The week that was in SA sport

Finweek English Edition - - LIFE - BY GRAEME JOFFE

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.

Hashim Amla

Ryan Kankowski grabs the ball for the Cell C Sharks in their game against the High­landers.

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