South Africa captain Temba Bavuma insisted there were positives to take from his team's opening defeat to Australia at the T20 World Cup.

The Proteas fell to a five-wicket defeat in the first match of the Super 12 in Abu Dhabi, marking a reversal in the two teams' fortunes in the shortest format.

Bavuma's men went into the tournament having won each of their last three T20I series for the loss of just two matches.

By contrast, Australia have tasted defeat in their last five series.

But Aaron Finch's side had little difficulty chasing down a target of 119 as South Africa were left to rue a disappointing batting performance.

A series of timely boundaries from Marcus Stoinis got Australia over the line, but Bavuma was at least pleased with the spirit his team displayed in taking the contest to the last over.

"We always talk about us being resilient and there was an opportunity," Bavuma said.

"Big effort from the guys to get us to the last over. We just didn't get enough with the bat and it was always going to be tough for the bowlers, and it was a good effort from them to get it to this stage.

"As much as it was a day that didn't go to plan, we can take positives. We showed fight. We spoke during the half-time that we won't give up."

South Africa will look to bounce back against West Indies on Tuesday.

Australia turned the formbook on its head to start the T20 World Cup Super 12 stage with a five-wicket victory over South Africa.

South Africa have lost just two matches across their three T20I series in 2021, while Australia have suffered defeat in each of their past five series.

But Australia's decision to put the Proteas in to bat proved an astute one, Josh Hazlewood (2-19) leading a seam attack that got plenty out of the pitch while spinner Adam Zampa took 2-21.

Aiden Markram (40) provided the most substantial contribution to South Africa's underwhelming 118-9 and it was he who set in motion an unexpected fightback that brought a tense finish.

Despite losing Aaron Finch (0) and David Warner (14) early, Australia looked to be cruising at 80-3, however, Markram's magnificent diving catch broke Steve Smith (35) and Glenn Maxwell's (18) partnership by removing the former.

Tabraiz Shamsi then bowled Maxwell for his 50th T20I wicket three balls later to give South Africa further hope, but timely boundaries from Marcus Stoinis (24 not out) got Australia over the line with two balls to spare and off the mark in Group 1.

 

Sri Lanka are through to the T20 World Cup Super 12 after a dominant 70-run win over Ireland.

Wanindu Hasaranga's 47-ball 71, along with 61 from Pathum Nissanka, which came from the same amount of deliveries, propelled the 2014 winners to 171-7.

The 172 target proved well beyond Ireland, who were dismissed for 101 with nine balls left, Hasaranga also taking a wicket and bowling a team-high 14 dot balls in a Man of the Match display.

It means Sri Lanka can top Group A with a win over the Netherlands, whose hopes came to an end with defeat to Namibia.

Max O'Dowd hit a 56-ball 70 for Netherlands as they posted 164-4, however, David Wiese's unbeaten 66 ensured Namibia got over the line for a six-wicket win with six balls left.

England are among the tournament favourites and they underlined that status with a 13-run warm-up win over New Zealand in which Jos Buttler delivered a scarcely needed reminder of his class by hitting 11 fours and two maximums for his 73.

Mark Wood (4-23) and Adil Rashid (3-18) impressed with the ball for England, who were runners-up in 2016 to West Indies.

The Windies seemingly have work to do ahead of the Super 12 after a 56-run defeat to Afghanistan, who saw Hazratullah Zazai (56) and Mohammad Shahzad (54) hit half-centuries.

Rassie van der Dussen, meanwhile, looks in ominous form for South Africa, his 51-ball 101 comprising of 10 fours and four maximums as South Africa saw off Pakistan by six wickets.

South Africa's Elton Jantjies nailed a last-gasp penalty in a thrilling 31-29 win over New Zealand to deny the All Blacks a Grand Slam at the Rugby Championship.

Jordie Barrett, whose late kick secured the title in a 19-17 victory over the Springboks last week, looked to have sealed a sixth win from six for New Zealand in similar fashion on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

That was until Jantjies struck with the final action of an enthralling contest to end a 10-match winning streak for Ian Foster's men.

