for quality writing

Ken Borland



De Villiers’ record century the death of the West Indies 0

Posted on April 06, 2015 by Ken

AB de Villiers’ extraordinary innings as he lashed the fastest century in ODI history was always going to be the death of the West Indies and South Africa duly won the second Momentum One-Day International at the Wanderers by 148 runs on Sunday.

De Villiers flayed the West Indies for 149 runs off just 44 balls to take the Proteas to 439 for two,South Africa’s highest ever ODI total, improving on their famous 438 to beat Australia at the same venue in 2005/06, but they missed a golden opportunity to reclaim the world record, falling just four runs short of Sri Lanka’s 443 for nine against the Netherlands in Amstelveen in 2006.

The West Indies could only muster 291 for seven in their 50 overs, thanks to half-centuries from Dwayne Smith (64) and Denesh Ramdin (57) and a pair of 40s from Marlon Samuels and Jonathan Carter.

Although the visitors were often ahead of the South African total at a comparative stage of their innings, reaching 148 in 25 overs compared to the Proteas’ 142, they lost wickets at regular intervals.

And Dale Steyn was their biggest obstacle, just 19 runs coming from his first eight overs as the run-rate grew out of reach in the second half of the innings.

Steyn received good support from Morne Morkel, with two for 43 from his 10 overs.

Opener Smith was the biggest threat to the South Africans – and the biggest contributor amongst the West Indian batsmen towards the fundraising for the fight against cancer – with nine fours and a six in his run-a-ball 64, and Samuels was also looking promising before he did not quite get enough elevation on a lofted drive off Vernon Philander and a leaping Farhaan Behardien took the catch at extra cover.

Ramdin and Carter added 83 off 73 balls for the fifth wicket before Steyn, bowling with tremendous pace and accuracy had Carter caught at mid-on.

Carter impressed in just his second ODI innings with three fours and a six.

Morkel made a messy start to the innings, opening with a leg-side delivery that was helped to the fine leg boundary by Smith, followed by a wide way outside the off stump.

The tall fast bowler then induced a catch at third man by Smith, but a television replay showed that Morkel had bowled a no-ball, with Chris Gayle pulling a four off the free hit.

Gayle rushed to 19 off 13 balls, whacking two fours and a six, before sending a pull off Morkel steepling towards the midwicket boundary, Behardien running in and taking a great catch.

Leon Johnson has struggled in this ODI series, making a six-ball duck in Durban and battling to one run off 15 deliveries at the Wanderers before being trapped lbw by Philander.

Smith has flattered to deceive on tour, but on Sunday he was really starting to look threatening before lofting Behardien straight back over his head, but failing to clear JP Duminy, who ran from long-off to take a good catch.

Philander claimed two wickets but was expensive, conceding 69 runs in his 10 overs.

South Africa’s massive innings had been set up by a record opening stand of 247 between Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw, but that was overshadowed in scarcely believable fashion by De Villiers, who blazed to 50 in 16 balls (also a world record) and to his hundred off just 31 deliveries. That smashed New Zealander Corey Anderson’s previous record of 36 balls, also against the West Indies, in Queenstown a year ago.

De Villiers fell in the final over for 149 off just 44 balls, showcasing his enormous natural ability with nine fours and 16 sixes – equalling the world record of Rohit Sharma for India against Australia in Bangalore in 2013. Having produced the most outrageous innings in ODI history, it would have been most apt if De Villiers had taken South Africa to the world record score, but he drove the fourth ball of Andre Russell’s excellent final over to deep cover to end the carnage, with Amla missing the last two deliveries of the innings.

Through the years since his international debut in 2004, De Villiers has honed his natural talent, become the master of his game and at reading match situations. At the Wanderers on Sunday he just came out and had fun, toying with the West Indian bowlers. Most of his strokes were seemingly premeditated and sent all over the ground, no matter where the ball was delivered. The South African captain had a particular fondness for the scoop back over his shoulder, but also hit the ball sweetly down the ground, finding or going over the boundary off 25 of the 44 deliveries he faced.

After winning the toss and sending the Proteas in to bat in cloudy, breezy, cool conditions, the West Indians had no idea of the furnace that was about to envelop them.

Amla was quickly away but Rossouw, after making his fifth duck in 10 innings in the previous ODI in Durban, started scratchily, often miscuing his attacking strokes.

But he put his lean times and early struggles behind him, grinding his way back into form and then enjoying rich pickings as he notched his first international century off just 102 balls, collecting eight fours and a six along the way.

Amla cruised to his century two deliveries later, off 103 balls, and the West Indies were already in a daze as the opening duo added 247 off 235 balls, the sixth highest first-wicket partnership in ODI history and South Africa’s best.

