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That price was an anaemic total of of 191, a low hurdle that India hopped in 38 overs to win by eight wickets.
In the process, India burnished their reputation as a team who seize the moment and with it the trophy: they have won the World Cup, the Champions Trophy and the World T20 in the last 10 years.
South Africa confirmed that when the kitchen heats up they head for the garage: they have won one match in their last 19 trips to those three tournaments when elimination has loomed, and that game wasn’t a final.
AB de Villiers’ men seemed on course for a far more substantial score while Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla were compiling their partnership of 76 — South Africa’s highest opening stand in the tournament and only their second of 50 or more for any wicket.
Drama didn’t seem imminent when Amla cut Ravichandran Ashwin into MS Dhoni’s gloves in the 18th over, and when De Kock reached a half-century it was noted that all five time he had made 50 in one-day internationals against India he had gone on to a century.
Not this time. De Kock scored 53 before swiping past a delivery from Ravindra Jadeja that nailed his off-stump.
Even so, at 116/2 and not quite halfway through their innings, South Africa seemed set to post a total that could compete with India’s potent batting order …
Five overs later, the madness struck.
At 12.24pm, Faf du Plessis nudged Jadeja to point and tried to take a single that wasn’t there for the taking, and even a full length dive by De Villiers couldn’t stop one of cricket’s most fleetfooted players from being run out.
That would have been a cruel blow to absorb for South Africa’s captain, who came into the tournament as the No. 1 ranked batsman in the format but scored only four runs from the five deliveries he faced in his first two innings.
He had a shot at redemption on Sunday, and he seemed determined to take it.
But it was stolen from him by poor judgement and, perhaps, fate.
At 12.29pm, Du Plessis cut Ravichandran Ashwin to short third man, set off on a run, changed his mind and returned to his crease, and looked up to see David Miller at the same end of the pitch.
The ball was duly delivered to the other end, and after much deliberation it was decided that Miller was the one to go.
In the space of those five minutes and the six deliveries they encompassed, South Africa’s hopes of staying alive in this tournament ebbed to a new low.
Their supporters will dispute that assertion considering how many times they have been shot in this movie before — every four years since 1992.
Du Plessis was their last hope of rewriting that sorry script, but he dragged Hardik Pandya onto his stumps four overs after Miller went.
Up in the dressingroom, De Villiers sat ashen-faced and holding a pen.
Might he have been composing his resignation from the captaincy or even his international retirement?
Or was he pondering the cruelty of finishing on the wrong end of the equation in all seven knockout matches in which he has batted?
Or that he was not required to bat in the only knockout match South Africa have won during his career – the 2015 World Cup quarter-final against Sri Lanka in Sydney?
Other players looked equally distraught; the sight of De Kock, his arm draped consolingly, even protectively, around Miller’s shoulder particularly poignant.
South Africa’s last eight wickets disappeared for 51 runs, all 10 for 115, and two of them in as many deliveries by Bhuv Kumar.
Imran Tahir survived, with a squirt to third man, the hattrick ball — which was accompanied by a rising roar of demand from an apparently exclusively India-supporting, sell-out crowd.
The innings was ended by, wouldn’t you know it, Tahir’s run out.
India’s reply was more a festival than a fight.
So much so that Tahir did not take his customary tear into the outfield when he had Shikhar Dhawan caught in the deep for 78 to end a second-wicket stand of 128.
Dhawan’s partner, Virat Kohli, finished with 76 not out.
Now, there’s a man who knows his way around the kitchen.
Marc Strydom | 2017-06-10 10:20:45.0
Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter during the South African national men’s soccer team training session at FNB Stadium on June 07, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image by: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter named a strong‚ balanced starting XI for his first match on Saturday against Nigeria in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo.
Itumeleng Khune is the goalkeeper‚ behind a back four of right-back Ramahlwe Mphahlele‚ centrebacks Thulani Hlatshwayo (the captain) and Mulomowandau Mathoho‚ and left-back Tebogo Langerman.
In midfield‚ Dean Furman and Bongani Zungu are the central pairing‚ with Themba Zwane out on the right‚ and Keagan Dolly on the left.
