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SA A bowlers can finally celebrate victory 0

Posted on July 02, 2015 by Ken

The South Africa A bowlers still occasionally sprayed the ball around like confetti, but their overall performance was much better as they bowled the England Lions out for 209 to clinch a 78-run victory in the final limited-overs international at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Thursday night.

After Reeza Hendricks’ century had carried SA A to 287 for six, just two English batsmen really troubled the home bowlers, with Jonny Bairstow scoring 64 and Samit Patel 55 as they added 76 for the fifth wicket.

Kagiso Rabada was the most successful SA A bowler with four for 51 (and one just had to love the way he kept bouncing back from being belted for a boundary by invariably dismissing his tormentor), but Chris Morris was the best of the attack with an outstanding two for 23 in eight overs.

SA A captain Dean Elgar called on him to bowl the first batting powerplay over with the England Lions still very much in contention on 180 for five, needing 108 runs off 90 balls to complete a 4-0 series triumph, and Morris delivered a superb spell, conceding just four runs in three overs and claiming the wickets of Adil Rashid (8) and Tim Bresnan (1).

It was a super evening all round for him as he had earlier made a vital contribution with the bat, lashing 35 not out off 20 balls to boost SA A after a middle-order collapse saw them lose four wickets for 37 runs.

The start of the England Lions run-chase was delayed for 35 minutes because the floodlights were not working to full capacity and they were quickly under pressure as Marchant de Lange and Beuran Hendricks each took a wicket with the new ball.

Captain James Vince looked threatening as he scored 23 before Rabada had him caught at cover-point, but it was Elgar who showed he’s an under-rated bowler when he claimed the key scalp of Bairstow, trapped lbw with a straight, full delivery, as he delivered an excellent spell of one for 16 in five overs just before the powerplay.

Hendricks stamped himself as a new contender for the national team’s opening berth as his splendid century carried South Africa A to 287 for six.

Hendricks and Elgar formed a wonderful partnership up front as they added 149 for the first wicket in 28 overs after SA A were sent in to bat.

What was most impressive about their stand was the way they married watchfulness with an ability to work the ball around and keep the scoreboard ticking over.

While Elgar fell for a determined 66 off 74 balls, Hendricks went on to score 107 off 128 deliveries, with 10 fours and a six, before being bowled by Bresnan with the total on 210 in the 39th over.

The England Lions were on top from that moment on, claiming three more wickets and it was only thanks to a fiery late burst from Morris that SA A were able to post 287, when something over 300 was certainly on the cards.

Hendricks went to his half-century first – his third of the year – off just 59 balls with seven fours.

Elgar reached his half-century six overs later, although he took two fewer deliveries, but his demise came when he tried to slog-sweep leg-spinner Rashid, but could only top-edge a catch to deep midwicket.

Hendricks brought up his second century of the series in the batting powerplay with a beautifully balanced and controlled flick off his pads off left-arm seamer Harry Gurney for his 11th four, but an over later, SA A lost their second wicket.

Theunis de Bruyn had breezed to 29 off 25 balls, as he and Hendricks added a run-a-ball 53, but then chanced his arm once too often against the impressive Jack Brooks and was bowled.

Brooks was the golden arm for the England Lions on Thursday as he also bowled Stiaan van Zyl for 21 and then claimed a return catch off Khaya Zondo (7) as the SA A innings just faded away.

Bresnan claimed the wicket of Hendricks in the 39th over, hitting the middle stump as the 25-year-old tried to drive through the on-side.

Gurney added the soft wicket of Dane Vilas (8), cutting to point, and it was only the bighitting Morris, smiting three fours and clearing the boundary twice, that lifted SA A in the last handful of overs.

Brooks was the best of the touring bowlers, finishing with three for 55, including two for 18 in his last three overs at the death.

http://citizen.co.za/321616/south-african-clinch-victory/

Hendricks stamps himself as contender with splendid century 0

Posted on June 27, 2015 by Ken

Reeza Hendricks stamped himself as a new contender for the national team’s opening berth as his splendid century carried South Africa A to 287 for six in their final limited-overs match against the England Lions at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Thursday.

Hendricks and Dean Elgar formed a wonderful partnership up front as they added 149 for the first wicket in 28 overs after SA A were sent in to bat.

What was most impressive about their stand was the way they married watchfulness with an ability to work the ball around and keep the scoreboard ticking over.

While Elgar fell for a determined 66 off 74 balls, Hendricks went on to score 107 off 128 deliveries, with 10 fours and a six, before being bowled by Tim Bresnan with the total on 210 in the 39th over.

The England Lions were on top from that moment on, claiming three more wickets and it was only thanks to a fiery 35 not out off 20 balls from Chris Morris that SA A were able to post 287, when something over 300 was certainly on the cards.

Hendricks went to his half-century first – his third of the year – off just 59 balls with seven fours.

Elgar reached his half-century six overs later, although he took two fewer deliveries, but his demise came when he tried to slog-sweep leg-spinner Adil Rashid, but could only top-edge a catch to deep midwicket.

Hendricks brought up his second century of the series in the batting powerplay with a beautifully balanced and controlled flick off his pads off left-arm seamer Harry Gurney for his 11th four, but an over later, SA A lost their second wicket.

Theunis de Bruyn had breezed to 29 off 25 balls, as he and Hendricks added a run-a-ball 53, but then chanced his arm once too often against the impressive Jack Brooks and was bowled.

Brooks was the golden arm for the England Lions on Thursday as he also bowled Stiaan van Zyl for 21 and then claimed a return catch off Khaya Zondo (7) as the SA A innings just faded away.

Bresnan claimed the wicket of Hendricks in the 39th over, hitting the middle stump as the 25-year-old tried to drive through the on-side.

