Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian superstar who keeps setting new batting records, is the Jonah Lomu of world cricket.
Little Master is one of the few batsmen to have scored centuries against every Test-playing nation.
But there is just one team he has never beaten while scoring a century against them – and that is South Africa.
Three times he has scored 100s against South Africa – all of them in South Africa – and twice he’s been on the losing side, and the third his team drew.
His highest Test score at home against South Africa is 97, in Mumbai in February 2000, and India still lost that match.
Lomu, the massive bulldozing All Black rugby winger, never managed to score a Test try against South Africa.
Holland’s hordes of soccer fans travelling to South Africa have been warned to bring their own supply of condoms because of a fear of a shortage here.
Maybe they should also bring their Dutch Caps! (Sorry about this, but I do love a bad joke)
Stephen Cook’s 390 national record this weekend highlights a feature lacking in our national cricket – a complete inability by Proteas players to score triple centuries!
Stephen and his father Jimmy, who made 313 not out for Somerset in 1990, are the only father-and-son to achieve triple centuries in the first-class game. But on an international level, SA lags badly.
The highest score while playing for South Africa was 277, by Graeme Smith, followed by Daryll Cullinan (275 not out), Gary Kirsten (275) and Graeme Pollock (274).
Australia boast five players who scored six triple centuries – Don Bradman made two, 334 and 304, and the most recent was Matthew Hayden with 380.
England also have five players, the most recent being Graham Gooch (333) in 1990. West Indies have four players topped by Brian Lara with the world record 400 not out, a notorious innings that cost his team the chance of a victory against England. Chris Gayle (317) is also on their list.
All three of the main sub-ccontinent teams have achieved triple centuries. For India, Virender Sehwag is the only player to have reached the milestone, and he’s done this twice – scoring 319 and 309 (surprisingly, Sachin Tendulkar is not there, but then again, neither is Jacques Kallis).
Pakistan have three players, including Younus Khan (313), while Sri Lanka have two, captain Mahela Jayawardene (374) and Sanath Jayasuriya (340).
Like South Africa, New Zealand have nobody, although their top-scorer, Martin Crowe, got out on a heart-breaking 299.
Only Zimbabwe (Dave Houghton with 266) and Bangladesh (Mohammad Ashraful with 158 not out) have lower top scores than South Africa.
Admittedly, SA’s ranking does not rest on having a triple centurion, but it would be nice to join the club.
Strictly speaking this isn’t sport, but this tale is about the super-human feat of staying alive.
Fiji, who boast a great sevens rugby team, have been thrown out of next year’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi (to read the full story, click here).
That means South Africa will have a great chance of winning a medal in this event – in fact, Fiji have always featured on the podium since sevens was introduced at the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur. SA, by comparison, have claimed silverware only once in this event, and that was a bronze in Manchester 2002.
South African soccer should take a different approach to the World Cup – and leave the coach alone for a change.
It seems the knives are out for Joel Santana, especially if Bafana Bafana lose against Iceland tomorrow night. What sort of nonsense is this? South Africa are ranked 73rd in the world, while Iceland are way lower than 96. Quite honestly, what will a win mean anyway?
Bafana have lost seven of their last eight matches, and the critics say this is unacceptable. What are these people smoking? The seven matches lost by Bafana were against superior opposition (Norway are ranked 43rd; Ireland 38th; Serbia 13th, Germany fourth, Spain second – we lost twice to them at the Confederations Cup, including 3-2 after extra time – and Brazil No1.
Yes, there are some important questions that need answering, especially those around Benni McCarthy. But that’s more a Safa issue than a Santana issue, I suspect. Bafana need a classy striker capable of putting the ball in the opponents’ net, and that is something they’ve been missing to date.
But with regards to Santana, he’s got the team playing excellent soccer – he proved that at the Confederations Cup. This may come as a shock to some SA soccer supporters, but Bafana Bafana are not going to win the 2010 World Cup!! Nevertheless, there’s no reason why the team can’t play decent football and do us proud. That is all I ask – to exit the World Cup with our heads held high.
Firing the coach at this stage ain’t gonna help. If you want to sack anyone, let’s start with Raymond Hack and work our way though the Safa head honchos. They are replaceable – Santana won’t be that easy to replace just nine months before kick-off. And who would replace him? Jomo Sono? Don’t make me laugh.
Let’s live and let live, guys (and let’s bring Benni back).
A Pakistani parliamentarian is accusing his team of throwing Champions Trophy matches in South Africa – against Australia and New Zealand.
Personally, I thought you’d have a better case arguing the Australians had tried their level best to lose against Pakistan, losing wickets regularly in what had seemed a regulation run-chase at one point (not that I think the Aussies were trying to lose the match).
Check out the full story here.
Brandon Huntley, the former Capetonian who has won asylum in Canada, claims he doesn’t feel safe in South Africa as a white man.
I have no doubt that there are other white South Africans who might agree with Huntley, saying they live in a constant state of fear because of crime. It doesn’t help having had a police minister who, not too long ago, suggested that whingers about crime should leave the country!
I’m a white man and a victim of several crimes, ranging from car break-ins to a hijacking, all by “persons unknown”, as the police dockets say. I never got to look at the gunmen’s faces, because they threatened to shoot me in the head if I did, but I can say with absolute certainty that they were black. They’ve never been brought to book for my hijacking, although I hope they’ve been caught in connection with another crime and are in prison.
Yet it would be presumptuous of me to assume that they targeted me because of my white skin – they were probably far more interested in my Toyota Tazz, which happened to be white by the way. I can’t understand why some white South Africans think that their black compatriots aren’t equally affected by crime.
Today is the fourth anniversary of the murder of former world boxing champion Mzukisi Sikali, stabbed to death by two young vermin for his cellphone in the Uitenhage township of KwaNobuhle. They were both caught and, if I remember correctly, they both denied their guilt in court, although they were both sent to prison for several years.
Sikali was passed his best at the time of his death, but at his peak, he was one of the finest South African boxers I had the pleasure of watching at ringside. He was an artist, his brush his fists and his canvas his opponent’s faces. He was chilling to watch when he executed his trade.
But four years ago, his mother and father had to bury their son. Since 2005 his brothers have lived without their brother, his three children without a father and his mates without a friend. Fans have been without a hero. Boxing champion; victim of crime.
Gone, never forgotten. RIP, Mzukisi.