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Ken Borland

Top-class Sharks halfbacks hoping for a change in injury fortunes 0

Posted on February 21, 2017 by Ken


Pat Lambie and Cobus Reinach have endured a wretched time when it comes to injury in recent SuperRugby seasons, but Sharks backline coach Sean Everitt said on Tuesday that the team are excited about being able to field a top-class halfback pair in this year’s campaign.

“That’s where we’ve fallen short in the last couple of years, losing Pat early and then Cobus being unlucky in the last few years, means they have missed a lot of SuperRugby which is never easy for a team to lose their first-choice halfbacks. And SuperRugby is not really the sort of tournament you want to breed youngsters in, that’s more for the Currie Cup, and we’ve also had no Frans Steyn.

“But the youngsters are important and they’ve been working hard, because Pat has to rest at some stage. Innocent Radebe and Benhard Janse van Rensburg have done well and Curwin Bosch can play flyhalf as well.

“Cobus will certainly provide some x-factor, he’s an opportunist, but he does the basics well and has a good boot too. He’s been here a long time, he knows the systems well and he delivers on the field,” Everitt said.

While experience at nine and 10 will obviously be cherished by the Sharks, they do have a herd of youngsters challenging for backline places and that has pleased Everitt as well.

“The youngsters have a lot of enthusiasm and since losing JP Pietersen, Willie le Roux and Odwa Ndungane last year, the Currie Cup bunch have grown considerably. They’ve certainly played themselves into contention and that’s exciting.

“We have Kobus van Wyk on the wing, although we will look at him at centre if we have problems there. But Lukhanyo Am has done well in the Currie Cup and has had good preparation, so we’ll be looking to build up his combination with Andre Esterhuizen.

“Jeremy Ward is obviously a good signing because he was one of the top age-group players in his position [centre] last year and we mustn’t forget Johan Deysel from the Leopards, who played in the 2015 World Cup for Namibia. It’s time to move on and these guys have what it takes,” Everitt said.

But there is also the presence of veteran French fullback Clement Poitrenaud and Everitt said he would play a leadership role in guiding the young backline.

“Clement is definitely in contention for selection in the match-day 23, he has a lot of experience having played 47 Tests. We have a young backline, so he will be good for us, leading and helping those guys. He’s very popular amongst his team-mates, his English is quite good and he has a good sense of humour. Most importantly, the guys admire his skill-set,” Everitt said.

Herath earns Sri Lanka shock win 0

Posted on December 29, 2011 by Ken

Diminutive left-arm spinner Rangana Herath took five wickets as Sri Lanka beat South Africa by 208 runs on the fourth day of the second test at Kingsmead on Thursday.

    It was Sri Lanka’s first test victory in South Africa in nine attempts and follows their defeat by an innings at Centurion in the first test. The islanders have also been through a 15-match winless streak since the retirement of world record wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan.

    South Africa were chasing a highly unlikely 450 for victory, but their batsmen once again let them down as they were bowled out for 241 with nine balls left in the day’s play.

    The hosts’ top-order collapsed dismally after lunch, slumping to 133 for six before AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn fought hard for two-and-a-quarter hours.

    Herath was the star performer, taking five for 79 in 30.3 overs, giving him nine wickets in the test and the man of the match award.

    But pace bowler Dilhara Fernando (13-3-29-2) can also take credit for bowling South Africa out in two-and-a-half sessions.

    De Villiers and Steyn added 99 for the seventh wicket and looked set to see South Africa through to stumps before Herath returned with a second new ball that was just three overs old.

    He quickly trapped De Villiers lbw for 69 with an arm-ball, ending a determined innings by the South African vice-captain. De Villiers faced 141 balls and he hit six fours and a six.

    Morne Morkel then slogged at part-time spinner Tillekeratne Dilshan, missed and was out leg-before for five.

    With bad light threatening to end play for the day, Herath then removed Steyn, for an impressive, fighting innings of 43, and last man Marchant de Lange (0) in the space of three balls to end the match.

    Sri Lanka were closing in on victory as the hosts collapsed to 136 for six at tea, Jacques Kallis completing the first pair of his test career as South Africa lost five wickets for 50 runs in the afternoon session.

Kallis faced six balls without getting off the mark, before top-edging a sweep at Herath into his helmet, from where the ball looped to short-leg.

Kallis, playing in his 149th test, was initially given not out by umpire Steve Davis, but Sri Lanka had the decision overturned on appeal.

Jacques Rudolph (22) had chased the fourth ball after lunch from Thisara Perera, edging a wide ball into the slips, where Mahela Jayawardene took another fine catch.

Hashim Amla looked set to play a major innings as he reached 51, but he dashed off for a quick single to mid-on off Herath, which was turned down by Ashwell Prince, leaving him stranded.

Prince was out for seven half-an-hour later when a lifter from Fernando forced him to edge a catch into the slips; and Mark Boucher battled hard before being trapped lbw by Herath, also for seven.

Rudolph and Amla had taken South Africa to 86 for one at lunch after being asked to chase what would have been a world-record winning score to prevent Sri Lanka levelling the three-match series.

South Africa comfortably reached 37 without loss before Fernando extracted steep bounce and forced captain Graeme Smith (26) to edge a slip catch to Jayawardene.

Earlier, Steyn took two of Sri Lanka’s last three wickets as the tourists added just 23 runs to their overnight total before they were dismissed for 279 in their second innings.

Steyn ended with figures of five for 73 in 20 overs to complete the 17th five-wicket haul of his test career.

    The third and final test is in Cape Town from January 3. 

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