South Africa’s tactics of playing on a slow pitch worked as the surface nullified the threat of Mitchell Johnson and helped the South African batsmen pile plenty of runs. Then, Dale Steyn got the contrast swing going to bowl the Proteas to an impressive win and thereby level the series.
The third and final Test is now being played at Cape Town and should be hard fought, as battles between these two sporting countries usually are.
Hashim Amla, who had been hit in the grille in the first Test, batted calmly to get yet another hundred, and with just about every South African batsman making a decent contribution, they had enough runs on the board. The worry for both teams is the form of both the skippers who have hardly got a run so far in the series.
AB de Villiers has continued his good form, and he will be the wicket that the Australians would want to grab early in the third and final Test match.
The Asia Cup has begun in Dhaka and the Lankans who have been in Bangladesh for a Test and one-day series are definitely at an advantage being more acclimatised to the weather and the pitches in Dhaka. Of course, the big game from the viewer’s point of view is the India v Pakistan game.
Pakistan, having lost the opening game of the tournament to Sri Lanka, did well to get the bonus point against Afghanistan. India started well with a most impressive win over hosts Bangladesh. The home team 's skipper Mushfiqur Rahim batted brilliantly to get a hundred, but Bangladesh were probably 20 runs short to really challenge India, what with the kind of one-day form Virat Kohli has been in.
The Indian captain just can’t seem to put a foot wrong and is making batting look like child’s play. His shot making on both sides has been breathtaking to say the least, and the ease with which he finds the gaps in the field suggests a computer like brain which knows where exactly the fielders are stationed.
For Pakistan, Umar Akmal has finally come good, and they will be hoping that this could be the turning point for a player who has not achieved as much as his talent suggests.
He has all the shots in the book but does not have the patience to wait for the right delivery. In one-day cricket, batting down the order does not give the batsman the chance to play himself in.
But luckily for Umar, on both the occasions he has come in to bat the team has been in some trouble, and so he bided his time, settled down, and then widened the range of his shots.
The result was the second century of his one-day career coming after 88 matches. That stat itself tells you that he has not fully utilised his talent.
For his batting display so far in the Asia Cup, Umar Akmal is the Ceat International cricketer of the week.
Professional Management Group