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Ken Borland

Lorgat defends lack of T20GL transformation quotas 0

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Ken


Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat on Monday defended the absence of transformation quotas in the T20 Global League, saying it was a risk that had paid off with 55 players of colour amongst the 144 players chosen in the draft, including 19 Black Africans.

“We did debate having targets but we decided not to because we have a bottom-up approach with our hubs and schools. It was a risk but we want to see our players come through naturally and it was very pleasing to see Black players chosen as some of the best-paid by people who had no compulsion to do so.

“It shows that our system is working, foreign coaches wanting those players is what we are aiming for. We will not relent in terms of our development of Black players either, because your market is where your majority is and you don’t have to be a professor of economics to understand that. We’re doing it the hard way, from the bottom up,” Lorgat said on Monday.

The CEO and tournament director Russell Adams announced the fixtures for the T20 Global League on Monday in Cape Town, with 57 games being played over six weeks. With each team playing the other seven franchises home and away, that means there will be no playoffs but the top two teams after the league phase will go straight into the final at the Wanderers on Saturday, December 16.

With Johannesburg guaranteed the final for the foreseeable future, it means Cape Town will host the opening game, between the Knight Riders and the Pretoria Mavericks, on Friday, November 3, at least this year.

“In future the opening match will be played at the home of the winners of the previous year’s tournament. We also had a big debate about where to stage the final, but there are logistical challenges around having it in Cape Town around December 16 – there’s the World Sevens Series tournament and everyone is on holiday.

“Wanderers has a bigger capacity and there are more flights and accommodation available in Johannesburg. And we are looking to make the final at one host venue a fixture of the tournament which means people can do their planning, they can even make their bookings for the Wanderers on December 16, 2020,” Lorgat said.

“We also had debates about playoffs and semi-finals, but the league is the reason for the competition and we wanted to reward the two best sides with a place in the final, otherwise a team could come through at the expense of someone who’s had a great league season.”

Gold defends Sharks’ decision to sign Ralepelle 0

Posted on November 06, 2015 by Ken


Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold on Monday defended the decision to sign Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle despite the fact that he is serving a doping ban, saying other teams were also chasing his signature and that his suitability had been thoroughly investigated.

Ralepelle, who won two Super Rugby titles with the Bulls, was handed a two-year suspension by WorldRugby after an out-of-competition doping test in March 2014 returned a positive test for a metabolite of an anabolic steroid, drostanolone, he had used while recovering from an operation on an anterior cruciate ligament following a knee injury he sustained while playing for Toulouse against Biarritz in France.

“We have done due diligence and Chiliboy is very remorseful. He deserved his penalty, there is no excuse for what he did and he knows that, but he will have done his time in April next year, four games into Super Rugby.

“We weren’t the only people in the market for him and I hope he will do his talking on the field. He’s an outstanding leader, he’s matured as a player at 29 and he deserves a second chance. Personally I think he got a raw deal before going to France, it was very sad that he was let go. He’s an outstanding player and, while I was forwards coach for the Springboks, he put John Smit and Bismarck du Plessis under real pressure. His work-rate is sensational, he carries and drives well and his set-piece work is precise,” Gold told The Citizen on Monday.

Several critics have expressed their anger at the decision to sign the hooker with 22 Test caps between 2006 and 2013, but the double-standard is clear when one considers how Johan Ackermann, who was banned for two years in 1997 for taking nandrolone to help heal a knee injury, has been welcomed back into the fold and is doing great work as the Lions coach.

The new year will also see the Sharks sporting a new assistant coach in former Springbok scrumhalf Robert du Preez, who has just steered the North-West Leopards to the Currie Cup First Division title, and a new defence coach in Omar Mouneimne, who has worked with Italy, Edinburgh, the EP Kings and Lyon.

Highly promising Western Province lock Ruan Botha has been mentioned as another possible signing for the Sharks, but he is still under contract in Cape Town, although Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit’s move from Durban to the Stormers could see him eager to relocate.


Morris ties down Cobras with world record spell 0

Posted on December 17, 2014 by Ken

Chris Morris produced the most economical four-over spell in T20 history as the impressive bizhub Highveld Lions attack was able to tie down the Nashua Cape Cobras batsmen as they defended a total of just 141 and won their RamSlam T20 Challenge match at the Wanderers on Friday night by 47 runs, earning an unlikely bonus point in the process.

