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Ken Borland

All-rounder Phehlukwayo anointed for greater things 0

Posted on March 15, 2016 by Ken


Andile Phehlukwayo turned 20 last week and has already been anointed as a Dolphins bowling all-rounder fit to follow in the footsteps of legends like Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener, but he has already achieved so much as one of the successes of South African cricket’s development pipeline.

There was clearly something special about Phehlukwayo when he played for the Dolphins in the 2014 Champions League while he was still in his matric year at Glenwood High School. He scored 22 off 17 balls against the powerhouse Chennai Super Kings in his first game and then 37 off just 18 deliveries against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Since then, his bowling has become his strongest suit, especially in limited-overs matches, and he has produced several match-winning performances for the Dolphins, most notably with his nerveless, skilful death bowling in the RamSlam T20 Challenge playoff against the Cape Cobras.

He certainly does not want to be pigeon-holed, however, as a limited-overs specialist and the work he has been putting into his long-format game is bearing fruit, with Phehlukwayo taking a career-best four for 39 against the Warriors in East London last weekend.

“I was thrown in the deep end playing in the Champions League while I was still at school, which was a tough one, but I’m grateful for the experience and there’s no pressure on me. I’m my own player, different to other all-rounders, but obviously I would like to try and be like guys like Jacques Kallis and Lance Klusener. I need to perform for  SA A first, and there are lots of guys performing as all-rounders in South African cricket, like Chris Morris and David Wiese. I just need to be consistent, I know there will always be chances for me and I believe one day I will play for South Africa, even if maybe not in the next two or four years,” Phehlukwayo says.

The son of a domestic worker in Margate, who earned a hockey scholarship to Glenwood and was then noticed when he went to cricket trials, Phehlukwayo has every reason to be proud of what he has already achieved despite such humble beginnings.

“My big goal is for my mom to come and watch me play. I was fortunate to have good support in the background and my coaches believed in me. For me it’s just about working hard and not giving up on my dream. I never thought that I would be playing franchise cricket at this age and at some stages I thought I would never play professional cricket.

“I’ve made quick progress as a bowler, T20 does fast-track you, you need to adapt quickly in that format and practise your skills. Playing for SA A over the last couple of months, bowling to people like Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan, taught me that you’ve got to be on-song and stay on your game-plan, back yourself, always believe in yourself. It was definitely an experience I won’t forget, especially bowling a couple of long-hops to Morgan!”


SA A second-tier show development in winter conditions 0

Posted on May 02, 2014 by Ken

Off-spinner Simon Harmer claimed the best-ever figures for SA A - 8-87 - to clinch the series against Australia A

The development of the country’s second tier of top cricketers was shown by the way they improved in winter conditions that were much more suited to the Indian tourists.

Off-spinner Simon Harmer claimed the best innings figures for SA A to bowl them to a series-clinching victory over Australia A in Rustenburg, while left-arm swing bowler Beuran Hendricks produced the best ever match analysis as they beat India A in Pretoria to level that series.

SA A failed to make the final of the limited-overs triangular series against the two touring sides, but it took a record-breaking innings of 248 by Shikhar Dhawan to keep the hosts out of the finale, in which the Indians cruised to victory over Australia A by 50 runs.

The 50-over matches were all played at the L.C. de Villiers Oval at the University of Pretoria, which failed to offer any assistance to the bowlers and SA A coach Vincent Barnes said his players were going to have to learn how to play in such sub-continental conditions if they wished to play at the highest level.

“It was a harsh lesson for our bowlers, they had to work exceptionally hard. I can keep telling them that this is what Test cricket is like, but they have to actually experience playing on these decks. At domestic level, you don’t see reverse-swing and spin doesn’t play a major role.

“But in these conditions, seamers have to revert to other skills and reverse-swing plays a massive part. It helps that Australia and India sent two very strong sides as we tried to get as close as possible to Test conditions. It was a great measuring tool and, as a selector, I have a good idea where everybody is,” Barnes said.

Dean Elgar scored 268 to kick-start a prolific series for the left-hander, with Rilee Rossouw and Thami Tsolekile also scoring centuries against the Australians, while Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Reeza Hendricks managed to reach three figures in the limited-overs matches.

v Australia A @ L.C. de Villiers Oval, Pretoria

A determined Elgar equalled New Zealander Mathew Sinclair’s world record score for A internationals as he batted with tremendous application and concentration to give the national selectors a convincing display of his abilities. The left-hander shared a thoroughly dominating stand of 267 with Tsolekile, who made his best first-class score and joined Adam Gilchrist, Mike Hussey, Damian Martyn and Sir Garfield Sobers as the only players with three shares in sixth-wicket partnerships of over 250 in first-class cricket.

