Rassie van der Dussen emulated the performances of Graeme Smith and Rilee Rossouw in making a half-century on debut and then Imran Tahir took one of the fastest five-wicket hauls ever to set the Standard Bank Proteas up for a 34-run win over Zimbabwe with 14 balls left unbowled in the opening KFC T20 International match at Buffalo Park on Tuesday evening.

In the end the winning margin looked comfortable enough but it was very nearly a lot closer after Peter Moor hit four successive sixes off the last four balls of Tabraiz Shamsi’s final over and, with the aid of the promising Brandon Mavuta, took 43 runs off 10 balls in the 15th and 16th overs as the bowlers struggled with the dew factor.

Lungi Ngidi, who took a remarkable 1/7 in 3 overs, and Andile Phehlukwayo then closed the game down as Zimbabwe were left wondering what might have been.

As had been the case in the second Momentum ODI at the Mangaung Oval they put themselves in with a good chance when they again restricted the Proteas to a modest total, this time 160 on the back of Van der Dussen’s 56 off 44 balls (5 fours and a six). The debutant was involved in the only two notable partnerships of the innings of 41 for the third wicket with Faf du Plessis and 87 for the fourth with David Miller.

But once again none of Zimbabwe’s top five batsmen were able to bat through to the business end of the innings and it was left to Moor to attempt the near impossible with his innings of 44 (21 balls, 1 four and 5 sixes).

The match had looked over as a contest when Imran took five of the first six wickets to fall as Zimbabwe collapsed to 65/6. He completed his second five-wicket haul in the space of just 17 deliveries and twice took two wickets off successive balls to be on potential hat tricks. His tally also took him past Dale Steyn as South Africa’s leading wicket taker in this format and the first to reach 60 dismissals.

His final figures of 5/23 were South Africa’s joint second best alongside David Wiese with only Ryan McLaren (5/19) having done better.

Quinton de Kock also contributed significantly to the Proteas victory with two acrobatic catches behind the stumps.

Imran was named KFC Man of the Match.

A career-best five-for from Alfred Mothoa handed the Multiply Titans the advantage at the end of the opening day of the 4-Day Franchise Series season against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Centurion on Wednesday.

The medium-pacer claimed five for 55 to help the reigning champions bowl out the visitors for 269 shortly before stumps, before replying with nine for one – a deficit of 260 at SuperSport Park.

There were also two wickets apiece for Chris Morris (2/34) and Shaun von Berg (2/71) as the relatively inexperienced Dolphins batting line-up struggled.

Only Sibonelo Makhanya troubled the home side with his own franchise-best score of 86 (156 balls, 10 fours, 2 sixes) as those around him struggled.

The Durbanites had won the toss and opted to bat at the start, with debutants Grant Roelofsen and Jason Oakes (both 31) putting on a solid 52 for the opening wicket. But after the dependable Vaughn van Jaarsveld was cleaned up second ball for one by Mothoa, the visitors lost their way.

Roelofsen followed not long after, while Senuran Muthusamy (7), Cody Chetty (34), Calvin Savage (15) and Robbie Frylinck (0) failed to assert themselves. It left the Dolphins on 143 for seven in the 55th over and facing an early bowl out.

However, Makhanya finally found an able partner in captain Keshav Maharaj (41), with the pair adding 90 for the eighth wicket to frustrate the Titans. The former was eventually last man out with his side dismissed in 83.5 overs.

The latter then claimed the wicket of Tony de Zorzi (one) to give the away side hope heading into day two.

The SACA MVP is back and 2017/18 SACA’s Most Valuable Player (SACA MVP) winner Jon Jon Smuts will be looking to defend his title as in Domestic Franchise Cricket.

The Warriors captain racked up 479.388 points to end last season 66.974 points ahead of Hollywood bets Player of the Year winner, and SACA MVP runner-up, Senuran Muthusamy.

The SACA MVP uses an internationally recognised rankings system used by several players associations around the world.  It is designed to measure who the key influencers are competing week in week out in CSA’s domestic competitions.

Players earn points for batting, bowling, fielding and for contribution to matches won by their team.  Points are weighted across the different formats to ensure that performances in each match, earn players the appropriate number of points.

The SACA MVP is updated on the SACA website after each round of matches and can be easily followed by players.  SACA pays incentive bonuses from the PPP for:

  • Top 30 players in the SACA MVP
  • Top 10 players in the 4Day Competition
  • Top 10 players in the Momentum One-Day Cup
  • Top 10 players in the CSA T20 Challenge

“The SACA MVP is entering its eighth season after being introduced in 2010. Bonuses will be paid to players who feature highly in the SACA MVP and we hope all players will be following their progress in the rankings from the start of the season” Tony Irish, SACA chief executive.

