South African cricket in 2002

23 December 2002

With the 2003 Cricket World Cup fast approaching, it’s time to take a look back on South African cricket in 2002. Apart from a solid hiding from Australia at the beginning of the year there were some strong performances from the national team, while there was excitement in the domestic ranks as the four-day Supersport Series produced a first-time champion, Easterns. This is my take on the past year’s cricket:

Player of the Year: Jacques Kallis

The best all-rounder in world cricket: by the end of the Test series against Sri Lanka he was ranked sixth in both batting and bowling in the Price Waterhouse Coopers Test rankings. During the course of eight Tests he scored 601 runs and picked up 29 wickets at an average of 26.97. In 28 one-day international innings he scored 1 173 runs at an average of 51, including one hundred and 9 fifties. He also sent down 210.5 overs and captured 32 wickets at an average of 31.78, while conceding 4.82 runs per over. It should be taken into account that South Africa faced Australia more than any other opponent in 2002, playing 11 matches against the team recognised as the top eleven in cricket today. Not that the Australians kept Kallis down; he scored 402 runs against them at an average of 50.25, including a century and three fifties.

Newcomer of the Year: Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith was hurled into the deep end when he made his Test debut against a rampant Australian team in Cape Town. He was dismissed for only three in his first Test innings, but showed his grit and determination with a fighting 68 in the second innings. By the end of the Sri Lankan series in November, Smith had scored 426 Test runs, including 200 against Bangladesh, at an average of 47.33.

Smith cracked the one-day nod in the fourth ODI against Australia, scoring 41. Matters went even better from there as he added scores of 46, 84 and 73 in the remaining matches. He narrowly missed out on a first one-day international century when he was run out on 99 against Sri Lanka, the first player in history to suffer that fate in an ODI. In 16 matches he scored 625 runs at an average of 41.66. Smith turns 22 on 1 February 2003, so it appears that one of the opening batting positions will be in solid hands for many years to come.

Test Batsman of the Year: Jacques Kallis

In eight Tests Kallis compiled 601 runs, including one century and five fifties, at an average of 60.1. After the completion of the series against Sri Lanka in November, Kallis was averaging exactly 50 after 64 Tests, the mark of a player of the highest class. He has scored 4 350 Test runs, including 10 centuries and 25 fifties.

Special mention: Herschelle Gibbs

Opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs improved markedly during the course of 2002, showing the ability to both graft for his runs and also take a bowling attack apart with apparent ease and nonchalance. In seven Tests he scored 583 runs at an average of 53, including two centuries and two fifties. At the completion of the Sri Lanka series, Gibbs was averaging just less than 42 and had scored 2 805 Test runs, including seven centuries and 11 fifties.

Best Test innings: Herschelle Gibbs

With South Africa two-nil down in the three-Test series and trailing by 148 runs on the first innings in the third Test Gibbs scored 104 off 198 deliveries against an attack that included Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne to help South Africa reach 340 for 5 in the fourth innings of the Test to record an unlikely and morale-boosting victory.

Special mention:


  • Gary Kirsten 153 vs Australia, 3rd Test, 2nd innings, Sydney, January (SA lost by 10 wickets)
  • Shaun Pollock 99* vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Centurion, November (SA won by 3 wickets)
  • Graeme Smith 200 vs Bangladesh, 1st Test, East London, October (SA won an innings and 107 runs)Test Bowler of the Year: Makhaya Ntini

    With Shaun Pollock missing four Tests through injury and Allan Donald retiring after the first test against Australia at the Wanderers, Makhaya Ntini needed to take on additional responsibility as one of South Africa’s new ball bowlers. He succeeded at the task. Ntini captured 34 wickets in eight Tests at an average of 24.68. He claimed one five-for – 5 for 19 vs Bangladesh, and took four wickets in both innings of the second Test against Sri Lanka. Ntini’s performances were a considerable improvement over his previous showings for the Proteas and this is borne out by his career figures by the end of the Sri Lankan series that saw him with 80 Test wickets at an average of 30.76 to his credit.

    Special mention: Jacques Kallis

    The world’s best all-rounder, Jacques Kallis, was not far behind Ntini in the bowling stakes, capturing 29 wickets in eight Tests at an average of 26.97. He claimed one five-for – 5 for 21 vs Bangladesh, as well as hauls of three and four wickets in the second Test against Sri Lanka. By the completion of that series his number of victims totalled 134 at an average of 28.34.

    Best Test bowling: Nicky Boje

    Boje’s 4 for 63 off 25.2 overs vs Australia in the first innings of the 3rd Test in Sydney leads the way: the Australians totalled a mammoth 554 with the other four frontline bowlers all conceding 100 runs or more. Two of Boje’s victims made centuries: Justin Langer (112) and Damien Martyn (117).