The Cobras bowlers had also given an excellent all-round display as they restricted the Lions, who were sent in to bat, to 141 for seven in their 20 overs, but on a good pitch that nevertheless had some life in it for the bowlers, the visiting batsmen were all at sea as they ended on a meagre 94 for nine.

Morris had them on the back foot from the outset as his first two overs from the Golf Course End were maidens and included the key wicket of Richard Levi, who was on the charge having hit Lonwabo Tsotsobe for a six and two fours in the previous over. The 27-year-old then returned to bowl the 18th and 20th overs, collecting another maiden and conceding just two runs to finish with magnificent figures of 4-3-2-2.

It is the world record for the least runs conceded in a four-over spell, beating Pakistani Zulfiqar Babar’s 4-2-3-2 for Tigers v Quetta Bears in 2012, and equalled the record for most maidens (3) held by Manpreet Gony (Punjab), Samiullah Khan (Sui Gas) and Duvvarapu Shivkumar (Andhra).

Levi (20) top-edged a swipe to the leg-side straight up and Morris took the responsibility on himself to take the steepling catch and the Lions were on top in the field from then on.

Inspired by Morris, the Lions bowlers performed with an aggressive air throughout and the Cobras only had 42 on the board after seven overs when they lost their other opener, Andrew Puttick (4), when Eddie Leie plucked a drive out of the sky, on the second attempt, off Hardus Viljoen, having raced from deep mid-on to cow-corner.

The next over brought two more wickets as Dwaine Pretorius had Dane Vilas caught behind for a single. If Vilas had actually nicked the wide, full away-swinger or hit the ground, or even if the umpires were entitled to call for a review, were controversial matters, but there was little doubt four balls later when Justin Ontong (2) was strangled down the leg side, Thami Tsolekile taking a fine, low catch.

The Cobras were 47 for four after nine overs, needing 95 runs off 66 balls and if they were going to achieve that, then Kieron Pollard had to do the bulk of the scoring.

Omphile Ramela (30) and Pollard added 29 for the fifth wicket, but they took 5.2 overs to do it and the Lions had an even firmer grip on the game when they removed the pair in successive overs.

Alviro Petersen dashed in with purpose from long-on to catch Ramela off Tsotsobe and Pollard was found wanting against the unorthodox spin of Leie, struggling to 13 off 16 balls before being castled as he tried to loft the bowler back over his head.

That left the Cobras on 82 for six, wanting miracles from the tail with 60 runs required off 27 balls.

Morris returned to write his name into the record books, picking up his second wicket when George Linde (6) stepped across his stumps and was bowled.

While the glory went to Morris, enormous credit also needs to go to the other bowlers: Tsotsobe (4-0-28-1, including 17 off his second over), Pretorius (4-0-24-2), Viljoen (an outstanding 4-1-12-2) and Leie (4-0-22-1).

The Lions managed to get off to a solid start, despite the absence of Chris Gayle, laid low by a sore back, thanks to his replacement, Rassie van der Dussen.

He and Petersen took the Lions to 43 in the seventh over before left-arm wrist-spinner Linde produced a beauty to have Petersen stumped for 18.

The ball was only sporadically coming out of the middle of Van der Dussen’s bat – and he survived the simplest of chances to Mthokozisi Shezi at third man off Dane Paterson on four. But the determination of the opener and the experience of Neil McKenzie (also badly dropped by Shezi off Linde on 3) saw the Lions reach 95 for two in the 14th over and able to gather some quick runs at the death.

McKenzie (22) and Temba Bavuma (14) both fell to the wiles of Pollard and Shezi, impressive with the ball, bowled Van der Dussen for 52 off 40 balls, with three fours and two sixes. It was the best innings of the night, the late inclusion sticking to his guns.

The end of the Lions innings was marked by the brilliant fielding of Sybrand Engelbrecht, who took three excellent catches in four balls to dismiss Jean Symes (11) off Shezi, and then Morris (0) and Pretorius (9) in the final over bowled by Ferisco Adams.