Lukhanyo Am's terrific behind-the-back pass led to Damian de Allende's opening try before an exchange of penalties kept South Africa five points ahead.

New Zealand levelled when Sevu Reece just made the corner after a fine Beauden Barrett kick, and despite another Handre Pollard penalty, the All Blacks were soon in command.

A fast, flowing move ended with Ardie Savea going over under the posts and Brad Weber added another try two minutes later following a lineout steal.

Then, momentum shifted. Pollard made no mistake with two more penalties to close the gap to three points, and the Boks were ahead 53 minutes in when Makazole Mapimpi crossed in the corner after the ball was worked from the opposite flank.

Replacement Jantjies stretched the lead further with another penalty, only after play was brought back following an advantage when Faf de Klerk fumbled at the breakdown barely a metre from the try line.

Jordie Barrett reduced the arrears as tensions began to build, although the Hurricanes back kept his cool to kick his side into the lead with five minutes left after South Africa were penalised for holding on.

A gripping finale saw Jantjies sink a brilliant drop goal a minute later only for Jordie Barrett to send another late kick sailing through the posts in what looked like a repeat from a week ago.

But South Africa came again, a lineout inside the New Zealand 22 leading to a penalty right in front of the posts, from which Jantjies made no mistake.

Boks rewarded for perseverance

At risk of a fourth consecutive Test defeat for the first time since 2016, the world champions were rewarded for a bold but clean display in which they refused to allow New Zealand to sustain first-half momentum.

This was only the second time the All Blacks have lost a Test match in Australia against anyone other than the Wallabies and showed the Springboks' performance in that narrow previous defeat was no flash in the pan.

All Blacks off the boil

This was something of an off-day for New Zealand after an exemplary championship, as they yielded both possession and territory surprisingly easily.

Giving up eight turnovers and losing six rucks overall did not help their cause in a game of fine margins.

Ian Foster says New Zealand must raise their game when they attempt to complete a Rugby Championship clean sweep by beating South Africa on Saturday.

The All Blacks defeated the Springboks 19-17 last weekend to maintain their 100 per cent record and seal the title.

New Zealand can complete a first Southern Hemisphere 'Grand Slam' since 2017 if they make it six wins out of six in their last game of the tournament against the world champions at Cbus Stadium.

Anton Lienert-Brown returns from injury at centre, with Rieko Ioane switching to the left wing and Sevu Reece starting on the right.

Luke Jacobson comes in at number eight, while Brad Weber gets the nod at scrum-half as Richie Mo'unga has to settle for a place on the bench along with TJ Perenara and Damian McKenzie.

Head coach Foster is demanding improvement from the newly-crowned champions on the Gold Coast.

He said: "We've achieved the Championship title, which we're really proud to have achieved.

"The fact that we now have the chance to achieve a potential Grand Slam against our Southern Hemisphere opponents is pretty special. I'm excited by that, and it has already given this weekend's Test an edge."

He added: "We learnt some lessons last week.  We didn't look after the ball as well as we could have and some of our work at the ruck wasn’t as good as we wanted. We have to lift our performance in that area and the team is keen to get that right this weekend."

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber made two injury-enforced changes, with Ox Nche starting at loosehead prop and Trevor Nyakane switching to tighthead after Frans Malherbe was ruled out due to a neck injury.

Jasper Wiese comes into the matchday squad as a replacement as third-placed South Africa attempt to end the tournament on a high note.

 

New Zealand: Jordie Barrett, Sevu Reece, Anton Lienert-Brown, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Brad Weber; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett, Akira Ioane, Ardie Savea (captain), Luke Jacobson.

Replacements: Asafo Aumua, George Bower, Ofa Tuungafasi, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ethan Blackadder, TJ Perenara, Richie Mo'unga, Damian McKenzie.