    Special mention:


  • Makhaya Ntini 5 for 19 off 15 overs vs Bangladesh, 1st innings, 1st Test, East London
  • Jacques Kallis 3 for 35 off 17 overs vs Sri Lanka, 1st innings, 1st Test, JohannesburgBest Test Match performance of the Year:
    3rd Test vs Australia, March 15 – 19, Durban

    Coming off a record thrashing by an innings and 360 runs in the first Test, followed by a defeat by four wickets in the second Test, South Africa found themselves struggling in the third and final Test when they trailed by 148 runs on the first innings. However, a good bowling performance gave the Proteas a chance at victory after they had bowled the Australians out for only 186 in their second innings. It was by no means a “gimme” target, though – 335 runs against an attack that included Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne. A determined batting effort from the entire team was needed and it was delivered as the South African team ultimately cantered through to victory with five wickets in hand to hand all conquering Australia a rare loss. Their four-pronged dream attack managed only two wickets between them.

    Special mention:

    1st Test vs Sri Lanka, Johannesburg, Nov 8 -10
    SL 192 all out and 130 all out (Ntini 3 for 22, Hall 3 for 1)
    SA 386 (Smith 73, Kallis 75)
    SA won by an innings and 64 runs

    Worst Test match performance of the year:

    No competition here, there is only one contender: the first Test against Australia in Johannesburg that lasted only three days as the Proteas were annihilated by an innings and 360 runs. Batting first Australia amassed 652 for 7 declared as Matthew Hayden and Damien Martyn made centuries and Adam Gilchrist lambasted an unbeaten 204. In reply South Africa simply folded. They were dismissed for 159 and 133 as only three times in the match did one of the batsmen pass 30 and no one went on to record a fifty. It was the lowest of the lows.

    Special mention:

    3rd Test vs Australia, Sydney, Jan 2 – 6
    Aus 554 and 54 without loss
    SA 154 and 452
    Australia won by 10 wickets

    Best one-day international innings: Jacques Kallis

    Playing against Australia in Perth, Kallis scored 104 not out off 120 balls. The next highest score was just 34. SA made 250 for 5, but lost by 33 runs. Taking into account the standard of the opposition, the trouble the South Africans had encountered against Australia throughout the summer and the lack of help from his teammates, this innings rates number one for 2002 amongst many fine efforts.

    Special mention:


  • Mark Boucher 57* off 32 balls vs NZ, Adelaide, Jan 27, SA 253 for 5, won by 93 runs
  • Jonty Rhodes 107*off 135 balls vs NZ, Perth, Feb 1, SA 270 for 5, won by 67 runs
  • Shaun Pollock 69* off 34 balls vs NZ, Perth, Feb 1, SA 270 for 5, won by 67 runs (four 6s in succession, 27 off an over, most in Australia, three runs off ODI world record)
  • Herschelle Gibbs 114 off 130 balls vs Pak, Tangier, Aug 12, SA 283 for 9, won by 54 runs
  • Herschelle Gibbs 116 off 119 balls vs India, Colombo, Sep 25, SA 251 for 6, lost by 10 runs
  • Herschelle Gibbs 153 off 131 balls vs Bang, Potch, Oct 3, SA 301 for 8, won by
  • 168 runs (next highest 47)
  • Herschelle Gibbs 97* off 66 balls vs Bang, Benoni, Oct 6, SA 155 for 0, won by 10 wickets with 29.4 overs to spare
  • Jacques Kallis 53 off 26 balls vs SL, Centurion, Nov 29, SA 317 for 6, won by 177 runsBest one-day international bowling performance: Makhaya Ntini

    Facing New Zealand in the first match of the best-of-three final of the VB Series in Australia, Ntini claimed a career best 5 for 31 in 10 overs, dismissing openers Lou Vincent (7)and Nathan Astle (9) cheaply, as well as the dangerous hitting trio of Adam Parore, Dion Nash and Andre Adams. His effort helped South Africa take a convincing eight-wicket victory.

