Archie Henderson

Make-or-break for Proteas

2007-04-10 10:38

Archie Henderson

The day South Africa played Bangladesh in the Cricket World Cup, a Johannesburg public print bemoaned the "boredom" in the Proteas camp.

Boredom? In the Caribbean? When you are being paid handsomely to play cricket?

It boggled the brain but it did point to a state of mind in the South African camp.

That night suspicions were confirmed when Bangladesh, a lowly ninth on the International Cricket Council's ranking list, played with the vibrancy and passion sadly lacking in the side ranked number one (and since demoted to second place).

As much as they might deny it, South Africa contributed to own their defeat by complacency and their alleged inertia, but the outcome also had a lot to do with Bangladesh's better exploitation of the slow-paced wicket where their three spinners - each a left-armer but each very different from the other - bowled a combined 29.4 overs and took six for 96 to crack the spine of the Proteas batting.

Contain

South Africa had little to offer in return, except the usual pace, and the absence of Andrew Hall left a chasm in the Proteas attack.

Without Hall at the death, Charl Langeveldt and Makhaya Ntini were unable to contain the Bangladeshis, who went on the charge in the last 10 overs.

And unless he does something dramatic in the next three games, Justin Kemp is likely to emerge from this CWC as the most disappointing South African.

Not that he has had much of a chance: he's bowled only eight overs (four of them against the Netherlands, taking two for 18, and three against Ireland).

Against Bangladesh his only over conceded 13 runs and got the Bangladeshis going again after their run rate had slipped to under three an over.

Playoffs

In the eight matches played by South Africa (including the two warm-up games where he did not take part) Kemp has amassed 28 runs. The worst is that, on the turgid surfaces of the Caribbean, he plays with hands made of cast iron when suppleness is required.

Now South Africa's chances of reaching the playoffs rest with a three-team race which includes England and the West Indies.

The crucial game for South Africa looms on Saturday, April 14 when they play New Zealand.

A victory there should inspire them to beat a fragile England, who were not much of a match for Australia at the weekend.

As for the Aussies, they do seem unbeatable and if no one emerges to stop their juggernaut, the 2007 CWC looks to be heading for as predictable and tedious a finale as the one in 2003.

  • Archie Henderson is a former Cape Argus sports editor.

  • Send Archie your thoughts

    Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

    X
    NEXT ON NEWS24X

  • SHARE:

    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
    14 comments
    Comments have been closed for this article.

    Inside News24

     
    /News

    Book flights

    Compare, Book, Fly

    Traffic Alerts
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
     
    English
    Afrikaans
    isiZulu

    Hello 

    Create Profile

    Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


    Please provide a username for your profile page:

    This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

    Settings

    Location Settings

    News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




    Facebook Sign-In

    Hi News addict,

    Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

    Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.