Highveld Lions v Redbacks
Klinger, Ferguson, Tait, aaaaand.... Dan frickn Christian! Yayyyyy
I feel pretty much flattened by this success, 11 runs is quite a clear margin. The favouritisms uttered before the match saw both teams at about the same level, with a slight tendency towards the Lions, and to be fair, that had been my feeling, too, especially after the Maccas had steamrolled over Mumbai. When the Lions won the toss and put the Redbacks in things looked difficult, although the statistics suggest that the toss at this ground does hardly play a role.
Daniel Harris departed too quickly for my liking, Graham Manou showed his usual positive approach but followed shortly after, but they only made way for the imperial Klinger/Ferguson partnership!
The Hebrew Hammer has steadily picked up form since his promotion to captain and has accumulated a heap of captain's innings now, and I am wondering if it couldn't be him to strengthen the struggling Australian T20 lineup. He certainly has the guts, the technique and experience to make an impact. Callum Ferguson has leapt back into the game from injury and I think this innings was his most impressive performance since his return. Not that I had actually watched any others...
A couple of silly runouts made life harder than necessary for the Spider Boys but no matter how many wickets were lost, the next batsman came striding in and immediately started to attend to his task. Ferguson struck 47 from 27 balls at 174.04, it kept hailing fours from his blade, and Klinger, after a cautious start, hammered 78 off 48 balls incl. 5 sixes and 6 fours. What a thunderous innings! His and Fergum's efforts, as well as a desperate and fearless maximum struck by Tom Cooper in the last over, took the Redbacks to 178. In the match presentation Klinger said he had thought the total was about par, and the Saussies would have to bowl well to defend it.
And by the mighty Mall's Balls, they bloody did!
The bookie mentioned in the previous post had predicted that Shaun Tait would be a handful, and he immediately struck to remove Lions hero Jonathan Vandiar. Putland got taken up the backside and I thought ouch, maybe the attack isn't quite up to the required standard, but hell broke loose when Dan frickn Christian came on! When you see him stroll out you know something is going to happen, I have no clue how he does it, but he immediately removed Vaughn van Jaarsveld with a nothing-delivery and put the Lions in a bit of a shock. Then Aaron O'Brien came on in the 6th over and lured Richard Cameron into getting stumped, and sooner than expected the Saussies were facing the mighty Neil McKenzie.
|Nicest DC pic of all time... and I captured it! *g*|
As a Hamps nut you were of course looking forward to seeing DC bowl at Macca, and I would really like to know if they exchanged some friendly greetings before striding to action. However, both Macca and skipper Alviro Petersen, who had opened the batting and was still around playing a very fine innings, tried to exploit Cullen Bailey's cute leggies, so Klinger decided that he had seen enough and brought his superweapon DC back on. DANG Macca succumbs to the sweetness, total chaos between the wickets, both batsmen were out of their grounds but the throw went to the keeper's end, where Manou made no mistake... and Macca was a goner.
However, captain Petersen was still twitching and after another O'Brien over DC took the problem into his magical sausage fingers and whacked the ball into Alviro's pads. At that point I had been in mental monkey mode for 10 minutes already, as it should prove true later on that once more the most unlikely of heroes turned the match around for his team. Bow down before the Mighty Dan. The electrical atmosphere in the field was infectious, heaps of shouting and throwing oneself around, great work in the outfield and good throws kept the Lions run rate low enough to harvest the wickets.
After Petersen was out the innings petered out. Zander de Bruyn surprised himself, his team mates and the fielders by not making his ground - great throw from Bailey- , Werner Coetsee fell victim to Tait, who had returned for his death spell, and the confident Robert Frylinck (what a curious spelling of Frühling) had the guts to try and force the Lions home by catapulting the Taitman into the stands twice: worst idea of his life. OUT he went, and DC was granted the honour to bowl the last over; no problem for the fired up allrounder, he kept it nicely neat and clean.
So the first hurdle has been taken, now the Saussies will need to overcome the IPL teams, I hope they are a tournament side that gets better and better with each match, I also hope to see Peter George at some point, maybe in the place of Gary Putland, but the captain knows best what to do in the current situation and sometimes it really helps to show faith in a player who struggled initially. Chris Duval and Jake Haberfield missed out as well today, so I think Klinger might have wanted a left-armer in the team.
Both teams looked absolutely lovely in their bright red kits, but coincidentally it were the Saffas who sported the South Australian state colours red, gold and blue, while the actual Saussies wore red and black.
Sure there will be new video material come rolling in soon, until then I remain respectifully yours,