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Ken Borland

KG keen to tap into finger-on-the-pulse McCullum 0

Posted on September 04, 2017 by Ken


If anyone has their finger on the pulse of the future direction of cricket it is former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and Joburg Giants Proteas marquee player Kagiso Rabada is really looking forward to tapping into his knowledge when the T20 Global League gets underway.

McCullum was snapped up by the Johannesburg franchise as the second pick in the draft for international marquee players, providing the tantalising prospect of a batsman and captain who did much to reinvent the game teaming up with a young fast bowler who is tipped to become one of the greats.

“As captain of New Zealand he was a really positive influence with the way he was able to lead a young side. He’s a very experienced campaigner who does not play by the book, the way he approached his cricket was very interesting and it shows he does not just conform to the boxes people impose.

“He questions all the strategies of the game, which is a really good thing. And he can certainly give me insights on what balls are hard or easy to hit, so I’m looking forward to tapping into his experience and picking his brain. He has dominated a lot of bowlers so it will be interesting to hear from him where batsmen can’t score,” Rabada told The Citizen on Saturday night.

West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard was the first pick of the evening and will be playing for the Bloemfontein City Blazers, while his compatriot, Chris Gayle, will turn out for the Cape Town Knight Riders.

The Durban Qalandars plumped for England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, while another West Indian star, Dwayne Bravo, will be plying his all-round skills for the Pretoria Mavericks.

“It’s fantastic to have Dwayne, he will bring a winning mentality having played in T20 World Cup and IPL winning sides, he can contribute with both bat and ball and all the players who have played with him previously speak very highly of him, so I’m really excited to have him in our team,” Mavericks coach Russell Domingo said.

“It’s great to have one banker at six or seven plus he can bowl four overs under pressure and then we have AB de Villiers at four. And Dwayne has great death bowling skills which is of paramount importance, particularly at Centurion.”

The other international marquee placements saw Englishman Jason Roy joining fellow opener Quinton de Kock at the Benoni Zalmi, Kevin Pietersen heading to Port Elizabeth to join his mate Mark Boucher’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stars side and Sri Lankan pace bowler Lasith Malinga playing for Faf du Plessis’ Stellenbosch Monarchs.

Final page left unwritten 0

Posted on March 14, 2012 by Ken



The final page of the first test between New Zealand and South Africa was left unwritten as rain washed out the last day’s play at the University Oval in Dunedin on Sunday.

After the first two days had finished basically all-square, South Africa took control of the test by posting 435 for five declared in their second innings, thanks to memorable centuries by Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and Jacques Rudolph.

That set New Zealand a highly unlikely 401 to win, with South Africa’s target of 10 wickets in four-and-a-half sessions more likely.

But the experienced pair of Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor had left the test interestingly poised after the fourth day as they took New Zealand to 137 for two. But there was to be no gripping finale as sheets of rain fell on the fourth night and continued on Sunday, with the test being called off an hour after lunch.

Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor batted through the final session to take New Zealand to 137 for two at stumps on the fourth day of the first test on Saturday.

The hosts will need to score a further 264 runs on what should be an absorbing final day.

After tea, there was just the one success for the Proteas, as legspinner Imran Tahir claimed the wicket of opening batsman Rob Nicol for 19 in the most fortunate of ways.

Having come through a torrid 90 minutes against the quick bowlers, Nicol’s concentration obviously wavered against the slow bowler and he bunted a dipping full toss to mid-on, where Graeme Smith moved to his left and took a low, tumbling catch.

New Zealand were 55 for two, but the class of McCullum and Taylor then shone through as they added 82 for the third wicket in 20.5 overs.

McCullum was the initial aggressor and the former wicketkeeper raced to his half-century off just 65 balls, the precision of his strokeplay, whether scoring in front of the wicket or behind, being most impressive.

The second half of the session belonged to Taylor as McCullum added just eight more runs to his tally from the last 26 balls he faced before the umpires took the players off for bad light 10 minutes before the close of play.

The skill and timing of the Kiwi captain, particularly through the off side, was in great evidence as Taylor stroked eight fours in his 48 not out off 68 balls.

The South African attack began to look innocuous on the stodgy pitch, with Dale Steyn clearly out of sorts and Tahir tending to bowl too full.

Vernon Philander looked the most threatening of the bowlers with consistent movement off the seam, while Morne Morkel hurried the batsmen with some fiery short-pitched bowling.

Afternoon session

Jacques Rudolph and Vernon Philander were the shining lights as New Zealand reached tea on 27 for one on the fourth day of the first test against South Africa at the University Oval in Dunedin on Saturday.

Rudolph finished on 105 not out as South Africa declared their second innings on 435 for five, and finished the session well on top with New Zealand still 374 runs from a highly unlikely victory.

