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Ken Borland

Markram waits patiently for his chance to join Rabada 0

Posted on March 22, 2017 by Ken


2014 Junior World Cup winner Kagiso Rabada is about to be unleashed on the international stage as he tours with the Proteas to Bangladesh, but what of his captain at that prestigious tournament, Aiden Markram?

Rated as one of the most promising young players in the country, Markram is learning the hard way that it takes much longer for batsmen to break through in the senior ranks than it does for bowlers. But the 20-year-old Northerns player is still full of optimism and says there is plenty of opportunity lying ahead for him.

“Obviously I’m happy that KG is with the national team, he completely deserves it. But it’s tough as a top-order batsman trying to play for your franchise and then your country, so I’m not concerned with my progress,” Markram told The Citizen.

The Tuks product has played 10 first-class games for Northerns, scoring 424 runs at an average of 30.28, including three half-centuries. His limited-overs returns have been more spectacular, scoring two List A centuries in five innings on his way to an average of 71.25, a strike-rate of 95.95 and a nomination for the CSA Provincial One-Day Cricketer of the Year award.

Markram was also brilliant in the T20 competition, scoring 165 runs in four innings, with two half-centuries, an average of 55 and a strike-rate of 146.

“I’ve played a lot more limited-overs cricket in my life. I have game-plans in place for those formats but in the longer format it was only towards the end of the season that I had identified a plan. So that was a big positive and I’m really looking forward to next season’s three-day competition. I don’t want to be labelled a limited-overs player, but I’m happy with the way the season went.

“In the season ahead, it would be nice to play franchise cricket for the Titans, that’s definitely a goal for me, in any format. But all I can control is scoring runs and putting myself in contention. If I’m selected, great, but if not then I want to make a big contribution for the Northerns team. I enjoy my role there and I’m looking forward to more responsibility,” Markram said.

For someone who has such a solid technique, it is surely only a matter of time before Markram makes his mark in first-class cricket, having already shown in the shorter formats that he has the measure of most bowlers in provincial cricket.

“I’d only played two three-day games in my life before this season, so it’s been a new challenge. As a top-order batsman, the bowlers are fresh and armed with a new ball, so if you get in then you must kick on. And it’s usually tough batting on day one.

“I just need to re-set myself more during my innings, make sure I get myself in properly and then just bat time,” Markram said.

For someone as talented as him, it is surely also only a matter of time before he is back playing on the same stage as his former team-mate Rabada.

Markram hits record score as Titans hammer Lions 0

Posted on March 20, 2017 by Ken


Aiden Markram hit the highest individual score in competition history as the Titans hammered the Highveld Lions by 169 runs in their Momentum One-Day Cup derby at the Wanderers on Friday night.

Markram belted 183 off 138 balls to steer the Titans to 415 for three after they had elected to bat first, beating the previous record for the highest total ever – the 400 for five they had made against the Cape Cobras at Newlands last month.

The previous highest individual score was the 181 Reeza Hendricks had scored when he was playing for the Knights against the Dolphins in Bloemfontein in 2014/15; it was a bad night in general for the Lions opener as he was dismissed first ball as the home team’s run-chase never really took off.

Markram and in-form fellow opener Henry Davids put on 222 off 203 balls for the first wicket, but they took their time at first against some threatening new-ball swing bowling from Beuran Hendricks, whose first five overs cost just eight runs.

But patience is rewarded even in limited-overs cricket and, after scoring just 41 in the 10 powerplay overs, Markram set the early pace, going to 50 for the first time in the Momentum One-Day Cup off 56 deliveries.

But Davids is a vastly experienced batsman and he weathered some early storms and struggles and was soon breezing past his partner with some impressive strokeplay.

He reached his century in the 30th over of the innings, with the Titans on 190 without loss, off 94 balls, needing just 32 deliveries for his second fifty. It was important during this stage that Markram, who is way more mature than his 22 years, shifted gear downwards and allowed Davids to prosper during his hot streak.

