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Ken Borland

Home semi secured, so Titans hub may rest 0

Posted on December 07, 2017 by Ken

Now that a RamSlam T20 Challenge home semi-final has been secured, Multiply Titans coach Mark Boucher has the luxury of resting some of his hub players as the runaway log-leaders complete the round-robin phase with two matches this week.

The Titans travel to Cape Town to play the WSB Cape Cobras on Friday, before finishing off against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Durban on Sunday. They will then host whoever scrapes into the playoffs in fourth spot in the first semi-final at SuperSport Park next Wednesday.

“Playing on Friday, Sunday and Wednesday could have an effect on the guys, but we’ve got great depth and we’ve earned the right to prepare for the semi-final as we see fit. So there’ll probably be some mixing and matching, we believe we’ve got the momentum and so we can prepare specifically for that semi-final,” said Boucher.

“If we play our best XI for these last two games then we basically just give ourselves one day’s preparation for the semi-final, so I certainly don’t have a problem giving other players an opportunity.

We have some awesome players who haven’t even played a game yet, they’re itching to get on the park, so that will ensure there’s no complacency.”

Boucher said playing at home in the semi-finals would give the players a ‘feel good’ factor, but otherwise it was not a huge advantage for his team.

“Obviously the guys enjoy playing at SuperSport Park and they’re very confident at home, but anything can happen in T20. All the teams have good players who can take the game away from you. So we will have to be on top of our game,” Boucher warned.

Fast bowler Morné Morkel will be available for selection this week, which will give Boucher an opportunity to rest any of his pacemen who may be carrying niggles. Dale Steyn will be playing close to home in the PPC Newlands clash against the Titans, but may well miss the trip to Durban, resting up so he can give it his all in the knockout games.

The Titans will also be happy that they came through their first real test in this season’s competition, beating the vkb Knights with just a ball to spare when all seemed lost in their double-header match in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, which will stand them in good stead should they be under pressure in the semi-finals.

“We always knew there would be a tight game along the way, but I don’t think we batted very well, there were some pretty soft shots by the top-order that got us into that situation. But the middle-order played very well and refused to give it away. Farhaan Behardien is in the form of his life and it was nice to be on top of a tight game before the semis,” concluded Boucher.


Tremendous Birch & Abbott turn Series into 3-horse race 0

Posted on May 02, 2013 by Ken

Tremendous eight-wicket hauls by Andrew Birch and Kyle Abbott turned the four-day domestic franchise series into a three-horse race on Saturday as the Dolphins upset the log-leading Cape Cobras and the Warriors thrashed the Knights in Bloemfontein.

Abbott produced a classy display of match-winning fast bowling as he led the Dolphins to a thrilling 15-run victory over the Cobras at Newlands.

The Cobras were chasing a tricky target of 183 to stretch their lead at the top of the log, but Abbott’s magnificent eight for 45 in 18 overs saw them bowled out for 167, keeping the Warriors and Highveld Lions firmly in contention for four-day honours.

Abbott had Andrew Puttick caught behind for four in his opening five-over spell and he returned six overs later to have Justin Ontong caught off a mistimed pull for 25.

He then struck twice in his eighth over to dramatically undermine the Cobras’ run-chase and reduce them to 82 for five.

Stiaan van Zyl cruised to 40 off 37 balls, but he then also mistimed a pull and looped a catch to mid-on.

Abbott then went full and trapped Dane Vilas lbw for a two-ball duck.

Justin Kemp revived the Cobras’ hopes with 29 off 31 balls, but he was not able to finish the job as he shouldered arms to Abbott after lunch and was bowled as the competition’s leading wicket-taker jagged a delivery back into the right-hander.

The Cobras were not giving up without a fight, however, and Johann Louw

(16) and Dane Piedt (20) chipped away at the target.

But Calvin Savage removed Louw before Abbott returned after a short rest and was too good for Piedt, trapping him lbw and then having Beuran Hendricks (4) caught behind, Daryn Smit taking a sharp catch.

Abbott finished with superb match figures of 12 for 96 and, as far as the Cobras are concerned, their once considerable lead atop the standings has now been whittled down to just 0.18 points over the Warriors.

Third place is filled by the Lions, who are currently 14 points behind and are being frustrated by the rain in Johannesburg as their bowlers look to enforce the follow-on against the Titans.

An amazing bowling performance by Birch led the Warriors to a crushing 10-wicket victory over the Knights.

The Knights batsmen could not fathom the late swing Birch obtained in cloudy conditions, crashing to 106 all out in their second innings, leaving the Warriors with a target of just 94 to win.

Birch finished with career-best figures of eight for 30 as he claimed four of the five wickets to fall on Saturday morning after the Knights had resumed on 76 for five.

He struck for the first time in his second over of the day, having Patrick Botha (18) caught behind by Adrian McLaren to break a stubborn sixth-wicket stand of 33 with Dean Elgar.

Elgar top-scored for the Knights with 34 before he was also caught behind off Birch four overs later.

Birch then wrapped up the Knights tail for the addition of just 20 more runs as the home side completed a dismal second-innings effort that lasted just 32.1 overs.

