Kallis, Ntini honoured again

27 September 2005

Jacques Kallis and Makhaya Ntini were honoured as two of South Africa’s five cricketers of the year for a record-equalling fourth time at the launch of the 2005 South African Cricket Annual on Monday evening. Andre Nel was recognised for a second time, while AB de Villiers and Boeta Dippenaar were honoured for the first time.

Previously, Allan Donald, Kenny McEwan and Clive Rice were named cricketers of the year four times.

During the course of the year Kallis, who is in his benefit year with Western Province, became the world’s number-one ranked batsman in test cricket. He is closing in on the 100-test milestone, needing only seven more matches to get there, and his record is world-class.

Close to Graeme Pollock
Kallis has scored 7 337 runs at an average of 56.87. To put that into perspective, Graeme Pollock, with a test average of 60.97, is second only to the legendary Sir Donald Bradman’s 99.94 average over the course of a test career. Kallis is not far off that mark.

His efforts during the course of the last year included scoring 625 runs in a series against England, with three centuries and two fifties, at an average of 69.44. The English recently beat Australia in a test series for the first time since 1986/87 because Australia struggled against their bowlers. That says a lot about Kallis.

Makhaya Ntini rose as high as fourth in the test bowling rankings after he destroyed the West Indies with a South African record haul of 13 for 132 in the second test in April 2005. His analysis included a devastating 7 for 37 in the second innings. Now, he is ranked just one place behind the outstanding Shaun Pollock, who occupies fourth spot.

Stepping up
With Pollock out of action with injury in the West Indies, Andre Nel stepped admirably into his shoes, claiming 17 wickets in the series at the miserly average of 17.29. He bowled with hostility and conceded only 2.44 runs per over.

Nel played just one test against England, but managed to claim 6 for 81 in an innings. He moved up to a career high eighth in the test bowling rankings after the tour of the West Indies.

AB De Villiers made his mark in the West Indies, tallying 460 runs in the series, which was second only to captain Graeme Smith’s 505 runs. He hit two centuries, including a big 178 in the third test.

Against England, the 21-year-old scored 362 runs at 40.22, including 92 and 109 in the fifth test on his home ground at Supersport Park in Centurion. He finished off with an average of 53.72 in his first season in test cricket.

One-day marvel
Boeta Dippenaar’s best efforts came in the one-day international series against the West Indies, where he was named man of the series.

Dippenaar scored 317 runs at the massive and astounding average of 105.66, and scored at a very brisk 91.88 runs per 100 balls faced. The next best effort by a South African batsman was Kallis’ 180 runs.

Thanks mainly to Dippenaar, South Africa won the ODI series 5-0.

Editor of the SA Cricket Annual Colin Bryden said the choices of cricketers of the year had been difficult because a number of other players had also stood out, including Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher, Justin Kemp and Charl Langeveldt.

The annual’s fifty-second edition is 608 pages long and includes feature articles, colour pictures, match reports and statistics.

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