Sibusiso Vilakazi as at playmaker or deep striker in a formation that Baxter called a system between 4-2-3-1 and a 4-4-1-1.
Tokelo Rantie‚ two-goal tormentor of Nigeria in a 2-2 Afcon 2015 qualifying draw in 2014‚ is the striker.
Lens forward Kermit Erasmus is the only player from the 25-man squad ruled out throyugh injury‚ with a hamstring strain.
Bafana XI: Khune – Mphahlele‚ Hlatshwayo (capt.)‚ Mathoho‚ Langerman – Zwane‚ Furman‚ Zungu‚ Dolly – Vilakazi‚ Rantie
Bench: Keet‚ Gordinho‚ Mobara‚ Mabunda‚ Jali‚ Tau‚ Manyama.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport
Reuters | 2017-06-09 08:33:07.0
Jamaica’s Olympic champion Usain Bolt, right, helps carry the coffin of high jump star Germaine Mason, who died in a motorbike crash, to the cemetery in Grange Hill, Jamaica, on Sunday.
Image by: REUTERS
Sprint king Usain Bolt is determined to go out in a blaze of glory when he runs his final race in Jamaica this weekend, even though his preparations have been disrupted by the death of his close friend, Germaine Mason.
Mason, who was born on the Caribbean island and won Olympic silver in the high jump for Britain in 2008, died in a motorcycle accident on April 20 and an emotional Bolt served as a pallbearer at his funeral in Kingston last month.
There is likely to be plenty of feeling on display when Bolt steps onto the track at the city’s National Stadium tomorrow for his last race on home soil – the 100m at the Racers Grand Prix – before his retirement later this year.
“I know it’s going to be a lot of emotions on the day because it’s my last time,” the 30-year-old multiple Olympic and world champion said in a recent interview.
“I know the fans are going to miss it and I will miss it also because I know the energy is going to be good in the stadium.
“I’m just trying to work and get into shape … just trying to get fit and ready for the meet.” Bolt’s place in the pantheon of track and field has attracted a stellar field to the National Stadium, where, a month shy of 15 years ago, he first signalled his talent by winning world junior gold in the 200m.
Bolt has risen to an unprecedented dominance of sprinting with eight Olympic titles and another 11 gold medals.
The Bolt phenomenon has always been as much about hard work as about raw talent and charisma. However, he admits that the impact of Mason’s death cut into preparations for his final season.
“It was rough for me, you know. At the start it really took us by surprise and it kind of set me back a bit training-wise, because mentally I wasn’t ready to even train for two weeks or two-and-a-half weeks.
“I had to take off and just try to collect myself. So I’m just actually working hard now to try to get back to where I was, but I’m confident in myself and in my coach that we can get it done.
“I have to focus on what I need to do and I know my friend would want me to go out there and do my best as always and to be strong and focused on what needs to be done.”
As the reigning world 100m and 200m champion from Beijing two years ago, Bolt will skip the Jamaica trials this month for the August 5-13 world championships in London, where he will bring down the curtain on his career.
Telford Vice In Birmingham | 2017-06-07 18:40:12.0
Image by: Marty MELVILLE / AFP
South Africa’s hopes of nailing down a place in the Champions Trophy semi-finals took a dive in their match against Pakistan at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Wednesday.
AB de Villiers’ team crashed to a total of 219/8 and will now have to depend on their bowling and fielding to avoid their last group game‚ against India at The Oval in London on Saturday‚ becoming a crunch clash.
South Africa’s score was rescued from a fate worse than its eventual mediocrity by David Miller‚ who took guard in the 15th over at 61/3 and batted through six partnerships for his unbeaten 75.
Miller curbed his trademark aggression impressively and grafted hard for his runs‚ facing 104 balls and hitting a solitary four and three sixes.
De Villiers won the toss and chose to bat despite a forecast for showers from 8pm (UK time)‚ and Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla made a slow but steady start to the innings.
But‚ with 40 runs on the board in the ninth over‚ Amla walked across his stumps to slow left-armer Imad Wasim and was trapped in front for 16.
That was the start of a slide that claimed six wickets for 78 runs in 20.4 overs.
