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Ken Borland



AB returns to former glories 0

Posted on March 22, 2017 by Ken

 

AB de Villiers batted with all his former panache and authority upon his return to the domestic scene as he steered the Titans to a commanding seven-wicket win with 21.5 overs to spare over the Warriors in their Momentum One-Day Cup match at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Tuesday.

The bonus point win returns the Titans to the top of the standings, leading the Dolphins by four points ahead of the final round of fixtures.

While the Titans will host the fading Cape Cobras at Centurion on Thursday, the KwaZulu-Natalians face the daunting task of beating the Knights with a bonus point in Durban in order to claim first place and a home final. And obviously the Cobras must beat the Titans.

While de Villiers utterly dominated the Warriors attack as he stroked a sublime 75 not out off 62 balls, the Titans were only chasing 148 thanks to the brilliant work of their attack, with another returning international, Chris Morris, leading the way with three for 30 in eight overs.

Morris set the tone as his second ball of the match curved like a bow and bowled Gihahn Cloete for a first-ball duck.

With Morris conceding just nine runs in his first four overs, Lungi Ngidi then put the Warriors further back with a double-strike in the sixth over.

Colin Ingram (4) latched on to a poor, short ball down leg, but swung it in the air to fine leg, where Junior Dala made good ground around the boundary and took a super catch.

Ngidi then produced a beauty four balls later to have Colin Ackermann caught behind for a duck, getting bounce and away movement from an excellent length.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, the Warriors were 18 for three inside the first half-hour, but Jon-Jon Smuts and Yaseen Vallie then added 66 for the fourth wicket. It wasn’t hang-on-to-your-hats breathtakingly quick, coming off 87 deliveries, but it did stop the bleeding.

Smuts, coming off successive centuries, scored 39 before getting a little tickle on a Malusi Siboto delivery that was sliding down leg and being well caught by wicketkeeper Heino Kuhn, and off-spinner Aiden Markram then won a short battle with Lesiba Ngoepe, having him smartly stumped by Kuhn for two.

Morris then returned to deliver another top-class spell of fast swing bowling, Vallie, who had scrapped his way to a dogged 44 off 61 balls, being caught behind and then Kelly Smuts being bowled for a duck as he shouldered arms to a superb delivery to the left-hander from over the wicket, pitching off and then swinging enough to hit the off stump.

The Warriors were a parlous 117 for seven, but Jerry Nqolo added 26 to the total and there was 16 from Andrew Birch before the visitors ran out of luck on 147 all out, Dala claiming two wickets with short balls and Ngidi picking up a third as he finished with fine figures of three for 32 in eight overs.

Wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi was able to build on the pressure created by the pacemen as he squeezed the Warriors batsmen further by bowling his 10 overs for just 28 runs.

The star attraction De Villiers came to the crease with the Warriors still in the game, having just reduced the Titans to 47 for two, Birch striking early by having Jonathan Vandiar caught in the slips for one, and Aya Gqamane then dismissing Kuhn for a busy 23.

De Villiers was dazzling from the outset, hitting his second and third deliveries for sumptuous boundaries and, even though Aiden Markram being bowled by a grubber from Birch for 23 in the next over provided some food for thought, the global superstar just cruised through the rest of the innings.

There were seven fours and a six in his 40-ball fifty, as De Villiers covered the entire map of the Willowmoore Park outfield with strokes of extraordinary placement and timing; Farhaan Behardien but a support act as he made 24 not out in their unbeaten stand of 87 off 94 balls.

De Villiers finished with 75 not out off 62 deliveries, with 10 fours and a six, proving once again that he has more talent in his big toe than most batsmen on their best day.

http://citizen.co.za/sport/sport-cricket/1464011/ab-de-villiers-returns-to-former-glory/

Seven & eight put Highveld Lions in command 0

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Ken

The bizhub Highveld Lions had their number seven and eight to thank for converting a dominant opening day into a commanding position on the second day of their Sunfoil Series match against the Unlimited Titans at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday.

The Lions resumed on 264 for two and centurion Stephen Cook and Neil McKenzie quickly rattled up a fifty partnership off just 54 balls before the second new ball allowed the Titans to strike back.

With JP de Villiers showing good pace and claiming three wickets in five balls, the Lions crashed from 311 for two to 313 for six, with Cook departing for a tremendously solid 122 and McKenzie for 47.

But Dwaine Pretorius and Dale Deeb kept their heads and took the Lions to 396 for six at lunch. Their progress thereafter was interrupted for nearly three hours by heavy thundershowers, but they had managed to both reach their half-centuries within two balls of each other shortly before the delay.

They took their partnership to 137 in 140 minutes before Pretorius was bowled by a Roelof van der Merwe arm-ball for a highly-creditable 67.

Deeb and Vusi Mazibuko (10*) then combined for a quickfire 35-run stand, Deeb finishing with a well-struck 89 not out, before the declaration on 485 for seven.

De Villiers was the pick of the Titans bowlers with three for 75 in 18 overs, while Rowan Richards was less consistent but claimed three for 118 in 26 overs.

Having spent an age off the field due to the weather, it was highly disappointing that the umpires did not extend the playing hours, taking the reluctant players off the field in bright sunshine at 5.30pm with the Titans on 27 without loss. The players were told it was because the allotted overs for the day had been bowled, which is laughable because only 64 overs were actually bowled.

