Call­ing all Mzansi’s fast and fu­ri­ous ...

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - ASHFAK MO­HAMED

7.30am/9am, SS6/SS7 PGA Tour, Bar­ba­sol Cham­pi­onship, day 2, 11pm, SS6 Rugby: Cur­rie Cup qual­i­fier, Sharks v Valke, 4pm, SS/CSN/Selec­tSA Su­per Rugby, Blues v Waratahs, 9am, SS1/CSN; Reds v Rebels, 11.35am, SS1/CSN; Sharks v Sun­wolves, 6.30pm, SS1/CSN Ten­nis: ATP World Tour 500, German Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships, quar­ter-fi­nals, 10.55am/1pm/3pm/5pm, SS4 SATUR­DAY Box­ing: Pre­mier Box­ing Cham­pi­ons, Ju­nior Wel­ter­weight Fight, Sergey Lip­inets v Wal­ter Castillo, 3am, SS7/MaX­imo WBA Su­per World, Su­per Ban­tamweight Ti­tle, Guillermo Rigondeaux v Jeff Dick­ens, 10.50pm, SS7 Cricket: First Test, Eng­land v Pak­istan, day 3, 10am, SS2 Cy­cling: Tour de France, stage 14, Mon­téli­mar/Vil­lars-les-Dombes Parc des Oiseaux, 208km, 2.10pm, SS5/MaX­imo Golf: Open Cham­pi­onship, day 3, main feed/ad­di­tional feed, 11am/12pm, SS6/SS7 WANTED: Fast bowlers who can pro­pel the South African Test team back to their for­mer glory.

With in­juries hav­ing ham­strung Dale Steyn and Ver­non Phi­lan­der’s ca­reers over the last year, a new gen­er­a­tion needs to back up spear­head Kag­iso Rabada for next month’s two-Test se­ries against New Zealand on home soil.

It is not clear if Steyn will be utilised in the unusual mid­win­ter showdown in Dur­ban (Au­gust 19-23) and Cen­tu­rion (Au­gust 27-31). He is cur­rently fea­tur­ing in the T20 Caribbean Pre­mier League, af­ter a stint with Glam­or­gan in Eng­land’s T20 Blast, and would not have played any first-class cricket be­fore the Black Caps ar­rive in South Africa.

Phi­lan­der, though, will get a chance to show his readi­ness for the SA A team against their Zim­bab­wean and Aus­tralian coun­ter­parts over the next few weeks.

The two- match four- day “Test” se­ries against Zim­babwe starts in Harare to­day, with SA A trav­el­ling to Aus­tralia for an­other two first-class en­coun­ters. There will also be one-day matches played.

But to­day’s four-day game rep­re­sents a vi­tal stage of prepa­ra­tion for the lengthy Proteas sum­mer ahead, with Phi­lan­der at the fore­front of the pace-bowl­ing at­tack.

A se­ri­ous an­kle in­jury kept him out of most of the In­dia se­ries last Novem­ber and the en­tire Eng­land tour of South Africa.

The 31-year-old played three first-class games for Western Prov­ince and the Cape Co­bras to­wards the end of the sea­son, but now needs to make a big im­pact to claim a place in the Proteas squad for the New Zealand se­ries.

With Steyn and Phi­lan­der side­lined, the Proteas Test at­tack was rather tooth­less against Eng­land, who piled on the runs in a 2-1 se­ries vic­tory over the hosts.

It was only Rabada who kept the English in check, and then pro­duced the re­mark­able fig­ures of 13/144 in the fi­nal Test in Cen­tu­rion, which the Proteas won by 280 runs.

Morne Morkel was out­stand­ing against In­dia, even though he didn’t have much luck in the wick­ets col­umn, but went badly off the boil for the rest of the sum­mer and was re­placed by Rabada as the leader of the Proteas at­tack in the ab­sence of Steyn and Phi­lan­der. PGA Tour, Bar­ba­sol Cham­pi­onship, day 3, 9pm, SS6 Motorcycling: Mo­toGP, Mo­tor­rad GP Deutsch­land, qual­i­fy­ing, 1.55pm, SS8 Nas­car Xfin­ity Se­ries Lakes Re­gion 200, 10pm, SS5 Rugby: Craven Week, fi­nal, 3.00pm, Selec­tSA Cur­rie Cup qual­i­fier, Free State XV v Boland Cava­liers, 4pm, SS8 Su­per Rugby, Cru­saders v Hur­ri­canes, 6.45am, SS1/CSN; High­landers v Chiefs, 9.25am, SS1/CSN; Brumbies v Force, 11.35am, SS1/CSN; Storm­ers v South­ern Kings, 4.30pm, SS1/M-Net; Chee­tahs v Bulls, 7.05pm, SS1/M-Net; Jaguares v Lions, 11.20pm, SS1/CSN Soc­cer: CAF Cham­pi­ons League, Zesco United v Asec Mi­mosas, 2.50pm, SS9 SAB U21, fi­nal, 3.30pm,

