This wasn’t where I’d planned to be at this weekend. The big game was supposed to have been Saturday‘s Soweto derby with Orlando Pirates taking on Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium. That match had been postponed though after the murder of the keeper and captain of the Pirates and South African National team, Senzo Meyiwa, whose funeral took place on that day instead. As you have may have heard, he was shot during a mobile phone theft. A mobile phone for fuck’s sake.
With all the football cancelled, Jen and I settled for some cricket and the triple header T20 day at New Wanderers stadium. With play scheduled from ten in the morning until ten at night we didn’t feel in any real rush to get there and so started the day with a hike at Groenkloof Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Pretoria.
There was a fair bit of cloud cover which was very welcome and the odd spot of rain, which was less so. We usually spot a giraffe or two but on this occasion the best we saw were zebra, a few varieties of some sort of bok and a couple of ostriches.
The zebras were attracting the attention of those white birds that you often see eating the bugs off cattle. I suppose zebras provide just as good a food source for them.
With the hiking over we headed off to Johannesburg for the cricket. A quick look at the telly as we stopped for lunch on the way revealed that the Knights had posted a score of 205 in their twenty overs.
We got into the ground with the Warriors seven overs into their reply and took up a couple of seats in the lower section of the Unity Stand. There weren’t many spectators at that stage with the ground perhaps a tenth full, although that’s more than were at the South Africa v India test match here last year.
Mind you, a power cut hadn’t helped matters, resulting in the ticket office not being able to sell tickets to people who had turned up on a whim. That must have been frustrating, knowing that the stadium was virtually empty, but not being able to get inside.
The Warriors were making hard work of their reply and with three wickets already down were chasing the game. Craig Kieswetter was playing for them and he did ok, smacking a few boundaries before getting out soon after passing fifty.
Once the former England player was back in the dugout,the Warriors got a bit bogged down and didn’t even manage to see out their overs, falling well short on 131. With almost an hour to go to the next game that gave us the opportunity to have a stroll around the ground and select our vantage point for the next session.