Previous years SACA MVP winners:

2017/18 Jon Jon Smuts
2016/17 Colin Ackermann
2015/16 Dwaine Pretorius
2014/15 Dane Paterson

Proteas captain, Dané van Niekerk believes the West Indies tour will provide the perfect opportunity for senior players to showcase their experience in conditions unknown to the majority of the team. South Africa’s last tour to the Caribbean region was in 2012 and only four players remain from that squad.

The tour will comprise a three-match ICC Women’s Championship (IWC) One-Day International (ODI) and five-match T20 series. It will play a big role in the tourists’ plans to secure points towards direct qualification for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand as well as solidify preparation for the first-ever stand-alone ICC Women’s World T20 also in the West Indies this November.

“I think this is going to be a tough and challenging tour,” the skipper commented. “It’s located in absolute paradise, of course, you won’t get to see more beautiful places when on a cricket tour, but when it comes down to the business of cricket, the West Indies will test the athlete in you like very few places will. The heat, the humidity, their very unique pitches, it all comes down to one package that is designed to demand a lot out of a player and it’s why I’m really looking forward to seeing what the seniors do when they are presented with this type of challenge.

The seniors Van Niekerk refers to are vice-captain Chloe Tryon, Mignon du Preez and Marizanne Kapp, while she believes the knowledgeable minds of Lizelle Lee, Masabata Klaas and Suné Luus will also play a big role in rallying up the predominantly young team.

“I’m going to look to them to help lead the youngsters and provide guidance in the changeroom,” she continued. “We have four players who have toured here and another handful of senior players who have played all over the world and know what it’s like to adapt to difficult conditions. We have been blessed with an exciting group of youngsters who are salivating at just the thought of getting started and we need to bottle that energy and distribute it wisely.”

The Proteas boast four graduates from the South African Emerging team whose performances in the last season made compelling arguments for selection. Saarah Smith, Tumi Sekhukhune, Robyn Searle and Faye Tunnicliffe are all exciting prospects for Van Niekerk.

“It’s really encouraging to see how much talent has come up in the last few years and that the CSA pipeline is developing some quality players,” she elaborated. “I’m looking forward to seeing what these girls do and the fact that each offers something different and unique to the team’s needs is even better. That, mixed with other young talents that we already have in Laura Wolvaardt, Riaisibe Ntozakhe and Zintle Mali is the stuff captains’ dreams are made of. It’s going to be a good headache for selectors when it comes to picking teams going forward.

“We have a lot to play for on this tour and I hope that the balance of youthful exuberance to experience will give us that ‘X-Factor’ that we’re looking for because West Indies as a team in home conditions is going to be a big challenge.”

Reeza Hendricks grabbed the opportunity to score a century on his ODI debut to set up the Standard Bank Proteas 78-runs victory over Sri Lanka in the third contest of the five-match series at Pallekele on Sunday.

Hendricks was given the No. 3 slot in place of Aiden Markram in the only change to the Proteas starting line-up and became the third South African to score a century on debut in this format after Colin Ingram (against Zimbabwe) and Temba Bavuma (against Ireland) and the first to do so away from home.

His innings of 102 (89 balls, 8 fours and a six) was the 14th instance of a debut century in ODI cricket and the fastest with his strike rate of 114 improving on the previous best of 108 by the great West Indian, Desmond Haynes.

Hendricks was also named Man of the Match for his role in setting up South Africa’s highest ODI total in Sri Lanka of 363/7 and was also the highest total ever made at this venue.

Although Hendricks deservedly got the main plaudits there was also a key role from Hashim Amla who produced his best form of the tour in making a run-a-ball 59 (9 fours and a six) before the late innings plunder from JP Duminy (92 off 70 balls, 8 fours and a six) and David Miller (51 off 47 balls, 5 fours and a six).

Duminy has had a wonderful tour to date, bringing dynamic intent to the middle-order, both in terms of runs scored and the rate at which he has made them, and he also contributed four typically tidy overs of off-spin.

Andile Phehlukwayo also contributed an unbeaten 24 off 11 balls (3 fours and a six) as the Proteas smashed 114 runs in the last 10 overs.

Where the Proteas have shown major improvement has been in losing only 18 wickets in the three matches compared to the 28 lost by Sri Lanka. And this has happened when they have lost all three tosses.

