Even one who is as sceptical as I am about the fairness of this format of cricket cannot help getting excited about what has happened so far.
In the opening game, the hosts lost a match that was clearly done and dusted (no pun intended) when New Zealand, put in to bat, only managed to scrape together 126 runs. The surprise selection of three spinners proved to be a stroke of genius as the Kiwis bundled out India for a paltry 79 – their lowest ever score at home. The fact that their own snake pit, dug for visiting sides, bit them at the heel, no doubt added immensely to my joy.
The Windies remain my favourite underdog, despite having been disappointed by them so often in the past. Luckily, as a WP and Stormers supporter, I have lots of experience in this regard.
When England hammered 182 runs, I prepared myself for yet another let down. I only planned to watch until my favourite batsman in the world, after AB, was out. This, of course, never happened, and at the end of the match I was still glued to my seat.
What can one add to what has already been written about this weapon of mass destruction? His skull cap/bandana must have given the English bowlers the impression that it was something from Star Wars knocking them into orbit. When a player hits almost twice as many sixes as fours, and in such a calm and lackadaisical fashion, one can be excused for knocking over your glass of wine and not worrying to clean up or get a refill.
And the looks on the faces of the English side?
As my colleague Bobby says: “I think we should start praying today that he goes out early when they play us.”
Coming up this weekend
In our opening match against England we will field the strongest side, unlike the recent series against them at home. We should put up a far better performance, and with the English side still licking their wounds, a fast start may just take the wind out of their sails.
The Australia/New Zealand match will be worth watching as well. No doubt the Aussies would have taken note of the resilience of the Black Caps, and won’t be taken by surprise like the Indian side.
Vrydagaand se wedstryd tussen die Bulle en die Sharks behoort interessant te wees vir verskeie redes. Die besoekers se vertoning teen die magtige pak van die Stormers verlede week behoort die grootste bron van kommer vir die tuisspan te wees, gegewe hul probleem in dié aspek van die spel.
Die Lions sal wil vergoed vir verlede naweek se sukkel-vertoning, en vlugflouheid kan hulle kniehalter in die tweede helfte. Die Cheetahs sal moet kapitaliseer hierop deur nie te laat slaplê in die laaste twintig minute nie. Hulle het dit teen die Sunwolves vermag, en behoort goeie rekenskap van hulself te gee ondanks die feit dat baie kenners reken die Lions behoort die top Suid-Afrikaanse span te wees.
Die Stormers sal ook wil vergoed vir verlede naweek se blapse teen die Sharks, maar die Brumbies is nie ‘n spul hierjy’s nie en gaan dinge moeilik maak, veral vir die agterste driehoek.
Mens hoop altyd die Kings gee goeie rekenskap van hulself. Daar is glad nie verwagtinge dat hulle die Crusaders in Nieu-Seeland sal klop nie, maar hulle bly immers onse mense, en die hoop beskaam ten minste nie.
Lekker sportnaweek vir jou. Laat hy val waar hy wil, solank dit in die regte keelgat is.