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Proteas Bloom

The single biggest reason why I enjoy a South African victory over an Australian side, more than one over the English, is that the Aussies are usually much more competitive.

I was fortunate in that flu kept me in bed yesterday, which allowed me to follow most of the match live.

Graeme Smith earned his Captain Courageous title when he batted with a broken hand against England. AB de Villiers certainly deserved something similar yesterday when he refused to leave the pitch after cramp set in, and was hardly able to hobble between the wickets for single runs. The one six he hit in the process of collapsing in pain bears testimony to why Virat Kohli rates him as the best batsman in the world.

Faf du Plessis enjoys the challenge of playing against Australia, and recorded his maiden test and ODI centuries against them. It was particularly challenging to time the singles right after AB developed cramp, but Faf managed to curb his nerves about the nearing century to time the milestone perfectly.

There is still work to be done for both sides.

The Aussies have not played competitively for five months, and the rust was evident from the two dropped catches when AB was in the eighties. They will be back with a vengeance.

Our bowling was not on par, and asking Wayne Parnell to take the last over after his first six overs leaked 46 runs was a mistake. McLaren may have been a better option, but then, hindsight is always a perfect science, not so? A bit of fine tuning in the nets, and in the match against Zimbabwe tomorrow, should see us being even more competitive when we next face Australia on Tuesday.

These flu attacks are very intermittent – it seems to affect me more on match days than others. In addition, I have eye problems – I cannot see myself coming to work on those days.

Curriebeker Aksie

Die Pumas speel Vrydagaand tuis teen die Sharks. Dit gaan vir beide spanne ‘n groot uitdaging wees, met die gashere wat uitstekende ondersteuning op hul tuisveld geniet. Die Sharks sal diep moet delf as hulle dié een wil wen. Jaques Botes speel sy 150ste Curriebeker wedstryd vir die kusspan na hy in 2002 by die Pumas begin het.

Die derby in Kimberley sal soos altyd klipharde rugby oplewer. Die Vrystaat sukkel met beserings, en om dan nog boonop met die Poubloues op hul tuisveld af te reken, gaan voorwaar iets besonders van hulle vra.

Die Bulle en die WP se stryd op Loftus sal soos altyd titanies wees. Na die loesing op Nuweland sal die Ligbloues graag wraak wil neem, maar beserings aan sleutelspelers, en spesifiek op losskakel, kan die uitvoering van hul wedstrydplan erg in die wiele ry. As hulle taktiese skopwerk nie op die tiekie is nie, gaan die opwindende agterste driehoek van die besoekers hulle met rente terugbetaal.

Die Leeus sal hul besoek aan die Oos-Kaap graag wil gebruik om verlore aansien te herwin na verlede week se loesing teen die WP. Carlos Spencer en sy troepe, daarenteen, sal die tuisveldvoordeel wil gebruik om hul eerste oorwinning te behaal, hoewel dit baie gevra is teen die formidabele Leeus.

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