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Ken Borland



Cook amongst the runs again as SA pile up massive lead 0

Posted on December 29, 2016 by Ken

 

Stephen Cook hit his second successive Test century as South Africa piled up a massive lead on the third day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

South Africa finished the day on 351 for five in their second innings and it was enough for them to lead by 432 with two days and five wickets remaining.

Cook was the mainstay of the innings with his 117 off 178 balls and it was an effort that put him in the record books alongside opening partner Dean Elgar, who scored 52 in a first-wicket stand of 116.

It was just the 10th time in Test history that the same opening pair have posted a hundred partnership in both innings of the same match and it is the first time since the famous Timeless Test against England in Durban in 1938/39 that South Africa had a century stand for the first wicket in both innings.

“It was great to bat with Dean for a period of time and nice to dovetail that we both got runs for the first time. If we can get a partnership going up front then it helps the team a lot and opening the batting is always about forging that partnership and the only way to do that is by spending time out in the middle.

“Australia was very tough and I went through some hardships there, but the hundred in Adelaide made me a bit more relaxed. Coming off a century you feel better about the way things are going and I was able to make a few little adjustments to my technique over the last three weeks and bed them down,” Cook said.

It was a wonderful day from beginning to end for the Proteas, with Vernon Philander striking with the first ball of the day as he had Sri Lankan top-scorer Dhananjaya de Silva (43) caught behind with a peach of a delivery, the first of two wickets in the opening over as the tourists were bowled out for 205, a first-innings deficit of 81.

Philander finished with five for 45 in 20 excellent overs, his 11th five-wicket haul in 38 Tests, while Kyle Abbott provided great support with three for 63 in 21.5 overs.

After Cook and Elgar’s 137-minute opening stand, interrupted twice by rain, Hashim Amla struck a fluent 48 off 53 balls, before he was trapped leg-before by Nuwan Pradeep, the 10 000th lbw dismissal in Test history.

JP Duminy (25) and Temba Bavuma (8) were both dismissed by off-spinner De Silva, but the finishing touches to a thoroughly dominant day for South Africa were applied by captain Faf du Plessis (41*) and Quinton de Kock (42*), who had added a brisk 74 in less than an hour by stumps.

‘A good result but not a top-class performance’ – Gold 0

Posted on March 01, 2016 by Ken

 

Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold was happy with the result but not entirely satisfied by the performance in relation to the top-class standards he has set, after his team started their SuperRugby campaign with a 43-8 bonus point win over the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

The Sharks struggled in the first half against a tenacious Kings outfit, making numerous basic errors and showing lapses in discipline. They only led 15-8 at the break, with the home side spurning five points via missed kicks at goal, but the Sharks turned it on in the second half, scoring four more impressive tries as they stormed to victory.

“Obviously I’m by and large happy, to get five points on the first weekend is good, but there were a lot of opportunities we didn’t take, which we should have by the standards we set ourselves. I completely understand that you’re not going to get a perfect game first up, but there were some obvious opportunities we wasted,” Gold said.

When the Sharks were able to get quick ball, they looked dangerous, and the likes of Willie le Roux, Paul Jordaan, Joe Pietersen and wings Odwa Ndungane and Lwazi Mvovo broke free in the second half.

“We definitely asked some questions on attack and we’ll get better the longer we are together. The defence was also very good and we scrambled well, but there is definitely room for improvement, especially because we play the Jaguares next, who I thought were very good on the weekend. We’ll need a lot better set-piece,” Gold added.

Ndungane showed he is still a clinical finisher with two tries, with the others going to man of the match Jean-Luc du Preez, who produced another powerhouse performance in the loose trio, Le Roux, Jordaan, who showed very promising signs at outside centre, and Mvovo. Pietersen missed just one kick at goal as he slotted five conversions and a penalty, while also distributing the ball well from flyhalf in the second half.

Kings bounce back with only SA victory 0

Posted on September 03, 2015 by Ken

 

The Southern Kings bounced back in impressive fashion, providing South Africa’s only victory in the weekend’s Vodacom SuperRugby action, as they pulled off a hard-fought 34-27 win over the Highlanders in Port Elizabeth.

The tenacious victory lifted the gloom somewhat after a weekend in which the Sharks, Cheetahs and Stormers all lost, giving the Bulls, who had a bye, a handy five-point lead in the South African Conference.

Under the inspiring leadership of Luke Watson, the Kings were clinical and composed under pressure, scoring after the half-time hooter to reclaim the lead and then dominating the third quarter to open up a commanding 34-17 lead. They then had to rely on heroic defence to keep out sustained pressure from a defiant Highlanders team that threw everything into attack.

Tries by centre Shaun Treeby and wing Hosea Gear forced the Kings to defend with all their might to claim their third victory of the season and climb to 13th in the overall standings.

While the way the Kings managed to rebound from their 72-10 mauling at the hands of the Waratahs last weekend was highly admirable, credit too must go to their supporters, who still turned up in droves, 18,500 of them, to back their team.

“A lot of credit must go to the crowd – we got absolutely pumped last week and to see this crowd here – it’s thanks to the supporters for turning up. We really appreciate the support.

“We were able to bounce back and showed a lot of character,” Watson, who scored two tries from rolling mauls, said after the game.

Outstanding loose forward Cornell du Preez and scrumhalf Shaun Venter then scored second-half tries to earn the Kings their second try-scoring bonus point of the season.

The Sharks and Stormers both lost in Australia, to the Reds and Waratahs respectively and now have a slim chance of making the playoffs, never mind tussling for the Conference title as they were expected to at the start of the campaign.