Graeme Smith‚ the former South Africa captain who is commentating on the tournament on television‚ was due to give a batting masterclass for spectators during the supper break.
Perhaps some of South Africa’s current players should attend.
De Villiers‚ who got out for four to a splayed-footed hoik to cover against Sri Lanka at The Oval on Saturday‚ failed again.
This time he reached for a wide delivery‚ which was bowled by Imad‚ and spooned a catch to point to suffer the only first-ball dismissal in his 212 innings in this format.
Hasan Ali‚ who took 3/24‚ began a raid of 3/10 in his first four overs when South Africa’s bolthole batsman‚ Faf du Plessis‚ dragged the fast bowler’s second delivery onto his stumps.
Hasan then removed JP Duminy‚ who drove footlessly and edged to slip‚ and Wayne Parnell‚ whose off stump was set askew by an away swinger‚ with consecutive deliveries. Miller and Chris Morris kept the Pakistanis at bay in a stand of 47 that survived Miller being poleaxed by a yorker from Mohammad Amir and being given out leg-before for 47 — Miller referred the decision and the ball was shown to be missing leg — and Morris being cleanbowled for 22 by Junaid Khan with what was correctly called a no-ball.
Junaid ended the partnership legitimately in the 43rd over when he had caught Morris caught in the deep for 28.
That brought Kagiso Rabada to the crease to share a stand of 48‚ the biggest of the innings.
It was snuffed out by a fine running‚ diving catch by Hasan deep in the covers to dismiss Rabada for 26‚ his highest score in his 14 one-day innings.
TMG Digital/TMG Sport
Mahlatse Mphahlele | 2017-06-06 17:40:34.0
A file photo of Duane Vermeulen of South Africa during the 1st Castle Lager Incoming Series Test match between the Springboks and Ireland at DHL Newlands Stadium on June 11, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image by: Luke Walker/Gallo Images
Springboks loose forward Duane Vermeulen has been ruled out of the three-match Test series against France.
Vermeulen sustained a shoulder injury while playing for his French club Toulon in the Top 14 final loss to Cleremont on Sunday and he won’t recover in time for the matches in Pretoria‚ Durban and Johannesburg.
Regarding the loss of the highly experienced Vermeulen‚ Van Graan said they have other loose forwards in the squad who will be selected according to the challenge that France pose in the three matches.
“He is a world class forward and a fantastic asset to have in your side‚” Van Graan said.
“Team selection is the task of coach Allister (Coetzee) but what I can tell you is that we have some brilliant loose forwards in our squad.
“The selections will be made according to what is needed for the coming challenge.”
Van Graan added that Bok’s scrum and lineout work have gone well.
He highlighted the three training camps and last week’s exercise in Plettenberg Bay as being very beneficial to the squad’s preparation.
Coach Coetzee will announce the squad for Saturday’s clash on Thursday afternoon.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport
In fact she has a beer sponsorship but the Comrades Marathon was a bucket list item she has more than successfully ticked.
The 35-year-old from Norman‚ Oklahoma‚ had a bottle of Jack Black Lager on the table but the most important thing was that she did the Comrades business.
With her awkward and muscular running style that seemingly strained her hamstrings‚ her time of 6:27:35 was too good for Russian Alexandra Morozova (6:31:45) and 2016 down run champion Charne Bosman (6:39:51).
“I have my husband Connor here and I love to party‚” Herron said.
“I love my beer and we’ve been in search of good beer.
“We’ve been sampling beer over the past two days and we’ll definitely have a good time.
“My husband is also Irish and we think we’ll be here until Tuesday.
“I think I had two ginger beers during (the race).
“I’m going to have a good time and I definitely love to party.
“I’ll definitely come back for the Comrades so long as my legs allow me.
“I’m only 35 and seeing the likes of Charne and Colleen de Reuck still running does encourage me.
“They’ve kept going in their 40’s and this is a dream come true.
“I’ll come back until my legs give up on me.
“This is one race that has been on my bucket list.”
With her perennially rogue president Donald Trump being in fine form with his climate change gaffes‚ Herron was quick to say she didn’t vote for the crazy Republican but said the race challenged her more than she expected.
