Tuesday, 24 July 2012


There seems nothing much more for Fantasy Bob to say about South Africa's demolition of England in the First Test.  His prediction of a close encounter proved, as is usual with his predictions, hopelessly inaccurate.

An innings defeat in which only 3 opposition batsmen score runs and you take only 2 wickets in the whole match to your opponents' 20 is history making in itself. No other team has accomplished this. As a margin of victory this is astonishing. But everybody knows that. What will be the psychological damage to the team thinking itself the best on the planet. Unusually in modern schedules England have a week to regroup and to pray for conditions more likely to favour them when they play in front of FB at Headingley. Then everyone will see the true character of the side. Resilience was not on offer at the Oval - it is vital that some is generated for the next encounter.

Alviro making history

All the media attention will rightly be on Amla and on Steyn, on Kallis and on Smith. There were stellar performances from each. But FB would like to give praise to another S African whose contribution was significant. FB is sure that his performance will in time ensure he becomes a legendary figure. Quizzes across the civilised world will soon resound to the question to name the fourth batsman when S Africa scored their record 637 for 2 against England. In future corners of clubs and pubs, pencils will be sucked and brows will be furrowed as the name stubbornly refuses to come to mind.

Alviro Petersen's 26th Test innings ended on Friday when he missed Jimmy Anderson's inswinger and left without seeking a review so plum was he.  This brought Amla to the crease and England's long vigil started.

This was Petersen's first Test duck, although not his shortest innings.  He is bound to remember it.

That's the thing about trivia.  It just keeps accumulating, and FB falls over it all the time.  So well done Alviro Petersen, your hard graft is over and you are a racing certainty for your fourth Test century at Leeds.

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