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*Official* Cricket Web 'A' in Southern Africa

Magrat Garlick

Global Moderator
Titans vs Cricket Web A
at Centurion

Ball By Ball

Sean Fuller clamored for a place in the side for the second Test match with a match-saving unbeaten 128, the second-highest score by the A team on tour, as the Titans were overcome in a high-strung encounter in which the captain struggled with the bat and the vice-captain had to save the face.

On the first day, there was little possibility of cricket due to showers lining the ground; the afternoon session was essentially washed out, but after the long break Bryce Cunningham came back rejuvenated and got the second, vital, breakthrough as van Jaarsveld felt one through to Jasotharan. Thomas then replaced him and got rid of the other dangerous batsman, opener Heino Kuhn, but Albie Morkel bashed 49 not out in the gloom before stumps on the first day.

Like the other Titans, however, he was unable to carry on with the start, lashing out to Collins twenty minutes into the second day's play for Bennett's second wicket. However, though Collins and Bennett barely yielded runs, Smith opted for a new-ball spell after rain had prevented play in the second half of the morning. It did not work immediately, but in the ball's sixth over Greg Thomas got the breakthrough, and after Alfonso Thomas inside-edged Cunningham, Fuller cleaned up the innings in two balls.

A gloomy evening gave plenty of movement for the Titans' bowlers, particularly Pierre Joubert, who decimated both openers plus in-form Armstrong for a duck. Sean Fuller was undeterred, however, and survived the new ball; towards the end of the day the clouds cleared and Fuller easily reached 65.

The third day started brutally for the Titans' bowlers, as Alfonso Thomas and Joubert were both taken for sixes by a rampant Fuller. However, Kearsley and Jasotharan succumbed to edges, and two rain breaks brought two wickets from Mbhalati and Morkel. At 217 for eight, the tourists were staring down the barrel, and Collins was trapped lbw first ball; the umpire refused to give it, however, and Collins dug in for a determined stand of 56 before Alfonso Thomas ended the innings with two loud lbw shouts against Collins and his namesake.

Leading by 44, the Titans sought to push their advantage. Instead, the start city of the first innings was repeated, but now the Webheads struck earlier. Helped by overhead conditions and variable bounce, the seamers produced a number of good deliveries, and with van Jaarsveld handing his wicket away when set on 39, there really were no place to build partnerships. Sean Bennett disappointed in his spells, and was taken for runs by Thomas, but the four seamers bowled with consistent pace and luck to decimate the Titans for 212. Even Collins enjoyed some luck with his quicker ball, though mere accuracy was the main ingredient in his figures of five for 37.

Scott and Smith easily played through to stumps, leaving the game finely poised with 219 required for victory and all wickets in hand on the final day. However, unlike the Webheads, the Titans had lost some zip over three days of gruelling, tensely fought cricket. Ethy Mbhalati kept his pace, and was rewarded with two wickets in the morning session, but gifted too many runs to Fuller and a promoted Jasotharan. By lunch, the total stood at 168 for four, and though Fuller had not cut loose it seemed he would be able to play the rock role again.

Fuller only batted for forty more minutes, with Paul Harris getting his only wicket of the match with a pitched-up delivery, but by then it was all too late. Garven had played at a run-a-ball, brought up his fifty with a lovely cover drive, and repeated the shot to secure a five-wicket win; at the other end Kearsley desperately tried to find form, but looked streaky during his unbeaten 20. It was, however, good enough to win the game.

Titans 315 all out (93.2 overs)
M van Jaarsveld 52, JA Morkel 52; SE Fuller 3-44, GM Thomas 3-102, SA Bennett 2-35

Cricket Web 'A' 273 all out (75.5 overs)
SE Fuller 128*; P Joubert 5-94, AC Thomas 3-51

Titans 212 all out (58.2 overs)
M van Jaarsveld 39; AAA Collins 5-37, GM Thomas 3-48

Cricket Web 'A' 256 for five (56.3 overs)
NG Scott 59, AJ Garven 54*

Cricket Web 'A' won by five wickets
Man of the Match: S. E. Fuller (Cricket Web 'A')

Magrat Garlick

Global Moderator
Second Test: South Africa 'A' v Cricket Web 'A'
at Goodyear Park, Bloemfontein

Ball By Ball

A massive, unmatchable rearguard by Friedel de Wet, who made a first-class best unbeaten 89, helped South Africa A turn around the game and complete a comfortable victory in the final session of play. Worn down tourists struggled in the field after having taken 18 wickets and bringing themselves to the brink, and then failed to chase the target they had allowed the opposition to get.

South Africa 'A' batted first, and immediately the former youth captain Elgar fell into trouble, pushing into a quick one from Thomas, but Goolam Bodi showed the way with blistering strokes off the seamers. He kept the run rate at the start above five, striking a 47-ball half-century. However, Dave Richards' first ball was quicker than Bodi expected, and he was trapped lbw.

After the quick start, the match evolved into a sedate battle, led by a fighting Boeta Dippenaar, with a brief interjection during Justin Kemp's peppering of boundaries for 56. Relegated to four after a disappointing showing in the previous A match, Dippenaar had fought his way to 43 by tea. It took an innocuous off stump ball from Garven to dismiss him; he chipped it up easily to Richards, who ran in from mid on to hold a good catch, and Fuller recovered from a poor early spell to cut the tail down.