Markram performed his changing roles to perfection and would bat through to the penultimate over of the innings, but Beuran Hendricks claimed the important wicket of Davids for 128, off 108 balls, as he had him well-taken by cover-sweeper Rassie van der Dussen.

Heino Kuhn came in and ensured that the run-rate never dipped with an energetic 34 off 23 balls, but it was a low full toss from Wiaan Mulder that undid him in the 42nd over.

Markram ploughed on, reaching his maiden franchise 50-over century off 99 deliveries and ensured that he batted practically through the innings, while also showing that he has the ability to collect boundaries, scoring 18 fours and five sixes in all.

His magnificent, record-breaking innings eventually came to an end when he picked out long-off when trying to hit Dwaine Pretorius, who he punished as 80 runs came off the international all-rounder’s 10 overs, over the top.

But you cannot ask for a much better finisher of an innings than Farhaan Behardien and he ensured the Titans made the highest ever total with his tremendous 62 not out off just 31 balls, including 19 off the last over bowled by Beuran Hendricks, ruining the left-hander’s figures.

You always felt one of the Lions openers, Van der Dussen or Reeza Hendricks, needed to go big for the home side to have a chance, but Titans new-ball bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Eldred Hawken removed them both in their opening overs.

Van der Dussen hit the third ball of the innings from Ngidi square through the off side for four, but then had the misfortune to choose an even wider delivery to try and cut, only managing to edge a catch behind to wicketkeeper Kuhn.

Hawken, a useful swing bowler who deserves more opportunity, then struck with his first ball as Reeza Hendricks edged to first slip, a fine delivery angled in from back-of-a-length and then holding its line.

It ended a bad day for the Proteas hopeful, but wicketkeeper/batsman Mangaliso Mosehle was at least able to partly atone for dropping both Markram, before he had scored, and Davids on 36, by lashing a dazzling 74 off 44 balls.

Mosehle was making few friends when it came to the Titans bowlers, being particularly hard on wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who he swept for fours and sixes and hit back over his head for a magnificent, soaring six that brought up the Lions’ 100.

But Shamsi had the last laugh when he had Mosehle well-caught by Markram at deep square-leg.

Captain Dominic Hendricks went carefully to 21 when he was stumped by precision work by Kuhn off Shamsi, and Wihan Lubbe (31) and Wiaan Mulder (29) added 53 off 41 balls before being removed by seamers Hawken and David Wiese respectively.

It was clearly Markram’s day as he trapped the dangerous Pretorius lbw for nine, the big-hitting all-rounder swinging around a dipping full delivery.

Nono Pongolo impressed as he played some fine strokes for his 35 off 21 balls, but Shamsi wrapped up the tail as he finished with five for 74, conceding runs against some hit-and-hope slogging from the tail.

The Lions were all out for 246 in just 33.5 overs as the Titans completed their biggest ever victory in terms of runs in the competition.

Markram rumours wide of the mark, but 4 other Titans will leave 0

Posted on March 14, 2016 by Ken


The rumours that junior world cup winning captain Aiden Markram could be lost to South African cricket are wide of the mark with the 21-year-old confirming on Tuesday that he has signed a contract with the Titans, who will, however, be losing four of their talented youngsters ahead of next season.

Markram will be spending the off-season playing for Walkden in the Bolton League, but the promising top-order batsman will be back in time for what is already shaping up as a massive summer for him. Especially since Theunis de Bruyn and Graeme van Buuren, two of his team-mates in the all-conquering Tuks side, are moving on to fresh pastures. Corbin Bosch, the opening bowler for Markram’s triumphant SA U19 team, has already relocated to Australia, having failed to break into the Titans team this season.

The Titans have also lost out on the services of wicketkeeper/batsman Mangaliso Mosehle, who is moving to the Highveld Lions next season.

Van Buuren has earned a two-year contract with Gloucestershire and, because his wife Hannah, the former Tuks conditioning coach, was born in London and has a British passport, he will try to qualify for England.