Gurney added the soft wicket of Dane Vilas (8), cutting to point, and it was only the big-hitting Morris, smiting three fours and clearing the boundary twice, that lifted SA A in the last handful of overs.

Brooks was the best of the touring bowlers, finishing with three for 55, including two for 18 in his last three overs at the death.

http://citizen.co.za/321414/south-africa-v-england-lions-1st-innings/

Inspired Stokes takes England Lions to series-clinching win 0

Posted on June 26, 2015 by Ken

An inspired innings by Ben Stokes carried the England Lions to a series-clinching 89-run win over South Africa A in their limited-overs match in Mamelodi on Monday.

The England Lions posted a massive 378 for six after being sent in to bat, with Stokes playing an amazing innings of 151 not out off just 86 deliveries. He came in with the tourists on 123 for three in the 24th over and built his innings superbly. He was away briskly, reaching his 50 off 46 deliveries, before exploding in the last 10 overs, during which the tourists plundered 153 runs.

Stokes needed just 27 more balls to reach his century and another 13 for his 150 as he lashed nine sixes in the last 15 deliveries he faced, the tourists slamming 83 runs in the last five overs.

The key partnership for the England Lions was the 132 Stokes and Sam Billings (56 off 33) added for the fifth wicket in just 10.4 overs.

The quality of the SA A death bowling was extremely poor and coach Vincent Barnes admitted that he would have loved to have seen more yorkers bowled.

“In terms of death bowling, there seem to be some different trends going on in the country at the moment, but I’m an old school coach and I was quite surprised how few yorkers were used. We were trying far too many different things and with just four fielders allowed to be out, all those different lines and lengths make it very difficult.

“It’s a very under-rated delivery, the neglected art of yorkers, it’s not practised enough because you need to spend hours and hours on it,” Barnes said after the defeat.

Chris Morris was the only SA A bowler to have a reasonable day, taking three for 50 and doing a good job in the closing overs.

Morris then came to the fore again with the bat, lashing 58 not out off 33 balls to provide some late cheer to an SA A innings that never really threatened the English total.

The home side lost Reeza Hendricks (9), Stiaan van Zyl (28) and Theunis de Bruyn (9) cheaply as the required run-rate rose, but Dean Elgar battled along gamely as he scored a fine 79 off 84 balls.

There were sprinklings of boundaries from Justin Ontong (22) and Dane Vilas (29), but they were surely fighting a losing cause.

David Wiese (37) and Morris were briefly threatening, but Stokes then used the yorker to great effect to bowl Wiese and Marchant de Lange (0) in the same over.

Three wickets for Stokes merely added to the celebrations for the controversial omission from England’s World Cup squad, while opening batsman Jason Roy also had cause for happiness, his 67 off 72 balls up front providing an ideal platform for the all-rounder.

http://citizen.co.za/319425/south-africa-vs-england-lions/

Stokes loves it in Mamelodi as England Lions win series 0

Posted on June 24, 2015 by Ken

Ben Stokes loved the conditions at the Mamelodi Oval as he lashed a magnificent 151 not out off just 86 balls to lead the England Lions to a comprehensive 89-run series-clinching victory over South Africa A in their limited-overs game on Monday.

Stokes, a controversial omission from England’s World Cup squad in Australasia, revelled on a flat pitch and a small ground as he came in at 123 for three in the 24th over and hammered seven fours and 15 sixes to take the tourists to a massive 378 for six.

He then shone with the ball taking three wickets as the England Lions bowled SA A out for 289, giving them a 3-0 lead in the five-match series with one game to play. Stokes looks like someone who England could really use at the World Cup, being a terrifically clean striker and a brisk seamer.

South Africa A’s execution of their bowling skills at the death was disappointing, with way too many full tosses and long-hops, but you have to give credit to Stokes for taking full, ruthless advantage.

Chris Morris was the one bowler to survive relatively unscathed, managing to find the right lengths as he took three for 50 in his 10 overs, but the other SA A bowlers can’t be happy with their performances. David Wiese went for 82 runs in 10 overs, Marchant de Lange 81 and Mthokozisi Shezi 74, while spinners Eddie Leie and Dean Elgar conceded 42 and 44 runs respectively in five overs each.

Opener Jason Roy scored 67 off 72 balls and there were a pair of 34s from James Vince and Jonny Bairstow to provide a platform for Stokes to bring SA A to their knees.

Morris emerged as the best of the bowlers as he had Alex Lees caught behind for 10, removed Bairstow, spooning a catch into the covers, and then yorked Sam Billings, who belted 55 off 36 balls in a late blast.

The England Lions attack featured one of yesterday’s heroes in Tim Bresnan, but they all bowled with much better discipline and skill, and backed that with good intensity in the field.

Reeza Hendricks was out early, caught at square-leg off Mark Wood for nine, but Elgar then added 63 for the second wicket with Stiaan van Zyl (28).

The lanky Boyd Rankin removed Van Zyl with a short ball and with Bresnan removing the in-form Theunis de Bruyn for nine, SA A were falling behind on 89 for three after 17 overs.

A series of useful but ultimately vain partnerships with the middle and lower-order followed, with Elgar scoring a top-class 79 off 84 balls. But he was hampered by a throw that hit him on the ankle bone and was run out by wicketkeeper Bairstow soon thereafter.

Justin Ontong made 22 and Dane Vilas 29, before Wiese and Morris added 50 for the seventh wicket in just 5.2 overs before Stokes produced a full, straight delivery to bowl Wiese for 37 and settle the outcome.

Morris went on to score a highly-entertaining 58 not out off just 33 balls, but it was never going to deny the English a crunching victory.

 

 



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