Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mickey gets the chop

Wow, so much for consistency. I'm truly shocked that Mickey (and bowling coach Vincent Barnes) have been given the boot, with the team just days away from leaving on a tough tour to India.

It seems Mickey has fallen out with some of the senior players, mostly notably Smith, and when you add that to world cup failures and fluffing our lines once we reached the top of the test rankings...well, maybe its not THAT surprising.

On the bright side, my humanitarian nature was already getting ready to offer some Pakistan players a chance to join my backyard cricket league. Now maybe I can get a coach as well.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

JP Duminy - Bowler who can bat a bit

JP Duminy now has a test bowling average of 29.4. That's better than Paul Harris. That's better than Graeme Swann. Better than Flintoff, Kumble, Singh, Lee, Afridi...

That's better than Ajantha F***ing Mendis.

Look out, India, Duminy is coming for you!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


On Monday Mickey Arthur said the following:

[quote]"We probably have to gamble because we have to win. So our style of play will be important, our brand will have to be more positive and maybe we'll gamble with the pitch as well."[/quote]

But then today Smith said this:

[quote]"I disagree with people saying we have to gamble. Precision will be the key, we have to get our basics right."[/quote]

Right, got that lads?

Personally, I hope we do gamble. And not just by asking for a grassy pitch or, gasp, going in without a spinner (although recently we've been effectively doing that anyway). No, I want to see some real risk taking.

If we lose the toss, I want Smith to offer Strauss double or nothing if we can toss again. If we bat first I want to see Smith striding in the general direction of the wicket with a blindfold on. When we bowl I want us to start with the same field we had at the end of the first test.

We can do this!

I think I'm suffering from heatstroke.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Graham Onions

Why can we never get that sonofabitch out when it matters? Bah, you know what? As disappointing as that was for a South African fan, the cricket fan in me absolutely loved it. Test cricket at its very best.

Well played, England.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Referral system saves the day

Actually, it might have just saved Daryl Harper's life. Harper's finger went up after a half assed edge down the legside appeal against Ashwell Prince. Prince quickly asked for a referral and was so sure he wasn't out he was actually grinning as he did so.

Replays showed his bat was nowhere near the ball and the decision was overturned. What the replays also showed was that Prince was kinda walking in the direction of the changing rooms directly after the appeal and Harper must have assumed he was walking.

The scary thing is that while it was clearly a misunderstanding, I can't imagine Prince could have talked his way out of it if there wasn't the system in place. In fact, trying to do so would probably have resulted in a huge fine.

I was completely behind the new referral system before this incident but it probably needed a real ridiculous decision to be corrected in order for some of the on-the-fence-ers to see the benefits of the system.

Friday, January 1, 2010

What went wrong?

A year ago things were so bright on the test front. Having beaten Australia and England away. Not to mention a very unlucky drawn series in India. Finally top of the world. Only, it seems we didn't know what to do once there. Being so focused on getting to number 1, its as if once we achieved that lofty goal we said to ourselves "job done".

Say what you want about the Aussies but they ruthlessly pressed their foot down on the rest of the cricketing world for over a decade. They never seemed to think to themselves that they could now ease up.

The word "consistency" was heralded as a big reason why we did so well in 2008. But I wonder now if its that same consistency of selection that is partly to blame for players being too complacent. I mean, Ntini is averaging 57 this year and its clear that he just doesn't have that zip anymore. Yet, Mickey still seems to be behind him - saying today that one should give "iconic players longer to perform because they have earned it and deserve it".

Can you imagine and Aussie selector saying that? Those guys are ruthless. If you perform poorly, cheers buddy.

Thankfully, we're now in a position where we're "chasers" again. It's going to make for an interesting Newlands test match, that's for sure.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bloody South Africans

It was a thrilling end to classic old school (ie, a bit boring) test match. South Africans blunted the attack of South Africans while South Africans watched on in dismay. Fortunately, when those annoying South Africans got out, England did one of their trademark collapses. The stunning comeback was foiled by Graham Onions who blocked out Ntini's final over despite a crowd of thousands around the bat. I would have thought that Onions would have realized that the storybook nature of sport required that Ntini, in his 100th test match, get the match winning wicket off the final ball.

