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Ken Borland

Rabada announces himself as pace bowling answer 0

Posted on August 25, 2015 by Ken


Kagiso Rabada chose the day when South Africa’s pace bowling reserves were brought into question at the World Cup to announce himself as the potential successor to Dale Steyn with a magnificent nine-wicket haul to bowl the bizhub Highveld Lions to a crunching win over the Dolphins in their Sunfoil Series match at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Rabada took nine for 33 in 16.2 overs – the sixth-best innings figures in the history of domestic A Section cricket in South Africa – to give him a brilliant match analysis of 14 for 105.

This is the best return in the history of franchise cricket, improving on the 14 for 110 Steyn himself took for the Titans against the Eagles in Bloemfontein in 2007/8.

Rabada’s extraordinary performance – three of his victims were caught behind the wicket, three were bowled and one was trapped lbw – skittled the Dolphins for 134 in their second innings.

This meant that the Lions had a nominal target of 16 to win the game, which openers Stephen Cook and Rassie van der Dussen quickly knocked off for a 10-wicket win that increases their lead at the top of the log to just over 17 points.

And it wasn’t the case that Rabada took advantage of a Wanderers greentop either: there was some steep bounce, but apart from that the enormously-talented 19-year-old showed his ability to get swing, hit good areas and bowled with impressive pace on a flattish pitch.

Rabada made an early start to his amazing demolition job when he removed Daniel Sincuba (4), edging a lovely away-swinger to wicketkeeper Dominic Hendricks, with his second ball of the day.

An over from Rabada went by without incident, but he then picked up another scalp in his third over of the day, Cody Chetty (5) edging an easy catch to first slip.

An exceptional catch by Van der Dussen at backward point gave Rabada his fourth wicket, Morne van Wyk dismissed for seven, and the St Stithians product marked the occasion of his maiden 10-wicket match haul by shattering the stumps of Keshav Maharaj (5), who was way too late on his shot.

Graham Hume was trapped on the crease and lbw for nought, while opener Divan van Wyk, who held on for 204 minutes in scoring 56, eventually played on.

History was then made on the famous Wanderers turf when Tshepo Moreki was bowled for 2 and last man Daryn Dupavillon (0) spliced a simple return catch to Rabada, who is the youngest South African to take 13 wickets in a first-class match.

He joins an elite group of just 25 other bowlers who have taken 14 wickets or more and there can be no doubt Rabada is on his way to even greater things.


How to play Dale Steyn – according to Neil McKenzie 0

Posted on August 05, 2015 by Ken


Dale Steyn became the quickest to 400 Test wickets in terms of the number of deliveries bowled at the weekend and former Proteas star and Highveld Lions stalwart Neil McKenzie had some advice for the many batsmen who have fallen to the great fast bowler’s skills and the many who will try and play him in future.

McKenzie, who played 58 Tests and occasionally crossed swords with Steyn on the domestic circuit, said the key to facing the fiery 32-year-old lay in punishing the few bad balls that come your way and being able to handle the short-pitched delivery.

“Of course the batsman is always up against it against Dale, but if you can jump all over the occasional bad ball that comes your way then it helps release the pressure. You’ve also got to be able to play the short ball well because Dale uses that a lot. He has more of a skiddy bouncer, but he uses it to take away the batsman’s feet and the follow-up ball or two deliveries later is often the one that gets the wicket. So the feet have to be working well,” McKenzie told The Citizen.

The scorer of more than 19 000 first-class runs and maker of centuries in England, India, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka and South Africa said what made Steyn special as a bowler was his ability to even be a threat on true batting pitches.

“What makes Dale such a great bowler is that he has weapons for whatever pitch, whatever the conditions are. If the pitch is seaming, he can obviously use that, if there’s bounce he uses that, if there’s swing he’s a master of moving it both ways, both conventional and reverse swing. If the pitch is slow or flat, then he has the skills to still be dangerous. That’s the ultimate bowler, McKenzie said.



Steyn’s passion for taking wickets is what sets him apart – Donald 0

Posted on August 05, 2015 by Ken


Dale Steyn brings an almost religious fervour to the art of fast bowling and Allan Donald says it is this passion for taking wickets that separates Steyn from other great pacemen.

Steyn became the 13th bowler to take 400 Test wickets in the second Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka this week, but his strike-rate of just 41.5 balls-per-wicket sets him apart from all the other cricketers to have achieved that milestone.

New Zealand great Sir Richard Hadlee is a distant second on 50.8, meaning Steyn is the most incisive bowler in Test history. Counting bowlers who took 300 Test wickets, Steyn still has the best strike-rate, followed by Waqar Younis (43.4), Malcolm Marshall (46.7), Donald himself (47.0) and Fred Trueman (49.4).

“Obviously Dale has immense skill to do that, but you can bring all the skill in the world to the table but if you don’t have passion you’re not going to have a record like his. The one thing that stands out for me, that separates Dale from the rest, is the deep competitive edge that only he has, which makes him into that incredible bowler. The number of times he has produced something special for South Africa because he’s so attack-minded,” Donald told The Citizen on Friday.

