Tag Archive: proteas


Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

…No! It’s Jonty!

And with one scoop of the ball and full-on dive into the stumps, Imzamam Ul Haq was run out and Jonty Rhodes changed cricket fielding. For. Ever.

jontydive

Until that point i had kinda watched cricket a little bit and tried to pick a guy – Richard Snell – to be my guy. But to me it was this weird, alien confusing beast that kept getting me to peripheral glance towards it and acknowledge its presence with a slight nod, but not too much more.

In that moment i suddenly had a guy. And a reason to watch. And support. And embrace and wear all the highs and lows [and believe me there were lows – being a South African cricket supporter is somewhat like winning free tickets to an 8pm movie screening at Cavendish, before realising, as the lights go down, that it’s to watch Adam Sandler’s latest ‘thing’.] that come with it.

Being a Jonty supporter was the same. As much as he was the world’s best fielder EVER [and i will gladly punch anyone on the nose who suggests Ponting or Gibbs was better] his batting regularly left a lot to be desired and his career was marked with a series of almosts and could haves and not quites… with the occasional 50 or 100 every now and then just to timeously extend a lifeline to his career for one more series. But his fielding made up for it. “15 to 20 runs on the board before he even went in to bat”, they would say.

catch2

And they were right. But it would be a year later, in Mumbai, that would prove it to the world.

On paper the result would look like a normal, if not sub par result. South Africa beat West Indies by 41 runs chasing a meagre, by today’s T20 standards, 180 which they had scored for 5 in a whole 40 overs [Now they do it in 20 without blinking].

But it would prove to be a day that would set the cricketing world alight as on the 14th November 1993, Jonty Rhodes [who had already scored 40 off 42] ran and dived and threw himself around and at the end of the night held the world record for cricket catches in an ODI by a single fielder.

5 catches in all. And it happened at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai.

What was particularly incredible about the achievement is that Rhodes did not field at slip, where you could understand five catches being taken, especially with South Africa’s famed fast bowling attack. He fielded at point, and at least 3 of the 5 looked a little something like this:

jontycatch

Magical. Mesmerising. Miraculous.

The Brabourne stadium in Mumbai erupted, not unusual for an Indian stadium packed to the brim, even though the home team was not even playing. Fireworks and chanting and banners and celebrating all over the place being the norm. It was like no place on earth could have topped it at that very moment…

…excepting perhaps for the lounge of 18 Markham Road, Claremont.

where a series of five over-the-top-throat-numbing screams had prompted a knock on the front door…

on the front door of the house, separated from other houses in the street by the usual driveways and gardens and gates…

and an obviously irritated neighbourly father figure looking at me sternly with ire bleeding from his eyeballs…

“Can you please keep it down. My children are trying to sleep.”

“Mmm… bye.”

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

This was my latest offering in a series of Tandem Blog posts where we are given the title and this week nine of us valiantly attempted to write our most inspired piece thereon. The other legends, who i encourage you to go and read are:

Cath: https://cathjenkin.wordpress.com

Scott: http://squidsquirts.blogspot.com

Kerry: http://www.kerrycontrary.com

James: http://www.jamespreston.org

Megan: http://www.meganshead.co.za

Sarah: https://medium.com/@ricegirl2

Dave: http://bloggsymalone.wordpress.com

Nick: https://medium.com/@nick_frost

[To read the stories that have happened in the journey so far, click here]

Another World Cup, another sad day for South Africa.

But a happy day for New Zealand who did outplay us in a tight match and after 8 semi-finals make their first one, so maybe this means a little bit more to them. At least we won’t be labelled with the ‘Choker’ moniker except by shtupidheads who don’t understand the concept.

proteas

There are definitely some things i would have loved to have gone differently:

# i would have definitely gone with Abbott over Philander

# i would have liked it not to have rained [which i don’t think helped us with AB and Miller about to hit overdrive]

# i would have loved for those two run-outs and those drops and that other third thing to have gone the way we wanted it

But none of those things caused us to lose. We lost because on the day New Zealand played a better game and well done to them.

