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Ken Borland



SA dig deep to remain in control 0

Posted on March 03, 2015 by Ken

South Africa had to dig deep into their stores of reserve players and patience, but they still ended the third day of the first Sunfoil Test against the West Indies in firm control at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.

Having ended the West Indies first innings on 201 shortly after tea, they had reduced the tourists to 76 for two in their follow-on by stumps, still trailing by 275 runs.

South Africa captain Hashim Amla may be rueing his decision to enforce the follow-on, however, given the spate of injuries that left him with four substitute fielders and only two pace bowlers.

The hosts began the day two down with Faf du Plessis taken to hospital to have abdominal pains and fever looked at – a conclusive diagnosis is yet to be made according to Dr Mohammed Moosajee, the team manager – and Quinton de Kock rolling his ankle in the warm-up.

Dale Steyn then bowled five balls in the West Indies second innings before leaving the field with “tightness in the groin” and when Vernon Philander exited with a troublesome hamstring, Northerns cricketer Sean Phillips had to come on and join Temba Bavuma and Robin Peterson, with Tshwane University of Technology star Danie Rossouw following on to the big stage soon afterwards. Bowling coach Allan Donald had his whites on for much of the day but unfortunately for the festive crowd, didn’t make an appearance on the field.

“It’s been a challenging day. The guys haven’t played Test cricket for four months and the outfield is unusually thick because of all the rain,” Moosajee explained.

Stiaan van Zyl, who made a memorable debut with the bat, may never bowl as many as 10 overs again in his Test career, doing a tidy job with some medium-pace swing.

Philander bowled three maidens up front before going off, claiming the wicket of Devon Smith for five. The South Africans had initially appealed for lbw, but Smith was given out caught as umpire Aleem Dar spotted a little inside-edge on to the pad and Bavuma was alert at point, rushing in to take the catch.

Kraigg Braithwaite (20) fell just over an hour later, edging a drive at Morne Morkel to second slip where, although Alviro Petersen was not able to take the catch cleanly, he completed a spectacular dismissal by snapping up the rebound inches from the ground as he tumbled over.

South Africa were not able to make any further breakthroughs before stumps as Leon Johnson (33*) and Marlon Samuels (13*) dug in against part-timers Van Zyl and Dean Elgar.

There was no lack of application from the top-order in the West Indies first innings, with the top four all getting past 30, but not being able to push on.

“It was very frustrating for the first four to all get 30s but nobody carried on. It’s something we need to sort out in the second innings. If you’re there for a period of time and you get in and then get yourself out, then it points to a mental lapse,” Johnson admitted.

Some credit, however, must go to the South African bowlers, especially Philander, who finished with four for 29 in 15 excellent overs. His stock delivery seemed to be the one pitching on off stump and darting off the seam, making him extremely difficult to play.

“The pitch is quite slow, so you have to be tight with your lines and lengths. It’s about game plans and staying patient,” Philander said.

Morkel bowled some typically fearsome deliveries on his way to three for 55 in 15.2 overs and his dismissal of Marlon Samuels, jagging a delivery back from around the wicket to bowl him off the inside-edge for 33 was particularly impressive.

There was some controversy as well with Smith (35) and Jermaine Blackwood (12) both falling to contentious decisions by TV umpire Paul Reiffel.

There was definitely some doubt – whatever flimsy spike Snicko showed – that Smith had edged his pull at Philander in the 22nd over and on-field umpire Billy Bowden’s decision should never have been overturned. It was a crucial moment as openers Smith and Braithwaite (34) had drawn the teeth of the fearsome South African pace attack in an opening stand of 72.

Blackwood fell to what turned out to be the catch of the day by Petersen, who dived forward in front of first slip Amla to claim a dipping edge after the batsman had played with soft hands at yet another Philander off-stump special.

Even with the usual problems of camera foreshortening, there seemed a hint of the ball touching the ground just before Petersen could get his fingers underneath it, but the history of Reiffel shooting down West Indians continued.