The Proteas bowlers then maintained the stranglehold they have held over the Sri Lanka top order throughout the series, taking wickets at regular intervals and preventing the home side from compiling the big partnerships they needed to chase down the total.

Sri Lanka did keep pace with the run rate for the first 40 overs but by then they had lost 7 wickets which ruled out any possibility of their upping the ante in the final 10 overs in spite of their best partnership of 95 for the seventh wicket between Dhananjaya de Silva who made a career best 84 (66 balls, 8 fours and 3 sixes) and Akila Dananjaya and, when Phehlukwayo dismissed both of them, the game was up.

Phehlukwayo finished with 3 wickets while Lungi Ngidi claimed his second four-wicket haul (4/57 in 8.2 overs) in only his seventh ODI.

The Proteas play the fourth ODI at the same venue on Wednesday (day/night fixture) and captain Faf du Plessis indicated that opportunities would be provided for other members of the squad in the remainder of the series.

Du Plessis left the field after injuring his shoulder in attempting a difficult catch which gave Quinton de Kock his first experience of the on-field leadership.

The South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) today signed off MOU18, the agreement which covers benefits and conditions of employment for all professional cricketers in South Africa over the next four-year period.

“From our side I would like to emphasize that we remain committed to a revenue share model,” commented CSA Chief Executive Thabang Moroe. “I am also delighted that we have extended the agreement to cover all professional players in South Africa, including senior provincial players and all our women professionals. There are now 317 players covered by this agreement.”

“This document includes for the first time a recognition agreement between ourselves and CSA and also serves the commercial rights necessary for CSA’s commercial partners,” commented SACA Chief Executive Tony Irish. “The agreement is particularly important in the context of where the game is going at international level. We have put the mechanisms and arrangements in place to retain our best players for the Proteas over the next four years.” 

The MOU involves three separate comprehensive agreements being a Main Agreement, regulating player contract and related issues, a Commercial Rights Agreement, regulating the use of player commercial rights, and a Recognition Agreement, regulating the ongoing relationship between CSA and SACA.

Theunis de Bruyn put down his marker for an extended run in the Standard Bank Proteas Test team with his maiden Test century on the fourth and final day of the second Test match against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo on Monday.

He was unable to prevent Sri Lanka from clinching the inevitable win by 199 runs and a 2-0 series victory but both he and Temba Bavuma will have gone a long way to restore credibility for South Africa’s ability to make runs on the sub-continent.

De Bruyn was eventually bowled, not offering a stroke, by Rangana Herath for 101 (232 balls, 12 fours) to be the eighth man out by which time the game was beyond saving but his fourth innings century will go down alongside other notable fourth innings centuries for the Proteas.

These include Jonty Rhodes unbeaten century in the first ever Test match between the Proteas and Sri Lanka at Morutuwa in 1993, Jacques Kallis’ maiden Test century at Melbourne in 1997, Faf du Plessis’ match-saving century at Adelaide in 2012, the centuries made by Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers in chasing down 414 for victory at Perth in 2008 and the centuries by De Villiers and Du Plessis that nearly brought about a record runs chase against India at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in 2013.

But, taking into account the struggle that foreign batsmen have on the sub-continent, De Bruyn’s innings has a special status.

De Bruyn and Bavuma both displayed excellent technique with their footwork and decisive use of the bat that largely took the bat/pad catch and lbw out of the equation.

This was De Bruyn’s debut Test match on the sub-continent while it was only Bavuma’s fifth, one of which was a virtual wash-out in Bangladesh, and they can both take a lot out of their performances looking ahead to the next visit to India.

Bavuma contributed the majority share (63 off 98 balls, 4 fours) to a partnership of 123 that was only six short of South Africa’s sixth-wicket partnership record against Sri Lanka.

Together they were responsible for the Proteas having easily their best batting session of the series with 109 runs being scored for the loss of 2 wickets in the morning session. The result was that the Proteas were able to make their highest fourth innings total ever on the sub-continent of 290.

The Proteas now have a few days to regroup ahead of the start of the five-match ODI Series in Dambulla on Sunday.

Sri Lanka opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was the obvious choice as both Man of the Match and Man of the Series as his consistent batting in both matches as his 356 runs at an average of 118 was an essential difference between the two sides.

Pite van Biljon has been appointed as captain of the VKB Knights for the 2018/2019 season, across all formats.

