Not only did Wiaan Mulder finish the second day of the second Test against West with South Africa’s best bowling figures, but he also picked up a very expensive bar bill. Mulder called “keg ball” on the first delivery of the West Indies’ innings, when Kagiso Rabada had West Indies’ captain Kraigg Brathwaite caught off the glove and now owes his team-mates a round of drinks, as per a fun, spirit-building South African policy.
“A keg ball is when you buy a round of drinks for the team. We called a couple this game. I called one the first ball of this game, so unlucky me, but it’s good for the team,” Mulder explained. “It brings a little bit of spirit. When you feel your x-factor coming through and your instinct tells you there’s going to be a wicket, or something is going to happen, that’s when you call a keg ball. There were three or four in this innings and a couple in the last innings.”
The term was first explained on the host broadcaster when the commentary team explained why South Africa were more cock-a-hoop than usual when they dismissed Jermaine Blackwood in the second innings of the first Test. Rassie van der Dussen took a low catch at short extra cover after Blackwood attempted a drive off Kagiso Rabada. After van der Dussen completed the catch, he pointed towards Keshav Maharaj, who called “keg ball” on that occasion and picked up the tab.
“It’s an expensive ball, that,” Mulder said. “It creates a little bit of ‘gees’ (spirit), a bit of banter while you’re on the field. It’s quite a nice thing when you call keg ball and everybody goes crazy because they know they’ve got free drinks.”
This time it will fall to Mulder to provide the post-match refreshments and he expects the drink of choice to fit the venue. “Apparently in this place, there’s a drink called the rum punch,” he said, before quickly clarifying that he won’t be buying that many. “But generally the guys don’t drink that much, so it’s just to create a bit of gees.”
But before South Africa get to the celebrations, they still have a series to close out. They have a 149-run lead and, with three days left in the match, will fancy their chances of batting West Indies out of the game with a strong second-innings showing before bowling them out to win the series. For Mulder, who has been selected as a batting allrounder, it’s the former discipline he wants to get right after scores of 25 and 8 on this tour so far.
“I feel like I am doing all the right things. I am training very hard and spending a lot of time at the crease but I feel like on this wicket every now and then, there’s one ball that’s got your name on it,” he said. “I had a long chat with Aiden [Markram] earlier. I was a little bit moedeloos (hopeless) and he said you are doing all the right things and at some stage your luck will change. Hopefully I can keep pushing on now and get some runs in the second innings.”
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.