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Southern Africa Sports

England outplays South Africa in Cricket World Cup opener

Hosts England made 311 for eight after being sent into bat by Du Plessis

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South Africa's Rassie van der Dussen acknowledges the crowd after reaching 50 runs not out during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between England and South Africa at The Oval in London

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis admitted his team were comprehensively outplayed by England in their Cricket World Cup opener on Thursday but found plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the tournament.

Hosts England made 311 for eight after being sent into bat by Du Plessis before bowling out the South Africans for 207 to start their campaign with an emphatic 104-run victory at The Oval.

“Today England were better in all three facets of the game,” Du Plessis told reporters.

“But it’s a league comp, as disappointed as we were with our performance you have to learn from it and put every single doubt to bed as you have to play cricket again.”

South Africa bowled and fielded tightly, restricting England’s usually free-scoring batsmen to only three sixes in the innings and a modest 76 runs from the last 10 overs.

Although Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes made fifties, none were able to go on to three figures.

“I thought we did a good job with the ball,” Du Plessis said. “England bat longer than anyone else so if you can stop them you are doing a great job. As few runs as they got in the last 15 overs – but it was a big score.”

South Africa’s reply was hampered by an injury to Hashim Amla who was forced to retire hurt after being struck on the helmet by a short ball from fast bowler Jofra Archer.

“The flow of the innings was affected with Hashim coming off, chasing a big score you need a good start, settled partnerships,” Du Plessis said.

“Pitch was good enough, Archer bowled well with the new ball, it will take time for international players to get used to his action and that’s why he’s such an X-factor bowler – he broke through our opening three.”

Du Plessis was pleased with his tactic of opening the bowling with leg-spinner Imran Tahir who dismissed Jonny Bairstow with the second ball of the match to give South Africa a flying start.

“It was something we thought about a year ago,” Du Plessis said. “It’s something different. My gut said Imran had a big chance of getting a wicket – he’s been practising with the new ball for a couple of weeks.”

South Africa’s next match is against Bangladesh at the same venue on Sunday.

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Southern Africa Sports

Manyama’s brace secures win for Kaizer Chiefs

The former South Africa midfielder opened the scoring after five minutes in front of a capacity 10,000 crowd at Makhulong Stadium

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Manyama's brace secures win for Kaizer Chiefs

Lebogang Manyama ended a 26-month South African Premiership goal drought by scoring twice as Kaizer Chiefs began the new season with a 3-2 win at Highlands Park Sunday.

The former South Africa midfielder opened the scoring after five minutes in front of a capacity 10,000 crowd at Makhulong Stadium 45 kilometres northeast of Johannesburg.

After Highlands had gone ahead with goals either side of half-time from Rodney Ramagalela and Namibian Peter Shalulile, Manyama struck again on 50 minutes to equalise.

An Eric Mathoho shot seven minutes from time which took a wicked deflection won the match for Chiefs, one of the most popular football clubs in the country but without a trophy since 2015.

“We have been through a rough patch over the last couple of years but I think today we showed what can be achieved and the team can only get better from here,” Manyama said.

It was an encouraging start for Chiefs at a ground where few visiting teams win as the Soweto outfit seek to put a disastrous last season behind them. 

They finished a humiliating ninth in the Premiership and were stunned by second-tier TS Galaxy in the FA Cup final.

Chiefs changed coaches midway through the 2018/2019 campaign with German Ernst Middendorp replacing Italian Giovanni Solinas.

“We had the edge over Highlands Park in quality and had to be patient,” said Middendorp, who has been resident in South Africa for more than a decade.

“The crowd was amazing today and this is the season where we have to play for our supporters. We attract many capacity crowds and then do not show up.

“But I think the situation is going to get better,” added Middendorp, who previously coached Chiefs a decade ago with minimal success.

Chiefs lie fourth after the opening round, behind Bidvest Wits, Orlando Pirates and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns on goal difference.

Golden Arrows and Polokwane City were the other clubs to secure maximum points in the opening round.

Sibusiso Mbonani scored a minute before half-time to earn Polokwane a 1-0 away win over Black Leopards, who hired French coach Lionel Soccoia during the close season.

Soccoia replaced Maltese Dylan Kerr, who quit after complaining of constant interference from club officials. 

Arrows netted in the first minute of the second half through a Michael Gumede lob to edge Maritzburg United 1-0 in Durban.

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Southern Africa Sports

Cricket South Africa sacks Gibson and his entire coaching staff

The clean-out comes shortly before a tour of India next month during which South Africa will play

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South Africa's head coach Ottis Gibson sacked

Ottis Gibson and his entire South African coaching team and management staff have lost their jobs, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Sunday. The decision, taken during a board meeting last week, follows a disastrous South African World Cup campaign in which the Proteas finished seventh of the 10 teams.

The clean-out comes shortly before a tour of India next month during which South Africa will play their first three Test matches in the new world Test championship.

In a statement, CSA said a football-style team manager would be appointed, who would take charge of all aspects of the national team, including the appointment of a coaching staff, the captain or captains and medical and administrative personnel.

The team manager will report directly to a Director of Cricket, a new position. Former South African player Corrie van Zyl, currently in charge of cricket pathways at CSA, will be acting Director of Cricket until a full-time appointment is made.

The statement said Van Zyl and CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe would appoint an interim management team for the tour of India as well as an interim selection panel and captain. Faf du Plessis, the current captain, was on Saturday night named South African Cricketer of the Year and it would be a surprise if he was replaced.

Sunday’s statement said none of the current team management, including coaches, would be retained. “This change will herald an exciting new era for the SA cricket and will bring us into line with best practice in professional sport,” said Moroe.

Former West Indian player and coach Gibson was appointed South African team coach in 2017. His contract was due to expire next month.

Gibson said during the recent Cricket World Cup that he was keen to continue in the job but his prospects plummeted when South Africa were among the first teams to be eliminated from contention for a World Cup semi-final place.

Van Zyl, 57, played in one unofficial Test during South Africa’s years of isolation and in two one-day internationals in 1992 following the country’s return to official international cricket. He had a brief spell as South African coach between 2009 and 2011.

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Ex-South African footballer Marc Batchelor killed in drive-by shooting

Police said the motive of the attack was unknown and that no arrests had yet been made

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Ex-South African footballer Marc Batchelor killed in drive-by shooting
Former South Africa footballer Marc Batchelor was shot dead in an apparent targeted killing late July 15, 2019, as he drove home in Johannesburg, police said. (Photo by Siphiwe SIBEKO / POOL / AFP)

Former South African footballer, Marc Batchelor was shot dead in an apparent targeted killing on Monday evening as he drove home in Johannesburg, police said.

“He was driving to his house and he was accosted by two guys on a motorcycle,” police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini told reporters.

“They fired shots at him and he died in his vehicle and the suspects drove away without taking anything.” 

“This happened outside his house in Olivedale (northern Johannesburg).”

Police said the motive of the attack was unknown and that no arrests had yet been made.

Local media carried photographs showing his bullet-riddled car window.

Batchelor, 49, played for South Africa’s two largest rivals teams, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, as well as Mamelodi Sundowns, Moroka Swallows and Supersport United.

He had a long-running feud with Paralympic sprint star Oscar Pistorius who was convicted of murdering Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

Batchelor claimed the sprinter threatened to break his legs in a dispute over a girlfriend.

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