South Africa: Willie le Roux, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Siya Kolisi (captain), Kwagga Smith, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Jasper Wiese, Herschel Jantjies, Elton Jantjies, Frans Steyn.

The Jamaica men’s team will replace South Africa for the Sunshine Girls upcoming tri-nation series, which will also include Trinidad and Tobago.

Originally the three teams were expected to part in the series, which was scheduled to begin on October 9th.  The fixture opponents have, however, been modified after South Africa pulled out of the series due to countries rising number of Covid-19 cases. 

With short notice to find a replacement, the decision was made to employ the assistance of the country’s male team.  The dates for the fixtures have now also been moved forward, with the opening game of the tri-series now expected to be on the 14th.

The Jamaicans ranked fourth in the world, are expected to play against in a three-match series dubbed the ‘Vitality Roses Reunited’ set for London, in September.  Many of netball’s top teams will be looking to step up their preparations with the Commonwealth Games set to take part in Birmingham, England next year.  The Jamaican team has not played in international competitions since the World Netball Cup in 2020.

 

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh was impressed by the young bowlers, Qiana Joseph and Sheneta Grimmond, who performed well in the recent series against South Africa but insists that there is a need for greater levels of consistency from them.

Joseph, the 20-year-old left-arm spinner from St Lucia, was the leading wicket-taker for the West Indies Women with five wickets in the four ODI matches she played at an average of 19.40 and economy rate of 3.38.

Speaking to the media late last week, Walsh lauded Joseph’s performance during the series.

“Obviously, Qiana has played before but it’s the first time we were looking at her to play the role she did and she did it in both competitions; very, very satisfying,” Walsh said.

“We haven’t had a left-arm spinner for quite some time, most teams struggle against that or have that in their set up, so from a coaching perspective, it was something I had been very keen to have a look at and she has answered the right questions.

“She did well, it was very satisfying with her performance and how she went about it so it is definitely something to work on to give us those options with the bowling.”

Grimmond, the 23-year-old right-arm off-break bowler from Guyana, played in just two matches in the ODI series but four wickets at an average of 13.00 and an economy of 3.66.

“Grimmond came into the last two games and did well in the last game from a bowling perspective, so that is also another good question answered,” he said while also singling out Trinidadian Karishma Ramharack for praise on the strength of her best bowling figures of 3-8 in the T20 series.

“Ramharack did well in the T20 in the game she played and won Player of the Match, so these are some of the positive signs, what is lacking is the consistency and that is what we have to work on and which we will keep working on,” Walsh said.

“We want them to execute more consistently and once that is happening then it will give us more chances of winning games.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh believes middle-order batter Rashada Williams is on the verge of breaking into the first team following her outstanding series against South Africa.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls could be forced to make adjustments for next month’s tri-series following the reported withdrawal of South Africa from the tour.

Originally, the series was set to feature the no 4 ranked Jamaicans, 5th ranked Australians and 10th ranked Trinidad and Tobago and was set to tip-off on October 9th.  However, negotiations between Netball South Africa and the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) are said to have broken down due to the island’s rising number of Covid-19 cases.

The JNA is expected to give an update on the situation in the next few weeks with a replacement team being added being another possibility that is being looked at.

The series will be the first for the Jamaicans since the Netball World Cup in 2020, the team is, however, also expected to travel to England, in September, where they will face the England Roses in a three-match series.  The Sunshine Girls had been due to face England in January of this year, but those plans were postponed due to then-existing Covid-19 travel restrictions.  The team will be looking to vastly increase its activities in the coming months with the Commonwealth Games scheduled for next year.

West Indies Women’s coach Courtney Walsh admits the team’s inability to properly rotate the strike was a disappointment during the recent series against South Africa, as it had been a key area of focus ahead of the games.

The regional team just managed to avoid being on the wrong end of a sweep, after winning the final game of the series in a super over.  The 4-1 scoreline was, however, an accurate reflection of the fact that the West Indies Women had struggled to keep pace with the South Africans for the great majority of the One Day Internationals.

