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Ken Borland

Titans working their emotions out after parlous start v Warriors 0

Posted on October 15, 2015 by Ken


The Titans have spent the week “working the emotions out” from their parlous Momentum One-Day Cup opening match against the Warriors, according to coach Rob Walter, and they have been boosted by the returns of Albie Morkel and Marchant de Lange from international duty.

Grant Thomson, however, must be pondering Lady Luck and her capricious side as he has been ruled out of Friday’s match against the Cape Cobras at Newlands with a hamstring strain. Thomson, having fought so hard to get into the side, made his franchise 50-over debut against the Warriors and top-scored with a wonderful 98 not out off just 71 balls, and now he’s unfortunately on the sidelines again.

“We’ve been working the emotions out and clearing the heads because the guys were visibly hurt by that performance. They invested a lot in that opening game, they worked flippen hard for four months and then they deliver that. We trained our best, we spoke specifically about starting well, getting the basics right in the field, extras …

“But it was game one and it’s about what happens next. On the positive side, we dominated about 70% of that game, we had an outstanding middle 20 overs and a very good last five. So it was just the opening overs and 40-45 that cost us,” Walter said on Tuesday at SuperSport Park.

Walter is too young to wear spectacles, but if he did there would be a few areas he would be giving special focus to before the defending champions travel to Cape Town for a repeat of last season’s final.

“There were basics errors in the field, we couldn’t even get the regulation stuff right, and the extras will get specific attention. It’s becoming a bit of a trend for us but it’s hard to put a finger on why. You never see us training without cones in front of the line to stop no-balls and the wides are of course disappointing as well.

“Strike-rate is also key up front with the bat and we had 48 dot balls in the first 60, while scoring 28 runs, so it was mostly fours and not much rotation. Henry Davids is a seasoned campaigner, but for Mangi Mosehle it was his first time out opening and his 49 ensured a nice foundation was set. He’s been working on tightening his defence and that shone through, and he will learn to be more assertive,” Walter said.


Selectors will seldom see Marchant de Lange in action … 0

Posted on May 18, 2015 by Ken


Marchant de Lange is one of the most promising fast bowlers in the country, but the new quotas that will be in force for domestic cricket from next season will ensure that the national selectors will seldom get a chance to see him in action, unless it’s in amateur or club cricket.

The new quotas demand that every franchise field six players of colour, including three Black Africans, in every starting XI, which is no doubt a worthy gesture towards ensuring cricket is representative of the country’s demographics, but, as with most attempts to fiddle with finely balanced systems, it will have unintended consequences.

One of these is that a 24-year-old strike bowler who has already taken 24 wickets in 10 matches across all three formats for South Africa is unlikely to play much franchise cricket next season.

De Lange plays for the Titans, who will in all likelihood fill their quota of Black Africans with two pace bowlers – Ethy Mbhalati and Junior Dala – and wicketkeeper/batsman Mangaliso Mosehle, who incidentally averaged 20 in the Sunfoil Series, 24 in the Momentum One-Day Cup and just six in the RamSlam T20 Challenge last season.

Cricket teams, much like food chains in nature, are a delicate balance and few teams will field more than four pace bowlers, with the Titans surely giving one of their other spots to Rowan Richards, the left-arm swing bowler and player of colour. De Lange is also competing with David Wiese and new signing Chris Morris, and the Titans are unlikely to pick him ahead of those two quality all-rounders.

Cricket South Africa already stand accused of trying to con the South African public that they really care about transformation after the World Cup shambles involving Vernon Philander and Kyle Abbott and Aaron Phangiso not playing a single game, and now they have rushed to implement a system that they didn’t even research.

I have it on good authority that Corrie van Zyl, the general manager of cricket, was caught totally unawares by the new quota proposal – it wasn’t even on the agenda – and I am certain that CSA did not even do the research I’ve done on what franchise teams will look like next season, because they then would have picked up that highly promising players of colour like Diego Rosier, Beuran Hendricks, Dane Paterson and Dane Piedt are also going to be negatively affected.

Hendricks and Paterson, who are both surely looking to play international cricket, are going to struggle to get into the Cape Cobras side for the same reason as De Lange – two pace bowlers’ slots will be taken by Mthokozisi Shezi and probably Tshepo Moreki.

