My choice of an all-night companion is rather bizarre considering that I am surrounded by breaking news and results all day long, but anyway. On Sunday night, however, before eventually dozing off thanks to my daily fix of Zolpidem 10mg due to my insane hours robbing me of any normal sleep, I remembered to put the TV on SuperSport 2 or channel 202.
Apparently the start of the first one-day international was delayed amid a downpour, but obviously the delta stage of sleeping had kicked in and I was oblivious to any interruptions. It didn’t take long though to hear a trio of rather amusing takes on some of our cricketers and match-winning or match-tying strategies should I say. The first interesting observation was of none other than Imran Tahir.
His exuberant wicket-taking celebrations took the Kiwis by surprise to put it mildly. So much so, the presenter kicked off the Man-of-the-Match interview, asking the No 1-ranked ODI bowler all about his mad hatter wingdings. He has endured anything but a conventional career and this has always been reflected in his explanations.
“Just hard hurdles I’ve had in life and just trying to enjoy every wicket I take for my country. When I take a wicket I don’t know what I’ll do, I just really enjoy every wicket I take.” That’s right mister commentator, who knows what our “Immy” will do next. Not that we mind at all, as long as the wickets keep tumbling, it’s all good in the Protea hood.
Our wonderkid Andile also got the tongues wagging overtime. Like who is this youngster with a surname that has become easier to pronounce as the match-winning efforts become the norm? Even the Kiwis have mastered it, but it did take some time to fathom the talent behind the name. Luckily AB was around to spare the ignorant blushes.
I mean if anything, it was down to the captain who “never panicked as his batting partners came and went”. He also hit the winning runs with a ball to spare which must’ve come as a huge relief for the NZ Sky Sports crew as they scrambled for things to say as the Proteas stretched their winning ODI streak to 12. Back home, we all of course know what Andile Lucky Phehlukwayo is capable of.
Just think back to that first ODI against Australia at SuperSport Park when the Dolphins all-rounder took 4/44 as the visitors smashed 294 only for the hosts to chase it down with ease. Andy is only getting started and with plenty of cricket still left in the Land of the Long White Cloud followed by the tour to England in May, his name is bound to feature prominently in the runs scored and wickets taken column for many fruitful years to come.
But wait, with nine needed off five to win, there was one final treat in store. With field settings changing by the second and noballs flying about, the one clever dick piped and started elaborating what AB and Andile might do to secure a tie.
A tie, really? Who aims for a tie? Perhaps Kepler Wessels isn’t so bad after all.