“it gives us great pleasure to announce Pite van Biljon as the new captain of the VKB Knights”, commented Chief Executive of the VKB Knights, Johan van Heerden. Mr van Heerden believes Pite’s leadership skills and personality will bring positive change to the central region. “Pite has a fantastic track record. He has made great contributions in all the teams he has captained to win trophies”, said Mr van Heerden. “VKB Knights had an indifferent 2017/2018 season and the Board feels, with this appointment, the Knights will get back on track”, added Johan.

Chairperson of the Central Cricket Franchise, Ms Zola Thamae also expressed her excitement for this appointment. “We are excited that one of the players coming from our structures has been given an opportunity to lead. The players were given an opportunity to choose whom they want as captain so this was not a top-down decision. This goes to show how much support he has from both board members and the team”, commented Ms Thamae.

Pite played cricket in the central region growing up and Mr Johan van Heerden believes this will have a major impact in helping build the team. “As a local player, he understands values, culture and the fighting spirit of the central region. He has wonderful attributes to drive the values of the team. We are confident he will restore pride back in the team”, concluded Mr van Heerden.

“I am very excited and humbled by the opportunity to captain such a great team. I’m also very grateful to be part of Knights and the history that comes with this great region”, commented the newly appointed captain of the VKB Knights. “As captain, my goals are simple. I want to help create an unbreakable team spirit. I want to get the most out of every individual. I want us to play a brand of cricket that people from our region can and will be proud of and, lastly, I want us to give back to the community”, concluded Pite van Biljon.

Sanctioning of Events & Player Release

In light of recent developments cricket is in need of a regulatory framework which recognises all elements of the global game and which will be effective now and in the future. In establishing this framework, FICA believes that the following should be recognised:

1. International cricket and Domestic T20 are both good for the game and are integral parts of the game’s future.
2. Domestic T20 is growing the game globally with fans and providing opportunity for players. International cricket needs to be strong and attract the best players. Establishing an appropriate balance between the two is critical for the future.
3. Cricket’s focus should be less on restricting players from playing where they are valued and more on positive measures to ensure an attractive system including in relation to scheduling, economic models and the creation of world class environments.
4. The movement of players is a fundamental aspect of growing and developing the game globally in both existing and new markets.

FICA is concerned that the narrowly defined objectives for a regulatory framework published by the ICC will not set the game up appropriately for the direction in which it is moving. If regulation is not effective it will not have the desired outcome, so this is as important for the future of international cricket as it is for the entire game. FICA has proposed broader and additional objectives based on a global vision. FICA believes that objectives must also include reference to the players’ fundamental employment rights, including players being able to play where they are valued.

FICA is further concerned at reports following the ICC meetings that blanket regulation is to be introduced to restrict players to playing in three T20 leagues and believes that any arbitrary restriction is likely to constitute a restraint of trade in most countries. Any regulations should be designed to minimise the likelihood of successful legal challenge.

“FICA believes that a fit-for-purpose global regulatory framework is necessary,” said FICA Executive Chairman, Tony Irish. “We will however continue to oppose blanket or arbitrary restrictive measures imposed on players without agreement. We urge the ICC to resolve imbalances and tensions caused by the structure of the game, scheduling and game economics through positive measures which will also allow the game to grow globally. FICA wants to be part of this endeavour.”

Code of Conduct

FICA supports holistic measures to protect the spirit and integrity of the game.

The ICC has predominantly focused on increasing its ability to punitively punish players, to the exclusion of more holistic or industry-wide measures that FICA believes would be most effective. FICA is concerned that some of the ICC’s measures also reduce players’ access to a fair hearing which becomes even more important when punishments are significantly increased.

In developing the game’s response to the issue of player behaviour, FICA encourages the ICC to also consider mechanisms to ensure that cricket officials are also held to the same standard of behaviour as the players.

Elements of the more holistic measures which FICA has proposed include:

– Conducting a thorough collaborative review and simplification process to bring the Code of Conduct to life

– Adopting one set of laws, rules or charter for all players and officials

– Sanctions which focus on rehabilitation and education, not just punishment

 – Greater clarity, education and training regarding the Code and Spirit of Cricket for players and officials, including targeted campaigns, as have been successfully used in other sports

– Mechanisms to ensure greater consistency in the application of the Spirit of Cricket and Code of Conduct

Consideration of how the game deals with the principle of “double jeopardy” where an issue has already been dealt with under a global code

“FICA will continue to urge the ICC to look to these wider measures to effectively deal with conduct across the entire game,” said Irish.


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