for quality writing

Ken Borland



Bavuma wants to open with McCullum, not copy him 0

Posted on October 09, 2017 by Ken

 

Temba Bavuma would love to open the batting alongside Brendon McCullum in the T20 Global League for the Joburg Giants, but as far as copying the Kiwi’s swashbuckling style goes, that’s not how South Africa’s gutsy middle-order Test batsman goes about his cricket.

Big-hitting marquee players like McCullum, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and David Miller will be amongst the star attractions when the league gets underway on November 3, but a team’s success is often decided by how well the batsmen around those stars set up the game for them. Bavuma is able to score boundaries with ‘normal’ cricket shots and is very good at rotating the strike.

“One must understand that there are 11 positions in a cricket team and not all cricketers play the same way, they all bring their own thing to the side. You get the batsmen with x-factor who can clear the boundaries, but then you have the other guys who create the foundation for those batsmen to come in and hit the ball.

“I think that’s the role I’ll play for the Joburg Giants, not trying to emulate Brendon but do what I do, which will allow him and Colin Ingram and Chris Jonker to bat effectively as well. In terms of T20 cricket, I’ve always seen myself as a middle-order batsman and I’ve been relatively successful at that, but I’ll probably play a role up front for the Giants, looking at who we’ve signed.

“I will embrace that and welcome the opportunity because as a batsman you want to be near the top in T20 so that you can bat for the bulk of the overs. I do feel I have the necessary skills to open the batting, but I won’t change my game, I’ll just do what has served me well in the domestic game,” Bavuma said at the Wanderers on Wednesday.

Bavuma is now a Cape Cobras player, but the Joburg Giants have signed him and another local darling in Kagiso Rabada to ensure the people of Johannesburg get behind their team.

“I was born in Cape Town, but everything in terms of cricket happened for me in Johannesburg, so it has a large part of my heart. It will be a massive pleasure to once again represent the people of Johannesburg,” Bavuma said.

https://citizen.co.za/sport/south-africa-sport/sa-cricket-sport/1634361/temba-bavuma-will-stay-true-to-himself-in-t20-frenzy/

Leopard Creek 0

Posted on July 05, 2017 by Ken

 

The elusive, mysterious and secretive African Finfoot

The elusive, mysterious and secretive African Finfoot

Leopard Creek has recently been rated amongst the top 100 golf courses in the world by the prestigious Golf Digest magazine and it is surely the wildest top-class golf course in the world, situated as it is alongside the Kruger National Park.

The Crocodile River forms the northern boundary between Leopard Creek and the Kruger National Park and the back nine runs along the river, offering tremendous sightings of all the animals and birds made famous by one of the largest game reserves in the world.

A channel runs off the Crocodile River and flows right in front of the clubhouse, making the verandah of this opulent building an ideal spot for bird and animal spotting. Unfortunately the clubhouse is also extremely hard to access for the rank and file visitor to Leopard Creek, but the good news is that there is a little service road that runs along this channel for a hundred metres or so, before turning up the hill to the 10th tee.

Shaded by luxuriant riverine trees, the road passes right by the water and I always make a point of taking a quiet stroll along this area. It has always seemed to me to be a perfect spot for African Finfoot – which Roberts describes as favouring “quiet, wooded streams and rivers flanked by thick riparian vegetation and overhanging trees” – the very description of my favourite part of Leopard Creek.

And so, on my eighth visit to this special place outside Malelane for the Alfred Dunhill Championship, I finally got my Finfoot.

There in this shady channel I saw the bright orange legs first as the bird stood on the bank and then went into the water, gliding stealthily to the other side of the river.

A hippopotamus was contentedly passing the day between this channel and the main Crocodile River, while a Brownhooded Kingfisher called from high up in the trees and a Malachite Kingfisher hunted from low down on fallen branches close to the water.

Heuglin’s Robin, one of my favourites, also hangs around this area.

Coming back up out on to the golf course, a series of dams is in front of you between the ninth, 18th and 10th holes, with Lesser Striped Swallow flying over and African Pied Wagtail patrolling the banks.

Heading backwards through the front nine, Blackbacked Puffback is calling away and Blue Waxbill are in a sapling on the side of the ninth fairway.

The seventh hole, a par-three, shares a dam with the fifth hole, fringed by Fever Trees, and Spottedbacked, Southern Masked and Thickbilled Weavers were all nesting in the same specimen of this archetypal tree of tropical wetlands, from which gin and tonics (no doubt consumed in large quantities on the verandah of the clubhouse) originated.

Along the stream feeding this dam, a Giant Kingfisher was eating a good-sized fish, while a Greenbacked Heron was flying upstream.

Anywhere on the course, you are likely to see Whitebacked Vultures soaring overhead and Purplecrested Louries flying between patches of thicker bush. Whitefaced Duck are also often flying over.

But the 13th is the signature hole of Leopard Creek, not just because of its great design but mostly because of the dazzling vista it provides over the Crocodile River just beneath the elevated green and Kruger Park just across the way.