One of those key areas was putting runs on the board, with the Windies Women on many occasions looking bogged down by South Africa’s bowling, before being dismissed after ill-advised shots.  On four occasions the team struggled to get to one 150, a target that seemed an easy reach for South Africa.

 “It’s a concern, the rotation of the strike, it’s something we’ve been talking about since the start of the camp but it was highlighted much more against South Africa,” Walsh told members of the media.

“In terms of just hitting the fielders and not being able to find gaps, not being able to play with soft hands and we have identified that,” he added.

“It has been an ongoing discussion before the series and it was one area I was disappointed in that we did not try to show that (strike rotation) because leading up to the series we had been practicing it, but match-day when we get out in the middle it wasn’t done.  We just kept picking out the fielders.  It’s the sort of the thing you have to do in 50 over games if you want to really compete and it has to be addressed.”

 

New Zealand are on the brink of landing the Rugby Championship title ahead of their 100th Test against holders South Africa in Townsville on Saturday.

The All Blacks have been in a class of their own, taking maximum points from four matches to put one hand on the trophy and replace the world champions at the top of the rankings.

South Africa are smarting from back-to-back defeats to Australia, leaving them 10 points adrift of the leaders with two games against Ian Foster's side to play.

Australia are just a point behind the Springboks ahead of their clash with Argentina this weekend.

Here, we use Opta data to preview the double-header at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

 

NEW ZEALAND V SOUTH AFRICA

Form

There appears to be no stopping New Zealand at the moment, with their winning run standing at nine matches following back-to-back defeats of Argentina.

The last time the All Blacks enjoyed a longer winning streak was in October 2016, when they completed a run of 18 on the spin.

South Africa, on the other hand, are two without a win and have not had a worse run since losing four in a row from October to November five years ago.

 

 


Ones to watch

Akira Ioane is one of eight New Zealand players to be facing South Africa for the first time. Starting at blindside flanker on Saturday, his potency in the Springbok half could be key – only Jordie Barrett (nine) has beaten more defenders in opposition territory than Ioane (eight) in the 2021 competition.

Lood de Jager is back following concussion to reunite with Eben Etzebeth in the Springbok second row. They, along with Argentina's Guido Petti, are the only players to have stolen multiple lineouts at this year's tournament.

AUSTRALIA V ARGENTINA

Form

Australia are on a high after two impressive wins over South Africa, playing some entertaining rugby in a 30-17 bonus-point win in Brisbane last weekend.

Argentina are rooted to the foot of the table without a point from four matches, with a points difference of minus 101.

Each of the last two Tests between these nations ended in a draw. Only once in Test history have any tier one nations drawn three in a row (England vs France from February 1959 to February 1961).

Ones to watch

Australia captain Michael Hooper tends to enjoy facing Argentina: his most recent five home Tests against the Pumas have yielded a personal haul of four tries and one assist.

Argentina's best hope of springing a surprise could rest on the shoulders of Marcos Kremer, who is the only player in this championship to have registered more than 30 in both carries (31) and tackles (48). Another big showing from flanker Kremer might give the South American side a sniff.

West Indies Women won the fifth and final CG Insurance One-Day International against South Africa Women on Sunday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. After the full 100 overs, the match was tied – a run out off the last ball left South Africa on 192-7 off their 50 overs in reply to West Indies 192-5.

The match then went to the one-over eliminator and the home team scored 7-1 after the visitors made 6-0.

West Indies made their highest score of the series, thanks to a career-best knock from Rashada Williams – playing her fifth match.

The opening batter, top-scored with 78 not out off 138 balls as she batted through the innings. Then, off-spinner Sheneta Grimmond took a career-best 4-33 off her 10 overs in her sixth match, as South Africa slipped from 111-0 to 143-6 in the space of 13 overs.

“It was a great finish and I’m happy I played my part in today’s win. We really wanted to win, and we gave it all we had. The end was amazing with the run out off the last ball. We didn’t panic, we were focused, we kept our nerve in the ‘super over’ and it felt great to win,” said Grimmond, who was named CG Insurance Player-of-the-Match.

