|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
October 1, 2005
South Africa A 217 for 4 (Rudolph 68, Ontong 54*) beat New Zealand A 216 for 7 (Papps 106*, Henderson 3-29, Morkel 3-24) by 6 wickets
Jacques Rudolph and Justin Ontong guided South Africa to a convincing six-wicket win in the final of the Sri Lanka A Team tournament in Colombo. Rudolph's 68 and Ontong's unbeaten 54 ensured South Africa eased to their target of 217 with more than seven overs to spare.
The result was cruel on Michael Papps who batted throughout the New Zealand innings for 106 off 130 balls. However, he lacked support from the rest of the line-up, with Chris Harris's 33 the next highest score.
Tyron Henderson made early inroads for South Africa after they had inserted New Zealand. He bowled his ten overs for just 29 runs, while the three wickets were instrumental in reducing New Zealand to 90 for 4 in the 22nd over.
Papps and Harris rebuilt the innings with a stand 67 but the early wickets meant they were unable to take many risks to increase the scoring rate. When Harris was trapped lbw by Jan Botha, Gareth Hopkins contributed a sprightly 25 off 18 balls. But Albie Morkel's 3 for 26 restricted the late-order charge and New Zealand managed just 15 fours and two sixes in their 50 overs.
Despite the early loss of Andrew Puttick and the pinch-hitter Johann van der Wath with 37 on the board, South Africa were always ahead of the required rate. Rudolph and Loots Bosman added 78 for the third wicket then Ontong joined in a stand of 53.
When Rudolph fell - caught behind off James Franklin - the target was insight for South Africa. Ontong was now well set and Zander de Bruyn accompanied him while the final runs were knocked off with plenty of overs to spare.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
A gutting loss to England, after leading the series 1-0, has thrown up some glaring inadequacies in the Indian team but there is little being said or done in terms of improvement
His rapid improvement with the ball has been integral to England coming from behind to lead the series - but that is just one area where Moeen Ali continues to impress
After 8-0, MS Dhoni could look forward to building a team from scratch; now, there is nothing left for him to contribute. Free him from the Test captaincy and he could yet give back in other ways
For all MS Dhoni's many trophies and accomplishments, Test cricket continues to resist his magic and indefinitely postpone his motorbike ride into the sunset
His decisions in the England series have seemed to confirm that he does not care too much for the Test game. Maybe he should be concentrating on the World Cup
With too great an emphasis on limited-overs cricket, MS Dhoni's side have a set of skills and a level of concentration that are not commensurate with the necessities of Tests