SA players limping in IPL ranks

2011-04-23 16:38

Week two of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has not proved to be particularly successful for the South Africans plying their trade in the 20-over competition.

Graeme Smith was dropped from the Pune Warriors’ team ­after a run of low scores which saw him pick up just 36 runs in three innings, while Davy Jacobs was also left out of the Mumbai Indians’ line-up after scoring 35 runs in three matches.

Jacques Kallis suffered a drop in form, as he scored just six runs in two matches, after helping himself to three consecutive half-centuries in his first three games, but the burly all-rounder did good with 40 runs against Bangalore on Friday to entrench his place in the top-five run-scorers in this year’s competition.

However, despite his drop in scoring, Kallis has played a major role in propelling the Kolkata Knight Riders into semifinal contention, despite the tournament still having a long way to go.

But if Kallis, one of only two players in IPL history to have scored more than 1 000 runs and taken 25 wickets, can regain his form and lead Kolkata to the IPL title, he would be assured legendary status in the city of more than 15 million people.

Paceman Dale Steyn, playing for the Deccan Chargers, is comfortably ensconced in the top 10 wicket-takers, but he lost an enviable record when Delhi
Daredevils’ Yogesh Nagar struck a six off the South African.

It was the first six that Steyn had conceded in this year’s tournament, after bowling 113 ­deliveries, which is one of the main reasons that his economy rate is well under seven.

Johan Botha, after a superb start to the competition, which saw the off-spinner employed as a pinch-hitter, has also seen his run-gathering drop off as he was moved down the batting order, but he remains the leading run-scorer for the Rajasthan Royals, despite missing two matches because of a fractured finger.

Botha’s accomplishments with the bat are made even more impressive, considering that Rajasthan boast batsmen of the likes of Rahul Dravid, Ross Taylor and Shane Watson.

Perhaps the best effort from a South African this past week came from fast bowler Morné Morkel. Playing for Delhi against Deccan, Morkel took to the field despite not having eaten for almost two days after suffering a bout of the dreaded “Delhi belly”.

Despite not being at his best, and clearly struggling, Morkel still managed to send down his four overs for 31 runs. His overall economy rate for the entire tournament is just 5.91.

– MWP Media 

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