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Ken Borland



Dala understands the physics of his action better now 0

Posted on May 15, 2017 by Ken

 

Titans fast bowler Junior Dala has ascribed his selection for the South Africa A side’s tour of England later this month to an improved understanding of the physics of his bowling action, which has led to greater control and consistency.

Dala was one of the best bowlers in the country in limited-overs cricket last season, being the joint-highest wicket-taker in the Momentum One-Day Cup with 16 scalps at an average of only 18.68 and an excellent economy rate of just 5.29. He was also outstanding in the CSA T20 Challenge with 11 wickets at 26.63 and he was one of the key performers as the Titans claimed both white-ball titles, where there is huge pressure on bowlers to be more skilful.

“In the last two years I have made a big step up. When I first went to the Titans, I did not really know my action, but Rob Walter and Mandla Mashimbyi really coached me on that, whereas other coaches before that were just happy that I could bowl fast. But I was being found out in franchise cricket, I always felt under pressure because I did not really know what I was doing from ball-to-ball. I would try and bowl a yorker and miss by eight metres!

“But I’ve realised that I can’t just get away with being quick, at times things went horribly wrong in four-day cricket and that has taught me the importance of consistency. I’m a lot more consistent now, Albie Morkel has shown a lot of trust in me and even used me in the powerplay with the new ball. I trust myself 90-95% of the time to hit my mark now,” the unorthodox Dala told The Citizen on Wednesday.

It is a measure of how quick a learner the 27-year-old Dala is that he changed from being mostly an inswing bowler to an away-swinger this last season, simply because he felt batsmen were beginning to read him too easily.

“I sacrificed a little pace but I’m still bowling 140 with more control, and I predominantly shaped the ball away because nobody thought I could do that. Now I’m working on doing all that at 145km/h.

“You have to accept that you’re going to be hit for fours and embrace that, but I have the freedom to express myself at the Titans and then it becomes a lot easier to execute, without that fear of failure.

“I haven’t played in England before so I’m excited for that and I hope it’s a good tour with lots of wickets. Guys are getting reward for their performances in the last six months, whereas before they had to wait two years sometimes. Mark Boucher told me things can happen very quickly at that level and I must just make the most of the opportunity,” Dala, who was born in Lusaka in 1989 as his parents were in exile, said.

 

 

Inspired batting keeps Titans in first place 0

Posted on December 09, 2016 by Ken

 

An inspired batting performance by the Titans as they posted the highest ever score in CSA T20 Challenge history led them to victory over the Highveld Lions in Centurion on Wednesday night and kept them in first place on the log with one match remaining.

The Titans, led by opener Jonathan Vandiar’s 67 off 41 balls, scored 230 for five in their 20 overs after being sent in to bat, all seven batsmen who came to the crease making a contribution.

It improved on the 225 for six the Eagles, as the Knights were then known, scored against the Lions in Potchefstroom in 2004/5, the first season of domestic T20.

The Lions were in with a shout while Rassie van der Dussen was blazing 45 off 18 balls up front, but Malusi Siboto picked up three wickets in two overs and eventually they could only score 184 for seven in their 20 overs.

David Wiese was outstanding with the ball, taking one for 21 in four overs.

The Warriors produced an incredible batting performance of their own in East London as they chased down 217 with an over to spare to beat the Dolphins thanks to Jon-Jon Smuts’ great innings of 107 not out off just 58 balls.

The Titans, who gained a crucial bonus point, play their last game against the Warriors, who are two points behind them but have a game in hand. That match on Sunday will decide whether the final is held up in Centurion or down in the Eastern Cape.

The Lions are now in danger of losing out on a playoff spot to the Cape Cobras, who replaced them in third place after their bonus point win over the Knights at Newlands, thanks to outstanding all-round games from Kieron Pollard and Wayne Parnell, and a typically hard-hit half-century from Richard Levi.

The Lions just struggled to take wickets against their northern neighbours with Aiden Markram (27 off 23), Heinrich Klaasen (26 off 15), Heino Kuhn (29 off 11), Albie Morkel (32 off 17), Farhaan Behardien (19* off 9) and Wiese (17* off 5) all chipping in around Vandiar.

http://citizen.co.za/sport/sport-cricket/1369321/merciless-titans-batting-foils-highveld-lions/

Varsity Cup once again in troubled waters 0

Posted on April 21, 2016 by Ken

 

The Varsity Cup once again finds itself in troubled waters with claims that champions Pukke fielded an ineligible player, breaking the same complex rule that led to the University of KwaZulu-Natal being docked a massive 12 points, scuppering their chances of being promoted from the Varsity Shield into the big league.

Pukke won the tournament, which was disrupted by unrest at universities across the country, by beating Maties 7-6 a week ago in Stellenbosch, with front-ranker Bart le Roux excelling.

Unfortunately for the Potchefstroom university, Le Roux played previously for the UKZN Impi in 2014 and, due to the arcane regulations for the tournament, had to sit out a certain period of time before representing another university side.

UKZN were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player when a former University of Johannesburg and Lions U-19 player appeared for them in six matches this season, Varsity Cup organisers saying they were deducted two points per game. But tournament auditors KPMG cleared both Le Roux and the UKZN player as being eligible, leaving Varsity Cup organisers in a quandary.

Having set a harsh precedent in punishing UKZN, Varsity Cup is faced with the embarrassing decision to strip Pukke of their title, more than a week after the final.

The situation has led many of the competing teams to question the efficiency of KPMG, whose advice was taken in fielding the ineligible players, and whether it is fair for them to be punished for mistakes by the tournament’s auditors.

The lack of a centralised database comprising all participating players’ tournament histories and educational background so they can be checked before the tournament starts has also been criticised.

