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Ken Borland



Siboto earns the reprieve he had been hoping for 0

Posted on December 20, 2016 by Ken

 

Malusi Siboto had probably been hoping the ground could swallow him whole when he dropped a sitter of a catch in the 12th over of the CSA T20 Challenge final at SuperSport Park on Friday night; by the end of the match he was rushing off the field to embrace his gran, who was watching him play cricket for the first time and was able to see the 29-year-old deliver a superb final over to seal a thrilling six-run victory for the Titans over the Warriors.

In a gripping, low-scoring encounter, the Titans were defending just 156 and the Warriors looked well on course as they reached 91 for three in the 12th over with Colin Ackermann and Christiaan Jonker adding 48 off 37 balls.

That was when Ackermann, on 21, looped a sweep off wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi to short fine leg and Siboto, whose nickname is Lolly, dropped a dolly. Even though Jonker was out next ball for 33 off 25 balls, foolishly sweeping Shamsi to fine leg, Ackermann batted on and scored 34.

He and Qaasim Adams, trapped lbw for 17 by Shamsi, missing a sweep, were dismissed in successive overs in the midst of a superb Titans comeback. A magnificent penultimate over from Junior Dala cost just six runs, but it still left Siboto with only 11 runs to play with in the final over.

The former Knights seamer, enjoying his first season with the Titans, was brilliant, going full and straight and hitting the blockhole as he conceded just four singles and a wide.

“I dropped the wrong guy and in my mind I knew I should have taken that catch. So I told myself that when I bowl again I must make up for it … and I guess I did,” Siboto said afterwards.

“I was overwhelmed and just froze when I bowled the wide, but I knew I just had to try and make things right. Afterwards I ran off the field to my gran, who was watching me play cricket for the first time,” Siboto added.

For Titans coach Mark Boucher, the win, for his debut trophy in his first season in charge, was made even more special because the Warriors had been in a commanding position.

“It had been a bit frustrating because we put ourselves under pressure, but it became a tight match anyway and we held our nerve. It wasn’t the perfect game from us, we didn’t score enough runs, but we played pressure cricket and finals are often about who holds their bottle longest.

“I’m very proud of the guys because it was a dogfight, it wasn’t pretty. The Warriors had picked up momentum, but Junior Dala (4-0-25-0) hit his straps really well and pulled that momentum back, showing good pace and aggression. He handled the pressure very well – he even said to me that he doesn’t feel pressure! – and then Malusi, geez, he came good!

“He hadn’t had a great night, his first over went for 10 and then he dropped that catch, and other players might have gone into their shell and faded away, but he took the bull by the horns and got the ball in the right areas.

“You can’t train that sort of thing, you can practise skills and talk about tactics all day long, but the player has got to want those tough moments. The whole team really wanted that trophy, so they dealt with the pressure really well,” Boucher said.

The Titans had been sent in to bat and battled to 155 for six in their 20 overs, Aiden Markram scoring 33 and Albie Morkel 21, but nobody was able to score at much more than a run-a-ball, Boucher saying their struggles being born out of misreading the pitch.

“We got the wicket wrong and went too hard, too early; 160 was about par but scoreboard pressure played its part in the Warriors’ chase. We picked up vital wickets early on to put them on the back foot and the bowlers bowled in good areas with the pitch being a bit slow and up-and-down. It was a fantastic final, sometimes the low-scoring games are the best,” Boucher said.

That the Titans made it to 155 was thanks to David Wiese, who struck 24 not out off 15 balls and took 19 off the last over bowled by Sisanda Magala.

Wiese’s all-round performance was heroic as he then had to take over the captaincy in the first over of the Warriors’ innings after Morkel left the field with a strained hamstring after just five deliveries, and the opening wicket of Clyde Fortuin for a two-ball duck as Markram (brilliant in the field) held on to a scorcher at backward point. And Wiese then bowled four overs for just 31 runs and claimed the key wicket of Jon-Jon Smuts, caught behind for 16.

Dala and Lungi Ngidi, whose two for 27 included the vital scalps of Colin Ingram, caught behind for 12, and Ackermann, were also outstanding with the ball for the Titans.

Luke Donald looks to have a second wind 0

Posted on January 14, 2015 by Ken

Judging by his performance in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, former world number one Luke Donald is certainly on course for a second wind in his career that reached the pinnacle of world golf in 2011 but then stalled as he dropped down the rankings in 2013.

Having reached new heights three years ago when he became the first golfer to win both the European and PGA Tour moneylists in the same year, Donald has not won since November 2013 and missed out on selection for Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup team this year.

He changed coach in mid-2013 and although he has since split from Chad Cook and gone back to Pat Goss, Donald said yesterday that there was no second-guessing his decision.

“I changed coach because I felt my game was not going the way I wanted it to, in particular I didn’t feel I was a good enough driver of the ball to win a Major. But it’s tough to break 30 years of golfing DNA, I didn’t play very well and I struggled to see a change, so I went back to Pat. Change is hard, but it was a good decision to join Chad because it made me realise that sometimes what you have is good enough,” Donald said.

The Gary Player Country Club course, however, is not the sort of place where poor drivers of the ball prosper, and Donald showed that he has plenty of game in the second round, picking up a dazzling nine birdies and not dropping a single shot.

“Every tee shot here has danger and you really have to be switched on and play good, solid shots. I feel I’ve done that very well today,” Donald said.

Whether or not Donald is the winner on Sunday – it would be a tremendous way to celebrate his 37th birthday the same day – the Englishman feels he is getting back to being one of the best golfers in the world.

“Winning would give me a huge amount of confidence that I’m doing the right thing, but my main goal is just to keep moving forward, keep getting better. Sometimes we put the Majors on too much of a pedestal. I prefer to stick to smaller goals,” he said.

In coming through a couple of miserable years, Donald has also shown that he has the character within him to overcome the tough times that inevitably come in golf and he admitted a change in mindset had also been necessary for him to rebound.

“I’d never had big struggles before but I think I needed to adjust mentally. You expect your golf to be good and for that to make you happy on the course, but it’s the other way round.”

Once the most consistent golfer in the world, Donald has the short game to capitalise on the opportunities he creates from tee to green and the old solidity is definitely returning.

 

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    James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

    The lessons Christ taught were intensely spiritual, but also extremely practical. For him, everything - every thought and deed - was an expression of his relationship with his heavenly Father. All of our life must be an expression of the spiritual.

    "I wait upon God to renew my mind, to make me creative, instead of becoming the clanging cymbal that Paul spoke of." - Paul Tournier

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