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Ken Borland



Happy Boucher gives out praise & thanks 0

Posted on November 03, 2017 by Ken

 

Coach Mark Boucher was understandably a very happy man after the Multiply Titans’ victory over the bizhub Highveld Lions at the BidVest Wanderers Stadium sent his team into an 11-point lead at the top of the Sunfoil Series log, but he also took time out to praise Lungi Ngidi for his attitude during his rehabilitation and thanked his medical staff for their work on the hugely-promising fast bowler.

Ngidi spearheaded the Titans’ nine-wicket win with match figures of nine for 83 in his first game back from a stress fracture in his back.

“It was very satisfying to see Lungi come through and a lot of credit must go to the medical staff because it was a very serious injury for a fast bowler, a very scary time for him. But they started him bowling again in stages and he needed to change his lifestyle a bit.

“The door has opened up for him at international level, so I told Lungi it was up to him to bash it down. Well everyone has certainly got their eyes on him now! His body has developed, he’s stronger and leaner and his professionalism has changed too.

“So the results he achieved in his first game back were not really a surprise for me, although he is still a work in progress and he will get better. We were tempted to play him a week earlier in Pietermaritzburg, but the medical staff are hired to do a job and they said even though it was possible, they preferred not to rush him back then,” Boucher said.

On a sporty Wanderers pitch, Titans captain Aiden Markram was also a contender for man of the match after innings of 85 and 81 not out, continuing the youngster’s superb form this summer.

“Aiden is still scoring a lot of runs, which makes me very happy. When you look at him, it’s almost as if he’s destined for great things and he’s really taken to his role. He hasn’t been around for a long time, but he’s just looking more and more confident.

“I’m sure the Proteas will relish having him in their system and he understands that the opposition at international level will get tougher and people will start looking at his technique and try to find flaws. But Aiden’s feet are on the floor, that’s his character. He’s also a work in progress, but he’s hungry for runs and he did the hard yards in that first innings,” Boucher said.

But the coach also had praise for a player that is a fair way from playing for the Proteas, but has been an absolute standout for the Titans this season – Malusi Siboto.

The 30-year-old is the leading wicket-taker with 17 at 21.35 and he produced a top-class display in the second innings against the Lions, taking four for 26 as the home side were bundled out for just 165, leaving the Titans with a straightforward target of just 133 for the first win of the season.

“Last season as well, Malusi is an unsung hero, he does the hard work like bowling into the wind, and can keep the run-rate down as well as taking wickets. He’s also made crucial runs for us and we’re going to try and get him into being an all-rounder for us.

“In certain conditions, he’s the leader of our attack. He’s one of those guys that goes under the radar, but if he’s not there then he leaves a massive hole in the team,” Boucher said.

SA cricket risks losing Walter to NZ team 0

Posted on July 11, 2016 by Ken

South African cricket risks losing one of its most promising coaches to New Zealand with the bombshell news that Titans mentor Rob Walter will be moving there before the start of the new season.

Walter has won four trophies in his three-year term with the Titans, including both the Sunfoil Series and RamSlam T20 Challenge crowns last season, and, with Russell Domingo’s position as national coach under threat, was one of the favourites to succeed him along with Highveld Lions mentor Geoff Toyana.

The 41-year-old told The Citizen, however, that he did not feel he was likely to become Proteas coach anytime soon, so he felt the opportunity to work overseas and broaden his horizons was too good to refuse.

“I’ve had three years in South Africa, which is a unique coaching environment, and I understand the challenges, positives and strengths of the game here. I feel it’s time to spread my wings, growth only happens in challenging situations and I need to think about my next step as a coach. I have certain aspirations and I need to make the best decisions to reach them. Obviously I want to coach a national team and the first priority is my own, but if you look at the Proteas and the time frames involved, in the short-term it might not happen here. I hope my name would have popped up in the discussions, but I don’t think I’m next in line. So how do I grow in the next four years?,” Walter said.

Walter’s departure adds to the exodus of many young players from these shores and the former Proteas conditioning coach admitted that he would also be open to coaching the New Zealand team if that opportunity arose.

Walter said he would take only fond memories of his time with the Titans and he was positive about South African cricket in general.

“It was a massively tough decision to make because I love it at the Titans, I’ve had an amazing time and they’ve treated me so well. I hope my passion for the franchise came through as well. But I have a young family and with my first son just being born, it’s the right time to move. It’s sad, nobody has stood in the way of my opportunities in South Africa and unfortunately I wasn’t able to take up a position with the SA A team this winter, but it’s a great opportunity with Otago in New Zealand,” he said.

Jacques Faul, the CEO of the Titans, said that he was still recovering from the shock of losing their coach.

“Rob has been amazing, in 13 years as a CEO I’ve worked with a lot of coaches and he was an absolute delight to work with. There’s no ego, a great work ethic and we will certainly miss him.