South Africa put pressure on with the new ball, but Smith thought he had averted it as he moved into the twenties with some solid drives. The shot, however, proved his undoing; a quicker ball from Morne Morkel was inside edged, and Morkel and de Wet pitched the ball up to worry the batsmen with late swing. However, Kearsley survived a chance on 11, and Arnold managed to hold out as the Webheads closed on 66 for three.

Arnold, however, did not get many chances to settle in the morning, as Kearsley kept strike and littered the boundary, and Morkel struck again as a ball was feebly driven to mid off. The fall of wicket unsettled Kearsley, who gave a couple of difficult chances, but still managed to reach 56 before Justin Kemp struck with a yorker.

By that time, however, Shan Jasotharan's bludgeoning batting had arrived. The wicket-keeper had spent 25 balls almost catching up to Kearsley, and took four more to bring up the fifty; he did not keep strike, seeking instead to take a single with every ball, and courted run outs with every strike of the ball. Yet, his only true chance came when he spooned a top edge off Steyn's bowling; Duminy trod in from square leg, only to floor the easiest of chances, and Jasotharan lived on to complete a 65-ball hundred. Steyn eventually had Jasotharan bowled, after two fine partnerships with Fuller and Dave Richards, but the stunning 146 had kept the meagre Bloemfontein crowd mesmerised.

Despite Steyn rounding off the tail to repair his figures, as the Webheads crashed from 383 for six to 385 all out, South Africa A trailed by 94, and Dean Elgar immediately repaired his first innings mistake to make things difficult for the hosts. Thomas worked well as an impact bowler, yorking out Duminy for 56 before the day was out, but Dippenaar had struck a couple boundaries to leave South Africa A with a decent shout at victory, effectively 34 for three at stumps on the second day.

Boeta Dippenaar dominated the third day's play. He batted through the morning with solid and consistent seam bowling served up, which took care of McKenzie and Kemp; van Wyk bashed through to lunch, then returned after the break and was lbw the first ball. Twenty minutes later, South Africa were eight down with a lead of 173, with a fired-up Thomas bowling at Friedel de Wet, and the game looked over.

Instead, the Webheads invited them back. Dippenaar's defence was solid, while de Wet fought off the short-pitched threat with ease, helped by a momentary lapse of concentration from Jasotharan as the wicket-keeper fumbled a regulation outside edge off Fuller. By tea, the two had added 66, with de Wet coming into his stride by bashing Borcich for a six and a four in his first over with the new ball.

The new ball, indeed, was remarkably little help for Thomas, who had honed such success with it against opener Dean Elgar. Instead, he bowled short and wide, and with no other genuine new-ball bowler to pair him, things got very difficult for the Webheads. Dippenaar showed no sign of nervous nineties, striking out a lovely cover drive to pass 102; at the other end de Wet had made his maiden first class fifty, and pushed on against the supposed economical bowlers, Collins and Richards. The two stemmed the flow of runs, but only Richards offered some threat, beating the bat on a number of occasions and even having Dippenaar dropped on 119. In the event, it mattered little; Thomas got in a yorker, ending Dippenaar's charge at 125, but Steyn and de Wet took twenty more runs before Collins got reward off an in-nipper and courted respectability, ending with figures of two for 56.

Smith and Arnold cut 11 off the target, leaving 332 to win on a fourth-day wicket with inconsistent bounce. As it turned out, de Wet had not done enough. After coming on first change, he shook up Arnold with two full ones on the pad, then placed a short one two overs later which was hoiked to Kemp. Thandi Tshabalala then exploited the variable pitch, and took three for 12 before Steyn ended all hopes by having an in-form Fuller caught at first slip. Garven's rearguard bash of 61 mattered little, and Steyn and de Wet ended all forms of resistance after tea with quick and merciless bowling to secure the 88-run win.

South Africa A 291 all out (79.2 overs)
HH Dippenaar 59, JM Kemp 56, GH Bodi 54; SE Fuller 3-34, DP Richards 3-66

Cricket Web A 385 all out (84.2 overs)
S Jasotharan 146, SE Fuller 58, DA Kearsley 56; M Morkel 4-93, DW Steyn 3-73

South Africa A 436 all out (126.2 overs)
HH Dippenaar 125, F de Wet 89*, JP Duminy 56; GM Thomas 5-117

Cricket Web A 254 all out (65 overs)
AJ Garven 61, DP Richards 40*; T Tshabalala 3-43, F de Wet 3-55, DW Steyn 3-65

South Africa A won by 88 runs
Man of the Match: F. de Wet (South Africa A)
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Dizzy #4

International 12th Man
Speedy, but still got to hold on.... not quite the result we're after boys..We need to do better!

Mr Mxyzptlk

Request Your Custom Title Now!
Disappointing loss, but on the brighter side, Richards truly is maturing as a player of Pietersen-esque proportions with the bat. Needs more chances up the order for his club side, IMO.


Don't know where he'd fit up the order for us really, batting wasn't exactly our weak point in either form.

Dissapointing result really, just lacked penetration with the ball in the second innings and it cost us dearly.


Hall of Fame Member
Disappointing loss, probably need to make a few changes for the next game it seems. Hopefully a few guys step in the next tour match.