De Bruyn, one of the brightest batting talents in the country, will be moving to the Knights for the 2016/17 season, opening the way for Markram to play more regular franchise cricket, having made just two Momentum One-Day Cup appearances this season.

“I’m looking forward to spending the off-season in different conditions and growing my game, but I’m happy with where I am in my career. Any opportunity I get for the Titans I’m just going to try and take, but at the moment I’m really focusing on my preparation. At school, there might be four or five good players in the opposition, but in senior cricket there’s a lot more good players, so it takes time to work out how to play at that level. But the more cricket you play, the faster you learn,” Markram told The Citizen on Tuesday.

Van Buuren has been a highly-valued performer for the Titans, averaging 45 in the Momentum One-Day Cup and 30 in the RamSlam T20 Challenge, as well as bowling economical left-arm spin, but with doors opening up for him in county cricket, it was only natural that he would seize the opportunity.

“I’m not going with any regrets, I’m not at all complaining about anything, I owe the Titans for everything I’ve achieved, having played for them since Northerns U7s 18 years ago. So I’m very thankful to them, but this is a great opportunity in terms of my career as a professional cricketer and not a lot of players have this chance.

“I’m excited for something new, an unbelievable opportunity and a new chapter. Obviously I want to play international cricket, that’s the main reason for playing because you always want to push yourself to be the best. I’ll qualify for England when I’m 29 and until then I’ll just let things take their course,” Van Buuren told The Citizen.

Tornados deny Gladiators once again in Northerns Bash final 0

Posted on September 19, 2014 by Ken

CLASS ... 19-year-old Aiden Markram inspired the Tornados' victory in the Northerns Bash. - ©Alwyn Myburgh, Big Pic Photography

CLASS … 19-year-old Aiden Markram inspired the Tornados’ victory in the Northerns Bash. – ©Alwyn Myburgh, Big Pic Photography

The Global Gladiators were once again denied in the final of the Northerns Bash as, despite Cobus Pienaar’s brilliant century, the Tornados, inspired by Aiden Markram, beat them by eight wickets at SuperSport Park yesterday.

The Gladiators, who decided to bat first, were indebted to Pienaar’s scintillating 103 not out off 73 balls for their total of 161 for five.

The runners-up in the first edition of the Northerns Bash were off to a great start as Pienaar and Lerato Kgoatle (14) put on 64 in the first seven overs. But the Tornados were brought back into the game by wrist-spinner Thomas Kaber, who landed his first ball perfectly, Kgoatle went back and the umpire lifted the finger for lbw.

Five balls later, Sean Dickson, whose innings of 70 off 42 balls had killed the Tornados on Saturday, was caught by cow-corner running in as he mis-hit a poorly-executed attempt to pull a short delivery from Kaber.

Off-spinner Jacques Snyman then bowled a reverse-paddling Farhaan Behardien (7) three overs later and the Gladiators had slipped to 88 for three. But the left-handed Pienaar batted on, relying on well-placed singles and hard-run twos to keep the scoreboard ticking over and ensure there were wickets in hand at the death.

Evan Jones put his foot on the accelerator in scoring 23, but Pienaar’s beautifully-paced innings saw him reach the first century in Northerns Bash history in the final over, off 69 balls, with 13 fours and three sixes.

The Tornados relied on eight bowlers to deliver the 20 overs and Kaber (3-22-2), left-arm spinner David Bunn (3-22-1), Snyman (3-23-1) and seamers Gerhard Linde (3-22-0) and Corbin Bosch (4-31-0) all handled the pressure situation well.

Titans captain Henry Davids was all class at the start of the Tornados’ chase and it looked to be his day as he raced them to 62 without loss after six overs, being dropped on 28 by Behardien at third man off paceman Sean Nowak.

