After two hard fought and closely contested games on Saturday, which were a great advert for the game of cricket, it was all ‘after the mayor’s show’ yesterday as Pakistan outclassed a poor South African team who are now officially out of the World Cup.
Let’s be totally candid, South Africa have been playing outdated, insipid cricket for the whole tournament with their tactics more akin to those that England were rightly pilloried for after the 2015 World Cup. Once again, many of their batsmen got off to a slow steady start but none of them were able to convert their innings into something substantial, leaving the tail with the hopeless job of needing 12 runs an over plus when they came in. It’s a shame in many ways as South Africa have always been there or there abouts in major white ball tournaments, but a mixture of poor coaching, ponderous batting and strange team selections have left them massively behind the 8-ball. It would not surprise me if heads roll on their return to South Africa and we have probably seen the last of the likes of Duminy, Amla and Tahir (who has bowled pretty well TBF) in their white ball team. Even Graeme Smith was mystified at the approach his team took in trying to chase down Pakistan’s score:
As for Pakistan, this was one of their better days of the tournament. Haris Sohail came into the side and looked a class act with the bat, which has many of us scratching our heads as to why they stuck with Shoaib Malik for so long, with good contributions from the two openers and Babar Azam, who I’m a huge fan of. Their bowlers also offered a lot more control as both Wahab and Amir, the latter of whom is having a stellar tournament so far, bowled with pace and accuracy as well as their spinners bowling with control and good variations. Pakistan are not out of this tournament yet and if they continue to play like they did today, then they are a threat to any team; equally they are also able to fall flat on their face like they did against India, you just don’t know with Pakistan.
As for today’s game, we head back to the Kolpakshire Bowl for a strong Bangladesh team against an Afghan team that were so close to beating India on Saturday. Bangladesh will naturally start as favourites with their star all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan lighting up the tournament so far, but it will be interesting to see if Afghanistan can maintain the same level of intensity that they showed against the Indians or whether they will be unable to shake the disappointment of Saturday’s result.
As ever, feel free to share your thoughts below:
This one is hard to call. Lot is going to depend on the pitch I think, if it’s another sticky wicket then it’ll be a close game, but if there’s something in for the seamers, I think that gives Bangla a slight advantage.
Bangla have more batting class, but as AFG showed against India, on the right pitch that gets levelled out.
If the pitch is anything like the one used in India vs Afghan game, then I expect the Afghan bowlers to be a handful
Bangladesh also might be comfortable with a pitch which reminds them of home conditions
Bangladesh are the stronger team, but I predict a mud wrestle if Afghanistan bowl first like Saturday
The only good news South Africa supporters have received in 2019, was that Duminy announced his retirement from ODIs a couple of months ago. To be effective AFTER the World Cup. A decade too late, but hey, small blessings … How that guy managed to forge a 300-internationals career out of one innings in Australia is a mystery for the ages.
Tahir did the same thing, but at least he was an integral part of the team, and he performed up to the end. No problems with him being in the team, even if age is catching up with him (he is 40 now).
Too little batting in the squad, too little bowling in the squad. You can’t expect 4 players to carry 5 or 6 passengers every time. I have said it before (maybe not here), but the South African middle order is easily the weakest among the established teams (if you want a Duminy-Miller partnership batting for your life, you have a massive death wish).
Think Bangladesh will win today’s game. These are wickets they are not unfamiliar with, and they have quite a few useful spin bowling options themselves as well.
I can only assume the reason they persist with so many aging or unperforming players is they have nothing else. I dont know what the state of play is with youth development in SA, but it would appear the cupboard is empty. You hear stories of little money, and poor administration.
it would have perhaps been better to bring in some new young faces, (even if they are not as good) and give them this World Cup as experience rather than stick with the failed older ones. They have no choice now with players retiring, and others hitting 40.
It looks like they will become a bit like the WI with players choosing to play outside the country to earn a meaningful living, and then join up to play for SA if wanted.
Pretty much. Central contracts are worth more in the Caribbean than they are in South Africa. Players-board relations are not exactly on a high to say the least.
There are a few people who have not been tried (and should be given a go, but CSA is also in the unfortunate position that if they give a young talent 10 games they’ll be Kolpakked before any return of investment can happen. See Duanne Olivier and Simon Harmer for just two examples of that.
So that leads to a situation where CSA can only trust a handful of players not to forsake them the moment a county comes with a bag of money, partly funded by CSA (talk about perverse incentives to not compete with England!). Those are the big stars like Rabada, and the mediocre ones like Duminy and Miller.
Which in turn leads, specifically among the bowlers, the select few to be overbowled and over-utilised. Rabada is barely 24 years old, and has already bowled 11 000 balls in his international career (and he has to play IPL just to make a decent living, unlike the English / Australian players who are on well paying central contracts). That will shorten his career undoubtedly as well.
The whole AB saga illustrates that point. Who would reasonably expect an international star to play international cricket for a year for some pocket change (and it is not like you can prove much in low-profile series), when they can earn 10 times as much for a 6 week gig?
If luck is on the side of South Africa will be the next West Indies. If they are unlucky, more like the next Zimbabwe.
Solid play by Bangladesh, managed to score enough to make it hard for AFG, whose batting is a bit weak. They can collectively chase 250, but struggle to get more on this kind of surface. (Obvs, scores are pitch dependent.) They also lack a batsman who can put in the big overs to relieve the pressure, so if you can turn the screw a bit as Bangla did well, then wickets can come.