Having dealt with mountains on her training regime even though Oklahoma is one of the more flatter states in the US‚ it was the early climbs from Durban to Pinetown that asked questions of her ability and her desire.
From there‚ the race was a breeze despite Morozova’s late and unsuccessful charge at Umlaas Road that amounted to nothing.
“I thought the first 20-25 miles was going to be steeper and coming from the plains of Oklahoma‚ I’ve been training on steeper grades and the first part was runnable.
“My right hamstring was pulling so I couldn’t go as fast as I wanted to.
“I ran with my heart and that came through for me‚” Herron said.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport
Tahir finished with four for 27 in 8.3 overs after former captain Hashim Amla scored his 25th ODI century to set Sri Lanka a target of 300 runs.
Sri Lanka were cruising along at 116 for two when Tahir was introduced to the attack in the 18th over and South Africa immediately got a firm grip on the game.
Dinesh Chandimal took on one of South Africa’s best fielders — A.B. de Villiers — on a misfield and was run out by a direct hit.
Three deliveries later, Chamara Kapugedera was foxed by a Tahir googly and was out leg before wicket without scoring.
Upul Tharanga — captain for the day after Angelo Mathews failed a late fitness test on a calf muscle injury — too fell for the googly when he hit one straight to the deep cover fielder.
He top scored with 57 runs.
Sri Lanka never recovered after that and were shot out for 203 runs with still 8.3 overs remaining.
There could be more trouble for the Sri Lankans after they took four hours and seven minutes to finish their overs during the South African innings.
ICC rules stipulate that teams should finish their 50 overs within three-and-a-half hours.
Sri Lankan players face heavy fines and a possible suspension for Tharanga for the next two games of the tournament.
Opener Niroshan Dickwella had given them a blistering start smashing 41 off 33 balls.
The openers added 69 runs in 50 deliveries and they were 87 for one at the end of ten overs whereas South Africa were 32 for none at the same stage.
The middle order failed to capitalize after a good start and they have to win their remaining two games against India and Pakistan to have any hopes of a semi-final berth.
Sri Lanka were excellent against South Africa’s seamers, but the introduction of Tahir derailed their innings.
After being put into bat in overcast conditions, Amla consolidated for South Africa with his 25th ODI hundred and the fifth against Sri Lanka.
He added 145 runs with Francois du Plessis, who contributed with 75 runs off 70 deliveries with six fours.
Amla was run out by a direct hit from Tharanga for a fine 103 that came off 115 deliveries with five fours and two sixes.
J.P. Duminy gave some impetus to the South African innings smashing 38 off 20 deliveries with five fours and a six. Duminy added 45 runs for the sixth wicket with Chris Morris (20).
Taha Yessine Khenissi scored an early opener for Esperance in the sixth minute, Sibusiso Vilakazi equalising in the 21st of this group stage game.
With a slow, tired encounter drifting towards a draw, substitute Soumahoro Bangaly commited an unnecessary foul that allowed Khenissi to slot a 90th-minute penalty to earn Esperance a valuable away win against the defending champions.
Both sides’ weariness, as much as experienced Tunisian giants Esperance’s solid North Africa organisational patterns, slowed the game.
So soon after a frenetic end to a gruelling league season for both teams – though particularly Downs with their 54 games, following on 57 the past season – neither had much energy to race around the Lucas Moripe pitch.
It was a slog of a contest, to the rhythm of the Downs fans’ metronomic singing throughout.
Lacking in zest, the two best teams in Group C tactically could not outmanoeuvre each other either. But Esperance still managed to sneak the three points.
Right now, as much as the result will more than likely see Esperance’s win the group, Downs will not be too concerned.
Both these teams should make, not quite canon-fodder, but not too much more either, of Ethiopia’s St George and AS Vita of Democratic Republic of Congo to bag the top two spots and progress past the new, four-group format to the quarters, a new precursor to the semifinals.
Sundowns, though, may need to find a dose of intensity to ensure they do not slip further.
Downs were caught in an off-season slumber early on, allowing big striker Taha Yessine Khenissi in down then left to easily slide Esperance’s opener past Denis Onyango.
