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Ken Borland



Stone shows he’s blessed with temperament as well as ‘game’ 0

Posted on December 08, 2016 by Ken

 

Young Brandon Stone is undoubtedly blessed with a terrific golf game but an equally impressive temperament as he showed on Sunday by blazing his way to a seven-stroke victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

The 23-year-old began the day with a three-stroke lead over defending champion Charl Schwartzel, who has won the tournament four times, and showed immense composure as South Africa’s number two ranked golfer drew level with him after six holes.

But Stone stuck to his game-plan of staying conservative on the tougher front nine, turning in one-under-par, before obliterating the field on the back nine as he raced to a five-under-par 67, including five birdies, that left him on 22-under-par for the tournament, the second-best winning score ever.

It was the vastly more experienced Schwartzel who disintegrated, a bogey at the par-five 13th, when he wasted a superb drive by taking two shots to get out of a greenside bunker, being followed by a disastrous eight at the par-five 15th and then a double-bogey on the par-three 16th after more water trouble.

In fact, Stone stared down all his challengers, with Keith Horne and Chris Hanson both fading to 76s for 10-under overall, while Benjamin Hebert could only manage a level-par 72 to finish in a tie for fourth on 12-under and David Drysdale shooting a 73 to finish on 10-under.

Richard Sterne, second on 15-under-par after a 67, and young Belgian Thomas Detry, who finished third in just his fifth European Tour start after a 68, were the chief beneficiaries of the carnage up top the leaderboard.

“It wasn’t stress free but it feels great and it’s massive to have my name alongside those big ones already on the trophy. It’s probably the best I’ve played, my ball-striking was superb from the first to last hole and there wasn’t a hole where I was really in trouble all week. To shoot 22-under around here is not a simple task, it’s quite something,” a delighted Stone said after his second European Tour triumph following his SA Open win at the start of the year.

A pair of birdies on the sixth and seventh holes were key for Stone as they kept him under par on the front nine, even though he bogeyed the eighth, taking a lot of flak for hitting Driver off the deck.

“On the front nine I was tied for the lead at one stage and it was reminiscent of the SA Open. But I knew my game-plan was to be one or two under for the front nine and then try and score on the back nine and I was able to get some momentum going,” Stone said.

Victory was sealed on the 13th shortly after Schwartzel’s bogey there as Stone narrowly missed his putt for eagle after a superb drive and approach shot to 25 feet, his birdie giving him a five-shot lead.

Stone was just way too hot for the rest of the field on a sweltering 40 degree day in Malelane.

 

Amla & Rossouw overwhelm West Indies 0

Posted on April 30, 2015 by Ken

An overwhelming batting display – Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw blazing their way to centuries – carried South Africa to a comfortable 131-run victory over the West Indies in the fifth and final Momentum One-Day International at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday night.

With Amla and Rossouw slamming a record 247 runs for the third wicket off just 181 balls, South Africa charging to 361 for five after bad weather delayed the start of play by two-and-a-half hours and reduced the match to 42 overs per side, the hosts were always in control and they duly bowled the West Indies out for 230 in 37.4 overs.

Their batsmen having once again produced the goods, South Africa’s second-string bowling attack were eager to please but, Wayne Parnell apart, they showed that the Proteas cannot be complacent in the field when they get to the World Cup.

Kyle Abbott managed to dismiss dangerman Chris Gayle with the first ball of the innings, the left-hander only getting a thin edge as he flashed at an ill-directed opener short and well wide of off stump. The Proteas had to get the dismissal on review as umpire Sundaram Ravi called the delivery wide.

Abbott continued to spray the ball about, and although he claimed a second wicket with a full, straight delivery that bowled Marlon Samuels for 50, he persisted with banging the ball in halfway down the pitch and went for 59 runs in seven overs to finish a disappointing series for him.

Narsingh Deonarine (43) and Dwayne Smith (31) added 77 at a run-a-ball for the second wicket to repair the early damage, but Aaron Phangiso fooled Smith with the arm-ball to trap him lbw and Deonarine failed to get back in time as Samuels turned down a quick single and was run out in the left-arm spinner’s next over.

Samuels went on to score a quickfire half-century before being castled by what replays suggested was an Abbott no-ball, while Denesh Ramdin made a run-a-ball 40 before being undone by a sharp lifter from Parnell, gloving a catch to square-leg, where Amla moved smartly and dived to take a fine catch.

Parnell would be the best of the South African bowlers by some margin, taking four for 42 in nine overs, while fast bowler Marchant de Lange, who will not be going to the World Cup, enjoyed standing in for Vernon Philander (slight groin strain) and took one for 34 in eight tidy overs.

Although the West Indies’ batsmen never threatened to win the match, South Africa’s bowling was not precise enough for them to be happy with their performance in the field. Even Parnell tended to stick to back-of-a-length deliveries, which will be fodder for better batting line-ups at the World Cup.