Per­haps the Proteas brains trust missed a trick in not in­clud­ing Morkel in the SA A side for the Zim­bab­wean and Aus­tralian fix­tures, but that does mean that the stand­out bowlers from the last do­mes­tic sea­son will get an op­por­tu­nity to stake a claim for the Proteas squad.

At the top of that list is Har­dus Viljoen of the Lions, who got a taste of Test cricket when he made his de­but against Eng­land at the Wan­der­ers in Jan­uary. He didn’t have the best of times, tak­ing 1/79 in 15 overs in the first in­nings as Eng­land wrapped up the se­ries tri­umph with a con­vinc­ing seven-wicket win.

But the strongly- built 27-year-old was still the lead­ing wicket- taker in the Sun­foil Se­ries with 47 scalps, and needs to take the next step onto the big stage by be­ing dom­i­nant against the Zim­babwe A and Aus­tralia A sides.

The se­cond man on the Sun­foil Se­ries list was Duanne Olivier from the Knights, who snuck onto the fran­chise scene with­out much fan­fare last sea­son but took 41 wick­ets in four­day cricket.

The 24-year-old is tall and bowls at a good pace, and is able to swing the ball away from the right-han­der. Olivier was a con­sis­tent per­former for the Knights last sea­son and took his vic­tims in just seven matches com­pared to Viljoen, who claimed his in nine games.

Apart from Phi­lan­der, the other seamer who could put his hand up for higher hon­ours is Lions all-rounder Dwaine Pre­to­rius, who was out­stand­ing with bat and ball in fran­chise cricket last sea­son.

Pre­to­rius was sixth on the lead­ing wicket-tak­ers’ list with 36, and scored 402 runs at an average of 30.92, with two hun­dreds and a fifty.

Proteas opener Stephen Cook will captain the SA A team that in­cludes fel­low Test play­ers Dane Piedt, Sti­aan van Zyl and Dane Vi­las, while Ti­tans star Heino Kuhn would also want to bat his way into the na­tional team reck­on­ing af­ter be­ing the lead­ing run­scorer in the Sun­foil Se­ries with 1 126 – the only bats­man to score over a thou­sand runs in the com­pe­ti­tion. SA A four-day squad Stephen Cook (captain), Qaasim Adams, The­u­nis de Bruyn, Heino Kuhn, Sisanda Ma­gala, Ke­shav Ma­haraj, Duanne Olivier, Andile Phehluk­wayo, Ver­non Phi­lan­der, Dane Piedt, Dwaine Pre­to­rius, Om­phile Ramela, Sti­aan van Zyl, Dane Vi­las, Har­dus Viljoen. SABC1 Ten­nis: ATP World Tour 500, German Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships, semi-fi­nals, 2.55pm/5.30pm, SS4 SUN­DAY Avi­a­tion: Red Bull Air Race, Bu­dapest, first race, 2pm, se­cond race, 4pm, SS8 Cricket: First Test, Eng­land v Pak­istan, day 4, 10am, SS2 Cy­cling: Tour de France, stage 15, Bourg-en-Bresse/Cu­loz, 159km, 12.45pm, SS5 Golf: Ladies PGA Tour, Marathon Clas­sic, day 3, 12am, SS8 Open Cham­pi­onship, day 4, main feed/ad­di­tional feed, 10am/12pm, SS1/CSN/SS6 PGA Tour, Bar­ba­sol Cham­pi­onship, day 4, 9pm, SS6/CSN Motorcycling: IndyCar Se­ries, Honda Indy Toronto, 9pm, SS7 Mo­toGP, Mo­tor­rad GP Deutsch­land, Moto3, 10:45am, SS7/Max­imo; Moto2, 12pm, SS7/Max­imo; Moto3, 1:45pm, SS7/MaX­imo Nas­car Sprint Cup New Hamp­shire 30, 7.30pm, SS5 Soc­cer: CAF Cham­pi­ons League Za­malek v Mamelodi Sun­downs, 7.20pm, SS4/SABC1 Ten­nis: ATP World Tour, German Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships, fi­nal, 2.55pm, SS4

DUANNE OLIVIER: Snuck onto the fran­chise scene

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