The Sharks once again made a dreadful start, lacking focus and any steel in defence, and the Reds, who showed superb vision and efficiency on attack, punished them ruthlessly, running up a 29-3 lead in 34 minutes as they scored four beautiful tries.

The Sharks were much better in the second half and pushed the Reds when they fought back to 29-17 with 15 minutes remaining, but Quade Cooper, who orchestrated the Queenslanders’ attack with customary panache, then settled the outcome when he kicked a penalty 72 minutes into the game.

The Stormers went down 21-15 to the Waratahs in Sydney and coach Allister Coetzee said he felt the “bounce of the ball” was just not going their way as they slumped to their second consecutive defeat and their sixth in 10 games.

“The bounce of the ball really does not favour us at this point in time, but one must give credit to the Waratahs. They kept their composure and they stuck it out to the end. It was a Test-match situation, it was a physical game, but they fronted up until the end,” he said.

But he perhaps gave away what the Stormers’ problem is at the moment – they are relying on things just happening for them – trusting that their brilliant defence will force mistakes from the opposition, rather than making opportunities themselves.

The Stormers made 155 tackles to the 77 of the Waratahs and that just proves that they made far too many errors, gifting too much possession to the home side.

Although they made a strong start to the second half and still led 15-11 going into the last five minutes, they were defending with their backs to the wall in the final quarter and it was Israel Folau and Berrick Barnes who eventually made the breakthrough for Folau to score his seventh try of the season.

The Cheetahs, meanwhile, lost 39-34 to the Hurricanes in Bloemfontein and were guilty of playing the wrong game, trying to beat the visitors at their own high-tempo, ball-in-hand approach.

The ascendancy of the Cheetahs in the tight phases demanded that they squeeze the Hurricanes and play the territory game, but instead the “old” Cheetahs reappeared.

The tactical kicking was poor, the attack was more a lateral shifting of the ball from side-to-side rather than anything incisive and direct, and the defence was below the high standards the Cheetahs have set recently.

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-05-13-superrugby-wrap-inspired-kings-reward-loyal-fans/#.Veg1Pfmqqko

Crunch Sunfoil Series games in Johannesburg & Port Elizabeth 0

Posted on August 14, 2015 by Ken

 

The two teams who have lost just one game in the Sunfoil Series this season – the bizhub Highveld Lions and the Sunfoil Dolphins – clash in a crunch match at the Wanderers from today, but one of the most important games of the tournament will also be played in Port Elizabeth, where the Chevrolet Warriors and the Unlimited Titans meet.

While the log-leading Lions will be desperate to reverse the trend of the other two domestic competitions in which they led at the halfway mark before fainting before the finish line to not even make the finals, the Titans and the Warriors, second and third, are probably the two most in-form teams in the country at the moment.

While the Titans won the Momentum One-Day Cup from a position they had no right to win from, the Warriors have won six of their last seven matches in both the 50-over and four-day competitions.

There will be no Albie Morkel for the Titans at St George’s Park, however, as the hero of the Momentum One-Day Cup final recovers from a side-strain, while Jacques Rudolph, contracted for the one-day competition, will play no further part in the domestic season.

It’s no major issue for the Titans because they will still field a powerful top-order of Dean Elgar, Heino Kuhn and Theunis de Bruyn.

Mangaliso Mosehle will continue to don the wicketkeeper’s gloves despite his messy showing in the final and his poor form with the bat.

“We back Mangi to come good, he had a good start to the four-day competition,” coach Rob Walter told The Citizen yesterday.

The Titans also have plenty of bowling options, including David Wiese and Junior Dala, two players who did so much to ensure the Momentum One-Day Cup is now housed at SuperSport Park.

The final selection is going to be a tough choice for Walter, with wrist-spinners Shaun von Berg and Tabraiz Shamsi, left-arm seamer Rowan Richards, Dala and Ethy Mbhalati all competing for three spots.

Walter said the triumph in the Newlands final had now been put aside and the Titans are hungry for a second trophy.

“We’re certainly not resting on our laurels, although we’ll use that momentum from the One-Day Cup, and we’re very driven to shoot for that second trophy,” the coach said.

The injured trio of pacemen Aya Gqamane and Rusty Theron, as well as senior batsman Davy Jacobs, are not available for the Warriors, but the recent form of Colin Ingram and Michael Price with the bat bodes well for the home side, while Andrew Birch and Simon Harmer will be the key performers with the ball.

The other match sees the Chevrolet Knights hosting the Nashua Cape Cobras, the defending champions, at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley in a match-up between the two bottom sides on the log.

The Cobras are still trying to get over the manner in which they lost the Momentum One-Day Cup final to the Titans, and the four-prong Knights pace attack of Quinton Friend, Corne Dry, Malusi Siboto and Dillon du Preez is sure to increase the pressure on them.

 

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  • Thought of the Day

    1 Corinthians 3:3 - "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?"

    One of my favourite U2 songs is a collaboration with Johnny Cash called The Wanderer, and it features the line "they say they want the kingdom, but they don't want God in it".
    Many people say they believe in God, but they don't experience his loving presence. They may be active in Christian work, but only if they have their way. If they cannot be leaders, they refuse to be involved.
    Because they refuse to allow God to fill their lives with his love, they remain weak and powerless.
    Spiritual maturity means developing a greater love for others.

    "When the love of Christ saturates you, immature attitudes such as pettiness, jealousy and strife are dissolved.
    "It is only when you have an intimate relationship with the Lord that you receive sufficient grace to rise above this immaturity and enjoy the solid food that the Holy Spirit gives you." - Solly Ozrovech, A Shelter From The Storm



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