So, we basically failed to win because of South Africans and Onions not watching enough sports films.

At this point I should apologize to Friedel De Wet. I won't, but I probably should.

For he bowled really well in the second innings and has rightfully added his name to the mix of half a dozen fast bowlers in contention for a test spot. I think I'd still drop him when Styen is fit again, but Morne and especially Ntini didn't exactly set the world alight.

Both sides should be stronger for the Boxing Day test. I would say South Africa have the upper hand but after the ding dong nature of the tour so far its hard to guess which England and which South Africa will show up.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 1 - Trying not to lose

I was aghast at seeing Friedel de Wet in the starting 11 this morning. And I never get aghast! I hope he's been magical in the nets - I'm talking bowling deliveries that blink out to another dimension as the batsman looks set to play his shot, only to then reappear INSIDE the middle stump - because the only other possible reason for his selection is that he blew the entire team and coaching staff.

With Friedel in the side, Kallis not able to bowl, a long tail and the team having not played test cricket since the start of the year, one would have thought England would really want to nail home a 1-0 lead.

Instead they also chose only 4 bowlers, which is even more of a puzzler considering the batting qualities of Broad, Prior and Swann.

Thanks to Kallis (You're welcome, Anon) SA have a good foundation to build on, but the draw is still looking like the most likely destination. I guess both teams would be thrilled with that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

1st Test

I have to admit - I'm more than a little nervous. Looks like SA are going to go in with just 4 bowlers. 3 pacemen. 1 of whom has been carrying an injury.

Sure, Duminy can help out but if even one of those 3 seamers has a poor test or even worse, pulls up injured, we are well and truly fucked.

Our top 6 (okay fine, Bouch, top 7) is as strong as we could hope for but we've still got quite a weak tail.

On the other hand, English are rubbish so I predict an easy win.


Friday, December 11, 2009

From the mailbag

Today someone left this charming comment in response to my previous update.

Nice call, Darren. I sold my house, my car, and most of my pornos. I went the the Tab and put it all on an Saffer win. My family in tow, holding luggage stuffed with money and jewellery. I even got them to accept the luggage in lieu of cash. The guy asked me "are you sure?" I nodded eagerly, dreaming of the riches on offer on the other side of the punt. My family watched the rain from outside a tv shop with only newspapers to shield our named bodies form the cold. My little one, Sachin sadly died because of exposure, but that was ok. We would get a new baby delivered to our mansion within a week. I watched events unfold. The rain on the 90 inch HD tv screen in the shop window was even colder than the rain pelting down on Sachin's lifeless cold little body lying in the gutter. When the match was a no-result, I knew my life has become a no-result as well. I bought a gun, and I'm holding it to my head as I type this. Hopefully one day soon I'll be able to afford bullets. Fuck you, Darren. Fuck you Commentary Position. I hope you're happy now.

Dear anonymous, when life hands you lemons...go double or nothing. If I may be so bold - Jacques Kallis hundred in the first test.

Friday, December 4, 2009

5th ODI - Thrill of the fight

Sell everything you own and put that money on a HUGE South Africa win in tonight's final ODI match against England. I have such faith in the outcome that I'm even willing to risk your future financial security.

You see, it dawned on me that both sides have clearly been studying Rocky films, where the linguistically challenged boxer would swing a hay-maker for every punch, never offer anything in the way of defense and most crucially, would alternate between getting the shit kicked out of him and then wiping the floor with his opponent.

SA got slapped around last Sunday but we're heading into the final round. The strains of Eye of the Tiger are building. We all know where this is heading.

Take it to the bank. Thank me later.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kallis Bowls Maiden Over

I was perusing the FHM 2010 calendar when my eyes were drawn away from breasts to the only thing that has the power to do so - the word "Kallis".

As it turns out, Miss January is Shamone Jardim, who is most famous for being the lucky girl that gets to snuggle up to Jacques on nights when Mark Boucher isn't available.

Accompanying her half naked photo was a brief interview and when asked if she had ever batted against Kallis, this is what she said.

