South Africa’s day

South Africa enjoyed a bonanza day in the world of sport yesterday (it was probably just as well for Bradley Wiggins that no South Africans were involved in the Tour de France!) with golf and cricket happenings that were the stuff of dreams (or nightmares according to perspective).

At Royal Lytham & St Annes Ernie Els recorded a final round 68 to get to the safety of the clubhouse at seven under par for the week. The combination of gusting winds and pressure got to long-time leader Adam Scott who bogeyed the last four holes, missing a shortish putt at the last to go into a play off. Spectacular happenings of this sort are by no means unknown at the business end of majors – Jean Van de Velde’s triple bogey at Carnoustie to drop into a playoff and Paul Azinger’s 6,5 finish at Muirfield that gave Nick Faldo the 1987 Open are just two other examples, while in the US Open Arnold Palmer was once seven clear with nine to play and failed to seal the deal, but four bogeys in a row to finish is definitely unusual.

A couple of hundred miles south at The Oval (I refuse to incorporate the name of whoever happens to be the current sponsor), South Africa were having a day that they would scarcely have dared to dream about. In the first two sessions Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis piled on 234 runs without being dismissed, taking their stand to a South African third wicket record 376 unbroken. Amla became the first South African to pass 300 in a test match, while Kallis was on 183 not out when tea arrived and with it Graeme Smith’s declaration. England then contrived to lose four wickets, all bar that of first inings centurion Cook to poor shots, in the final session. I will not venture a firm prediction on this occasion, but with all due respect to the batting talents of Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Swann and Anderson, it is clear that Bell and Bopara will have to stay together for much of this final day to give England any chance of pulling off an escape act that would earn plaudits from Harry Houdini.

Thats it for today apart from some photos…


Author: Thomas

I am a founder member and currently secretary of the West Norfolk Autism Group and am autistic myself. I am a very keen photographer and almost every blog post I produce will feature some of my own photographs. I am an avidly keen cricket fan and often post about that sport.

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