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Craig Matthews RHB RFM, former W.Prov captain
An excellent seam bowler who in the past has wrecked both Indian and Australian innings. Very accurate and a good lateral mover of the ball Matthews should do well with on some of the seaming pit- -ches in England.
Craig Matthews has long been regarded as the best fast/medium seam bowler that South Africa has had. He has been successful for a long time on the Domestic cricket scene in South Africa - following in the footsteps of his older brother Brett. It is however only recently that he has made an impact on International Cricket.
However one should not forget Matthews previous performances. Although he started off rather modestly in his One-Day International debut against India in 1991 he improved beyond recognition in 1992-93 when India toured South Africa for a Four Test Series. He was one of the more successful bowlers in that series only behind Allan Donald and probably along side Brian McMillan, who all played an important role in that series win over India.
He was then left out of the tour to Sri Lanka but this followed a period when Matthews was not particularly in form. However Matthews did not have to wait long for his next tour. And although he did not get a bowl in the Limited-Over Hero Cup in India he was to do plenty bowling in Australia later in the 1993 year.
In Australia his impact was not felt immediately but he weighed in with some solid performances with the ball, concentrating on line and length rather than spraying the ball. On the return trip by Australia to South Africa he proved himself an even better bowler as he snatched wickets regularly. This included a five- wicket haul in the Newlands Test match when the Australian tail threatened to wag.
He has thus cemented himself in the South African team as a support seamer and is expected to do most of the stock-bowling duties. He should make his mark on Test cricket in the present series against England and I think we will see him also in the mould of a valuable Limited-Over bowler.
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