The week that was in SA sport
1 A FOR AMLA
THERE COULDN’T HAVE been a much tougher first assignment for Hashim Amla as Test captain than a series in Sri Lanka.
So, who would have thought the Proteas would come away from the first test with a 153-run victory in Galle, the Sri Lankan fortress, to boot?
I t speaks volumes for Amla’s debut as captain, which included a very positive declaration.
Dale Steyn gave another man of the match performance with 9-99. He is a bowling machine. “Numbers, stats . . . I don’t even know how many Test wickets, I have to be honest with you. I j ust enjoy running i n, bowling quickly and trying to knock over batsmen,” he said.
Steyn has 371 wickets from just 73 matches at an average of 22.72 and that’s why he is the number one ranked Test bowler in the world.
But the win in Galle also left a bitter taste in the mouth.
Vernon Philander, SA bowler, was found guilty of ball tampering. Cricket South Africa (CSA) reportedly put pressure on the TV producers not to air the footage as it could “create a negative image” of the team.
It’s a fail on both accounts.
2 SHARKS ALIVE
IT WAS ALMOST a case of déjà vu for the Sharks – a dominant scrum against the Highlanders but nothing to show for it.
This time though, the Sharks managed to scrape through 31-27 and avenge their earlier season defeat against the New Zealanders and now head to Christchurch for a Super 15 semi-final against the Crusaders.
Jake White’s men are the underdogs but will have belief after their famous win there during the regular season.
How about a Sharks win coupled with a Brumbies victory over the Waratahs and the final comes to Durban?
Meanwhile, the Griquas have secured Currie Cup top flight status and Eastern Province were the “unofficial winners” of Craven Week.
3 NO COMMENT
“WE’VE GOT A GOOD STORY TO TELL.” This was one of the favourite lines used by Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula but as soon as the story is ‘ bad’, there is no accountability or responsibility taken.
After the suspension of Boxing SA (BSA) CEO Loyiso Mtya for the second time for alleged corruption and making sexual advances towards female boxers, the minister had no comment. His office merely said: “Regarding the appointment of CEOs, the minister appoints persons who are recommended by the board to his office.”
The last nine out of 10 BSA CEOs have not finished their contracts.
After spending more than a week i n Brazil for the World Cup, Mbalula is now in Scotland for the Commonwealth Games.
You wouldn’t expect him to miss a ‘ good whisky opportunity’.
4 1ST HOLE NIGHTMARE FOR ERNIE ...
ERNIE ELS’S BID for another Open championship was left in tatters after just one hole at Royal Liverpool. Els’s tee shot at the first in his opening round missed the narrow fairway and hit an elderly spectator flush on the jaw. “It looked pretty bad, with blood everywhere – I hope the gentleman’s better. It was like a bullet coming at him. I talked to him, but he was in a daze. We’ve all hit spectators before at some time, but nothing quite as bad as that. It was difficult to concentrate on the golf after what happened,” Els said of the incident.
The ‘ Big Easy’ proceeded to three-putt from a foot at the first hole for a triple-bogey seven and an opening round 79.
Els battled back in the second round but missed the cut by six shots. Charl Schwartzel was the best SA player, tied for seventh, six shots behind a very popular winner in Rory McIlroy.
And a big boost for SA ladies’ golf with Lee-Anne Pace, finishing in a tie for fourth at the LPGA Marathon Classic.
Pace pocketed close to $60 000.
Ryan Kankowski grabs the ball for the Cell C Sharks in their game against the Highlanders.