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Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Other Sport: Rudolph and Kemp gives SA hope

Jacques Rudolph (60 *) and Justin Kemp's (27*) gutsy partnership has given South Africa some hope of saving the first test at the WACA amidst some curious decisions by the umpires and questionable bullying tactics by the Australians.

At tea South Africa survived a wicketless afternoon session under enormous pressure to give the team some hope on saving a test match they really, for a better word, butchered. Taking into account the commanding position South Africa enjoyed after day one, they really should have done better.

But yet again, the boys from SA did not capitalize, this time, with the bat. Also throw into that equation seven dropped catches, curious no ball and LBW calls by the umpires and one would be forgiven to think how the hell they survived this long.

The drop catches of course is very disappointing and should be of great concern to the captain and coach. There is simply no excuse how a team of international standard drops so many catches in one match and expects to be competitive.

But the dropped catches apart, South Africa seems to have been hard done by yet again, and it seems the Australians play the game under a different set of rules to South Africa if their behavior on the pitch is anything to go by.

Charl Langeveldt managed to get Hodge caught brilliantly by Rudolph on the 4th day, only for Billy Doctrove to deny South Africa the wicket by calling a no ball, which, in following replays, showed that it was indeed a legal delivery.

Doctrove made another dubious decision by giving Prince out LBW on a delivery that clearly raised some serious doubts whether it would have hit the stumps. This of course, could be due to the fact that the Australians, and particularly Warne, put the umpire under tremendous pressure appealing for almost anything, a tactic the ICC has warned many other teams about, but somehow obviously does not apply to the Australians.

Ponting should find himself in some serious hot water after clearly taking the umpires on at the close of play yesterday, after the umpires offered the light to the batsmen, who obviously took it without a moment’s hesitation. The ICC, who is quick to take action against teams and players from other countries who makes themselves guilty of ill conduct, will hopefully address this issue swiftly and decisively, because it was a clear case of bringing the game of cricket into disrepute, judging on some of the past decisions made by the ICC.

However, on a positive note, Jacques Rudolph at last displayed some of the talent and mental strength many of us knew he had. Together with Kemp, he might have just saved the test for South Africa, and it will be hard for the selectors to leave him out of the team for the Boxing Day test match judging on this performance. It will be interesting to see what the selectors do, when a fit Jacques Kallis returns for the Melbourne test.
Just like WP have Gus and Lions have Jorrie. We need white quotas so that the 'swart gevaar' dont take over...  
Shimange is WP's 2nd best hooker!!  
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