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South Africa wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock conceded they were caught off guard after Sri Lanka enjoyed the better of the opening day of their two-match Test series in Durban yesterday yesterday. The Proteas were reduced to 17 for three early on, before recovering to post 235 at Kingsmead. The tourists then replied by reaching stumps on 49 for one and in the pound seat. De Kock was the saviour of the home side after he smashed 80 off 94 balls, but he conceded afterwards that it was not an ideal start to the game.
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne concedes that preparations for their Test series against South Africa have not been ideal due to off-field politics with their national board. He was speaking in Durban ahead of the first of two meetings with the Proteas. Things have been going from bad to worse in Sri Lankan cricket over the last few months, with the selectors sacked, the regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal dropped and plenty of other in-house wrangling taking place. Karunaratne says it has been tough to block out what has been happening.
Proteas Women’s captain Dane van Niekerk conceded that their seven run win against Sri Lanka in their One Day International playeds at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom didn’t come easy and gave credit to her death bowlers for winning the game for them. The Proteas had lost the toss and were made to bat posting 225 for 7 and they were able to restrict the visitors to 218 for 9. Van Niekerk says the win is important for her team as they take a one nil lead in the three match series. Van Niekerk believes that they have taken their winning form from a series whitewash in the T20 into the ODI’s and has urged her batters to put up their hands by posting high scores. Van Niekerk scored her maiden century as she struck 102 runs from 117 balls which included 5 fours and a six. The Proteas skipper says all she wants to do is contribute and do well for the team.
The Proteas began preparations for their two-Test series against Sri Lanka in Durban Saturday with rookie batsman Zubayr Hamza hopeful of getting another chance for his country against the tourists. The 23-year-old made his debut against Pakistan last month when he made scores of 41 and nought in the final Test in Johannesburg. Hamza is by no means guaranteed to play when the series against the island nations starts on Wednesday, but says he has been doing all he could in domestic cricket to try and force the selectors to look his way.
Change in culture exposure to international cricket and youngsters help Proteas Women to series whitewash
Proteas Women’s captain Dane van Niekerk believes the change in culture within the team and building for the future helped them tremendously in their three-nil T20 series whitewash against Sri Lanka. The South Africans secured their third victory of the series with a comfortable 39 run win at SuperSport Park in Centurion yesterday after wins in Cape Town and Johannesburg, respectively. Van Niekerk reveals they did some soul searching after their disappointing ICC World T20 Championship at the end of last year. Van Niekerk believes that exposure to the international stage for some of their players has helped instil confidence and belief in the team. Van Niekerk along with five of her teammates are playing in Australia’s Big Bash T20 competition and the Proteas skipper says is good exposure to international cricket and she is hopeful that more South Africans will join the competition in years to come.
Highveld Lions coach Enoch Nkwe is proud by the fact that he has managed to win two out of two titles in his maiden season at franchise level. But he says that restoring the pride of the Johannesburg-based team was far more important than personal glory. The 35-year-old led his team to the 4-Day Domestic Series title in dramatic fashion last Thursday. It was another gratifying moment for Nkwe so early in his career and followed hot on the heels of guiding his Jozi Stars to the Mzansi Super League title in December. But he remained modest about his achievements.
Stand-in captain David Miller was the star of the show as the hosts wrapped up the 2nd T20 International series with a seven-run win at The BidVest Wanderers stadium yesterday. In a rain-affected match, the Proteas finished their 20 overs having totalled 188 runs for the loss of just three wickets. Miller was top of the score board with an unbeaten 65 off 29 deliveries at the backend of the innings. The Proteas won by seven runs to clinch the three-match series 2-0 with the final game to be played at SuperSport Park on Wednesday. Here is Miller with his thoughts of the game.
Pakistan stand-in captain Shoaib Malik says he was told moments before the fourth ODI at Bidvest Wanderers that he would be leading the side after the four match ban handed to Captain Ahmed Sarfraz for racially abusing Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo. Malik says losing the last two games to the Proteas was irritating for the team and that the bowlers set the tone for their eight wicket victory against the South Africans.
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis says the racial slur saga involving Pakistan captain Ahmed Sarfraz during the second ODI in Durban on Tuesday is a matter that the International Cricket Council must handle. Du Plessis, though, says that players should be wary of the things they say especially matters of a racial nature in South Africa. The ICC is investigating the matter and Sarfraz seems set to continue playing and is likely to lead the team in today’s ODI at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Du Plessis also confirmed that the Proteas have forgiven Sarfraz for his comments even though they did not hear comments including allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo who the slur was supposedly directed at. Du Plessis stated that such comments are not to be taken lightly and should not be brushed under the carpet.
The Pakistan cricket team has closed ranks and refused to make comments about the racial slur saga that has engulfed their captain Ahmed Sarfraz. The 18-year-old fast bowler Shaheen Afridi was left to face the media at SuperSport Park in Centurion today, the day before the third ODI but Afridi refused to answer questions on whether Sarfraz would be available for tomorrow’s match. A member of the Pakistan management present at the press conference tried to stop journalists from asking questions about the Sarfraz incident and said they “don’t know what is going on". Afridi says the team is not disappointed at losing the second ODI against the Proteas in Durban on Tuesday and that they are prepared for the third match in Centurion today.
Andile Phehlukwayo described his performance as the best in a Proteas jersey after starring with bat and ball as South Africa levelled their five-match one-day international series against Pakistan with a five-wicket win in Durban last night. The young all-rounder first claimed four for 22 with the ball as the tourists were shot out for 203. He then hit an unbeaten 69 off 80 balls and shared in an unbroken 127-run partnership with Rassie van der Dussen, who made 80, as the hosts won with 48 balls to spare. Phehlukwayo was over the moon afterwards.
Proteas opener Reeza Hendricks has defended their batting in the opening one-day international against Pakistan over the weekend, saying everyone is ready to bounce back and level the five-match series when the second game takes place in Durban today (Tuesday, 22 January 2019). South Africa lost the first game by five wickets in Port Elizabeth, a performance which drew criticism for their batting on a slow St George’s Park pitch. They only managed a score of 266 for two and were blasted for not showing more intent. But Hendricks defended the way they played.
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