Across all the franchises, it seems inevitable that teams will play two Black African pacemen, which is going to create an imbalance.

Some of the other talented cricketers who will not get regular franchise cricket are Sybrand Engelbrecht, Shaheen Khan, Keegan Petersen, Lizaad Williams, Daryn Smit, Calvin Savage, Daryn Dupavillon, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Corne Dry, Duanne Olivier, Gerhardt Abrahams, JP de Villiers, Roelof van der Merwe, Heino Kuhn, Graeme van Buuren, Shaun von Berg, Qaasim Adams, Andrew Birch, Ryan Bailey and Colin Ackermann. That is a major loss of strength for the competitions that feed into the national team.

The Highveld Lions are the one franchise that is not going to be affected by the new policy because they are already ahead of the curve when it comes to transformation. I went to their annual awards dinner this week and what a fabulous night it was with all the different communities in South Africa strongly represented.

But we are not going to succeed in making all our teams look like that and enjoy the on-field success of the Lions when administrators decide to implement drastic policies without even subjecting them to prior research or consulting the leading cricket brains in the country.

Northerns Bash boosted by international stars 0

Posted on June 27, 2014 by Ken

The second edition of the Northerns Bash will be boosted by the presence of international stars Henry Davids, Farhaan Behardien, Marchant de Lange and Albie Morkel, it was revealed at the auction for the T20 competition at SuperSport Park on Wednesday night.

The four players, all of whom have been key figures in the South African T20 side, have each been snapped up by one of the four squads taking part in the tournament, which will be held from September 11-14 at SuperSport Park.

The inaugural Northerns Bash, which was held in April, was won by the Nashua Tshwane Phantoms, led by Titans stars Roelof van der Merwe, Shaun von Berg, Qaasim Adams and Rowan Richards, and they have now been strengthened by the acquisition of fast bowler De Lange.

The Phantoms now have a pace attack – also featuring JP de Villiers – to match the brilliance of their spin duo of Van der Merwe and Von Berg.

The Global Softech Solutions Gladiators, who were beaten in the final by the Phantoms, are mourning the loss of key bowlers Corbin Bosch and Vincent Moore, but they have gained the finishing skills of Behardien and another useful paceman in Sean Nowak of the champion Tuks team.

The TMM Capital Investments Tornados have lost Nowak as well as lanky off-spinner Ruben Claassen, but they have gained the batting talents of Davids and young star Aiden Markram, as well as Bosch and wrist-spinner Thomas Kaber to boost their attack.

Morkel has marched back into Northerns cricket hungry to succeed in all formats and the most experienced T20 player in the land has linked up with the WAD Holdings Pirates and another formidable all-rounder in David Wiese.

Tournament commissioner Pierre Joubert announced a couple of changes to the format of the competition, with ties in the group stages now being decided through a bowl-out, in which all 11 players in a team will bowl at a set of stumps. A super over will be used in the final in the event of a tie.

The teams will also now be aiming for the bonus point on offer if they beat their opposition inside 16 overs or bowl them out for less than 80% of their own total.

The squads had to include at least one rookie, who must play at least 50% of their matches, and a minimum of four players of colour, with two on the field at all times. They were restricted to choosing a maximum of four players from any one club, and only two Northerns players each, although there was no restriction on Titans representatives.

The current squads will be for the next two editions of the Northerns Bash – in September and next April.

Joubert praised the four team sponsors as well as SA Breweries and Protea Hotels “for really buying into the concept in brilliant fashion”.


Tornados: H. Kuhn, G. van Buuren, J. Dala, M. Mosehle, T. de Bruyn, H. Davids, A. Markram, C. Bosch, G. Linde, T. Easton, T. Kaber, J. Snyman, C. Letcher, S. Phillips.

Gladiators: C. Pienaar, L. Kgoatle, E. Mbhalati, R. Houbert, S. Dickson, F. Behardien, T. Gouws, R. Sadler, M. Coetzee, B. Mahlangu, S. Nowak, R. Eksteen, J. Malan, E. Jones.

Phantoms: R. van der Merwe, S. von Berg, Q. Adams, R. Richards, B. Schraader, M. de Lange, J. de Villiers, J. Brooker, G. Pike, B. le Roux, E. Links, W. Scott, S. Klopper, D. Rossouw.