If you are throwing IFs and BUTs into today as to why South Africa lost [as the South African public, and maybe every other public? i dunno, it seems like we do it a lot?] then you can also add if the chances QDK and Amla gave in the opening overs of our batting had gone to hand [we would have been even less runs for two] and if they had called for the review that would have given one of our earlier players [forget who?] out LBW with all the boxes red and ticked and if they had made those runouts of AB and Miller and and and…

i am learning [would love to say “‘have learnt’ but i fear i have a long way to go] this lesson from tbV – i love to analyse games, and maybe that’s a guy thing cos i tend to hear this from the dudes, and so when i lose a game of Settlers of Catan [i know? but it happens! ha!] i tend to explain all the reasons why it happened – “The Dice was landing on fours the whole game” or “If i had got to that harbour first” or whatever it is…

Which is great for me. Analyse the game. Know why i lost. Understand how to do better next time.

But is pretty crappy for Val. “Oh, by the way, the only reason you just beat me there is because of something that went wrong, and not because of your skills and brain and strategy or anything like that. i was unlucky.”

Which is really horrible!

i know this cos i have had it done to me – win an amazing strategied game and have someone complain about the dice landing on 8 the whole time [so my excellent strategy of building on 8 worked, then?] or whatever it is.

We do it and it sucks and we need to stop.

Yes we are very very sad that the Proteas lost. But we need to give New Zealand their moment of being really really glad that they won. Especially in a game where there was no obvious sledging or bad sportsmanship or dubious decisions. We lost because we lost early wickets and were too slow in rebuilding. We lost because Mccullum went huge and it came off and he nailed the run rate for them. We lost because having lost to Pakistan and India in the group matches we finished lower than New Zealand and needed a win more than just a draw to get through. We lost because of a great Corey Anderson, Grant Elliott partnership which we desperately needed to break but couldn’t. And more.

Well done New Zealand. Well played and all the best in the final ESPECIALLY if it is against Australia [although it won’t be!]

And let’s keep our IFs and our BUTs at least until their celebration has died down. And then if there are things to learn [like taking Ryan Mclaren along on tour with you] let us learn them and let us bounce back and not lose any ODIs for the next four years to show we are the best.

There almost always has to be a winner and a loser in a team game. And that doesn’t mean we have to throw ridiculous untrue words like ‘Choke’ at our team [they are the first team to achieve a knockout win in a World Cup game after how many attempts?] and it doesn’t mean that the loser is necessarily crap or needing to have a whole lot of IFs or BUTs to cushion it – it could just mean another team did better on the day, and we’ll get them next time!

So proud of the Proteas. You played your hearts out. And doing that and losing is more than okay.

jontyi was there when Jonty Rhodes did the unthinkable, throwing himself through the air and demolishing Inzamam Ul Haq’s stumps to run him out and change fielding in cricket forever.

Well, i mean i wasn’t actually there, but i was at home watching on my tv and my love affair with cricket had just recently started and that moment sucked me in and injected some cricket-watching D.N.A. into my blood.

i was there for the disappointment of 22 runs off 13 balls becoming 22 runs off 7 balls becoming the ultimate ignomy of 22 runs off 1 ball – still, it was England bowling so anything was possible. But that loss hurt.

As did the Allan Donald run-out in the Lance Klusener world cup where he had saved us game after game but this was one game too many. As had the Herschelle Gibbs “You just dropped the world cup” catch and the Steve Waugh century that followed. And that Zimbabwe game that came back to haunt us…

As did the misreading of Duckworth Lewis.

As did the demolition by New Zealand.

But this year was meant to be our year. With AB Devilliers on an all-time high and with Hashim Amla dominating attack after attack, with Steyn destroying and Tahir picking up the pieces, and with Faf and Miller finally gaining some consistency and scoring some regular runs. i have never been more confident before a world cup that we had the team to win it.

Then came the Zimbabwe game. A little too close, but we were warming up into it.

And the India game. That hurt. And i really thought we had the team to chase an even bigger score had they gotten it, with India looking like one of the weaker attacks in the competition.

We needed to have a big one to restore my confidence and West Indies was that.

But then Pakistan and a target we really should have gotten to took the air out of my lungs again. Was this going to be another one of those world cups.

proteasAnd today, as we head into ‘battle’ with Sri Lanka, and a team we really should be capable of beating on most days, i think most people believe that we are going to find a way to lose it. My stomach is part of those most people. My head is screaming at me to just give in and admit that it’s probably going to happen. My Improv partner-in-rhyme Megan Furniss has probably run out of nails pre-game and is chewing on a corner of the sofa [she’s probably not!] and as much as she desperately wants to believe [and will be stressed out by my optimistic tweets throughout the game no matter how it is going] she is strongly suspecting that this will be a repeat…

But against all that, i choose to believe!