The ball of the day was Philander’s dismissal of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the rock of the West Indian batting.

The left-hander had been in for 89 minutes, scoring 21 when he pushed forward to a delivery that pitched on off stump and then moved away, the safe hands of Petersen diving low at second slip ensuring the edge was punished.

The up-and-down nature of the fourth-day pitch and the prospect of a revitalized, rested South African attack means the prospects of the West Indians taking this Test into the final day are obviously not good.

 http://citizen.co.za/296682/sa-v-west-indies-day-3/

Stumbling West Indies face uphill struggle to avoid follow-on 0

Posted on March 02, 2015 by Ken

The West Indies were facing an uphill struggle trying to chase down the follow-on mark as they stumbled to tea on 184 for six on the third day of the first Sunfoil Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.

With South Africa having declared their first innings on 552 for five, the West Indies need 353 to avoid the follow-on, but it was a frustrating day for them as all six dismissed batsmen made it into double-figures, with two of them out in controversial fashion

Vernon Philander’s tight off-stump line with movement away was exacting a heavy toll on the West Indies and he had four for 26 including the big wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 21.

The awkward, slow-scoring left-hander pushed forward to an excellent delivery that pitched on off-stump and moved away, edging a low catch to second slip, where Alviro Petersen made a good diving take.

The ball was really talking for Philander and four overs later he drew an edge from Jermaine Blackwood (12) that, despite the batsman’s soft hands, just about made it to Petersen diving forward at second slip. It was a superb take, but television replays suggested the batsman should have been given the benefit of the doubt.

Morne Morkel, meanwhile, had given Marlon Samuels a rough, bareback ride in the previous spell from the Hennops River End, but the batsman mounted a spirited defence, surviving for two hours as he scored 33.

Morkel was targeting the body from around the wicket and eventually a delivery jagged back and dribbled off the inside edge into the stumps, ending a 45-run stand with Chanderpaul.

Leon Johnson also made a start, reaching 31 before he was dismissed in soft fashion, driving Kyle Abbott to cover in the third over after lunch.

An opening stand of 72 had nicely teed up the West Indies’ reply before both openers were dismissed and they reached lunch on 110 for two.

Kraigg Braithwaite (34) and Devon Smith (35) were the batsmen who defied the much-vaunted South African pace attack for 21.4 overs in cloudy conditions and it took an extraordinary decision by TV umpire Paul Reiffel for the breakthrough to come.

Philander had just returned for his second spell when Smith tried to pull a shortish delivery and wicketkeeper AB de Villiers, standing in for Quinton de Kock who rolled an ankle in the warm-up, tumbled to his left to make the take. Faf du Plessis was also off the field due to abdominal cramps.

On-field umpire Billy Bowden turned down the caught-behind appeal that came mostly from Philander and South Africa decided to refer the decision.

Reiffel decided that a flimsy scratch on Snicko could be pinned down to when the ball passed the bat and overturned Bowden’s decision, which left most people watching the replays utterly bemused and the West Indians less than happy.

Braithwaite was then nailed by Philander in his next over, the accurate paceman getting a delivery to nip away, a firm push sending the ball low and to the right of Hashim Amla at first slip, the captain claiming a good catch.

 http://citizen.co.za/296582/sa-v-west-indies-day-3-tea/

West Indies nicely teed up then both openers out 0

Posted on March 02, 2015 by Ken

An opening stand of 72 nicely teed up the West Indies’ reply before both openers were dismissed and they reached lunch on 110 for two on the third day of the first Sunfoil Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.

Kraigg Braithwaite (34) and Devon Smith (35) were the batsmen who defied the much-vaunted South African pace attack for 21.4 overs in cloudy conditions and it took an extraordinary decision by TV umpire Paul Reiffel for the breakthrough to come.

Vernon Philander had just returned for his second spell when Smith tried to pull a shortish delivery and wicketkeeper AB de Villiers, standing in for Quinton de Kock who rolled an ankle in the warm-up, tumbled to his left to make the take. Faf du Plessis was also off the field due to abdominal cramps.