South Africa had resumed on 359 for five after lunch and Rudolph and Mark Boucher quickly got on with it. New Zealand were not able to stop them scoring at will as 76 runs were scored in 16 overs.

Canny left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori was the one bowler not to get collared, conceding just 65 runs in 32 overs through the innings.

South African captain Graeme Smith probably always intended to declare midway through the second session with a lead of around 400, but the timing worked so perfectly that Rudolph was able to notch his first test century since December 2005 against Australia in Perth.

Rudolph completed his sixth test century in four hours, off 177 balls, in a solid display of strokeplay, sweet timing and sound technique. Boucher also looked in solid form as he scored 34 not out with four boundaries.

South Africa had 11 overs at the New Zealand openers before tea and Philander struck the first blow by removing Martin Guptill, one of their key batsmen, for 6.

Guptill was out when he pushed half-forward to an away-swinger from the pace bowler and edged an easy catch to third slip.

Brendon McCullum had raced to 10 not out, with two fours, at the break, the same score opener Rob Nicol had laboured 38 balls to reach.

McCullum is a class batsman and will be a key wicket for South Africa to gain before the close of the fourth day.

Morning session

South Africa lost the services of Jacques Kallis early on, but Jacques Rudolph carried them to 359 for five at lunch on the fourth day of the first test against New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.

Rudolph was the chief provider of runs as he took his overnight score of 13 to 59 not out and South Africa extended their lead to 324. The other not out batsman is Mark Boucher on five.

The search for quick runs was stymied to an extent by the early loss of Kallis, who was dismissed in the ninth over of the day when he flicked the lively left-armer, Trent Boult, straight to midwicket.

Kallis was out for 113, which included 16 beautiful boundaries, but the most impressive aspect of the innings was its construction. Kallis had come in when the loss of two wickets in an over had left South Africa reeling on an effective score of 12 for two, but the composure and sheer technical brilliance of the Proteas’ leading run-scorer carried him through a tricky start. He became more fluent as he gained the measure of the bowlers and the stodgy pitch and seemed set to up the run-rate again on the fourth morning when he was out.

AB de Villiers came in and it was obvious he had positive intentions as he welcomed Tim Southee by cutting him superbly through the covers for four.

But De Villiers had reached 29 when he heaved the part-time off-spin of Kane Williamson to cow corner and it was left to Rudolph to guide the target-setting effort.

The experienced left-hander breezed to his 11th test half-century and second of the match off 106 balls as he took to seamer Doug Bracewell with successive boundaries nine overs before lunch.

The game rather went to sleep after the dismissal of De Villiers, with Rudolph and Boucher content to make it to lunch and New Zealand just trying to restrict the number of runs scored. The players even had the cheek to wander off the field for lunch before umpire Aleem Dar had even called time!



McCullum & Taylor bring excitement 0

Posted on March 13, 2012 by Ken


Exciting batting by Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor left the final day nicely poised as New Zealand reached 137 for two at stumps on the fourth day of the first test against South Africa on Saturday.

34th over – The flurry of runs continues as Taylor lashes a cut through backward point for four off Jacques Kallis.

33rd over – Imran Tahir pitches the googly on leg-stump, Taylor reads it and leg-glances the ball for another four.

32nd over – A wonderful over for New Zealand. McCullum completes his half-century, Ross Taylor then brings up the fifty partnership off just 70 balls as he skilfully steers Kallis between backward point and gully for four. Taylor then pushes the next delivery sweetly through the covers for another boundary.

31st over – Tahir continues to bowl very full and Taylor drives beautifully and elegantly through extra cover for four.

29th over – Tahir drops short and McCullum pulls him powerfully for six.

22nd over – Dale Steyn slides down leg and McCullum turns the ball around the corner, beating a very square fine-leg for another boundary.

21st over – WICKET – Rob Nicol has come through a torrid 90 minutes against the quick bowlers and now he bunts a dipping full toss from leg-spinner Tahir to mid-on, where Graeme Smith moves to his left and takes a low, tumbling catch. Nicol scored 19, but what a way to go! Taylor is off the mark with a boundary as he steers a full ball outside off stump through point.

18th over – Vernon Philander is bowling straighter now and Nicol jumps across and flicks the ball through square-leg with wonderful timing for four.

16th over – Philander eventually departs from his immaculate line and length, McCullum seizing on a bit of width outside off stump and crunching a cut for four through point.

15th over – Full and outside off stump from Morne Morkel and McCullum monsters a magnificent cover drive for four. Morkel ends the over by thundering a bouncer into McCullum’s shoulder, from where it loops to the slips. Considering how far away from the gloves the ball was, South Africa’s decision to review the not out verdict is absurd.

