South African sport enjoyed a mixed bag of results at the weekend, with our rugby teams producing the goods, but the national cricket team finishing on the wrong end of a result again.
The Proteas almost pulled off an unlikely victory in the third and deciding T20 International against India in Cape Town on Saturday night, but in the end it was another disappointing result against the tourists. The hosts fell just seven runs shy of India’s total of 172/7 after a late fightback, to lose the three-match series 2-1. Prior to the shortened format they were thumped 5-1 in the six-match one-day international series, but won the Tests 2-1.
Yes, the loss of experienced players AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock to injury was always going to hurt South Africa against the dangerous Indians, but a number of the matches were one-sided affairs, particularly in the limited overs format
While Proteas coach Ottis Gibson believes the future of South African cricket is bright, some of the mediocre performances proves that our depth of talent is nowhere near international standard.
With the first Test against Australia just days away, South Africa know their injured superstars must return if they are to start the series on a high.
On the rugby field there were impressive Super Rugby performances by the Bulls and the Lions, runners-up two years in a row, while there were heart-breaking, narrow defeats for the Stormers in Sydney and the Cheetahs in their Pro14 clash in Swansea.
The result of the weekend for South African sports fans must be the hard-fought 21-19 Bulls Super Rugby victory over the Hurricanes at Loftus. Not many gave John Mitchell’s team a chance to beat the New Zealanders in their first match of the season.
Yet, the Bulls delivered and their clash against the Lions, who ran in seven tries to defeat the Jaguares 47-27 at Ellis Park, should be an intriguing one this weekend.