“The board will meet next week to decide on the process of appointing a new coach,” Faul said.

http://www.citizen.co.za/1192745/rob-walter-leaving-sa/

Rehabilitated Hawken soaring at Titans & national academy 0

Posted on June 03, 2016 by Ken

 

Up-and-coming Titans fast bowler Eldred Hawken had his promising first season of franchise cricket interrupted by a back injury, but he has managed to rehabilitate himself in time to take up a place at the prestigious national academy at Cricket South Africa’s Centre of Excellence, an indication of what a talent he is.

Hawken only played four of the champion Titans’ Sunfoil Series games, but showed enough in taking nine wickets at an average of 30.44 to suggest he has a bright future. He may be 27 already, but there is something reminiscent of Dale Steyn in him in the way he is able to swing the ball at high pace and in his physique.

“I’m pretty excited moving forward. My back seized up during last season so I was helluva surprised to be called up for the academy. I thought maybe I was past it in terms of age, but it’s nice to know my good work paid off,” Hawken told The Citizen.

“The Titans side made me feel very comfortable, even though my first over went for 14 runs! But I felt comfortable after that [a change of ends helped!] and I got settled in for cricket at that level, although I still have a lot of work to do, especially on my conditioning. I can bowl 20 overs in a day in amateur cricket, but it’s harder to bowl 15 in franchise cricket because there’s more intensity.”

The similarities with Steyn don’t end with just the physical, however, as Hawken is from Tzaneen and also attended Merensky High School. The lithe Titans prospect admits that the great fast bowler was his role-model growing up as a cricketer in the Limpopo province.

“Dale was my hero. My dad, who was president of Limpopo Cricket, coached both of us at the Hornbills club in Tzaneen and when I was 12 or 13 I would go and watch them play. I would bring my whites just in case and often I would be standing at mid-off watching Dale bowl or watching clips of him on TV.

“I was actually an off-spinner until I was 16 and then when I changed, I envisaged in my mind his action as the basis for what I was trying to do. Those days were a big influence for me, I had the structures to flourish. The area has produced quite a few fast bowlers including Dale, Ethy Mbhalati and Marchant de Lange,” Hawken said.

The expert attention Hawken gets at the national academy means he has a good chance of following in the footsteps of those bowlers and becoming the leader of the Titans attack.

 

Batsmen look forward to friendlier conditions as 2 winning teams meet 0

Posted on October 17, 2014 by Ken

The bizhub Highveld Lions and the Chevrolet Knights, the two winning teams from the first round, will meet from today in a Sunfoil Series match with the conditions in Potchefstroom promising to be much friendlier for the batsmen.

The formidable Lions pace quartet prospered at the Wanderers last weekend when they beat the Titans by 190 runs, but Temba Bavuma’s 84 was the highest score by their batsmen.

In Bloemfontein, the Knights beat the Warriors by 128 runs in an extraordinary game in which the home side recovered from 32 for eight to win.

Because of the batting-friendly conditions at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom, the Lions had lined up wrist-spinner Eddie Leie to come into the side but the plans were foiled when the 27-year-old sprained his groin in practice.

Left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso, fresh from his exploits with the national side, will therefore be playing and should be a major attraction along with SA U19 star Kagiso Rabada, recently named in the Proteas’ T20 squad.

Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana speculated in the build-up to the season that Rabada would be spared having to bowl on flat pitches, but the decision has now been made to put more responsibility on the young man’s shoulders.

“We’re still managing Kagiso, at the moment he’s not bowling much between games, but he’ll definitely play. Bowling on flat pitches is part of the process of growing up and when he gets to international cricket, all the pitches will look like Potch! It’s quite important that he learns the skills to bowl on those sort of surfaces,” Toyana told The Citizen yesterday.

Rilee Rossouw, who the Knights are heavily reliant on to lead the batting, is not available as he has just become a father for the first time, while Pite van Biljon is also on the injured list. They have rested their hopes on two of three all-rounders added to the squad – Obus Pienaar, Patrick Botha or wicketkeeper Tumelo Bodibe.

It will probably be a different story in Benoni, where both the Unlimited Titans and Chevrolet Warriors will be looking to bounce back from the blows they took in the opening round on a Willowmoore Park pitch that is often difficult for batting.

Henry Davids has been named in the Titans squad, but it remains to be seen whether he will play, having withdrawn from the team last weekend due to his lack of four-day form.

It will probably be a shootout between him and Qaasim Adams for the number four batting spot, while spinner Roelof van der Merwe and seamer Cobus Pienaar are probably competing for the all-rounder’s spot.

The Warriors will be without Wayne Parnell, the left-arm fast bowler having injured his shoulder in Bloemfontein.

Warriors captain Colin Ingram has spoken of the need for his team to adapt quickly to what the vagaries of the pitch may throw up, but the visitors will be confident they have the bowlers – both pacemen and spinners – to put the struggling Titans batting line-up under more pressure.

 



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