Sundowns tightened up after that, notably quickening their pace winning the ball as often Esperance were caught in posession.
The Brazilians equalised as Percy Tau was played into space down the left and had the composure not to shoot, but look for the pass inside to Vilakazi, who tapped into an open goal.
Soon after that Tebogo Langerman’s swerving shot from the left edge was awkwardly parried by Esperance goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifa.
Kenissi still troubled, passing Motjeka Madisha with a strong run then shooting into the side-netting.
Madisha limped off, replaced by Bangaly, just before the break.
Downs struggled to be anywhere near as snappy in the second half.
It took until the 70th minute for the next half-chance, on a counter-attack involving Thapelo Morena and Vilakazi, where Leonardo Castro had half a yard of space but could not connect a shot.
That was the resemblance to a chance at goal in open play in the second 45 minutes.
In the 88th, though, winger Fakreddine Ben Youssef made a run in the area, Bangaly recklessly stuck out a leg, and the Esperance player made an appropriate meal of the foul, resulting in the penalty. Khenisse struck it in to the right of Onyango.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport
Imagine then how the Kaizer Chiefs captain will feel should he win the club’s Player of the Year award in what has been a forgetful season for Amakhosi.
There’s a strong possibility that could happen in the club’s awards ceremony on Thursday.
The Chiefs’ captain has been one of a handful of standout players for the club‚ along with Ramahlwe Mphahlele‚ Lorenzo Gordinho‚ Itumeleng Khune and Willard Katsande.
The rest don’t even deserve an invitation to the ceremony.
There is little that happened on the field for Amakhosi that warrants rewards after a second successive barren season.
But the brand consciousness that has made the side the most recognisable and biggest brand in the country is the drive for the club to do this – to keep their name in the news.
Amakhosi should use this time to do some self-introspection which would help them turn things around.
Chiefs’ legend Tinashe Nengomasha argued that a lot of the current crop don’t know the club’s values and he even went as far as to say that most of the foreign contingent are too comfortable – not doing enough to prove why they were brought from their countries to a team with a trophy haul that’s unmatched in the country.
That’s an indictment on the club’s recruitment policy.
Kaizer Motaung‚ the chiefs’ chairman‚ admitted that they have made some bad decisions in their recruitment which has led to most of their signings spending more time on the bench than on the field.
Amakhosi have failed to work the market like SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits who thrived on luring quality players for free.
Chiefs’ best recruit this season‚ Mphahlele‚ was driven to Amakhosi by unhappiness at Mamelodi Sundowns where he felt he should have been paid more than he was getting.
That move had little to do with Amakhosi being a desirable option.
That was an afterthought‚ that at least they would pay him better than the Brazilians and would be in a team with a bigger support base.
Chiefs have lost the appeal that saw Mulomowandau Mathoho tell his agent who had agreed terms with Sundowns to fly a kite because he was set on joining Amakhosi.
Now that name isn’t worth the weight it carries.
Thapelo Morena did the opposite of what Mathoho did‚ forcing his way to the African champions instead of going to Naturena where everything looked done and dusted for his move.
Morena was attracted by the drive to play on the continent and on the world stage‚ which he did at the Fifa Club World Cup in Japan last year.
The whole idea of hosting an awards ceremony after a terrible season might be bizarre and comical but it should be the catalyst for the club to turn things around.
Bidvest Wits’ awards ceremony after they finished second‚ 14 points behind Sundowns‚ was a bitter sweet occasion.
It was to celebrate a good showing by a team that used to be happy with finishing in the middle of the table and was relegated in 2005.
But that second place wasn’t good enough based on the financial investment the club made in the players on their roaster.
Management didn’t shy away from telling them that second place wasn’t good enough.
The response was swift.
Wits won the first trophy on offer and broke an almost decade-long barren run by winning the league for the first time in their 96 year history.
Chiefs should use these awards ceremony for something similar.
Reward the few standout players and have stern words with the entire team that has dragged the club’s name through the mud.
But those words need to be backed with action to pick up the team and ensure that they compete.
Teams like Cape Town City have shown that they mean business by tying up their players early and bolstering their squad with Ayanda Patosi before this season has even been officially wrapped.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport