Columnists 15.12.2017 11:15 am

We should celebrate this example of ballsy captaincy

Gutsy: Albie Morkel. Photo: Gallo Images.

Gutsy: Albie Morkel. Photo: Gallo Images.

Albie Morkel bucked the trend of being a conservative skipper in this week’s Ram Slam semi. This is why the Titans are ahead of everyone else.

Let’s forget about the negativity and uncertainty for a moment.

There’s enough of that, even in the sports sphere.

Instead, we’re going back a few nights, to the domestic T20 challenge semifinal between the Titans and Warriors in Centurion.

Captain Albie Morkel has some thinking to do.

It’s the ninth over and the two Colins – Ingram and Ackerman – have counterattacked well.

The Eastern Cape franchise are 77/2 and going at 9.62 runs per over.

The Titans aren’t panicking but there are some concerns given the fact that they lost their last two round robin matches.

Momentum is a fragile thing in sport.

Morkel brings on Tabraiz Shamsi, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament but also a mercurial left-arm wrist spinner.

Wrist spinners aren’t known for being economical.

But Shamsi does the job for Morkel as he concedes just three runs in his first over.

He’s afforded a second over yet things don’t go well.

Ackerman hits him for a six over long-off and later slog sweeps for four.

The over goes for 12 runs and you can just imagine Morkel being concerned.

It’s a South African captain thing.

Risky match-winners like Shamsi are generally the victim of conservative captaincy.

Our local skippers don’t want wrist spinners leaking runs.

They get hit for runs but if you have faith, they take wickets.

Morkel takes Shamsi off.

That’s that for now … it seems.

The wise Morkel has an ace up his sleeve though.

He merely lets Shamsi change ends.

Chris Jonker cuts him for four off the second ball of his third over.

But then he plays a rash slog and is caught at fine leg.

The batsmen crossed and Ackerman sweeps another four.

The pressure is on.

Shamsi bowls a fuller one and it straightens beautifully.

Ackerman plays all around it and is trapped LBW.

Amidst the relative chaos, Shamsi has struck a critical blow with a pearl of a ball.

The dangerman is gone.

In his last over, he bamboozles Gihahn Cloete and has Jerry Nqolo caught behind.

Shamsi ends with a spell of 4/32 in his four overs.

It’s still eight an over but those four scalps see the Warriors collapse from 114/3 to 143 all out.

Nothing stops runs better than wickets.

We should celebrate such ballsy captaincy.

Heinz Schenk: Online Sports Editor.

Heinz Schenk: Online Sports Editor.

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