The impeccable Vernon Philander made the first breakthrough as New Zealand went into tea on 27 for one on the fourth day of the first test against South Africa at the University Oval in Dunedin on Saturday.

11th over – Morne Morkel strays on to the leg-stump and Brendon McCullum tickles the ball away for four runs to fine leg.

10th over – Short and wide from Dale Steyn – a poor ball – and McCullum jumps all over the gift, getting off the mark with a crunching square-cut for four.

8th over – WICKET – Philander is rewarded for his impeccable line and length as he claims the wicket of Martin Guptill for eight. Guptill pushes half-forward, there is just a bit of away movement, and he edges the ball straight to AB de Villiers at third slip.

5th over – Morkel has been a little straight in his first over and Rob Nicol turns him neatly through midwicket for the first boundary of the innings.

South Africa decided to keep New Zealand in the field until their lead was 400, declaring their second innings on 435 for five on the fourth day of the second test at the University Oval in Dunedin on Saturday.

138th over – After just two balls on 99, Jacques Rudolph meatily sweeps a straightish delivery from Daniel Vettori over the infield for four to reach his sixth test century off 177 balls in four hours. The stylish left-hander has put South Africa in a powerful position with his impressive innings.

137th over – Another horrible long-hop from Tim Southee and Mark Boucher chops it one-bounce over backward point for four. Jacques Rudolph ends the over with a square-drive over point for four as he races to 99 not out.

136th over – Daniel Vettori is trying to target the rough full outside Rudolph’s off-stump, but over-pitches and the left-hander lashes the ball past deep mid-off for another boundary.

135th over – Southee again drags down the first ball of a spell and Rudolph cuts it powerfully for four.

133rd over – A marvellous shot by Boucher as he steps outside off stump and whips Trent Boult through midwicket for four.

131st over – Rudolph steps across and blasts Boult through the covers for four with a magnificent cover-drive.

127th over – Boult fires in a full ball on Boucher’s legs and he clips the ball through square-leg for a fine boundary. Rudolph then runs the last ball of the over down to the amazingly vacant third man boundary as 10 runs come off the over.

126th over – New Zealand have kept part-time off-spinner Kane Williamson on after lunch and Rudolph launches him over wide long-on for six.

A steady accumulation of runs saw South Africa reach 359 for five at lunch on the fourth day of the first test against New Zealand at the University Oval in Dunedin on Saturday.

123rd over – A little bit of width from Chris Martin and Mark Boucher pounces, collecting his first boundary with a cracking square-cut.

118th over – WICKET – Part-time off-spinner Kane Williamson has his fourth test wicket as AB de Villiers heaves him straight to Brendon McCullum at cow corner. De Villiers is out for 29 off 55 balls.

115th over – Another fine shot behind the wicket by Rudolph as Doug Bracewell straightens the ball back into the left-hander and he glances it away for four. Rudolph has his second half-century of the match off the next ball, as he drives Bracewell crisply through the covers for four. There’s no denying he’s here to stay as he has batted for two-and-a-half hours and faced 106 balls, stroking nine fours.

114th over – The fifty partnership and the 300-run lead are up as Jacques Rudolph steers Tim Southee through the gully with wonderful timing for four.

113th over – Rudolph brings out the slog-sweep and cracks Daniel Vettori past the despairing dive of McCullum on the square-leg boundary for four.

110th over – Super shot by De Villiers as he late cuts a wide away-swinger from Southee past the slips for four.

107th over – Tossed up by Daniel Vettori and Rudolph punches in the ball in the air past the spinner’s left arm for four.

104th over – The 300 comes up with a beautiful stroke as left-armer Trent Boult, bowling over the wicket, delivers on to De Villiers’ pads and he strokes the ball wide of mid-on with wonderful timing for four.

102nd over – Full from Boult and Rudolph gets forward confidently and slams the ball through the covers for four.

99th over – Southee’s first ball is short, it sits up on the slow pitch and De Villiers cuts it through the covers for an emphatic first boundary.

98th over – Left-armer Boult is brought on and removes Kallis with his third delivery. WICKET – Kallis flicks a delivery off his pads but straight to midwicket and is out for 113, in 380 minutes off 263 balls, with 16 fours. It was another great innings by the run-hungry maestro, but South African fans would have liked to have seen more of him today.

91st over – Martin ends his first over of the day with a yorker, but it’s wide outside off stump and Rudolph expertly steers the ball between the slips and gully, the ball racing away to the boundary with the strong wind behind it.

First test smouldering with exciting possibilities 0

Posted on March 08, 2012 by Ken

The first test between South Africa and New Zealand continued to smoulder with exciting possibilities as the hosts ended the second day on 243 for nine at the University Oval in Dunedin on Thursday.

