The Second ODI – South Africa v England

The first thing about this game is why couldn’t they make it a day-nighter, the bounders? I’m off work and don’t want to be getting up at 8am to watch this stuff. Very inconsiderate!

There is one thing we can say about this ODI team. There’s a buzz about them. The attitude change is absolutely magnificent, giving them a greater chance with the bat to protect the weaknesses with the ball. 300 is not a bad score, but it’s not a guarantee of success any more. 350 is now where you feel pretty comfortable, though not always so. I was watching the highlights of the Manuka Oval game between Australia and India, and the 349 target looked totally within reach when Kohli and Dhawan were going at it. But 400 and you can cover a multitude of bowling sins. That England are getting up over 350 is so bloody refreshing it’s like actually realising that this game exists…

I’ve said a number of times on this blog, most notably before last year’s World Cup, that the most difficult task this team has is to make England fans care about ODIs. For too long the travails and failures have been shrouded in the defeatist notion that we simply aren’t any good at this format. It’s nonsense. Now these guys are proving it. I think I’m correct in saying that this ODI team’s batting line-up all made their debuts before the World Cup (except Sam Billings). This unleashing of a new mindset, which, as we all know will have its ups and downs, should mean that when we bat well, we win. That has not always been the case – we’ve settled for 300-320 (and less).

Tomorrow’s match at St. George’s Park is, according to some of the previews I’ve read, going to pose a much different challenge to Bloemfontein. Kepler Wessels, in his column in the Cricket Paper, believes that it might be the surface that helps the bowlers the most – it’s a slow pitch (I’ve seen many critics of the test wickets there). This will be an interesting test of our mettle if this is the case. The upcoming World T20 is going to be played on slow wickets, and adaptability is the key. They showed in UAE that they could tailor their approach to the conditions and still be explosive. It could be a fascinating match. One thing Kepler said in his piece that is clear; these are two batting sides, not bowling sides (although D’Arthez might have more to say on the home team’s selection policy).

It is going to be a keen weekend of cricket. As an appetiser we get the second match between New Zealand and Australia, with the World Champions (minus some key bowlers) given an absolute thumping in the first game. We have the IPL auction, and while I’d imagine most of the limelight will be on how much the great unwanted goes for, it will be interesting as well to see if Jos Buttler is selected (and if any other Englishman are picked up). If he isn’t then I’m really not sure what is going on. We also have the U19 World Cup with England taking on Sri Lanka in the Quarter-Finals. Bangladesh beat Nepal today in the quarters, and when the associate team had Bangladesh at 98-4 chasing 212, might have sniffed a real live chance. Namibia get to play India tomorrow, and reading Tim Wigmore’s piece in The Cricket Paper, the scale of this achievement for the associate team is not to be underestimated. I’m sure the Associates will be firmly backing Giles Clarke in his pursuit of the ICC leadership!!!

I know this preview is a completely different in style to The Leg Glance, who is hob-nobbing it this evening (to be very clear, I mean having a cup of cocoa and bicuits) while I’ve been on the lime and soda elsewhere, but it’s what makes this blog tick. It was the same first Friday in February last year that something quite major happened to this blog, but more of that later…. let the gift keep on giving!

Comments on the game below. Of course. And have a super weekend.


26 thoughts on “The Second ODI – South Africa v England

    • northernlight71 Feb 5, 2016 / 10:54 pm

      Plain or chocolate hobnobs? It’s IMPORTANT to know 🙂


      • thelegglance Feb 5, 2016 / 11:24 pm

        Er. Well more sort of wine, champagne and Sri Lankan food really. Imagine my surprise when Dmitri reminded me there was an ODI tomorrow and shouldn’t we do a preview. Oops.


  1. fred Feb 6, 2016 / 2:22 am

    I’m very off topic I know but I just wanted to pop in to say goodbye.

    I stopped participating here a little while ago, because other things took me away, but I will always value the authentic skepticism that defines this blog.

