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Ken Borland



Morris to join other all-round stars at the Titans 0

Posted on June 01, 2016 by Ken

Chris Morris or David Wiese could be the answer to the glaring absence of an all-rounder in the South African team and they will both be playing for the Unlimited Titans next season after Morris announced on Wednesday that he is leaving the bizhub Highveld Lions.

Morris is coming off a superb season for the Lions, playing a key role in their Sunfoil Series triumph as he topped their bowling averages with 32 wickets at 20.18 as well as averaging 30.11 with the bat.

And the 27-year-old says there isn’t any ill feeling towards the Lions, his decision was motivated by a desire to push himself further as a cricketer. Having played five ODIs and two T20 internationals for South Africa, Morris is clearly someone the national selectors should have in their plans moving forward.

“I’ve spent seven years at the Highveld Lions and it just feels like time for a change of scenery. I feel like I’ve fallen into a bit of a comfort zone at the Lions, apart from when Zander de Bruyn was still playing I’ve always been the main all-rounder and played every game in every format. I always give 100%, but maybe I’m not pushing myself enough.

“They have different methods and a different culture at the Titans, I’ve bought into Rob Walter’s plan and it’s an exciting time to join them. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, they don’t back down in training, but I’m a Pretoria boy originally, so it will be nice to come home. Plus the traffic has been killing me!” Morris told The Citizen.

Any team facing the Titans next season, especially in limited-overs cricket, could have the daunting task of tackling Morris and speedster Marchant de Lange with the new ball, while also having to deal with a lower-middle-order of Albie Morkel, Wiese and Morris.

“We’re very happy that a quality player like Chris is coming home, his family has a proud history with Northerns cricket through his dad Willie, he’s a top performer, he can play in all three formats and, having got to know him while he was in Potchefstroom, I know he has a lot of tenacity,” Jacques Faul, the CEO of the Titans, said.

Morris is happy with the form he showed in the just-completed 2014/15 season, he took 12 wickets in the RamSlam T20 Challenge and had a strike-rate of 173.33 with the bat, but his Momentum One-Day Cup campaign was limited to just three games by injury.

“First it was the ankle op and then the rib-tip fracture, so it’s been nice to be playing, especially in such an excellent unit. With Hardus Viljoen, Kagiso Rabada and Dwaine Pretorius alongside me, there’s been pressure from all sides. Every day is a fishing day but not very day is a catching day, but I felt like I was firing on all cylinders, the Lions had a senior role for me and it was a nice responsibility,” Morris said.

Aggression is a key part of Morris’s bowling and there is no doubt the lanky paceman earned some wickets for his colleagues at the other end with the unrelenting pressure he exerted.

“When I was 16 I asked Curtly Ambrose about aggression and he asked me if I want to hold the batsman’s hand. He said I must make it as uncomfortable as possible for the batsman. So I’m a firm believer in playing hard, I like to feel that we’re in a battle and I try to hurt the batsman, obviously not badly of course,” Morris said.

The wise counsel of Neil McKenzie, who announced his retirement from four-day cricket earlier this week, has also led to an improvement in Morris’s batting and the use of the short ball is no longer as effective as it was against him.

“I’m very chuffed with my batting this season, I’ve been working with Neil, especially on the short ball which had become a bit of an issue, and I got my confidence back. I think I was over-complicating things, see-ball, hit-ball has always been my natural game.

“Previously, I knew the short ball was coming but now I just play it when it arrives. I’ve also had a bit more responsibility with the bat, but I still try to be attacking. If it comes off great, if not, I can make up for it with the ball,” Morris said.

The lure of a Green and Gold Proteas Test cap is still there for Morris and he is hoping a fresh environment will provide the spark for him to get there.

“I will always push hard to play for South Africa, obviously my ambition is to play Test cricket, but I think I’m still behind a couple of guys. There’s still a way to go, it will take a lot of hard work, but we all know there’s a spot in the Proteas team that needs to be filled. At the moment Ryan McLaren would be the man for me, but it’s a dream of mine as well,” Morris said.

http://citizen.co.za/354957/morris-to-join-other-all-round-stars-at-the-titans/

Bulls not able to get attacking play going 0

Posted on May 16, 2016 by Ken

 

Bulls coach Nollis Marais admitted that his team were never able to produce the attacking play they are aiming for after they went down 31-8 to the Waratahs in Sydney at the weekend, leaving them with must-win games against the Stormers and Lions at home over the next fortnight.

The Bulls only crossed the tryline in the 74th minute against the Waratahs, at which stage the game was already gone, having spent most of the second half pegged back in their own territory.

“We’re focusing on how we want to play and I know it did not look like that today. We were in the game in the first half, but we weren’t accurate enough, we should have scored but we didn’t use those opportunities. The next 30 minutes we weren’t in the game at all, there were too many turnovers and easy exits for the Waratahs.