I have! I once faced him in backyard cricket at a braai. He decided to bowl full pace at me with a tennis ball. He hit me on my toe. I dropped like a stone!*

This is why we need Jacques back in the team ASAP. If he's not even going to take his foot off the pedal for his model girlfriend then he's certainly not going to give anything less than 100% for The Proteas.

* It was hitting middle and off, as if you needed to ask.

Friday, November 27, 2009

AB wants your kids

Okay, yeah yeah, great knock today. The team were fantastic. England were awful. Blah blah.

Of far greater importance was the advert I saw after the game. AB, who has never met a product he wouldn't put his face on, showed off his awesome new Off The Wall Ball!

AB's pitch detailed the story of a young lad who had nobody to toss with...err...toss a ball with, who can now toss solo and sharpen his hand eye co-ordination.

But I have a couple concerns.

1 - This isn't a "ball"

2 - Talking about young boys, tossing and then throwing in that phallic shape is a little troubling.

3 - Even worse, surely the skill sharpening it fosters is less likely to produce a kid who is good at catching a cricket ball and more likely to produce one who is good at grabbing onto penises.

4 - The main feature of the ball is that it is designed to bounce off a wall and back towards you. Even better, the harder you throw it - the harder it will come back at you. I can't believe nobody ever thought of that before.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"SA Bowlers Are Crap", says Vaughan

I paraphrase, but that's the gist of it.

What he ACTUALLY said was:

"I thought to start with it was going to be a real tough trip but I'm quietly confident. I think we'll win. I also look at South Africa, and their bowling attack doesn't put the fear of life into me."
Here is a picture of Michael Vaughan at his most "fearless" against SA.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Credit to England. Sunday's performance was almost German like in its efficiency and SA were definitely a bit below par in the batting and bowling departments...and lets face it, there aren't exactly a whole other departments that matter.

Parnell is back and will almost definitely play on Friday. Morne Morkel is also back in the squad. And so is prize knobhead, Herschelle Gibbs.

There's of course talk to Roloef has lost it. Albie can't hack it as a proper batsman (I loved how they finally had a chance to give the guy the opportunity to build an innings and they totally bottled it). Langeveldt isn't fit. Mclaren isn't quick enough.

I'm all for asking questions but Jesus, can we at least calm down till we play a second match? No? Okay, fuckit. Call up CJ De Villiers!

Friday, November 20, 2009

10 questions for SA - ENG

The first ODI is about to get underway and I thought I would post up the questions that this ODI series poses for the SA team.

1) Can Alviro Peterson contribute enough at number 5 to keep his place in the team and is he really a better option than someone like Justin Ontong, who is used to batting that low and can contribute with the ball as well?

2) If Alviro doesn't do enough, will they consider opening with Loots instead and just moving everyone else down a place?

3) Can Albie Morkel step up as a number 6 batsman and deliver more than 45-50 over cameos?

4) Is it wise to drop our two spinners approach that has served us so well for the past 12 months, simply because they struggled in one key game in the Champions Trophy?

5) And is Botha, the hero against Australia earlier this year, really the one who should be dropped?

6) Can Ryan Mclaren do enough in the first two games to keep Parnell out of the team when he becomes available for the 3rd ODI?

7) Will we even manage to get a game of cricket today with the weather looking bloody awful up in Joburg as we sweat our asses off here in Cape Town?

8) Will Trott and KP hum along to the words of the SA national anthem in their heads?

9) Will Darren rue his decision to do ten questions instead of a much more manageable six?

10) Can Kallis adopt his game to opening the...what am I saying, of course he can!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kallis eats humble pie (no fat jokes edition)

Did I say eats? I meant Jacques Kallis IS humble pie.

When responding to Kevin Pietersen calling him "the greatest cricketer that has ever lived" (which sounds like I'm joking but its true and is probably the smartest thing that Kevin has ever uttered), Jacques had this to say:

"But you've got to look at the stats - sure, the runs might be there and the wickets might be there, but we're playing a lot more cricket these days than the guys in yesteryears. I'm sure that if they'd played the amount of cricket that we play today, they would have achieved what modern-day cricketers achieve as well.

"If you play long enough, you're going to have a few runs and wickets behind your name," he laughed.

Look, Jakes is a nice guy so he didn't want to admit the obvious. Luckily, I'm a dick so I have no problem revealing the truth of the matter.