Charl Schwartzel when the going was still good

Charl Schwartzel when the going was still good

While sitting there on the final day and watching Charl Schwartzel’s challenge implode in the face of young Brandon Stone’s brilliance, I was able to admire Great White Egret, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Black Crake, Egyptian Goose, Whitefronted Bee-Eater, African Elephant and Nile Crocodile along the river.

Away from the golf course, Leopard Creek is in an area of typical dense bushveld savanna with Forktailed Drongos, sometimes even perching on low aloes, ruling the day and Spotted Dikkops, marching around the parking lot, at night.

 

 

 

 

Where is Leopard Creek?

 

Sightings list

Forktailed Drongo

Spotted Dikkop

Impala

Bushbuck

Whitefaced Duck

Blackeyed Bulbul

Little Swift

Hippopotamus

Brownhooded Kingfisher

Malachite Kingfisher

African Finfoot

Heuglin’s Robin

Whitebacked Vulture

Lesser Striped Swallow

African Pied Wagtail

Blackbacked Puffback

Blue Waxbill

Spottedbacked Weaver

Southern Masked Weaver

Thickbilled Weaver

Giant Kingfisher

Grey Lourie

Greenbacked Heron

Yellowthroated Sparrow

Nile Monitor

Purplecrested Lourie

Great White Egret

Purple Heron

Grey Heron

Black Crake

Egyptian Goose

Whitefronted Bee-Eater

African Elephant

Nile Crocodile

Sombre Bulbul

Pintailed Whydah

 

Parnell a cautionary tale for Rabada 0

Posted on March 02, 2015 by Ken

There was a time when Wayne Parnell was one of the hottest prospects on the planet, dominating the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in 2008 alongside the likes of Virat Kohli, Tim Southee and Ravindra Jadeja, who are all now world stars of the international game.

New Australian captain Steven Smith (as well as the late Phillip Hughes), Kane Williamson, Ahmed Shehzad, Junaid Khan, Umar Akmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Darren Bravo were all part of that tournament as well.

That Parnell is an extravagantly gifted cricketer is not in doubt, nor that he can be a tricky customer to manage at times, but it is also clear that the 25-year-old has certainly not fulfilled his talent.

And I strongly believe that that has not all been his own fault; young cricketers need to be treated with care, no matter how talented they are.

Parnell was thrown into senior international cricket as a 19-year-old in January 2009, in Australia, just 10 months after that junior world cup. Although some initial performances were encouraging, like all inexperienced players he struggled for consistency and began to be chosen in squads without earning a regular place in the starting XI.

All that touring, without actually playing much, took its toll and Parnell became more inconsistent. He was never free to learn his trade at first-class or franchise level; eight years after making his first-class debut, he is finally playing his 50th match this weekend for the Warriors (and doing rather well). By way of comparison, Parnell’s 2008 team-mates, Rilee Rossouw and Reeza Hendricks, have played 73 and 85 first-class matches respectively and their stars are definitely on the rise, while his is waning. Southee has played 37 Tests and claimed 128 wickets, Parnell has just seven wickets in four Tests.

Parnell for me is a cautionary tale when it comes to the treatment of South Africa’s latest junior world cup sensation – Kagiso Rabada.

I was delighted that Rabada was released from the national squad playing in the first Test against the West Indies to go and play a Sunfoil Series four-day game for the Highveld Lions.

As good as it is for Rabada to be bowling in the nets and soaking up the ProteaFire atmosphere, I would beseech the national selectors to please allow this wonderful young talent to grow the foundation in the game that Parnell missed out on.

Through playing and learning at that level, against various types of batsmen, in different conditions, Rabada will know his game when he finally steps up to play Test cricket.

He can recycle the knowledge he will gain in the Lions set-up from such experienced cricketers as Neil McKenzie, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Stephen Cook.

It is not too late, of course, for Parnell to fulfil his potential and he might even one day open the bowling in a Test with Rabada. But like good wine, great cricketers are not rushed, they are developed and matured.

I would also have preferred seeing Temba Bavuma return to the Lions side and get some time in the middle, hopefully adding to the 90 runs he has scored in four Sunfoil Series innings this season.

In regards to that, national coach Russell Domingo said “the media would be all over us if a makeshift 12th man dropped a catch”, which seems a bit harsh on Robin Peterson!

As things worked out, both Bavuma and Peterson were required in the field, but hopefully the young batsman will be able to get some proper runs under his belt before what seems an inevitable call-up for him too.

 

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

    The lessons Christ taught were intensely spiritual, but also extremely practical. For him, everything - every thought and deed - was an expression of his relationship with his heavenly Father. All of our life must be an expression of the spiritual.

    "I wait upon God to renew my mind, to make me creative, instead of becoming the clanging cymbal that Paul spoke of." - Paul Tournier

    "The spiritual life touches the realities of every day and enables you to look, to a certain extent, at people's problems as God does." - Solly Ozrovech



↑ Top