Donald, whose record certainly bears comparison to Steyn’s, is a firm believer that the 32-year-old is one of the all-time great bowlers.

“I get very passionate when I talk about the absolute greats – McGrath, Ambrose, Pollock – and they’ve all done amazingly well over a long period of time. You judge the greats on one thing and that’s consistency. Dale has got to 400 Test wickets so quickly because he’s so consistent, taking 80 Tests, that’s five wickets a game. His consistency is why his strike-rate is so low,” Donald said.

Remarkably, Steyn is as effective on the sub-continent as he is anywhere else, his haul of 80 wickets in 16 Tests (prior to the current game) perfectly matching his career-average of five per match. Only Hadlee and West Indian Andy Roberts have had better rates of success on the sub-continent.

“You only have to see how phenomenal Dale is in the sub-continent to understand his skill factor, especially reverse-swing. His pace through the air and ability to reverse the ball both ways are his greatest assets over there,” Donald said.

Steyn’s former bowling coach with the Proteas said he is not sure whether the man with the second-most Test wickets for South Africa behind Shaun Pollock (421) would consider slowing down and using skill more than pace as he gets older, as Hadlee did so successfully for New Zealand.

“I hope he’s got more diesel in the tank but he’s 32 and, after a massive milestone, it will be interesting to see how he’s handled over the next 12 months. He looks fresh and hungry at the moment, but I think he would hate bowling at 134km/h. He’ll have to decide that for himself, but there’s a huge series coming up in India and we need him bowling at his best in that,” Donald said.



Career records



       Tests  Inns   Balls    Runs   Wkts  Best    BM      Av      ER      SR      5i    10m
Steyn   80     149    16716   9040    402  7-51   11-60   22.48    3.24    41.5    25     5
Donald  72     129    15519   7344    330  8-71   12-139  22.25   2.83    47.0     20     3

Most Test wickets in Asia by bowlers from outside the subcontinent

Player Country Matches Wickets Average
Dale Steyn South Africa 16 80 22.17
Courtney Walsh West Indies 17 77 20.53
Glenn McGrath Australia 19 72 23.02
Malcolm Marshall West Indies 19 71 23.05
Sir Richard Hadlee New Zealand 13 68 21.58
Shaun Pollock South Africa 17 60 23.18
Jason Gillespie Australia 14 54 23.75
Wes Hall West Indies 11 54 20.05
Matthew Hoggard England 14 50 28.22
Andy Roberts West Indies 9 49 21.53


*Stats courtesy CricInfo &


West Indies fold to Steyn, but no free pass for SA 0

Posted on March 04, 2015 by Ken

Hashim Amla confirmed he was surprised by how quickly the West Indies folded and Dale Steyn described his bowling as “nothing special”, but there was no way South Africa were merely given a free pass on their way to their crushing innings and 220-run victory at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Saturday.

It took fast bowling of the highest quality from Steyn, the sort of intense, destructive spell that he and so few other fast bowlers are capable of at Test level.

Steyn’s quick mopping up of the West Indies second innings has ensured some extra, much-needed rest for a South African side that was beleaguered by injury during their first Test in four months.

“We’re glad to have an extra one-and-a-half days rest because this felt like a long Test, being the first one we have played in a long time. I was surprised by how quickly the match finished, I didn’t expect to get seven wickets in the session, but the pitch was getting quite difficult to bat on and it was exceptional bowling from Dale. Any team in the world would have found him very difficult to handle today,” Amla said after winning his first Test at home as captain in the most convincing fashion.

“We were standing behind the stumps, AB de Villiers and I, and we could feel that things were going to happen after he hit the left-hander [Leon Johnson] early on. The pitch had quickened up and when Dale gets a sniff he runs through teams, we’ve seen it many, many times before. We’re just glad he’s on our side … “ Amla added.

Steyn had gone wicket-less in the first innings and, although he denied he was particularly striving to make up for it, there seemed a determination and an extra intensity about his performance on Saturday morning.

“I’m never upset as long as we bowl the opposition out and then I’m happy. I thought Vernon [Philander] and Morne [Morkel] bowled beautifully yesterday and even Dean Elgar got a wicket, which made me a bit bummed!

“There was nothing special about today, maybe I was a bit more consistent with my line and length and I got rewarded. Some days you find the edge, other days you go past it, that’s cricket. I deserved it today, but yesterday I didn’t.

“The ball came out nicely and today I got the first edge and then you tend to make the batsman play more and get on a roll,” Steyn said.

The world’s number one fast bowler also gave credit to the fantastic catching behind the wicket, with Alviro Petersen a stand-out at second slip.

For their part, West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin said his team are going to have to show more application if they are going to keep the series alive in Port Elizabeth from Boxing Day.

“We need more application, it was disappointing the way the batsmen got out once they had got starts. It’s very important for us to bat longer sessions, we have to be smart, leave the ball alone, sway away, myself included. We’re up against a very good bowling attack, number one in the world, and they hit very good areas. They don’t give many opportunities and it’s very difficult to get starts on these pitches,” Ramdin said.

In terms of application and skill, the West Indies can do no better than to try and emulate Amla (208) and De Villiers (152), whose record partnership set up South Africa’s impressive victory.


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