Warner had joined Elgar in making a point to his national selectors on the first day as, after being suspended from the Ashes tour and sent to Africa after trying to punch England batsman Joe Root in a pub, the left-hander hammered his way back into the Test team and shared a partnership of 204 in 38 overs with Maxwell, before being dismissed with what became the last ball of the first day. Warner did rather blot his copybook, however, on the final day as he and Tsolekile came together in an angry exchange.


v Australia A @Olympia Park, Rustenburg

Left-armer Hendricks snared the bulk of the wickets as the South African pacemen took advantage of swing-friendly conditions on the opening morning. The in-form Elgar and a composed Rossouw, who mixed watchfulness with aggression superbly, then overcame a pitch on which batsmen never really felt in to further batter the tourists on the second day.

Off-spinner Harmer then took control on a turning pitch to register the best ever figures for SA A. The 21-year-old Maddinson was the only Australian batsmen to bat with any authority in the match.



Triangular ODI series

6/8 Australia A bt SA A by three wickets

An opening victory for the home side looked a done deal after a fine opening stand between Hendricks and Rossouw of 87 in 15.3 overs had been converted into a formidable total by Ontong’s clean strokeplay, and a ferocious start to the Australia A reply had been weathered. But Shaun Marsh batted through the innings and, with Coulter-Nile playing a dramatic counter-attacking innings, the momentum was totally reversed by the tourists.


8/8 Australia A bt India A by seven runs

A phenomenal innings by Maxwell, who had never made a List A century before, and a top-class display of death bowling by Coulter-Nile clinched a thrilling victory for the Australians. Maxwell transformed an innings in disarray as six wickets had fallen for 32 runs and a devastating final assault saw him score his last 95 runs off just 32 balls, hitting Kaul for three successive sixes in the final over.

A solid Indian reply saw them needing just 23 from the last four overs with six wickets in hand, but a double-wicket maiden by Coulter-Nile in the penultimate over, after he had conceded just two runs in the 47th over, snatched a dramatic victory.


9/8 India A bt SA A by 18 runs

A great effort with the bat by Rossouw, Elgar and Van Jaarsveld was not enough to save SA A from a poor bowling display after they had sent India A in first following morning rain that delayed the start of play, and then returned to end the contest with the hosts struggling against the visiting spinners.


10/8 SA A bt Australia A by 19 runs

Theron did an excellent all-round job in winning the match almost single-handedly, scoring 47 off 25 balls while in the company of last man Hendricks to lift a flagging innings. With Australia A needing less than four-an-over, Theron was then at the centre of a collapse that saw them crash from 160 for two to 183 for eight, Finch’s century not being enough to complete victory for the visitors.


11/8 Australia A bt India A by 25 runs

Australia A booked a place in the final thanks to another inspired effort by Maxwell, who shared a partnership of 139 in 16 overs with Shaun Marsh. His younger brother Mitchell and Coulter-Nile then ensured 54 runs were plundered in the last five overs. India A were in position needing 136 off 18 overs, with seven wickets in hand, but Hazlewood claimed two wickets in the 37th over and then removed the dangerous Rayudu in the 43rd to tip the balance Australia’s way.


12/8 India A bt SA A by 39 runs

A freakish innings by Dhawan set up a thrilling match which was reminiscent of South Africa’s memorable victory in the “438-game” against Australia in 2006.

Dhawan made the second highest score ever recorded in a List A game, joining Sehwag and Tendulkar as the only Indians to score a limited-overs double century. He survived a chance on 154, but it was still one of the greatest innings seen on African soil.

Top-class centuries by Hendricks and Van Jaarsveld gave SA A hope as they kept the required run-rate to less than 10 for 31 overs, but a burst of wickets from Pandey ended the brave challenge as India A earned a place in the final.


14/8 India A bt Australia A by 50 runs

Australia A succumbed with barely a whimper after performing well with the ball. The India A innings looked set for bigger things when Dhawan, playing another fine innings, and Karthik were in full flow, but it rather faded away with Hazlewood and Coulter-Nile once again announcing their talents in the death overs.

But the Australian reply was stymied by a combination of Shami’s two early strikes and the wiles of the spinners.


SA A v India A, Rustenburg

SA A failed to meet the challenge of playing in conditions that were as sub-continental as could probably be reproduced in South Africa, India A’s attack impressing as they sealed victory by bowling the hosts out for the second time in two days to seal victory with just eight overs remaining.

The India A batsmen were willing to be patient against the new ball on the first two mornings, with Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina playing out six successive maidens to start the second day. The SA A batsmen, except for Duminy, were unable to replicate that sort of application and in both innings their top-order was dismissed quickly. Pandey was particularly impressive as he hit the deck hard and often used cutters to take advantage of the dry pitch.


SA A v India A, Pretoria 4-dayer

Beuran Hendricks’ excellent control of swing – in particular of the reverse variety – brought him match figures of 11 for 63, the best ever for SA A. He was able to bring the ball into the batsman as well as angle it away and he was well-supported by off-spinner Simon Harmer, who took seven wickets in the match.

SA A had made a disastrous start to the match as unfocused strokeplay saw them crash to 97 for six. But Parnell and Harmer then batted together for the second half of the first day and for more than an hour on the second, before Birch added more misery for the Indian bowlers at the end of the innings.