Kallis would have smashed worked around the likes of Lillee, Hadlee, Barnes and Marshall to all corners of the ground.

Then he would have taken the ball and cartwheeled the off stump of Richards, dismissed Gavaskar LBW, induced the edge of Bradman and dived at second slip to catch a WG Grace shot. All in consecutive deliveries.

Cricket started the day I watched Kallis in his first game for Western Province and cricket ends the day Kallis hangs up...errr...puts down his bat.

That's just the honest objective truth of the matter.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This Man Is Now Your Problem, England

It's the early Christmas present I've always wanted! Robin Petersen is no longer eligible to play for South Africa!

Armed with a batting average of fuckall and a bowling average of shitloads, Robbie P has decided to persue options of a Kolpak contract.

The sad thing is that I should LOVE Robin. I love left handers because I'm a leftie. I love spin bowlers because I'm a spin bowler. I love middle order hitters because I drink beer. Unfortunately, Robbie was never really very good at any of those disciplines.

My favourite Robbie P memory is of Brian Lara carting him to all parts of the Wanderers for a world record 28 runs in one over in a test match. The sequence was 4, 6, 6, 4, 4, 4.

Robbie, please email me. roscoepalm@gmail.com. I'll pack your bags myself and carry you to the airport on my back with a big smile on my face.

There's only space for one Petersen in SA anyway. His name's Alviro.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Todays game was a bit like...

Stick Cricket come to life.

It seems almost a shame to break up the Bosman and Smith partnership for the ODI's.

Portly power hitting FTW.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What SA Batsmen See When Confronted With A D/L Chart

"Ah fuck it. Let's just knock the singles and let the chips fall where they may"

Monday, November 9, 2009

Good thinking

I was initially thrilled to hear that Albie Morkel would be moved up the order for South Africa and be considered as a batsman who can bowl (badly most of the time) a bit. There's no room in a team for a specialist "last 5 overs batsman".

The added bonus would be that Bouch would drop down where he belongs - number 7. A very good keeper with lots of experience in finishing games, that is the ideal spot for him.

Unfortunately, I happened to watch most of the game yesterday, in which Bouch came in at 4. 4!!!

Thankfully he floundered around for 18 and with Kallis and Duminy due back, he'll hopefully never bat that high again. There's absolutely nothing embarrassing about being a keeper and coming in at number 7, yet one feels that it can only be Boucher's seniority that keeps him coming in ahead of more viable candidates.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

17 000

Today I got a score of 17000 on my favourite computer game. In as humble terms as I can muster, this is potentially the greatest achievement of the century thus far.

Sorry I have nothing to say about cricket. There's just nothing happening right now.

But fear not, South Africa play Zimbabwe this weekend. Finally some excitement!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

40 Over Fix

Tonight the new local 40 over tournament has begun. 40 overs instead of 45! Powerplays around every corner! Extra batsman or bowler! Time outs! Half time strip tease by Brett Proctor!

What more could we ask for?

Apparently quite a lot, since there were more people watching Roscoe and I play street cricket with a tennis ball than there are in The Wanderers tonight.

The format is only half the battle. The other is the "give-a-shit-a-bility". During the Champions Trophy Roscoe told me, "It's great to finally give a shit about The Cobras again. And by the way, you're abs are tremendous, Darren."

Until they find a way to make the contest feel as though there is some drama and some stakes at play, they can mess around with the format all they want and it won't make any difference.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stephen Cook becomes a man

Unfortunately, this story isn't about a young man remaining a virgin for far too long (for that story, wait for my autobiography). Instead, this is in acknowledgment of Stephen Cook's mammoth innings for The Lions this weekend.

Stephen batted for 838 minutes, which in more relate-able figures is 20 episodes of Dexter, facing 648 balls and managing 390 runs*.

That's the highest SA first class innings, absolutely smashing Cullinan's record of 337. It's also the 4th longest innings in first class cricket worldwide.

SA are looking for a test opener. Would it be too much of a knee jerk reaction to suggest we might have found one?

He's now experienced enough and his first class average of 39 and change is better than that of the heir apparent, Imraan Khan. Hmmm...