Rossouw proved his credentials with the World Cup just around the corner as he lashed a great century, helping himself to a career-best 132 off just 98 balls, with nine fours and eight sixes, and Amla cruised to yet another century, scoring a fine 133 off 105 deliveries.

Rossouw and Amla added 247 for the third wicket off just 181 balls, a record third-wicket partnership for South Africa and equalling their own mark for the best stand for any wicket that they set in the second ODI at the Wanderers.

It was another top-class batting display by the South Africans, even with big gun AB de Villiers having a rest, as they laid a solid platform on a tricky pitch and then launched a spectacular late onslaught.

A couple of wickets had fallen in the first 10 overs as Quinton de Kock (4) and Faf du Plessis (16) fell to horizontal-bat strokes on a pitch that provided enough awkward bounce to make those shots difficult.

Amla once again looked in a class apart as he reached a 49-ball half-century in the 21st over, midway through the innings with South Africa on 109 for two, while Rossouw, who has endured a troubled ODI career thus far, struggled through to his 50 off 60 balls.

But those early miscues all seemed a lifetime ago as Rossouw then blossomed in spectacular fashion, needing just 23 more deliveries to register his second century of the series.

The left-hander raced past Amla and looked every bit a power-hitter as he smashed 82 runs off his last 38 balls.

Amla just kept on amassing runs as he has all series, except in this innings he was able to do it in half-dozens at a time, clearing the boundary six times to go with his 11 fours, showing that even a great batsman like him has had room to improve his game.

The West Indies were bleeding runs horrifically as the sun shone brightest on its way to the western horizon, bathing SuperSport Park in a sepia light befitting a display that was one for the ages.

The last 147 runs of the Amla and Rossouw partnership came off just 69 balls … and that by two batsmen who are not renowned for being big boundary-hitters.

Finishers David Miller (23 off 9) and JP Duminy (18* off 7) were left with only a handful of overs to bat but they collected their share of boundaries as 87 runs were hammered in the last five overs.

With the bounce providing something for the bowlers to work with – which the West Indians failed to do – South Africa’s total was certainly well over par.

 http://citizen.co.za/316681/amla-rossouw-batting-blaze/

‘Everything just clicked’ – De Villiers 0

Posted on April 07, 2015 by Ken

AB de Villiers batted as if he had a prior engagement in blazing his way to the fastest ODI century ever at the Wanderers on Sunday, and then said it was just one of those days when everything clicked.

De Villiers smashed 149 off 44 balls, reaching three figures off just 31 deliveries, in the most outrageous innings every played in ODI cricket, but it did ring true when he said it had not been his best ball-striking day.

“I have hit the ball better before, believe it or not, but it was just one of those exceptional days when you get a couple out of the middle of the bat and then everything just clicks. Today it just happened for me.

“On this ground, if you’re in decent form, you swing hard and have a bit of luck, then amazing things can happen and it’s very difficult to stop you, like Ricky Ponting and Herschelle Gibbs have shown in the past,” De Villiers said.

It was a top-class display of innovation and imagination from De Villiers, who fashioned 25 boundaries – nine fours and 16 sixes – from the 44 balls he faced, often playing strokes that bordered on the impossible.

“In today’s cricket you have to read the game and most batsmen do premeditate what they’re going to do. You can’t just let the bowlers bowl at you, you have to put them under pressure, so there were definitely quite a few premeditated shots by me today,” De Villiers admitted, making his superhuman efforts sound almost mundane.

It sounded even more corny when De Villiers said he had practically begged coach Russell Domingo to let David Miller go in ahead of him because he felt the left-hander could have added “even more fuel” to the brilliant opening stand of 247 in 38.3 overs between Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw.

While never considering themselves dead certs for the World Cup, De Villiers said Sunday’s overwhelming victory over the West Indies was a step in the right direction for the team as they look to go to Australasia believing they are the best team there.

“There’s no doubt a performance like this is a tremendous help for the confidence, which is 80 to 90% of sport. I believe we’re getting better, getting confidence is what this series is all about, and we want to go to the World Cup believing we are the best. No team has ever won the World Cup not thinking they’re the best team in the tournament,” South Africa’s ODI captain said.

Denesh Ramdin has been around the international circuit for nearly 10 years and he described De Villiers’ knock as one of the best he had ever seen; the rookie Rossouw said the number one ranked ODI batsman was playing the game at a different level to everyone else.

“I was just speechless watching AB, it was out of this world. He’s a freak, on a level of his own. It’s just not right scoring a hundred off 31 balls!

“Those who didn’t watch the innings really missed out because seeing is believing,” Rossouw said of his skipper’s extraordinary exploits.

 

 

 

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  • Thought of the Day

    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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