge.

Cricket is known for its traditions and the game has always been associated with its adherence to strictly go by the rule book. It was on view yet again during the second One-Day International (ODI) between South Africa and India at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday. India, chasing a victory target of 119 to go 2-0 up in the six-match series, were coasting at 117/1 in 19 overs when the umpires decided to take the lunch break! Indian captain Virat Kohli could only laugh it off when South African umpire Adrian Holdstock and his Pakistani counterpart Aleem Dar decided to take the players off. By the time the match resumed, most of the spectators had left the ground and the Indians scored the remaining runs to complete an emphatic win.

The score card reads SA 118 all out and India chasing reached home in 119/1 – that was never thought when they were 39 for no loss or 51 for 1 but all that was changed by a script written by Indian finger spinners.   Bhuvi and Bumrah took 1 each – Yuz Chahal had figures of 8.2-1-22-5 and his partner Kuldeep Yadav  3/20 as they shared eight wickets between them at SuperSport Park, taking their total for the series to 13, as South Africa's biggest weakness was brutally exposed once again. Against wristspin, their line-up is close to clueless, especially without two of their leading batsmen. In the absence of the injured Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers, the hosts folded for their lowest ODI total at home, and their eighth-lowest overall.
Twenty-three-year-old Aiden Markram's international leadership debut on his home ground should have been the stuff of dreams, but it quickly turned into a nightmare. To add insult to injury, India knocked off all but 21 runs of the target by the time of the scheduled lunch break, and play was extended by 15 minutes to allow the result to be achieved. But because it wasn't, the players left the field for lunch with India needing two runs to win from 31 overs.

The cut-off for deciding an ODI is a minimum of 20 overs and in case the rest of the match had  rained off, Kohli and Co. would have been robbed off a certain win as the Indians had completed only 19 overs at the break! ~ but then rules are rules !! The decision was ridiculed by the spectators and the followers. The general feeling was that common sense should have prevailed and the umpires should have allowed an extra over so that the game should have been over much earlier.

While conclucind  Lee Germon  was included in the 1994/95 tour to South Africa when he was taken as cover for wicketkeeper/batsman Adam Parore. On this tour Germon made his ODI debut for New Zealand against Sri Lanka in a rain affected match at Goodyear Park, Bloemfontein he kept wickets as Adam Parore played as a specialist batsman. In that 1st Test against India at Bengaluru in Oct 1995, history was made as  Lee Germon made his debut and captained the side too.  Germon went om  to play 12 Test matches and 37 ODIs for New Zealand.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th Feb 2018


1 comment:

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