Davids only added four more runs though, before charging experienced left-arm spinner Ryan Houbert, missing the ball and eventually being stumped by Kgoatle, to leave the Tornados on 69 for one after eight overs.

They needed 93 off 12 overs, a required run-rate of 7.75, and the 19-year-old Markram continued to push the ball around like a seasoned veteran.

With his fellow Tuks star, Theunis de Bruyn, 60 runs were added for the second wicket off just 42 balls to have the Gladiators up against the wall.

De Bruyn eventually fell for 26 off 22 balls as he tried to slap leg-spinner Tertius Gouws through the covers, but hit the ball to extra cover Jones instead.

The Tornados then needed 33 from 31 balls, but there was no escape for the Gladiators as Graeme van Buuren (15*) and Markram continued to pierce the field with ease and completed victory with nine balls to spare.

The Titans are certainly blessed with plenty of young batting talent and Markram is rapidly climbing that list, impressing hugely with his measured innings of 81 not out off 54 balls.

Spinners are normally the most effective bowlers in the Northerns Bash and the Gladiators’ two best performers with the ball were Houbert (1-27) and Gouws (1-25).

The Tornados, who didn’t even use Heino Kuhn because of a knee niggle, are a formidable batting side, however, and they chased down a competitive total with aplomb.

The Northerns Bash is believed to be the only club competition in the world that can attract a handful of internationals and two-dozen first-class cricketers to play alongside their amateur colleagues and the move to play it twice a year has certainly been a success.

In yesterday morning’s game, the Pirates beat the Nashua Phantoms by 48 runs to claim third place. Opening batsmen Eldred Hawken (54) and Wian van Heerden (44) added 101 in 9.5 overs to lead Pirates to 173 for six, and off-spinners Tom Khoza (4-26-4) and Ruben Claassen (3-1-8-2) then bowled superbly to limit the Phantoms, the defending champions, to 125.

Scores in brief

Saturday round-robin: Pirates 158-6 (Tom Khoza 39, Wian van Heerden 42, Ryan Cartwright 22; Eden Links 2-31, Shaun von Berg 2-19). Phantoms 159-7 (Blake Schraader 42, Jason Brooker 54 not out; Ruan Olivier 2-21; Ruben Claassen 2-25). Phantoms won by three wickets.  Gladiators 172-4 (Lerato Kgoatle 37, Sean Dickson 70, Bafana Mahlangu 24, Tertius Gouws 25*; Thomas Kaber 2-34). Tornados 151-7 (Mangaliso Mosehle 24; David Bunn 33, Jacques Snyman 47*; Ryan Houbert 2-25). Gladiators won by 21 runs.

Third/fourth play-off: Pirates 173-6 (Eldred Hawken 54, Wian van Heerden 44, Tom Khoza 20*). Phantoms 125 (Blake Schraader 36, Roelof van der Merwe 21; Tom Khoza 4-26, Ruben Claassen 2-8). Pirates won by 48 runs.

Final: Gladiators 161-5 (Cobus Pienaar 103*, Evan Jones 23; Thomas Kaber 2-22). Tornados 165-2 (Henry Davids 32, Aiden Markram 81*, Theunis de Bruyn 26). Tornados won by eight wickets.


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    1 Corinthians 3:3 - "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?"

    One of my favourite U2 songs is a collaboration with Johnny Cash called The Wanderer, and it features the line "they say they want the kingdom, but they don't want God in it".
    Many people say they believe in God, but they don't experience his loving presence. They may be active in Christian work, but only if they have their way. If they cannot be leaders, they refuse to be involved.
    Because they refuse to allow God to fill their lives with his love, they remain weak and powerless.
    Spiritual maturity means developing a greater love for others.

    "When the love of Christ saturates you, immature attitudes such as pettiness, jealousy and strife are dissolved.
    "It is only when you have an intimate relationship with the Lord that you receive sufficient grace to rise above this immaturity and enjoy the solid food that the Holy Spirit gives you." - Solly Ozrovech, A Shelter From The Storm

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