Jacques Rudolph, who was a late inclusion in the Titans team after making himself available for four-day cricket, was looking solid on 18 not out, while Heino Kuhn was on seven.

 

Cook reaches illustrious landmark & puts Lions in command 0

Posted on March 25, 2015 by Ken

Stephen Cook became just the fourth batsman to score 10 000 runs in South African domestic first-class cricket as he led the bizhub Highveld Lions to a commanding position on the first day of their top-of-the-log Sunfoil Series match against the Unlimited Titans at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Thursday.

Cook showed great shot-selection and poise in reaching 108 not out before bad light stopped play at 4.15pm, with 25 overs still scheduled to be bowled, with the Lions on 264 for two.

It was a typically methodical innings by Cook, who in the process joined the illustrious trio of Graeme Pollock (12409), Peter Kirsten (11835) and his own father, Jimmy Cook (11307), in scoring 10 000 domestic first-class runs.

The Lions captain seldom looked threatened, but he did survive a chance on 32 when Heino Kuhn missed a catch at slip off left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe, who presumably aired his frustrations in the changeroom because it was the last ball before lunch.

The Lions had elected to bat first on a brownish, dry-looking pitch after winning the toss, and Rassie van der Dussen took the attack to the Titans bowlers as he breezed to an 84-ball half-century, the visitors going to lunch on 92 without loss.

Van der Dussen fell seven overs after the break, top-edging a hook at left-arm seamer Rowan Richards to fine-leg, where Junior Dala took a good running catch. Van der Dussen’s 65 off 109 deliveries had taken the Lions to 114 before the first wicket fell.

Cook went to his half-century soon afterwards and, with the Titans bowlers contriving to bowl on both sides of the wicket, and often too short, the Lions piled on 125 runs in 28 overs in the middle session, going to tea on 217 for one.

The Lions have high hopes for young Dominic Hendricks and he is starting to repay their faith this season, the left-hander scoring a dashing 63 off 87 balls to take his four-day average to 39 this season, with four half-centuries.

Hendricks hammered 11 fours and a six and added 115 off 158 balls with Cook for the second wicket, their partnership ending in the fifth over after tea when he pushed at a delivery outside off stump from Richards and Mangaliso Mosehle, the Titans wicketkeeper, dived to his left to take the catch.

Neil McKenzie (13*) then joined Cook and their partnership had already reached 35 when play was halted.

Down in Port Elizabeth, the Chevrolet Warriors’ capitulation to 203 all out was music to the ears of the struggling defending champions, the Nashua Cape Cobras.

Paceman Lizaad Williams and unorthodox spinner George Linde operated well in tandem as they shared six wickets and fast bowler Dane Paterson claimed two.

Richard Levi and Omphile Ramela then took the Cobras safely through to stumps on 11 without loss.

After the Cobras won the toss and bowled first, Paterson removed Michael Price for a duck in the first over and then had Jon-Jon Smuts caught behind for a single in the seventh over.

David White (38) and Ryan Bailey (37) added 43 for the third wicket, before Linde broke the partnership.

Simon Harmer dug in for 33 off 72 deliveries, but the Warriors only got to 203 thanks to a last-wicket stand of 53 between Sisanda Magala (32) and Basheer Walters (24*).

In Kimberley, Imraan Khan marked his recent return to the Sunfoil Dolphins line-up with his second successive century, scoring 127 to usher them to 251 for four against the Chevrolet Knights.

Divan van Wyk scored 57 as the Dolphins, who elected to bat first, put up a solid opening stand of 168.

Off-spinner Patrick Botha removed both openers, before the hostile Quinton Friend got busy with the second new ball and claimed two more wickets to give the Knights some late cheer.

 http://citizen.co.za/307726/cook-makes-history-books-first-day-sunfoil-series/

Amla still at the crease; SA in command 0

Posted on February 25, 2015 by Ken

Captain Hashim Amla was still at the crease with a superb 178 not out as he took South Africa to a commanding 449 for four at lunch on the second day of the first Test against the West Indies at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.

Amla, who began the day on 133 off 242 balls, applied himself diligently on the second morning, adding 45 runs off 88 deliveries to ensure South Africa did not waste a rousing first day to the Test in which he and AB de Villiers added an unbroken 283 for the fourth wicket to take them to 340 for three at stumps.

The pair took their partnership to 308, the highest for any wicket at Centurion in 19 Tests, before De Villiers was dismissed in the 100th over, the ninth of the day.

De Villiers was once again in inspired form as he cruised to 152 in five hours, 18 minutes, facing 235 balls and stroking 16 fours and two sixes.

But totally against the run of play, he then edged an expansive lofted drive at left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, who obtained a smidgen of turn, and the ball skewed comfortably into the hands of cover-point.

Debutant Stiaan van Zyl then came in and was in trouble early on, almost turning his first ball from Benn into the hands of leg-gully, playing and missing outside off stump against the quicks and even being dropped by Kraigg Braithwaite at leg-gully off Benn when he had just two.

But the left-hander then settled and played some impressive strokes through the off-side, reaching a half-century on debut in good time, off 74 balls with eight fours.

Fast bowler Kemar Roach is expected to make an appearance in the second session, but having spent the best part of a session-and-a-half off the field having an ankle ligament niggle treated, he won’t be allowed to bowl before South Africa, in firm control, have surely declared.

 http://citizen.co.za/295798/sa-v-west-indies-1st-test-2nd-day-lunch/



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