Hendrik Human Dippenaar
June 14, 1977, Kimberley, Cape Province
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
A year after making his Test debut, Boeta Dippenaar scored his maiden century against New Zealand at the Wanderers before he unluckily lost his place at the top of the order to the recalled Herschelle Gibbs. He grabbed his chance of returning to the Test team, after South Africa's disastrous 2003 World Cup, with an unbeaten 177 against lowly Bangladesh.
Prolific first-class runscorers occasionally have weaknesses found out against top-class opposition, and so it was with Dippenaar who quickly found that his tendency to play across and around his back-foot defensive strokes was costly against quality Test bowlers. He worked hard to rectify the problem. On good days, however, he can please the eye for six hours and more. He is not a tall man yet he bats like one, seemingly able to reach the pitch of every ball bowled on or outside off stump and drive it through the covers. The reach and the sweetness of the timing are the foundations of his game; his ability as a cover fielder is a bonus.
He has had great success while opening the batting in one-dayers and cemented his place in the one-day side after a fantastic series against West Indies in 2005, when he ended with an average of more than 100. Dippenaar revels in the outdoor pursuits which kept him busy as a boy growing up in the Free State, and touring is almost as much an opportunity to fish new waters as it is to play cricket. He scored a crucial unbeaten 85 to take South Africa to victory in the first of three ODIs against Zimbabwe at home in September, and was part of a 14-man squad for October's Champions Trophy in India. But despite a year of sustained one-day success he was overlooked for the World Cup squad. After leading Eagles to the SuperSport Series title in 2007-08 he announced his retirement from international cricket with a modest and rather unfulfilled record. He continued to pile on the runs in the domestic circuit for Eagles and Leicestershire. Neil Manthorp October 2009
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