Rossouw began the 39th over with two brilliant boundaries off Jerome Taylor, over midwicket and straight back over the bowler’s head, but then chipped the third delivery to mid-off to fall for a brilliant 128 off 115 balls that will go a long way to ensuring he feels at home in international cricket.

But Amla batted on through the innings, sensibly feeding De Villiers the strike, as he finished with a splendid 153 not out off 142 balls, with 14 fours.

It became the first time three centuries have been scored in an ODI innings, as De Villiers rained down blows on the West Indian bowlers and hapless fielders. He and Amla added a magnificent 192 for the second wicket off an incredible 68 balls, beating that memorable partnership of 187 between Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs in the 438 game as the ground record.

It became embarrassing and it all seemed just too easy for international sport.

But that is what genius can do and De Villiers can certainly be placed at the top of that list.

 – http://citizen.co.za/309061/ab-de-villiers-impresses-momentum-odi/

SA bowl in all the wrong places as Smith scores great series-winning ton 0

Posted on December 23, 2014 by Ken

Steven Smith produced a great century as South Africa bowled in all the wrong areas at the death, leading Australia to a three-wicket victory with an over to spare to clinch the series in the fourth one-day international at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.

Chasing 268, some bizarre field placings and the poor execution of the South African bowlers saw Australia plunder 86 runs in the last 10 overs, Smith and Matthew Wade having lifted them from 98 for five midway through their chase with a stand of 121 in 20 overs.

Smith eventually fell with the scores tied after scoring 104 off 112 balls – an innings of great composure and skill. James Faulkner came in after Wade’s dismissal and took advantage of South Africa feeding his strengths as he belted 34 not out off 19 balls.

Smith and Wade brought Australia back into contention after Dale Steyn took two wickets in two overs to put South Africa in control.

But Smith produced a fine innings and Wade played an invaluable hand of 52 off 59 deliveries.

Wayne Parnell eventually removed Wade thanks to a great catch by Ryan McLaren running in from deep backward square-leg, but Australia went into the last five overs needing just 40 runs with the big-hitting Faulkner joining Smith at the crease.

Spearhead Steyn was brought back into the attack in the 21st over after Smith and George Bailey had added 30 for the fourth wicket and he struck in his second over as captain Bailey edged a slash outside the off stump to be caught behind for 16.

That brought the dangerous Glenn Maxwell in, but he could only score two before his flatfooted drive at an away-swinger in Steyn’s next over saw him caught at slip by Hashim Amla. Credit to captain AB de Villiers for having the slip in.

Smith and Bailey made bright starts to their innings after pace bowlers McLaren and Parnell took a wicket apiece to reduce Australia to 48 for three in the 14th over.

South Africa’s back-up seamers were under pressure as Australia reached 39 for one after 10 overs, but both settled after wayward starts.

Shane Watson will be furious with himself as he once again made a start, getting to 19 off 25 balls, before he reached out to try and drive a wide, full away-swinger from McLaren and edged a catch to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

Opener Aaron Finch was looking dangerous on 22 when he pulled Parnell straight to Faf du Plessis at deep square-leg.

Opening bowlers Kyle Abbott and Steyn were spot on from the outset to have the Australian openers under pressure, with Abbott making the breakthrough in the fourth over when he trapped David Warner lbw for four, the left-hander being hit on the back pad as he was late on a delivery that straightened back into him.

South Africa’s batsmen fell away in the later overs as they faded to 267 for eight after winning the toss and electing to bat first in the day/night game.

AB de Villiers once again dazzled and David Miller can book his ticket to the World Cup, but the rest of the South African batting once again disappointed.

The Proteas are fortunate that they can call on De Villiers, already established as one of the all-time greats, as he was once again the mainstay of the innings, scoring 91 off 88 balls in another great display of skill and exquisite placement of the ball.

Miller was the one batsman to provide sturdy support to De Villiers, playing a fine knock of 45 off 61 balls as they set up the innings with a fourth-wicket stand of 122 in 20 overs.

But unlike South Africa, whose problems extend from the batting relying too heavily on De Villiers to dodgy death bowling, Australia can rely on their bowlers in the last 10 overs to really turn the screw. Once they removed Miller, caught in the covers in an attempt to hit over the top in the powerplay, they restricted the Proteas to a meagre 51 runs in the last 10 overs, while claiming four more wickets.

Fast bowler Mitchell Starc was outstanding with his mix of yorkers and slower balls as he finished with one for 40 in 10 overs – figures that don’t do justice to his performance. Fellow paceman Pat Cummins also bowled better than his figures of two for 61, being a threat throughout, while James Faulkner was also brilliant at the death with his back-of-the-hand deliveries, finishing with two for 45.

