Davids and Phangiso clinch T20 series for South Africa

Updated 27 December 2012
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Davids and Phangiso clinch T20 series for South Africa

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa: Henry Davids hit his second successive half-century and Aaron Phangiso took crucial wickets as South Africa beat New Zealand by 33 runs in the series-deciding third and final Twenty20 international yesterday.
Davids struck 68 at St. George’s Park in a South African total of 179 for six and Phangiso dismissed New Zealand’s big guns, Martin Guptill and captain Brendon McCullum, in successive overs, effectively ending the touring team’s challenge.
New Zealand finished with 146 for nine.
“South Africa played a very good game,” said McCullum. “There were some clutch moments and they stood up and applied some pressure. Against a good side, they expose you. We weren’t quite at our best but throughout the series we’ve seen some improvements and we can take some heart out of the series.” The slightly built Davids, who made his debut in the first match of the series, hit seven fours and two sixes in a 51-ball innings. A third wicket stand of 89 off 61 balls with Justin Ontong (48) enabled South Africa to overcome a poor start.
Left-arm seamer Mitchell McClenaghan was again the pick of the New Zealand bowlers, taking two for 24 off four overs.
McClenaghan, originally picked only for the Twenty20 series, will stay on to replace the injured Tim Southee in a two-match Test series starting in Cape Town on January 2.
Doug Bracewell also took two wickets, striking with the last two balls of the innings as David Miller (28) and Farhaan Behardien (22) perished in going for big shots after a fifth wicket stand of 44 off 23 balls.
Corey Anderson held four catches, three of them in the deep.
New Zealand lost Rob Nicol in the first over but briefly entertained hopes of victory as Guptill (24) and McCullum (25), the team’s leading batsmen, put on 47 off 37 balls for the second wicket.
Guptill, who made a match-winning century in the second international in East London, hit left-arm spinner Phangiso’s first ball for six but chipped a simple catch to midwicket off the last ball of the over.
McCullum followed in Phangiso’s next over when he was caught at wide long-off.
Phangiso added the wicket of James Franklin to finish with three for 25 off four overs. Opening bowler Ryan McLaren also took three for 25.
Faf du Plessis, who captained South Africa for the first time during the series, said he believed his team had played consistently well.
“It’s a young team and there’s so much energy,” he said.


Juan Antonio Pizzi is still the right man to lead Saudi Arabia, says former Green Falcons boss

Updated 22 June 2018
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Juan Antonio Pizzi is still the right man to lead Saudi Arabia, says former Green Falcons boss

  • Saudi Arabia's 1996 Asian Cup-winning coach Nelo Vingada backs Pizzi to lead side into next year's Asian Cup.
  • Green Falcons face Egypt on Monday with both looking to land their first point in Russia.

MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia’s 1996 Asian Cup-winning boss Nelo Vingada has called on the country’s football authorities to keep faith with head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi despite a disappointing showing in Russia.
The Green Falcons still have to face Egypt in the final match of Group A, but have already been eliminated following a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Russia in the opening game on June 14 in Moscow and a 1-0 loss to Uruguay five days later in Rostov.
 “I was expecting a little more from Saudi Arabia to be honest,” Vingada told Arab News.
“In the first game they were disappointing but a first game of the World Cup is always hard and especially when it is the first game and everyone is watching. Plenty of teams at the World Cup did not play well in the first game.
“But playing Russia in Russia and to lose is what you would normally expect from Saudi Arabia and while it was far from positive, people should not get carried away.
“The game with Uruguay was much improved in terms of organization and defense and it showed more of the character of the Saudi Arabia team.”
In the past, coaches have been axed following disappointing World Cup campaigns but with the 2019 Asian Cup just seven months away, the Portuguese tactician would prefer to see some stability rather than yet another new man in the dugout.
 “The Asian Cup is in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will be one of the contenders,” Vingada said. “It is better to stay with the same coach. He has a vision of how he wants the team to play and he now knows the players and the players know him.”
Constant changing has not helped Saudi Arabia in the past and Pizzi himself has been in the job just seven months.
“The problem is not the coach. He should not be changed, that has happened before but results did not improve, but the mentality has to change.”
Despite that Vingada, who has coached 
Egyptian club giants Zamalek and the country’s Under-23 team, believes that the Pharaohs, also eliminated, will prevail when the two regional rivals meet on Monday in Volgograd.
 “This is an important game for pride, the players and the countries. It is still the World Cup. Egypt have a little more quality I think and have Mohamed Salah too.” 
The Liverpool striker has been recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in late May and missed the opening game 1-0 loss to Uruguay. He played in the second game, a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Russia, scoring from the spot late in the match to earn a consolation.
“Any coach would take Salah because he can win you games but overall Egypt have been a little disappointing and a little unlucky.”
The bad luck came when conceding a last-minute goal to Uruguay and a fluke own goal to get Russia off the mark. “Uruguay are a tough team and it is no shame to lose 3-1 to a Russia team at home who are playing to qualify for the next round. It showed that European and South American teams still have a little more quality.”
 “Egypt just made some mistakes at the wrong time but this is football and without mistakes there are no goals.”
Ahead of the clash against Egypt Pizzi confirmed his intention to stay as Saudi Arabia boss, looking to build on the seven months he has had to imprint his ideas on the team ahead of the Asian Cup.