    Special mention:


  • Shaun Pollock 9-1-25-3 vs Aus, Melbourne, Jan 13
  • Jacques Kallis 9.5-1-30-3 vs Aus, Melbourne, Jan 13
  • Nicky Boje 10-0-31-4 vs NZ, Adelaide Jan 27
  • Makhaya Ntini 10-1-23-2 vs NZ, Perth, Feb 1
  • Nicky Boje 6.3-0.21-5 vs Aus, Cape Town, Apr 9
  • Allan Donald 9.3-0-43-4 vs Pak, Tangier, Aug 18
  • Makhaya Ntini 10-4-18-3 vs Bang, Potch, Oct 3
  • Jacques Kallis 8.5-1-33-4 vs Bang, Potch, Oct 3
  • Makhaya Ntini 10-5-28-3 vs Bang, Benoni, Oct 6
  • Shaun Pollock 9-3-24-4 vs Bang, Kimberley, Oct 9
  • Shaun Pollock 8.4-2-18-4 vs SL, Johannesburg, Nov 27
  • Makhaya Ntini 10-1-22-3 vs SL, Johannesburg, Nov 27Best One-day international performance of the Year:

    It is hard to fault the complete and brilliant performance the Proteas turned in against Sri Lanka at Centurion in the second one-day international on November 29. Batting first South Africa compiled a superb 317 for 6, with three of the dismissals coming by way of run out. Graeme Smith hit 99, Boeta Dippenaar 89 and Jacques Kallis a blistering 53 off only 26 deliveries. The Sri Lankans never came close to challenging the South Africans as they were bowled out for 140 for a South African win by 177 runs. It was a comprehensive victory against a very good one-day team.

    Special mention:

    VB Series vs New Zealand, Adelaide, Jan 27
    SA 253 for 5 (Boucher 57* off 32 balls)
    NZ 160 all out (Boje 4 for 31)
    SA won by 93 runs

    VB Series vs New Zealand, Perth, Feb 1
    SA 270 for 5 (Rhodes 107*, Pollock 69* off 34 balls)
    NZ 203 for 8
    SA won by 67 runs

    VB Series vs New Zealand, Melbourne, Feb 6
    NZ 190 all out (Ntini 5 for 31)
    SA 191 for 2 (Kallis 59*, Dippenaar 79*)
    SA won by 8 wickets

    7th ODI vs Australia, Cape Town, Apr 9
    SA 249 for 7 (39 overs, Smith 73)
    Aus 185 all out (Boje 5 for 21, Pollock 3 for 28)
    SA won by 65 runs (D/L method)

    4th ODI vs Sri Lanka, Kimberley, Dec 4
    SL 184 all out (Donald 3 for 18)
    SA 190 for 2 (30.5 overs, Gibbs 108*, Kallis 64*)
    SA won by 8 wickets

    Catch of the Year: Neil McKenzie

    McKenzie’s catch against Sri Lanka in the 4th ODI in Kimberley was a spectacular effort; he plucked a ball that was travelling like a tracer bullet out of the air with one-hand, diving high and to his right, before falling in a graceful roll on to the ground. It was the kind of catch that will be shown in television highlights’ packages for years to come.

    One-day international batsman of the year: Jacques Kallis

    Jacques Kallis was, without doubt, South Africa’s most consistent performer in one-day internationals in 2002. Herschelle Gibbs scored slightly more runs than his Western Province team-mate, but then again he played more innings and his average was over 10 runs lower than that of Kallis who averaged 51. Kallis totalled 1 173 runs and included in that total was an unbeaten century against Australia, as well as nine fities. Sri Lanka suffered most at his hands as he averaged 71 in seven outings against the 1996 world champions. What made Kallis’ performances all the more exciting is that he showed the ability both to bat through an innings as the cornerstone of South Africa’s batting effort or to take on the bowling with powerful hitting that could destroy an attack.

    Special mention:


  • Herschelle Gibbs was somewhat inconsistent during the 2002 season, but he did, nonetheless, score 1 205 runs at a decent average of 40.17. When he hit form he was devastating and he proved excellent at converting fifties into hundreds, totalling five hundreds and two fifties. He narrowly missed out on a world record when he finished on 97 not out off just 66 deliveries in the second ODI against Bangladesh, leaving him just three runs shy of scoring four ODI hundreds in success. 
  • Jonty Rhodes showed that experience counts for a lot during the 2002 season, coming in the middle order and consistently moving the scoreboard along at a good pace, whilst also scoring lots of run. He totalled 886 runs for the season, scored at an average of 46.63. His total included a century and 7 fifties. Rhodes showed his class when Australia toured South Africa, scoring 338 runs off just 293 balls at the superb average of 67.6. In the final five matches of the seven-ODI series he scored 325 runs at an average of 108.33.Best ODI bowler of the year: Shaun Pollock

    277 overs, 28 maidens, 1079 runs, 45 wickets, average 23.98, RPO 3.9

    Captain Shaun Pollock wins this one because of his consistency. Despite bowling at the death, Pollock still managed to maintain a run per over rate below four. He also captured 45 wickets at an average of 23.98 to lead the Proteas from the front. Some of his better analyses are list below:


  • Vs Aus 9-1-25-3
  • Vs Aus 10-1-32-4
  • Vs Aus 6-0-28-3
  • Vs Bang 10-0-16-1
  • Vs Bang 9-3-24-4
  • Vs SL 8.4-2-18-4
  • Vs SL 10-4-23-2Special mention: Makhaya Ntini

