for quality writing

Ken Borland

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.

Contrasting fortunes for two veteran leaders 0

Posted on September 16, 2015 by Ken


There were contrasting fortunes for the two veterans who posted the best first round scores on the East and West courses of Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Friday as overnight leader Nic Henning found himself out in the cold again, while Wallie Coetsee was sitting pretty at the top of the leaderboard for the Joburg Open.

Henning, who opened the tournament with a course record equalling 62 on the West Course, started well enough on Friday with a birdie on the East Course’s 472-metre par-five opening hole. But a horrible slab of four consecutive bogeys from the fifth hole put him under pressure and, although he birdied the 11th hole, a double-bogey at 13 derailed him once again and he finished with two more bogeys to shoot a 78 that left him way down the leaderboard.

So far down, in fact, that Henning (-3), the good news story of the first day, actually missed the cut, which was made on four-under-par, by one stroke.

While Henning sunk beneath the waves, Coetsee surfaced at the end of a cooler day in Linksfield with a one-shot lead as he backed up his brilliant first-round 66 on the East Course with a six-under-par 65 on the West Course to go to 12-under-par overall.

Beneath the 42-year-old South African on the leaderboard are three golfers on 11-under, compatriots Garth Mulroy and Tjaart van der Walt, and Englishman Simon Dyson, while Niclas Fasth and Anthony Wall are on 10-under.

Coetsee has been on tour since 1992 and, while he enjoys the quiet life in Jeffrey’s Bay, there is clearly still plenty of competitive fire burning in him as he started the year by getting an Asian Tour card through their gruelling qualifying school in Thailand.

The laidback winner of two Sunshine Tour events spends every evening after his round braaing and he says his relaxed approach helped him on Friday to not push too hard, especially during a run of seven successive pars that followed a bogey on the seventh hole.

“I was very patient and my game plan was just to leave the tough pins, go for the safer side. You can’t attack every flag, there’s a time to go and a time to be safe. Patience is the key, you can’t force things, it will happen,” Coetsee said.

“You live for the moment when you play well, and I must enjoy that, but I’m back to level-par tomorrow. I need to just stay in the present and tonight I’ll have another braai.”

The patient approach paid off for Coetsee when he eagled the par-five 15th and then another birdie on the par-four 17th gave him the lead.

“I’d had very good up-and-downs on 13 and 14, and then on 15 I hit a very good drive and had 218 metres to the flag. I hit a four-iron pin-high, five or six metres from the hole and sank the putt,” Coetsee explained.

Van der Walt is another old stager enjoying a wonderful tournament and he reached the turn on 12-under after picking up four birdies on the East Course, before running out of steam a bit on the back nine and settling for a 69.

Dyson also went to town on the front nine, with three successive birdies from the sixth hole setting him up for a 67.


↑ Top