AB’s Eagles won the inaugural 3TC Solidarity Cup by beating Quinny’s Kites and KG’s Kingfishers at Supersport Park on Mandela Day.
Here are our talking points from the game.
1.Glenton Stuurman the find of the game
The ball of the day came from young pacer Glenton Stuurman, who sent Rassie van der Dussen’s stumps flying. Stuurman built up some good pace and proved difficult for the batsmen to get away. A player we definitely hope to see more of in the near future.
2.Dropped catches give De Villiers lifeline
De Villiers scored a fine 61 (24) on his return to cricket in the Republic, but was given a lifeline twice in his innings. He was dropped by keeper Heinrich Klaassen off the bowling of Tabraiz Shamsi on 1, and Thando Ntini then dropped a return catch when the Eagles captain was on 8. You don’t give a batsman like De Villiers one chance, much less two, and he made his opponents pay for the drops.
3.Decent day for Thando Ntini
Speaking of Thando Ntini, the youngster, a late addition to the Kingfishers ranks, had a decent day with the ball. A tad unlucky- on another day, he could’ve easily had both Aiden Markram and AB De Villiers in his first over. And the highlight of the day was seeing his old man Makhaya in the commentary box while Thando was bowling.
4.Makhaya and Graeme Smith together doing commentary
This wouldn’t have been a major talking point but for Ntini’s recent allegations that the Proteas isolated and made him feel lonely. Given that Ntini played most of his career under Graeme Smith, it raises questions over the latter’s tenure.
Smith did lots of “Makkie, Makkie” in the box, but Ntini didn’t return them as much. He however did ask Smith whether he would take good care of his son (Thando), to which Biff replied in the affirmative.
5.Markram excellent with the bat
The Eagles were perhaps lacking the batting depth and the firepower of some of the other teams, but their two best batsmen- Aiden Markram and AB de Villiers, both came to the party. Markram is a treat to watch when on song, and this was another indication that he could well become the cornerstone of the Proteas batting in the near future.
6. Reeza Hendricks as KF captain
The Kingfishers were originally due to be captained by Kagiso Rabada, but Heinrich Klaasen took over after the former’s withdrawal through injury.
Then, somewhat bizarrely, CSA, perhaps with one eye towards “transformation”, chose Hendricks (a coloured player) to replace the white Klaasen at the last moment.
If there was ever an example of token transformation, this seemed like it. CSA made a right mess of it, and we’re not sure how Reeza felt being appointed as skipper in such circumstances.