    Makhaya Ntini came oh so close to scooping this award ahead of Shaun Pollock. He showed the very valuable ability to take wickets and restrict run rate at the same time, and in a number of matches was the named man of the match for his game transforming performances. He claimed 40 wickets at an average of 24.88, whilst conceding 4.27 runs per over. Some of his top performances are listed below:


  • Vs NZ 10-1-23-2
  • Vs NZ 10-0-31-5
  • Vs Aus 10-2-24-3
  • Vs Aus 10-1-33-4
  • Vs Bang 10-4-18-3
  • Vs Bang 10-5-28-3
  • Vs SL 10-1-22-3Worst One-day international performance of the year:

    Once more South Africa’s nemesis, Australia,were the opponents for a poor South African performance. Batting first at the Sydney Cricket Ground in a VB Series match, the Proteas barely scraped together 100, making a paltry 106 all out as Gary Kirsten scored 44 and three other batsmen managed to make it into the teens. The Australians required only 18.4 overs to record an emphatic eight-wicket victory.

    Special mention:

    6th ODI vs Australia, Port Elizabeth, Apr 6
    SA 326 for 3 (7 extras)
    Aus 330 for 7 (49.1 overs, 23 extras)
    Australia won by 3 wickets

    Morocco Cup vs Sri Lanka, Tangier, Aug 15
    SL 267 for 7
    SA 174 all out (45 overs)
    Sri Lanka won by 93 runs

    3rd ODI vs Sri Lanka, Benoni, Dec 1
    SA 253 for 7
    SL 258 for 3 (41.4 overs)
    Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets

    ICC Champions Trophy semi vs India, Colombo, Sep 25
    India 261 for 9
    SA 251 for 6 (194 for 1 after 38.1 overs)
    India won by 10 runs

    Provincial team of the year: Easterns

    There can be no doubt about this one: Easterns won the Supersport Series title for the first time in their history, destroying a heavily favoured Western Province team, boasting five Proteas and a Zimbabwean international, by 273 runs in the final. Andrew Hall with match figures of 11 for 99 was the hero of the match, but it required more than just one victory for Easterns to earn a place in the final. They did that with little trouble, winning three of their four pool matches, before their crushing victory to secure the title. It was a wonderful achievement for the underdogs.

    Special mention: Free State Eagles

    Free State won three, drew one and lost one of their five Supersport Series pool matches and won their first three Standard Bank Cup matches as 2002 drew to a close. Veteran Gerhardus Liebenberg, along with Morne van Wyk, Boeta Dippenaar and Jonathan Beukes showed good form with the bat, while Victor Mpitsang, Kosie Venter and Dewald Pretorius excelled with the ball. Like Easterns, Free State are often overlooked when the top teams are considered, but their performances prove that they are up there with the best.

    Provincial Player of the Year: Andrew Hall

    Andrew Hall was an inspiration to his team as Easterns collected the Supersport Series title for the first time. He was especially dominating with the ball, collecting 36 wickets at the miserly average of 12.94 per wicket and his performance in the final, in which he captured 11 for 99, won the match for Easterns. Hall was also solid with the bat, scoring 265 runs at an average of 33.12.

    Provincial Batsman of the year: James Henderson

    James Henderson made the move from Boland to North West and then turned in a superb season, scoring a total of 576 runs, including three centuries, two of which he scored in the Dragons’ match against Gauteng in Potchefstroom. He averaged a superb 82.28 and was the leading scorer in the Supersport Series with 576 runs to his name.

    Provincial Bowler of the year: Charl Willoughby

    This award could have gone to Andrew Hall too, but he won the Player of the Year nod, so Charl Willoughby earns recognition here as bowler of the year. The left arm paceman was the top wicket taker in the Supersport Series, claiming 38 victims, two more than Hall, and an impressive 16 more than the next most successful bowler. Willoughby was also economical, conceding only 2.7 runs per over, and picking up his wickets at an average of 21.15.

    Sad moment of the year

    When former national captain Hansie Cronje was killed in a place crash on 1 June, South African cricket fans lost a man who was still very popular among many. After the problems Cronje had experienced with match-fixing he was starting to re-build his life and had recently accepted a job in Johannesburg. He is a man that could have, and wanted to, offer South African cricket a lot.

    An inspirational captain, Cronje remained in touch with many of the players in the national team who still respected his input and advice. It was a sign of the esteem that the side held him in when they attended his funeral, along with former coach Bob Woolmer, that was held at Cronje’s former school – Grey College in Bloemfontein – and broadcast on both the public broadcaster SABC and pay channel M-Net. It was a tragic end to a life that ended too soon…