The post-tea session on the second day brought a dramatic Indian collapse from 95 for one to 145 for six at stumps and they were sent in again for four overs before stumps on the third day, losing Vijay to a Hendricks yorker as they chased 307 in 94 overs.

Pujara was run out off the first ball of the last day, heralding a dramatic collapse to 18 for five, before Rahane and Saha batted through to tea. But Hendricks then returned and swung a delivery back through Rahane’s defences to knock over his leg stump. The end came quickly thereafter for the tourists.

Blue Bulls extend focus to schools development 0

Posted on June 03, 2012 by Ken

One could forgive the Blue Bulls if their focus in the last week has been on the 15 players who ran out on to the park – in shocking pink – for yesterday’s crunch SuperRugby game against the Stormers.

But the Blue Bulls Rugby Union (BBRU) is not only concerned about the land’s finest rugby players currently battling it out for top spot in the South African Conference, but also the enormous talent that lies in the northern third of the country.

That is why they also launched their impressive and vital new schools rugby project, in conjunction with SuperSport’s Let’s Play initiative and local and national government, at Loftus Versfeld last week.

Johan Schoeman, the BBRU Game Development Manager, revealed that their dedicated development programme would introduce boys and girls to rugby skills, with particular attention given to those schools in the disadvantaged communities.

Although the programme will also be implemented in the vast area of Limpopo, the Tshwane area has been divided into six clusters – North-West, North-East, South-West, Inner City, South-East and Pioneer, which includes areas such as Mamelodi, Soshunguve, Garunkuwa and Atteridgeville.

Forty-four primary schools have been identified for the programme and Schoeman said the aim was to “develop a sustainable rugby culture”.

“If we go into schools, then we have to work with the Education Department and sponsors are also big role-players – SuperSport have already given about R360 000.

“But we can’t just go in and leave them with kit. It’s a long process that ultimately reaches playing contact rugby in leagues. It’s about talent identification and creating a passion for the game, especially amongst the headmasters,” Schoeman said.

The programme has received the backing of both the Department of Education and Sports and Recreation SA.

“We congratulate and thank the Blue Bulls for their approach. They have made a big commitment to build and inspire young people,” Vuyani Mpofu, the Deputy DG of the Gauteng Department of Education said.

Deputy Sports Minister Gert Oosthuizen said: “The Blue Bulls have a wonderful mission statement about promoting rugby development in their surrounding communities and they have set a good example. We would like to assist them and make every Rand work, deploy the money optimally.”

Schoeman said the BBRU would cover the training of coaches and referees, while teams would start training at schools and fixtures would be held from July.

All this comes at a price, of course, and the Let’s Play initiative are major backers.

“In the pilot project last year, we introduced 1500 boys and girls between the ages of seven and 10 to basic rugby skills. Like the government’s School Sport Policy, we want to play our part in promoting healthy lifestyles through sport participation,” Let’s Play manager Vaughn Bishop said.

Both Schoeman and Oosthuizen identified the lack of facilities as the programme’s biggest frustration.

“The key challenge is facilities – there’s a total skew in terms of quality and access, a lot have been vandalised or are lying unused,” Oosthuizen said.

“Fifteen percent of the municipal grants have now been ring-fenced for facilities. We want to ensure access for all people, because it is access for the masses that will make us a winning nation.

“There is a very good case for sport – crime reduction. Those are the facts and this very good investment by the Blue Bulls will have a positive impact on the community that supports them,” the deputy minister said.

Change of attitudes, focus on amateurs needed 0

Posted on May 11, 2012 by Ken

Corrie van Zyl, CSA’s General Manager of cricket, says attitudes need to change and the focus must be on the amateur game if the newly-instituted transformation fund is to succeed in its developmental goals.

Cricket South Africa this week announced the establishment of a dedicated transformation fund, in line with the agreements they signed with the department of sport and Sascoc.

The fund will go towards improving facilities and creating more opportunities for youngsters to play cricket. As acting president Willie Basson pointed out at the launch, more than 80% of the population under the age of 15 is ethnic African.

“The transformation fund that has just been announced means there’s going to be greater effort in pushing for transformation and funds for new projects, but it’s all about our attitudes towards our country. If our attitude isn’t right, then it’s not going to happen. What’s in our hearts matters most and South African cricket will not be strong without its amateur base.

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  • Thought of the Day

    1 Corinthians 3:3 - "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?"

    One of my favourite U2 songs is a collaboration with Johnny Cash called The Wanderer, and it features the line "they say they want the kingdom, but they don't want God in it".
    Many people say they believe in God, but they don't experience his loving presence. They may be active in Christian work, but only if they have their way. If they cannot be leaders, they refuse to be involved.
    Because they refuse to allow God to fill their lives with his love, they remain weak and powerless.
    Spiritual maturity means developing a greater love for others.

    "When the love of Christ saturates you, immature attitudes such as pettiness, jealousy and strife are dissolved.
    "It is only when you have an intimate relationship with the Lord that you receive sufficient grace to rise above this immaturity and enjoy the solid food that the Holy Spirit gives you." - Solly Ozrovech, A Shelter From The Storm

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