South Africa v England, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 3rd day January 4, 2005

Langeveldt delighted to turn the screw

Langeveldt: 'I'm in a lot of pain but I try not to think about it' © Getty Images
You can see tomorrow's headlines already - "Former screw turns the screw". Charl Langeveldt, a former prison officer from Boland, defied the pain of a broken hand to grab five wickets on debut as England crashed to 163 all out in a calamitous morning session.

"I'm in a lot of pain," admitted Langeveldt, who is receiving two anaesthetic injections a day, one at 3am in the morning, another at 6pm after play has finished. "But I try not to think about it. My adrenalin was pumping and I was confident of bowling in the right areas. When the blood's warm, it's warm!"

But the pun will only run so far because Langeveldt, understandably, does not much fancy having any screws inserted into his hand in the event of further injury, and has more or less ruled himself out of the remainder of the series. "Ideally I would have liked to play," he said, "but I'm thinking long-term, and it would be stupid to risk getting hit and being out for probably six months. I'm seeing a specialist tomorrow, and I'll make a decision from there."

Langeveldt, who switched to full-time cricket four years ago, has played six one-day internationals, but had to wait a long time for his Test debut. "You get labelled in South Africa as a one-day bowler," he explained, "and with the likes of Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini, it is difficult to get into the Test squad. But it's awesome to take five wickets on my debut. Any cricketer would want that, and it's happy days today."

Langeveldt burst into contention for this series with his seven-wicket haul at Potchefstroom, where South Africa A shocked England in their opening tour match. It was no coincidence, for he is well acquainted with all things English. His wife is from the Isle of Wight (they met on a tour to Barbados), while he has played several seasons in the Lancashire League, most recently for Morecambe.

"I just try to bowl as full as possible, and swing it," he explained. "It did more late in the innings, and there was hardly any wind as well which helped. It was the same in Potch, because [the English] like to get bat on ball, and with the extra bounce the ball carried to the slips and keeper."

A simple philosophy, but it has left England deep in the porridge.

Andrew Miller is assistant editor of Cricinfo. He will be following England on their tour of South Africa