Match Summary: West Indies Women 192-5 off 50 overs (Rashada Williams 78 not out, Hayley Matthews 48; Nadine de Klerk 3-33) South Africa Women 192-7 off 50 overs (Lizelle Lee 61, Tazmin Brits 48, Mignon du Preez 46; Sheneta Grimmond 4-33, Qiana Joseph 2-29)

New Zealand returned to the top of the world rankings with their win over Argentina on Saturday, but coach Ian Foster is more concerned by the upcoming double-header against South Africa.

With a 36-13 defeat of the Pumas in Brisbane – their ninth consecutive Test win – New Zealand leapfrogged South Africa at the summit.

Foster's side also moved 10 points clear at the top of the Rugby Championship table and could wrap up the title even with a defeat against the Springboks next time out – if the All Blacks secure a losing bonus or prevent their opponents earning a try bonus.

But the opportunity to test themselves against the world champions is of greater interest in what will be the 100th Test meeting between the teams.

Asked about New Zealand's number one ranking, Foster said: "My mindset is you've got to beat number one to be number one.

"It's not on our mind at all. I'm not saying that to downplay it. We're about to play South Africa next week, we'll get excited about that.

"We're more interested in winning a Test match than where we sit [in the rankings].

"If we focus too much on the other thing, we'll get tripped up and won't be there for very long, and that doesn't interest us either."

Of the South Africa matches, he added: "We love playing Test matches, but we really love playing South Africa, probably because of the amount of respect we've got for them.

"Over history, it's been an outstanding rivalry.

"We're not so much talking about number ones and number twos, we've got a chance to go to Townsville to play a foe we've got a lot of respect for and put ourselves in a pretty nice position in this championship."

Australia got the better of South Africa for the second week running as Len Ikitau and Marika Koroibete led the Wallabies to a 30-17 victory in the Rugby Championship.

Having triumphed 28-26 over the Springboks on the Gold Coast last week, Australia came out on top again in Saturday's tussle in Brisbane.

The victory takes Australia to within one point of the second-place Springboks on 10 points, who are five behind leaders and reigning champions New Zealand, who face Argentina in the later game.

Quade Cooper was the star for Australia last time out, converting eight kicks, though he missed his first two-pointer here after Ikitau had crossed following Faf de Klerk's early booking for knocking the ball from Nic White's hands.

Handre Pollard pulled the 'Boks to within two points with a long-range penalty, though Australia swiftly struck again, Ikitau once more finding the gap and this time Cooper hit his mark from the conversion.

Pollard hit another two penalties either side of a Cooper three-pointer as, back to their full count, South Africa attempted to turn the screw, yet even with Lachlan Swinton seeing yellow (after initially being given a red card for a high tackle) the visitors could not prise Australia's defence open before the break.

Lukhanyo Am finally managed to do so just after the break to nose South Africa ahead for the first time, but it was a short-lived lead, Cooper winning a penalty and converting it before Koroibete steamed in for his first.

Cooper made no mistake and, five minutes later, Koroibete helped himself to his second to wrap up the result – Jasper Wiese's late yellow adding more frustration for the Springboks.

No place like home

Australia are now undefeated in their past seven men's Tests against South Africa on home soil (W6, D1), although Saturday is the first time they have won by a margin of seven points or more in that span. It is also the first time the Wallabies have earned back-to-back wins in men's international rugby since October 2019.

South Africa's resistance stutters

Heading into the match, South Africa had conceded just 13 points in the final quarters of games in the tournament, fewer than any other team. However, Australia had scored the most points (27) in the last 20 minutes, and they took that tally to 39 with their 12 points scored between the 62nd and 68th minutes, breaking the Springboks' resolve in the process.

Opening batter Rashada Williams unveiled a wide range of shots in a determined knock for West Indies Women but the home side could not stave off defeat against South Africa Women on Thursday.

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