* Thami Tsolekile made 141 in the same innings. Make of that what you will.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Opener confusion

A few weeks back I think most felt that Prince would be given the chance to continue as an opener for SA in the upcoming test season. That was before taking to the position, for the Warriors, like a duck to lava.

He's now been dropped down the order and wouldn't you know it, his innings back in the middle order and he smashes a 150 against the Lions.

So where does that leave SA? Your guess is as good as mine. I see that Kallis is going to be given the job of opening in ODI's now. Would opening the batting in tests really be that wild of an idea?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cobras vs Trinidad

The game is about to start and I'm genuinely excited about it. I just wish this could be the final. Twitter style updates as the match goes on...

- Christ balls! Gibbs is starting. Watch the bastard score a half century to try and make me look bad.

- Engelbrecht isn't playing. Pity, I was hoping to finally work out exactly what it is he does other than field like a Jonty Rhodes on crack.

- Cobras win toss and bat. Probably a good move but Trinidad do seem to chase particularly well.

- Gibbs helps the Cobras to 18 off the last powerplay over. What an ass!

- Gibbs should have been given out stumped but the cricket Gods intervened to remove his leg stump in the following over.

- Kleinveld vs Pollard. The battle of the happy meal champs.

- Kleinveld out but that little experiment worked out quite nicely. 180-200 is on the cards.

- Wow, great acrobatics on the boundary for Pollard. He chased down that ball like it was the last hamburger on earth.

- Duminy is pure class. I would literally have sex with him given the opportunity.

- Rampaul bowls an incredible final over to restrict Cobras to a decent 175. Will need to bowl out of our skins.

- Bloody hell, these guys can bat.

- Bloody hell, that was a stupid run to attempt.

- Henry just dropped the world cup. And gets a thumbs up from the bowler for his efforts. I think I would have used a different finger personally.

- And he drops another. Can't blame the guy, he probably just wanted another thumbs up.

- Ontong drops a sitter of his own. Someone give him a bloody thumbs down!

- Only Langeveldt can save the Cobras now.

- Well done Trinidad. I blame Gibbs.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Drop him

Enough is enough. 3 scores of nothing and pulling out of another game because his head wasn't right (when is it ever?) is all that Gibbs has had to show for the Cobras so far. Sure, we'll need some great hitting to overcome the fantastic Trinidad team in the semis, but Brand's fantastic cameo in the match against Victoria showed that he's no wilting flower with the bat in hand.

I'm so over Gibbs. And Hitler. They're both dead to me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

At what point do we get worried

As we mentioned before, Ashwell Prince is being groomed to open the batting for SA in tests this season. His debut for SA in that position against Australia was a huge success and at the start of this season he has taken to opening for his local team - Chevrolet Warriors. Smart move but so far its not exactly panning out. Prince's opening bat scores this season are as follows: 34, 0, 8, 1, 1

Not exactly very reassuring. There's still a long time time before the England test series begins but a few good scores from Imraan Khan might give the selectors something to think about.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CJ the real deal

Just witnessed the Eagles - Sussex game going down to the wire. Mclaren hit a 4 off the last ball to tie the game and send it to a Super Over. The champs league format is 6 balls with the team that can get the most runs off those 6 balls winning. However, if you lose 2 wickets then the "innings" is over.

So the Eagles bat first and they get a modest 9. Sussex come out to bat against CJ De Villiers. First ball of the over, off stump out the ground. Second ball of the over, off stump out the ground. Game over.

CJ is really becoming an amazing prospect. If he isn't in SA colours sooner rather than later, I'll shave Roscoe's head.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


99* off 52

Wow, what a knock. After the nerves in the field I didn't hold much hope in the Cobras, my home team, chasing down 181. Gibbs couldn't even rise to his usual level of "flatter to deceive", so the responsibility fell on JP Duminy's shoulders, and boy did he carry them over the line.

Having played key roles in South Africa's failure to get across the line in the T20 semi final and against England in the Champs Trophy, it was great to see him so in control and actually finish the job. Here's hoping that experience will be put to good use next time he's in the Proteas jersey.

The Commentary Position Copyright © 2009 BeepTheGeek is Designed by Gaganpreet Singh