The Cobras bowlers all conceded less than 27 runs, with Shezi (4-1-23-2), Pollard (4-0-26-2) and Linde (4-1-23-2) particularly impressive and the consensus was that the Lions had a below-par total.

Just as well they have such a brilliant bowling attack with Morris making history.

*New Protea Reeza Hendricks made a brilliant 76 not out off 48 balls to take the Knights to an eight-wicket win with 22 balls remaining against the Titans in Bloemfontein.

The Titans made a paltry 135 for six in their 20 overs, collapsing from 94 for one after 13 overs as three batsmen were run out. Fast bowler Quinton Friend (4-1-15-1) and seamer Shadley van Schalkwyk (4-0-26-2) made life particularly difficult for the batsmen.

*A top-class innings of 64 not out off 54 balls by Colin Ingram carried the Warriors to a seven-wicket victory off the last ball against the Dolphins in Port Elizabeth.

The Warriors, with off-spinner Simon Harmer (4-0-22-2) to the fore, produced an excellent bowling display to limit the Dolphins to 142 for six.

A partnership of 97 in 13.2 overs between Jon-Jon Smuts (54) and Ingram then broke the back of the run-chase to give the Warriors a morale-boosting win.

Domingo defends T20 tactical approach 0

Posted on April 15, 2014 by Ken

South Africa coach Russell Domingo on Monday defended his team’s tactical approach in the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh, saying AB de Villiers is “an impact player” who needs the game to be set up for him.

South Africa bowed out of the competition at the semi-final stage, beaten by six wickets with five balls remaining by India, but faced criticism in some quarters for their tactics, especially their decision to bat De Villiers at number five and only give Dale Steyn one over in the first 14 overs.

“AB is an impact player and the stats show – not just for South Africa but also in the IPL – that he’s more dangerous when the game has been set up for him. He doesn’t have the same game as Virat Kohli, he’s batted three with limited success.

“But it’s not about the number he bats, it’s about the situation when he comes in. If he walks out in the first over, I don’t think that’s a great time for him to bat, but if there’s been a good start then that’s a great time for him to bat.

“But if we have a 13-over partnership then there’s criticism that AB’s coming in too low, people seem to want our players to get out so AB can come in,” Domingo said.

De Villiers’ one notable innings at the ICC World T20 came in their last group match against England when he came in at number three in the 11th over, after an opening partnership of 90 between Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock, and blazed 69 not out from 28 balls. In his other innings he came in at four in the 11th over against Sri Lanka and scored 24 off 16; at four in the sixth over against New Zealand and made five off six balls; at four in the fifth over against the Netherlands and scored a run-a-ball 21; and in the semi-final he came in at five in the 14th over and made just 10 off eight deliveries.

The coach said the decision to hold Steyn back in the semi-final was due to batsmen having an extremely attacking mindset later in the innings.

“Dale can only bowl four overs and we need him the middle and at the end of the innings. We also need to set up the six-over Powerplay up front as best as we can, but we can’t bowl Dale one up front, just one in the middle and two at the death.

“So we decided we’d rather have guys like JP Duminy bowling at the start in the less-pressured overs and he only went for seven in the first over against New Zealand while Dale went for 17 in the first over against Sri Lanka. But the fifth and sixth overs are the most attacking,” Domingo said.

Domingo said overall he was “not displeased” by the way his team had performed.

“You’re always judged on your last game, but I felt we played some really good cricket in the tournament. In those conditions, probably the two best sides [Sri Lanka and India] made the final, but we were quietly confident going in.

“We’ve generally played good T20 cricket in the last year, we have a good playing strategy, we got to number two in the world, so there’s a definite upward trend. We lost the Australian series because we got beaten in a seven-over game and then played badly in the other match, but we had success in Pakistan and we beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.”

Captain Faf du Plessis said he was also happy with the performances.

“It was really good to see a lot of character in the boys. Previously we’ve deserved a lot of criticism for how we’ve played the big moments, but to score 172 under high pressure in the semi-final, against those bowlers, was a really good effort.

“We made one or two mistakes on the night, but credit to a really good Indian team who were better than us on the night. But I’m really proud of the way the boys performed, I’m not disappointed at all,” Du Plessis said.


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