South Africa will be concerned that Quinton de Kock continues to struggle at the top of the order, scratching his way to 17 off 38 balls before popping a lame return catch to off-spinner Glenn Maxwell, who had had him dropped at slip in his first over.

Fellow opener Hashim Amla was looking good, however, as he cruised to 18 off 20 balls. He had identified the balls to go after well, collecting three fours, and was quite within his rights to pull the shortish delivery Nathan Coulter-Nile bowled to him in the sixth over, but unfortunately he hit it straight to midwicket, where Cummins hung on to a sharp, dipping catch.

Faf du Plessis also looked in good touch as he scored 28 off 37 balls as South Africa reached 70 for one in the 16th over. But Cummins, returning after Du Plessis had hit him for two fours in his previous over in the first powerplay, got some extra bounce outside off stump and found the edge of an attempted steer, the ball nestling safely in wicketkeeper Matthew Wade’s gloves.

De Kock had fallen in the previous over and South Africa were in some strife on 79 for three.

But De Villiers once again showed that he is in a different league, improvising brilliantly, while still playing off the basis of a sound technique, and hardly ever seeming to take a risk. He only collected six boundaries, but scored at better than a run-a-ball on a slowish pitch without breaking a sweat.

With the bowlers at their mercy – Australia’s attack were also one short when Coulter-Nile limped off with a hamstring strain – both found ways to get out. Miller was trying to hit over the top in the powerplay, but could only skew Faulkner high into the covers, while De Villiers charged down the pitch to Cummins and was reaching for a slower-ball bouncer, a tennis-like shot going to deep midwicket.

After that, the remaining batsmen could not find ways to dominate the impressive Australian attack, with Farhaan Behardien managing just 22 off 23 balls.

 

Lineouts the death of the Bulls – Ludeke 0

Posted on September 22, 2014 by Ken

Lwazi Mvovo was a consistent threat to the Bulls defence

Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke admitted after his team’s 26-15 defeat at the hands of the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld that the disintegration of their lineout had been the death of their chances in their Absa Currie Cup match on Saturday night.

“Our lineout collapsed tonight and you need those sort of basics in order to win, that meant we weren’t able to put pressure on the Sharks through that. The way the Sharks contested the lineout put us under huge pressure, they would move just before the call and we didn’t adapt well enough and it meant we lost a key weapon. We need to be smarter at the lineout because it has a huge mental impact in our game, if you lose your lineouts then you’re always on the back foot,” Ludeke said after the match.

The defeat left the Bulls woefully off the pace in the Currie Cup, in sixth place, five points behind the Pumas and Cheetahs, and killing the momentum from two wins in a row.

“Trusting the process is the main thing, it was able to get us out of a bad start in the competition and we had some good wins. We had some good momentum with wins at home and we don’t want to lose here. The big thing is getting the tactical decisions right under pressure,” Ludeke said.

The Bulls thoroughly dominated the first half, but only had four Jacques-Louis Potgieter penalties to show for it, adding one more in the second half, while the Sharks were able to make much better use of their possession, scoring tries through wings Lwazi Mvovo and S’bura Sithole.

But according to Ludeke, their inability to cross the tryline is not a problem.

“The reason we didn’t score any tries is because of infringements at the breakdown, we had three penalties there and that’s where tries come from. We were in control in the first 40 minutes, but every time we got three points, we wouldn’t exit properly and they would get an easy three points back. We want to build the innings and take the three-pointers,” he said.

Mvovo scored a 50-metre intercept try a minute before half-time to allow the Sharks to go into the break with a 13-12 lead despite looking totally out of the contest and at odds with referee Quinton Immelman’s interpretations.

Buoyed by the late bonus, they came out a different side in the second half and held on to their possession much better, often simply refusing to let the ball die. Their second try, nine minutes into the second half, was a case in point.

Mvovo burst clear on a splendid run off a lineout move to put the Sharks on attack, and Sithole on the right and fullback SP Marais on the left flank both went to great lengths to keep the ball alive, while eighthman and captain Tera Mthembu’s storming run took the visitors into the Bulls’ 22.

From a ruck in the 22, flyhalf Lionel Cronje then produced a deft cross-kick for Sithole to score in the corner.

Cronje added the conversion and two more penalties to complete a fine game for the former Bulls player.

“We knew it would take an 80-minute effort up here and it was great to see such huge commitment. They showed a huge amount of character, making tackle after tackle and they kept working for each other.

“We’ve struggled this year to take our opportunities, but that was good tonight which was great to see. We also had good reward at the breakdown, which kept the Bulls under pressure, while the lineouts were a huge bonus. We know they like to maul, so we were able to deprive them of the opportunity to do what they’re really good at. I’m very happy with the contesting,” Sharks coach Brad Macleod-Henderson said.

 

 

 



↑ Top