DateLine: 5th December 2008
Ashwell Prince was helped into the national team by South Africa's controversial quota system, although he quickly justified his selection by top-scoring on debut with a gutsy 49 against the mighty Australians in 2001-02. That innings, and a matchwinning 48 in the third Test at Durban, seemed to shed his reputation as a one-day flasher. But by the start of the 2002-03 season, his form had fallen away horribly, and he failed in four consecutive home Tests against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.Despite two hundreds in the 2004-05 season - an unbeaten 139 against Zimbabwe at Centurion and 131 in South Africa's 2-0 rout of the West Indies - Prince still does not find himself an automatic selection in the longer format of the game.he highlight of his career was a fine 119 in the third Test against Australia at Sydney in early 2006, but it was during this series that he became bunny to a legend: Shane Warne. Warne dismissed him in the first five innings - though Prince played the rest of the bowlers admirably - and troubled him plentiful when South Africa hosted Australia in March. Scores of 17, 27, 33 and 7 overshadowed a fantastic 93 in the first innings at Johannesburg.n July 2006 he was named as South Africa's first black captain in the absence of the injured Graeme Smith. The result was a disappointing 2-0 whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka. Prince made way for Mark Boucher to captain in the tri-series, also featuring India, which was ultimately aborted following South Africa's withdrawal over security concerns. Prince was not included in South Africa's squad for the Champions Trophy, but continued his sterling 2006 Test form against India at home. The highest run-scorer on either side in the three-Test contest, Prince's series highlights included an outstanding 97 in a loss at Johannesburg and a third career hundred at Cape Town. When Pakistan toured next, Prince was the only centurion in the three-Test series. His 138 laid the foundations for victory in the first Test at Centurion Park, and his numbers can't be argued with, as he ended the season's six Tests averaging 60.67. It was enough to earn him a recall to the one-day side, including a ticket to the West Indies for the World Cup, but it was a disappointing tournament and he was again omitted for the short tour of Ireland. He enjoyed a reasonable summer against West Indies, however, with 263 runs in the three Tests, and began the subsequent tour of England in scintillating form, with a crucial momentum-shifting century at Lord's, and a brilliant matchwinning 149 at Headingley in July Aug 2008.
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