    Arron/noc, simonhholdingahighline, angryredsquirrel, lordcanislupis, legglance, and all the rest of you: your analysis and counter-argument has been brilliant, and has inspired me. Cricket benefits from having fans like you. Humanity benefits.

    My feeeling for the Guardian has changed from affection to irritation to anger to contempt. Uphimself-Selvey has been a big part of that, but the rest of the paper has become dubious too. I found a great site which I would encourage everyone to look at, as it calls out the Guardian and everyone associated on its lies and deceptions:

    There has been two very important things reported in cricinfo this week, namely that Giles Clarkes’s accension to ICC Presidency is not assured, but more breathtakingly, that the Big Three Heist may be unravelled. Fundamentally important issues for cricket. Did you read any of this in the Guardian? In your dreams. It remains silent. I now have contempt for that paper, thank goodness we have cricinfo. And if you look at you’ll see what other lies it peddles.

    I’ve had a great time interacting with people like zepherine, quebecer, mouthofthemersy, humptydumpty, ianrsa, pepp, yossarian, heiro, jno, etc. Brilliant people all, but it seems the westcork-lunatics have overtaken the asylum. (Pink Floyd…the lunatic is on the grass…). Maybe oneday I’ll come back to engage and dispute and mock, but for now, all Im interested in is cricket and honest reporting.

    This is a great blog. Godspeed to you all, bless your skepticism, your intelligence, and your passion for cricket.

    For me, I’m waiting for Buvama and Rabada to go to Australia and kick some Australian arse. Can’t wait to see it.

    See you round.


    • nonoxcol Feb 6, 2016 / 9:27 am

      Hey Fred
      Great to see you here again, if only briefly. A bonus, having already had a visit from IanRSA.
      Hope you saw the tweet I posted on ‘A New Hope’ yesterday. Therein lies one explanation for the disastrous slide in Guardian cricket coverage. Though what the sports editor is thinking remains a mystery.
      I try to remember that those “lunatics”, in general, know a lot less than the likes of us, because they simply haven’t consulted as many varied sources. That was never better exemplified than at the time of the original Big 3 takeover. Still doesn’t make me any more likely to engage, because encouraging wider reading and an open mind has manifestly failed. They would rather treat Giles Clarke’s representative on earth as if he possessed the wisdom and judiciousness of a far-sighted king.
      Thanks for everything. Hope we meet again.


    • fred Feb 6, 2016 / 11:45 am

      Thank you my friend.

      I was talking about the English with Mrs Fred last night. We were agreeing that although both of us were predisposed to despise you lot, (her being French and therefore automatically contemptuous, and me being Australian and therefore automatically skeptical), we both secretly think the English culture and society is wonderfully open and sophisticated. It’s showcased at its best on sites like this.

      No I didn’t see your tweet, could you link to it?


      • Mark Feb 6, 2016 / 11:52 am

        Fred, sorry to see you go.

        While I can understand why you would Dump the Guardian (anyone with any sense is doing so) why leave this site? You don’t have to come here every day like some of us obsessives. Dip in and out as you feel. It’s always interesting to hear an opinion from down under. I get the feeling that more Aussies are challenging their system a bit too these days? Channel 9s coverage for example, and some of Rod Marshs selections!!

        As you say Nothing wrong with skeptics and skeptisim. In fact, in these days of conflicted media and dishonest governing bodies we need more of it.


      • fred Feb 6, 2016 / 3:17 pm

        Thanks Mark.
        No criticism of this site intended. But sometimes I feel the need to watch it without any commentary from anyone. It’s like listening to music.
        Other things happening in my life too.
        Sorry, I have a blind spot regarding Rod Marsh. I can’t imagine any criticism. It would be like saying Allen Border drinks slightly chilled chardonnay: defamatory. “…c Marsh b Lillee” is formative for me.
        Keep up your skepticism.


      • nonoxcol Feb 6, 2016 / 5:16 pm

        Check out the comments below the article ‘A New Hope’ on this blog.
        Or, perhaps more satisfyingly, put ‘Giles Clarke 60th’ into Google, and click on the first result.