“But they are a good, experienced side and there’s a huge difference in the number of caps between the two sides. We always knew that it would be a long road this year with a dozen guys making their SuperRugby debuts. But we have to be better next week against the Stormers, our arch-enemies, and then against the Lions. We have to beat those teams if we are to have hopes of contending,” Marais said.

While there was some endeavour in the first half, the Bulls played slow, risk-free rugby after the break, but still managed to make numerous mistakes, and it sadly resembled much of the rugby they played last year before Marais came in with his new approach.

“It’s always difficult travelling and if you have five to 10 minutes when you slip tackles and concede too many penalties then you can get a hiding. We just need to focus on what we need to do better and there are so many things we need to focus on,” Marais lamented.

 

Rossouw proves himself against lightweight West Indies 0

Posted on April 23, 2015 by Ken

Rilee Rossouw proved his credentials with the World Cup just around the corner as he lashed a great century to take South Africa to a massive 361 for five in the rain-shortened fifth Momentum One-Day International against the West Indies at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.

Midway through their run-chase, the West Indies had done little to divorce themselves from the perception that they are lightweights in comparison to the Proteas as they stuttered to 115 for three in 21 overs in reply, leaving them with an unlikely 250 runs to win from 126 balls.

And there will be no cavalier innings from Chris Gayle to rescue them either as the big-hitting left-hander was out to the first ball of the innings.

Kyle Abbott sent down a rather wretched loosener, short and very wide outside off stump, which Gayle flashed at and umpire Sundaram Ravi called wide. The South Africans were convinced, however, that the batsman had nicked the ball and called for a review, receiving a positive verdict from third umpire Steve Davis.

Narsingh Deonarine and Dwayne Smith then added 77 from 77 balls for the second wicket, but it was hardly a hair-raising time for the South Africans with the comfort of such a large total on the board.

There was some disappointing bowling from Abbott in particular, but Wayne Parnell joined the fray in the eighth over and suggested that his game is there or thereabouts as he bowled three tidy overs for just nine runs.

There was some respite for the home side when Aaron Phangiso trapped Smith lbw for 31 with a straight one, and it all went horribly wrong for Deonarine in the left-arm spinner’s next over when he was run out for 43, losing his bat in the process as he tried to beat Hashim Amla’s whirlwind throw from short fine leg.

Marlon Samuels (22*) and Denesh Ramdin (11*) were working the ball around in a stand of 32 for the fourth wicket, but they had an awful amount of work to do if they were to challenge South Africa’s total.

Rain had delayed the start of play for two-and-a-half hours and saw the match reduced to 42 overs a side, and the West Indies won the toss and sent South Africa in to bat.

Rossouw helped himself to a career-best 132 off just 98 balls, with nine fours and eight sixes, and Amla cruised to yet another century, scoring a fine 133 off 105 deliveries.

Rossouw and Amla added 247 for the third wicket off just 181 balls, a record third-wicket partnership for South Africa and equalling their own mark for the best stand for any wicket that they set in the second ODI at the Wanderers.

It was another top-class batting display by the South Africans, even with big gun AB de Villiers having a rest, as they laid a solid platform on a tricky pitch and then launched a spectacular late onslaught.

A couple of wickets had fallen in the first 10 overs as Quinton de Kock (4) and Faf du Plessis (16) fell to horizontal-bat strokes on a pitch that provided enough awkward bounce to make those shots difficult.

Amla once again looked in a class apart as he reached a 49-ball half-century in the 21st over, midway through the innings with South Africa on 109 for two, while Rossouw, who has endured a troubled ODI career thus far, struggled through to his 50 off 60 balls.

But those early miscues all seemed a lifetime ago as Rossouw then blossomed in spectacular fashion, needing just 23 more deliveries to register his second century of the series.

The left-hander raced past Amla and looked every bit a power-hitter as he smashed 82 runs off his last 38 balls.

Amla just kept on amassing runs as he has all series, except in this innings he was able to do it in half-dozens at a time, clearing the boundary six times to go with his 11 fours, showing that even a great batsman like him has had room to improve his game.

The West Indies were bleeding runs horrifically as the sun shone brightest on its way to the western horizon, bathing SuperSport Park in a sepia light befitting a display that was one for the ages.

The last 147 runs of the Amla and Rossouw partnership came off just 69 balls … and that by two batsmen who are not renowned for being big boundary-hitters.

Finishers David Miller (23 off 9) and JP Duminy (18* off 7) were left with only a handful of overs to bat but they collected their share of boundaries as 87 runs were hammered in the last five overs.

With the bounce providing something for the bowlers to work with – which the West Indians failed to do – South Africa’s total is certainly well over par. But they will be wary that Chris Gayle is probably due a score in this series.

 – http://citizen.co.za/316633/no-cavalier-innings-for-gayle/



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