McCullum backs misfiring Kiwis after South Africa rout

Updated 22 December 2012
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McCullum backs misfiring Kiwis after South Africa rout

DURBAN, South Africa: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was unapologetic for his team’s approach after South Africa trounced them by eight wickets with 47 balls to spare in the first Twenty20 international on Friday.
Fast bowler Rory Kleinveldt took two early wickets to start a slide from which New Zealand never recovered.
Kleinveldt took the key wickets of Rob Nicol and McCullum before he finished with three for 18 to capture the man of the match award.
South Africa romped home in 12.1 overs with new captain Faf du Plessis making 38 not out, while Quinton de Kock, making his debut four days after his 20th birthday, slammed a quick 28 not out.
“We played some aggressive cricket and missed a couple of fundamentals on the way,” McCullum said of his team’s collapse to 86 all out after winning the toss, with several of the batsmen falling to over-ambitious strokes.
“That is the way we are going to be, that is the way we are going to put them under pressure. We were probably a bit too keen, we were outplayed,” added the captain, who said he expected a better performance in the second match of the three-game series in East London today.
Du Plessis hailed a “fantastic” performance by the home side.
“The bowling was fantastic, the energy on the field was awesome,” he said.
It was a disappointing start for New Zealand, who arrived as underdogs but were expected to put up a reasonable fight in the Twenty20 internationals.
They were missing several key players, including former captain Ross Taylor, who was unavailable for the tour, and they suffered another blow when experienced batsman Martin Guptill could not play at Kingsmead because of a stomach ailment.
Fast bowler Trent Boult was also unavailable because of a similar problem.
On a Kingsmead pitch with pace and bounce, the tourists lost three wickets inside the first five overs.
Nicol charged Kleinveldt and was caught behind, while McCullum top-edged a hook and was caught at fine leg. In between Peter Fulton drove Dale Steyn to mid-on.
It did not get much better for the Black Caps although left-handed newcomer Colin Munro, who was born in Durban and did his early schooling in the city before his family moved to New Zealand, made 23. Doug Bracewell hit 21 not out.
Steyn, newcomer Chris Morris and left-arm spinner Robin Peterson all took two wickets.
New Zealand new cap Mitchell McClenaghan had Richard Levi caught at slip for a duck, bowling a wicket maiden at the start of the South African innings.
But Henry Davids and Du Plessis put on 45 before the captain and De Kock finished the match.


Juan Antonio Pizzi picks little-known striker in search of more Saudi Arabia firepower

Updated 2 min 22 sec ago
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Juan Antonio Pizzi picks little-known striker in search of more Saudi Arabia firepower

  • Haroun Kamara has only played seven times for his club side
  • Green Falcons to play Algeria and Greece next month

Al-Qadisiyah’s 20-year-old striker Haroun Kamara has been given an opportunity to stake an unlikely claim for a World Cup spot after being surprisingly named in Juan Antonio Pizzi’s squad for a three-week training camp in Spain.
Kamara, who was born in Jeddah to Guinean parents, has only made seven league appearances for lowly Al-Qadisiyah, scoring four goals and claiming two assists, but he has been given the chance to shine in friendlies against Algeria on May 9 and Greece six days later and book a seat on the plane to Russia.
The youngster follows in the footsteps of the likes of Somalian-British Mukhtar Ali and Egyptian Ahmed Al-Fiqi as the Saudi Football Federation look to harness the pool of players born in the Kingdom to expats and increase the depth of the Green Falcons’ squad.
Pizzi has turned to Kamara having struggled to find options in attack. Hazza Al-Hazza and Mujahid Al-Mania, who were both given their debuts over the past six months, have failed to convince upfront, while Mohannad Assiri has just one goal for his country in more than seven years. Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, who has 26 goals in 33 internationals, is favorite to lead the line, but Pizzi needs more options in attack.
In goal, Yasir Al-Mosaileem, Mohammed Al-Owais and Fawaz Al-Qarni retain their place in the squad, while Al-Nassr’s Waleed Abdullah, who featured in the last squad, made way for Al-Hilal’s Abdullah Al-Mayouf. Only three goalkeepers will be selected for the final 23-man squad.
In defense, Ali Al-Bulayhi is in line for a debut, having established himself as a key player at the heart of Al-Hilal defense, while Mohammed Al-Burayk’s performances at right-back for the Blues earned him a recall to the squad for the first time under Pizzi, replacing Hassan Muath.
The three Hawsawis — Osama, Omar and Motaz — retain their places as do full-backs Yasir Al-Shahrani, Mansour Al-Harbi and Saeed Al-Muwallad. The backline is edging closer to taking shape as Mohammed Jahfali, who was first brought into the squad in March’s friendlies against Ukraine and Belgium, looks to have done enough to convince Pizzi to hand him a second opportunity.
There were no real surprises in midfield as the team is boosted by the recovery of two high-profile names. Nawaf Al-Abed makes his long-awaited return to the national team set-up, having suffered an injury in November’s ill-fated Portugal camp under the now departed coach Edgardo Bauza. Al-Abed’s Al-Hilal teammate, Salman Al-Faraj, is also back in the squad after recovering from a three-month injury lay-off.
Spain-based trio Fahad Al-Muwallad, Yahya Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari miss out due to club commitments.

 

Saudi Arabia squad for games against Algeria (May 9) and Greece (May 15)

Goalkeepers: Yasir Al-Mosaileem, Mohammed Al-Owais, Fawaz Al-Qarni, Abdullah Al-Mayouf.
Defenders: Osama Hawsawi, Motaz Hawsawi, Omar Hawsawi, Mohammed Jahfal, Ali Al-Bulayhi, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Saeed Al-Muwallad, Yasir Al-Shahrani, Mansour Al-Harbi.
Midfielders: Abdulmalik Al-Khaibari, Abdllah Al-Khaibari, Ibrahim Ghaleb, Abdullah Otayf, Taisir Al-Jassim, Hussein Al-Moqahwi, Salman Al-Faraj, Nawaf Al-Abed, Mohammad Kanno, Mohammed Al-Kuwaikbi, Hattan Bahebri.
Forwards: Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, Mohannad Assiri, Haroun Kamara