UKZN management have also queried the timing with opposition teams seemingly waiting until the final stages of the season, when there is no time for a team to recover from losing points, before making their accusations.

Varsity Cup organisers did not return messages asking for comment yesterday.

– http://www.citizen.co.za/1081261/dark-cloud-hangs-over-nwu-pukke/

Morkel leads Titans to title with one of the great innings in finals 0

Posted on July 30, 2015 by Ken

Albie Morkel struck 134 not out off 103 balls, including eight fours and seven sixes, as he led the Unlimited Titans to an unlikely five-wicket win over the Nashua Cape Cobras in the Momentum One-Day Cup final at Newlands on Friday night.

It was one of the great innings in the history of South African domestic limited-overs finals and Morkel shared the glory with Dean Elgar. His fellow left-hander scored 100 off 119 balls, his second successive century under pressure after his hundred in the playoff against the Dolphins.

Morkel entered the ring with the Titans in dire trouble on 60 for four in the 15th over, chasing 286 for victory, and the powerful left-hander took a while to get going as the Cobras pacemen attacked him with short-pitched bowling.

But the gritty Elgar and the determined Morkel dug in and would go on to add 195 off 189 balls for the fifth wicket, a record partnership and one that dramatically changed the momentum of the final.

Rory Kleinveldt had been the star of the opening overs of the Titans innings, dismissing both openers, Henry Davids for a duck and Jacques Rudolph for 4, but Morkel greeted his return in the batting powerplay by pulling and cutting him for three sixes in two overs.

Morkel reached his maiden List A century in the 43rd over, off just 87 deliveries, and Elgar reached three figures in the 45th over, before mistiming a pull off Kleinveldt and being caught at deep backward square-leg.

Elgar’s dismissal left the Titans needing 31 runs off 28 balls and one could sense renewed hope amongst the Cobras.

But Morkel then took complete charge, rushing the Titans to victory with 17 balls to spare as he ended Kleinveldt’s over with two sixes and a four and collected two more boundaries off Beuran Hendricks in the 47th over.

It was left-arm spinner Robin Peterson’s misfortune to see his first ball of the 48th over launched for six and the winning runs by David Wiese. Peterson came into the match as a key bowler, being the leading wicket-taker in the competition, but his contribution was minimal and questions will be asked of captain Justin Ontong’s use of his experienced star, limiting him to just 3.1 overs.

His reasoning was probably that he did not want a left-arm spinner turning the ball into the pads of two left-handers while Elgar and Morkel were at the crease, but none of his other bowlers were able to make an impression on the pair until it was much too late.

Off-spinner Sybrand Engelbrecht had removed Theunis de Bruyn (30) and Qaasim Adams (3) in successive overs to set warning bells ringing amongst the Titans, but Elgar and Morkel showed enormous composure and skill to first bat the visitors out of trouble and then into a commanding position.

Elgar has batted like a man with a point to prove after not featuring in the national team’s limited-overs plans, while Morkel continues to produce extraordinary match-winning performances at the evergreen age of 33.

Centurion Richard Levi and Andrew Puttick continued their prolific opening partnership but the rest of the Cape Cobras batsmen failed to chip in as the Titans pulled together and restricted them to 285 for eight in their 50 overs.

Levi and Puttick added 180 off 198 balls after the Cobras had won the toss and elected to bat first and really seemed to have set the home side on course for a total well in excess of 300.

But wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi bowled with wonderful control and guile, removing Levi, and the Titans bowlers applied the squeeze most effectively thereafter as the Cobras scored just 115 runs in the last 20 overs for the loss of eight wickets.

The powerful run-gathering abilities of Levi gave the Cobras the perfect start and the burly 27-year-old collected a pair of boundaries in overs from JP de Villiers, Wiese and Dala up front.

Puttick was content to feed Levi the strike and the pace bowlers were severely dealt with by the T20 international as he pounced on some friendly half-volleys and long-hops from the Titans, who also helped the Cobras by conceding numerous extras.

While Levi went to 104 off 113 balls, with 11 fours and a massive six, the spinners slowing him down, it was another day in the office for Puttick, who passed 50 for the eighth time in 10 innings in this season’s Momentum One-Day Cup, and went on to score 69 off 99 deliveries, a workmanlike effort that provided the platform for his opening partner to launch.

After Shamsi turned a delivery into Levi to trap him lbw in the 32nd over with the total on 180, there was much conjecture as to which batsman the Cobras would send in next to take full advantage of the commanding position.

It was captain Justin Ontong, a fine finisher, who came in but he could only score seven off 11 balls before being run out at the bowler’s end looking for a second run to fine leg which Puttick was not interested in. It was Shamsi who did the fielding, Dala completing the run out from a throw which was relayed by wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle.

Stiaan van Zyl rightfully has many fans, but power-hitting in the closing overs of a limited-overs game is not one of his strengths and, when Puttick was run out by a sharp Dala direct hit, the elegant batsman was stuck with Omphile Ramela and the run-rate plummeted.

Shamsi completed an outstanding spell of one for 32 in 10 overs – he should have had two wickets but for Mosehle missing a stumping before Ontong had scored – and the Cobras batsmen were then besieged by the off-spin of Davids and tidy spells from Dala and Morkel.

The Titans were cock-a-hoop as they worked their way through the rest of the Cobras batting line-up, Davids claiming two wickets, Dala a sharp caught-and-bowled, and there was a third run out when Rudolph removed Peterson with a direct hit from mid-on.

The Cobras were grateful that Dane Vilas finally added the finishing touches to the opening stand as the wicketkeeper/batsman married innovation with the occasional swipe to score 40 off 25 balls before falling in an excellent final over from Wiese.

http://citizen.co.za/326546/one-greatest-innings-history/



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