Quickfire innings of 48 not out by Michael Price and 44 not out by Davey Jacobs saw the Warriors go to victory in just 13.3 overs.

In Johannesburg, the aggressive Lions pace attack reduced the Titans to

115 for eight, still 188 runs behind, in the 41.2 overs of play that were possible before rain washed out play.

With the Lions attack swinging the ball and getting good bounce from the Wanderers pitch, there was little resistance from the Titans batsmen, with 20s from openers Jacques Rudolph and Pieter Malan, and Heino Kuhn the leading contributions.

That trio and David Wiese (14) were all caught behind the wicket, the Lions catching everything that came their way.

Chris Morris bowled with unrelenting pace and accuracy, but it was swing bowlers Cliffe Deacon and Zander de Bruyn who emerged as the biggest threats.

Deacon ended the day as the leading wicket-taker with three for 25 in

11 overs, as well as a great catch at second slip to dismiss Malan, while De Bruyn had two for 30.

Another embarrassing batting effort by the Titans has left them needing

39 runs to avoid the follow-on as play enters its final day.

The heavy rain around Gauteng limited play on the second day to just two deliveries and the umpires stopped play on the third day at 4pm.

Cobras bounce back to dominate 1st day 0

Posted on January 25, 2013 by Ken

The log-leading Cape Cobras bounced back from a heavy defeat last weekend as they dominated the opening day of their Sunfoil Series match against the Dolphins at Newlands on Thursday.

Having sent the Dolphins in to bat, the Cobras dismissed them for just 174 and had closed to within 44 runs with six wickets in hand as they reached stumps on 130 for four.

The Cobras had been embarrassed last week at Newlands as they slumped to an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of the Highveld Lions, but a full house of four bowling bonus points has seen them build on their 11.68-point lead at the top of the table.

Left-arm paceman Beuran Hendricks led a top-class bowling effort by the Cobras as he took five for 47, a career-best effort in the four-day competition.

A defiant 92 by opener Divan van Wyk was all that stood between the Dolphins and a total disaster at a cloudy Newlands.

Fast bowler Kyle Abbott, rapidly becoming a candidate for higher honours, kept the Dolphins in the contest as he claimed the important wickets of Alastair Gray (36) and Justin Ontong (28), finishing the day tied with Cobras seamer Johann Louw as the competition’s leading wicket-taker with 30 scalps.

Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj had a well-set Stiaan van Zyl (29) caught at short-midwicket the ball before Ontong’s dismissal for a double strike by the Dolphins, but Qaasim Adams (14*) and Dane Vilas (4*) batted out the rest of the day for the Cobras.

The second-placed Warriors had allowed the Knights off the hook in their match in Bloemfontein, after reducing the hosts to 135 for seven.

The most impressive of centuries by Rilee Rossouw, who reached three figures off just 107 deliveries despite the chaos around him, and the clean-hitting of the in-form tailender Dillon du Preez, who followed up his century last weekend against the Titans with an unbeaten 88 including 13 fours and two sixes, lifted the Knights to 268 all out.

Paceman Gurshwin Rabie was the pick of the Warriors attack, ripping through the middle-order and finishing with four for 63 in 19 overs.

Off-spinner Simon Harmer removed the lower-order to take three for 67.

Du Preez was then given the new ball as reward for his heroic efforts down the order and he trapped Michael Price (0) in front of the stumps with his second delivery.

Captain Davey Jacobs was caught behind off left-arm seamer Romano Terblanche for 18 as the Warriors slipped to 36 for two, but the experienced duo of Arno Jacobs (33*) and Ashwell Prince (24*) had lifted the Eastern Cape side into a better position on 79 for two by stumps.

In Johannesburg, the Titans seemed to have looked upwards at the overcast sky rather than downwards at the pitch when they won the toss and sent the Lions in to bat, the home side cruising to 124 for one at lunch as Dominic Hendricks (74) and Temba Bavuma (62) added 112 for the second wicket.

But the Titans bowlers tightened up considerably when they came out for the afternoon session and claimed five wickets for 82 runs.

When Cliffe Deacon joined fellow veteran Zander de Bruyn at the crease, the Lions had slumped to 223 for six, but the left-hander scored a valuable 20 to help switch the momentum.

When De Bruyn was eventually trapped leg-before by spinner Shaun von Berg for a fighting 65, the Lions had climbed to 303 all out, Imran Tahir (14*) sharing in a rollicking last-wicket stand of 41 in 6.2 overs.

David Wiese was the most successful of the Titans bowlers with three for 47 in 15 overs, while the probing seam bowling of Ethy Mbhalati and Rowan Richards earned them two wickets apiece, although the left-arm quick left the field with injury during the important seventh-wicket stand between De Bruyn and Deacon.

The Titans openers then survived the hostile new-ball spell of Chris Morris as they reached 23 without loss. Jacques Rudolph, the returning international, was dropped by Bavuma in the gully on four in the penultimate over of the day, bowled by the rather more wayward Hardus Viljoen.

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