Defending just 238, South Africa managed to suppress the determined New Zealand’s batsmen’s push for a sizeable first-innings lead with a wonderfully disciplined and skilful display of bowling. A relentless line just outside off stump would give birth to a host of chances and there was also a controlled spell of leg-spin by Imran Tahir and good catching behind the wicket to complete a fine day for the tourists.

New Zealand’s last two batsmen – Trent Boult and Chris Martin – are at the crease and, with the lead just five runs, there is nothing to separate the two teams heading for the halfway mark.

The Black Caps had resumed after tea on 144 for five and Daniel Vettori and Kruger van Wyk, playing in his first test, gave little away as they added 53 for the sixth wicket.

The ball was 68 overs old and nothing much seemed to be happening for South Africa when captain Graeme Smith called his regular partnership-breaker, Jacques Kallis, into the attack. The Golden Arm once again did the trick, inducing a nothing-shot by Vettori and a return catch, which Kallis had to dash forward and dive to take.

Vettori might not look particularly stylish at the crease, but the left-hander is mightily effective as he showed in scoring 46 off 78 balls, with eight fours.

The South African-born Van Wyk battled on for over two hours, scoring 36 before Vernon Philander, armed with the second new ball, duped him into pushing at a delivery outside off stump, edging a low catch to Smith at first slip.

Tim Southee was easily dispatched by Philander as he lamely wafted at his second ball and was also caught by Smith at first slip, for a duck.

Doug Bracewell played an invaluable role in giving New Zealand the lead as he scored 25, before he was bowled by an inspired delivery from Dale Steyn that pitched on middle-and-leg before crashing into off-stump.

Philander was the most successful of the South African attack with 4-50 in 17 overs, but all the bowlers played a part in a fine all-round performance with the ball.

South Africa had removed dangermen Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor in quick succession to reduced New Zealand to 144 for five at tea.

McCullum and Taylor were the third and fourth wickets to fall, for 48 and 44 respectively, the double strike turning the tide back in favour of the South Africans after New Zealand’s two premier batsmen had added 65.

Morne Morkel has suffered mixed fortunes this year, but the lanky fast bowler set the tone with a marvellous burst straight after lunch, starting with the wicket of Martin Guptill for 16 with his fifth ball after the break.

Guptill was way too late with a tentative prod outside off stump and succeeded only in edging the ball back into his own stumps, and Morkel then piled on the pressure, with able support from Philander and Tahir, on to McCullum and Taylor.

But they batted with tremendous discipline and positive footwork and the momentum was New Zealand’s as they carried the hosts to 106 for two.

It was the leg-spin of Tahir that eventually made the crucial breakthrough, the persevering former Pakistani gratefully accepting the return catch after McCullum top-edged a sweep.

Morkel’s worst ball of the day – a dreadful short, wide delivery, brought its award, however, as Taylor edged a flatfooted cut through to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

Philander’s unrelenting accuracy and remorseless probing did for Kane Williamson (11), who edged a back-foot drive for Boucher to take his second catch.

McCullum and Guptill had defied the best of the South African bowlers as they steered New Zealand to 40 for one at lunch.

Guptill and McCullum were proudly obdurate as they shrugged off the early loss of Rob Nicol to survive the next dozen overs before lunch without being parted, adding 33 for the second wicket off 76 balls.

South Africa had earlier been dismissed for 238 in their first innings on a sunny, but still chilly, day on the South Island.

The visitors had resumed on 191 for seven and Jacques Rudolph completed a tenacious half-century in two-and-a-half hours as he and Philander brought up the 200.

The useful eighth-wicket partnership had grown to 35 when Martin, the hero of the first day, removed Philander for 22. The potential all-rounder was just beginning to up the tempo when Williamson did very well to hang on to a full-blooded cut in the gully. The wicket gave Martin final figures of 4-56 in 18 overs.

Rudolph, the star of the South African innings for his determination if nothing else, then followed a widish delivery from Bracewell (2-52) and edged it to point, falling for 52 off 99 balls.

Morkel (13*) and Tahir (10) then added another 16 runs for the last wicket before Tahir was run out trying for a crazy third run, but both bowlers did more important work with the ball in the afternoon.

New Zealand’s batsmen had 16 overs to face before lunch and the test-match edition of Guptill showed an admirably straight bat and strong defensive technique as he reached 16 not out at the break.

South Africa did pick up the wicket of his fellow opener Nicol for six in the fourth over. Philander was bowling an immaculate line just outside off stump and seaming the ball both ways, so the debutant Nicol obviously had to play at the shortish delivery that dismissed him, a touch of away movement finding the edge of the bat and presenting Smith with the easiest of catches at first slip.

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