Pirates: D. Wiese, H. Klaasen, S. Naidoo, T. Khoza, E. Hawken, A. Morkel, T. Koekemoer, R. Claassen, C. Buitendag, J. Jumat, T. Shamzi, W. van Heerden, W. Britz, D. Foxcroft.


Thursday 11 September: 10:00 Gladiators v Phantoms; 1:30 Pirates v Tornados.

Friday 12 September: 10:00 Gladiators v Pirates; 1:30 Tornados v Phantoms.

Saturday 13 September: 10:00 Phantoms v Pirates; 1:30 Gladiators v Tornados.

Sunday 14 September: 10:00 3rd/4th playoff; 1:30 Final.


Another bitter Kingsmead failure for SA batsmen 0

Posted on December 27, 2011 by Ken


South Africa’s batsmen suffered another bitter Kingsmead failure as left-armers Chanaka Welegedara and Rangana Herath ran through them on the second day of the second test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.


    Welegedara claimed career-best figures of five for 52 in 16.4 overs, while spinner Herath took four for 49 as South Africa were bowled out for just 168, giving Sri Lanka a first-innings lead of 170.


    Sri Lanka lost the wicket of captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, caught in the slips off Dale Steyn for four, and reached seven for one in their second innings before the umpires stopped play due to bad light.


    South Africa, who have lost their last three tests at Kingsmead, collapsed dramatically after tea, losing their last seven wickets for 65 runs.


    Several of them were dismissed playing loose strokes, with AB de Villiers (25) steering the fifth ball after tea, from Welegedara, straight to second slip, to give South Africa the worse possible start to the final session.


    Hashim Amla (54) edged a flatfooted prod outside off stump at Welegedara to wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal, while Ashwell Prince (11) was caught trying to reverse-sweep Herath.


    Herath also picked up the wickets of Mark Boucher for three and Morne Morkel for a duck as South Africa crashed to 119 for eight. They only managed to avoid the follow-on because the tailenders managed to hang about.


    Imran Tahir scored 11 before one of his few attempts to defend the ball resulted in him being stumped off Herath, while last man Marchant de Lange was caught behind for nine off Welegedara.


    Steyn decided that attack was the best form of resistance as he struck two fours and two sixes in his 29 not out.


    But South Africa’s ignominous collapse followed totals of 138 against Australia and 133 versus England in Durban in 2009; and 131 all out against India a year ago.


    Sri Lanka were forced to come out and bat for 2.1 overs in gloomy light, with the floodlights on, and Dilshan clubbed a four over cover-point before edging Steyn’s next delivery to second slip.


    Tharanga Paranivatana, who is yet to score, and Kumar Sangakkara, on three, will be there to build on Sri Lanka’s considerable lead on the third morning.


    Amla’s counter-attacking half-century had steered South Africa to 100 for three at tea, after the home team had slumped to 27 for three.


Welegedara started the rot with two wickets in four balls, removing Graeme Smith for 15 and Jacques Kallis for a duck.


Jacques Rudolph fell for seven when he pulled a short, leg-side delivery from Thisara Perera to fine-le,g where Welegedara lunged forward to take a good catch.


Earlier, fast bowler De Lange grabbed seven wickets on his debut, while Thilan Samaraweera compiled his 13th test century as Sri Lanka chalked up 338, their biggest total in South Africa.


De Lange took seven for 81 as Sri Lanka were bowled out 35 minutes before lunch. The 21-year-old’s figures are the best by a South African against this opposition – surpassing Shaun Pollock’s six for 30 in Cape Town in 2000-01.


Samaraweera, 35, scored 102 to steer Sri Lanka past their previous best total of 323 at Centurion in 2002-03.


De Lange’s burst of three wickets in eight balls cut short Sri Lanka’s resistance after they had resumed on 289 for seven.


Samaraweera, who resumed on 86, continued to bat in a controlled fashion as he and Herath put on 46 for the eighth wicket.


De Lange then cleaned up the tail by removing Herath (30) and Welegedara (2) with nasty, lifting deliveries.


Samaraweera was last man out, caught by deep cover Prince off the young paceman.


South Africa lead the three-match series 1-0.

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