On-field umpire Billy Bowden turned down the caught-behind appeal that came mostly from Philander and South Africa decided to refer the decision.

Reiffel decided that a flimsy scratch on Snicko could be pinned down to when the ball passed the bat and overturned Bowden’s decision, which left most people watching the replays utterly bemused and the West Indians less than happy.

Braithwaite was then nailed by Philander in his next over, the accurate paceman getting a delivery to nip away, a firm push sending the ball low and to the right of Hashim Amla at first slip, the captain claiming a good catch.

The West Indies were able to go into lunch without further loss though as Leon Johnson hit three fours on his way to 27 not out and Marlon Samuels had scored a watchful six not out.

With South Africa having declared their first innings on 552 for five, the West Indies still need 243 runs to avoid the follow-on.

 http://citizen.co.za/296270/sa-v-west-indies-day-3-lunch/

Double ton for Amla, century on debut for Van Zyl 0

Posted on February 26, 2015 by Ken

Stiaan van Zyl completed an express century on debut and Hashim Amla made 208 as South Africa declared on 552 for five on the second day of the first Test against the West Indies at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.

A thrilling day’s action was then cut short, however, as rain washed out the entire final session.

Van Zyl needed just 129 balls to reach three figures and stroked 15 fours, most of them in elegant fashion through the off side, off both front and back foot, and becomes the fifth batsman to score a hundred on Test debut for South Africa.

The others were Andrew Hudson (Bridgetown, 1992), Jacques Rudolph (Chittagong, 2002), Alviro Petersen (Kolkata, 2010) and Faf du Plessis (Adelaide, 2012), and Van Zyl is the first to achieve the feat on home soil.

Van Zyl was on 101 not out when Amla declared, and Quinton de Kock had just hit left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn for successives sixes to go to 18 not out.

Meanwhile Amla went methodically to his double century as if it were a daily routine, after six-and-a-half hours and 359 balls at the crease, once again showing he has remarkable stores of concentration and patience.

Amla had already made the highest Test score at Centurion, surpassing Jacques Kallis’s memorable 201 not out against India in 2010/11, when he was dismissed, searching quick runs before the declaration and holing out at long-on off Benn.

Kemar Roach and Benn each took two wickets for the West Indies, but they paid heavy prices for limited success, Roach limping off midway through the last session on the first day with an ankle injury and Benn conceding 148 runs in 46 overs.

The West Indies were at least given a valid excuse for delaying their reply against the fearsome South African pace quartet as rain began to fall and an early tea was taken, but the rain was heavy enough to prevent any further play.

Captain Amla was still at the crease with a superb 178 not out as he took South Africa to a commanding 449 for four at lunch.

Amla, who began the day on 133 off 242 balls, applied himself diligently on the second morning, adding 45 runs off 88 deliveries to ensure South Africa did not waste a rousing first day to the Test in which he and AB de Villiers added an unbroken 283 for the fourth wicket to take them to 340 for three at stumps.

The pair took their partnership to 308, the highest for any wicket at Centurion in 19 Tests, before De Villiers was dismissed in the 100th over, the ninth of the day.

De Villiers was once again in inspired form as he cruised to 152 in five hours and 18 minutes, facing 235 balls and stroking 16 fours and two sixes. But totally against the run of play, he then edged an expansive lofted drive at Benn, who obtained a smidgen of turn, and the ball skewed comfortably into the hands of cover-point.

Debutant Van Zyl then came in and was in trouble early on, almost turning his first ball from Benn into the hands of leg-gully, playing and missing outside off stump against the quicks and even being dropped by Kraigg Braithwaite at leg-gully off Benn when he had just two.

But the left-hander then settled and played some impressive strokes through the off-side, reaching a half-century on debut in good time, off 74 balls with eight fours.

 http://citizen.co.za/295957/sa-v-west-indies-1st-test-2nd-day-stumps/

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    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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