This is going to be different.

Today is the day we win our first knockout game and the impetus from that will propel our confidence to new heights and make the next two a breeze in comparison.

This. Is our world cup final.

Today.

And i choose to believe.

Nervously, for sure.

But because i KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that we have the team to do it. We don’t need to play an exceptional game of cricket. We just need to play our traditional game of cricket.

i’m not sure if they’re going to do anything different at the top because QDK has been killing us with his nervousness and bad run of form. If he gets going and gets going well it will be game over before it starts. But will they drop him down a little in the hopes that we can get a solid opening platform – Rilee and Amla or even Faf and Amla. But if he does start, then he really needs to get a score – even a quick 30 off 15 will be good enough to get us out of those starting blocks at pace.

We have the team to do this. AB needs to not be doing it alone.

It is time for the fire to be lit. And for the game to be won. Come on ‘boys’ – i believe in you.

Who is with me?

[And whichever way the result goes, i back you guys – you have entertained me well through the years – you’re my team, win or lose. But win!]

This is a classic from Stephan Pastis and i am posting it in honour of all my Americanese friends over there [and some crazy South Africans and Americans over here] who will be completely glued to their television sets in a few hours time, for a few hours time…

On the one hand it is so much of completely true:

pearls before superbowl

And on the other hand, it’s going to be pretty much the same from my side [and others around the world] in just a few weeks time when MY South African Proteas cricket team [you know, the one i own] beats all the other countries in Australia/New Zealand and brings home the world cup…

So your chance today, but know that mine is coming. May the right team win.

[For more fun Pearls before Swine strips, head on over here]

yesterday tbV and now my friend as well, brian watson, dropped in for a visit… from South Africa, brian is in the middle of doing his PHD in Arizona in stuff you would have to hear to not really understand [altho solar power and keeping particles the right distance from each other and a billionth of a meter thin wire all enter into it] and it was great to get to see him.

he is actually spending most of the weekend with a friend of his in NYC so trained his way through to hang with us from yesterday afternoon and then left eeearly this morning…

what was really cool was that in the village house over a snack and then later on the train and then outside Mad Mex bar and then on the train and then during and after the potluck we had a number of significant conversations. at least a week’s worth altho probly closer to a month or a year for a lot of people i know.

real talk. about real things. life changing things. frustration with wanting church to get it a little bit closer to God’s way things. relationship things. community things.

[and actually we did touch on sport and movies and food in there but the point being that we spent so little time together – relatively – and yet the conversation was so rich]

i hesitate to finish with a challenge cos i suspect the kind of people who read this blog are the kind of people for whom rich conversations are the norm – not necessarily every one, but at least sometimes, and preferably often. and so maybe the challenge is more about challenging the people you know who can get through a year or a month or a week’s worth of conversations and only have dealt with the latest or rehashed information about food, sport and movies.

our time with brian left us feeling like we’d grown a bit and hopefully he did as well. we got stuff to think about and hopefully gave some. as a result of some of the talk that happened things will probably change, maybe in small ways, but maybe later in larger ones.

i still want to be able to quote Monty Python and get amped when we thrash the Aussies in the coming cricket test match and defend Michael Schumacher’s comeback [give him a car, Ross!] and do weird and silly voices with Monkman and get amped for coffee and chocolate and mashed potato… but at the same time i want to grapple with the problem of the drug dealers on our doorstep and try to figure out how to do community living better with the people we live with, and discover how Jesus and His teaching translates to the Puerto Rican people who live across the road from us and figure out how to improve the aft6er school homework program and formulate an opinion on Occupy Philly and and and…

let’s practice speaking more life, more meaningfully and more real. ly.

is it just me or is this one of the most ridiculous sporting statements EVER since the days of Murray walker in Formula 1 talking about how a driver being overtaken was a great tactical move that would come into play later… the headline was “Conditions should suit us”

“New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum thinks his side’s greater experience of conditions in Mirpur could give them the edge over South Africa in their quarter-final clash on Friday. New Zealand will have bitter memories of the ground – it was here that Bangladesh beat them in four successive one-day internationals in October last year – but those games will at least have given them in-depth local knowledge of what to expect.”

so in a nutshell Brendon, you’re saying that because this ground was the setting for your team’s worst humiliation in recent years, you have the upper hand…? got it.

click here to read the rest of the article which i found here – http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc_cricket_worldcup2011/content/story/507688.html

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