      • fred Feb 6, 2016 / 7:31 pm

        “The mother of all parties”. Now my disillusionment is complete. But why did I ever expect otherwise? Curse you for having directed me to that.
        I’m not going to read the new hope, I don’t have the courage.
        I’m just going to watch cricket now. When I’m stronger I will engage again.


  2. LordCanisLupus Feb 6, 2016 / 6:21 am

    Australia making 282 look like chasing 150. Warner and Khawaja hugely impressive as an opening partnership.

    Really surprised at all the empty seats at the Cake Tin. Not sure what the crowd is – the stadium does hold 34500 – but I thought this might be a big deal down there. Maybe one of my New Zealand commenters has a view?

    UPDATE – 22000. Doesn’t look like it, but that’s a decent old crowd.


    • Vicky Feb 6, 2016 / 11:35 am

      Hi I received a mail about a post you wrote on Feb 2nd called Outside Cricket but I bang find it on the site. Has it been deleted?


      • LordCanisLupus Feb 6, 2016 / 11:39 am


        I’m messing about with the scheduled post feature on WordPress, and set the post for Tuesday. Accidentally I picked the wrong Tuesday, so I quickly changed it. I think one person got to read it!

        It will be out on Tuesday 9th February.


        • Vicky Feb 6, 2016 / 11:43 am

          Ok Ta. I’ll stop theorising about various conspiracies (you guys being nobbled by the ECB Lawyers etc) and wait for the post.


          • LordCanisLupus Feb 6, 2016 / 11:44 am

            I was hoping no-one noticed it. Now I know an e-mail went out. Damn.


  3. LordCanisLupus Feb 6, 2016 / 6:42 am

    Two wickets in two balls. Game back on. Warner doesn’t have free rein to go at it now. But you sense he doesn’t need to stay their for too long to get the Aussies back in firm control.

    Here’s Maxwell. Lord knows what he’ll do.


  4. LordCanisLupus Feb 6, 2016 / 6:49 am

    KP to Pune for £350k approx. Rahane, Steve Smith, MS Dhoni and KP in their team. I imagine their bowling will be rank.


  5. LordCanisLupus Feb 6, 2016 / 6:51 am

    Jos Buttler goes to Mumbai for more than KP. – about £380k I think. Can’t deal with lakhs and crores.


  6. pktroll (@pktroll) Feb 6, 2016 / 8:20 am

    Good start from the left arm seamers in the ODI in Port Elizabeth. There is a fair bit of seam and swing on offer and they have taken advantage so far. SA have lost Amla and De Kock has struggled so far. If anything the pitch seems more like and English low seamer, which may help explain the early success.


  7. Mark Feb 6, 2016 / 11:45 am

    This will be a good test for this New England team today. 260 odd to get. They don’t have to go berserk and get 350. They should be able to chase this down. But can some of their players be a bit more controlled when they don’t need to keep going for it?

    If they bat the 50 overs surely they must win. Should be an interesting chase.


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 6, 2016 / 11:47 am

      Wessels assessment of the wicket was correct. He thought it would be much harder to score quickly.

      I also agree that this is the sort of middling total on a wicket that isn’t coming on that might be tricky. A fascinating test of our new team.


  8. LordCanisLupus Feb 6, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    Really feel for Alex Hales there. He never looked massively fluent, but he showed a lot of guts and temperament there. Played the conditions only to fall on the cruellest of numbers (well, maybe not as cruel as 0 but you know what I mean).

    Been fascinated by this game. We beed 48 off 7 with 5 wickets in hand as I write. Could be a tight finish. Depends on Ali and Jos.


  9. LordCanisLupus Feb 6, 2016 / 3:30 pm

    And Jos hits three successive fours and makes it just that little less tight.

    FTR – KP followed up his failure in the first PSL game with a nice little 29 not out in a comfortable win for Quetta. Bowling oppo included Mohammad Amir. Luke Wright played another good knock (although cricinfo suggests he was lucky to survive the first over). James Vince made 30 for Karachi.


  10. LeningradCowboy Feb 6, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Butler is in stupendous form at the moment.


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