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Ken Borland

The most memorable performance by a fast bowler 0

Posted on August 01, 2016 by Ken


The thrilling Kagiso Rabada stole the show at the CSA Awards this week by claiming most of the trophies for himself with the same ruthlessness he displays in targeting the batsman’s wicket, but the most memorable performance by a fast bowler, for me, came the night before at the 25 Years of Unity celebration when Vincent Barnes spoke movingly about the challenges he had to face as a cricketer whose career was ruined by Apartheid.

Barnes is currently the high performance manager for Cricket South Africa, having previously served for many years as the national team’s bowling coach. But he was also arguably the greatest cricketer in the non-racial ranks during the decade before 1991’s formation of the United Cricket Board and the return to international cricket.

The pitches were notoriously poor on their side of the divide – the Apartheid government certainly wasn’t bothered with providing facilities for the majority back then – but Barnes’ figures stand head and shoulders above everyone else in his generation: 323 wickets at an average of just 11.95!

The injustices of Apartheid meant Barnes had to work doubly hard just to play cricket and the passion he has for the game overcame the fact that there was no higher outlet for his talents. But the 56-year-old has seldom spoken of those frustrations – unlike some of the privileged set who were denied international cricket due to isolation – and instead focused on passing on his knowledge to the new, unified generation of South African cricketers.

The greats of White cricket were also acknowledged at the celebration, but it was Barnes’ story of overcoming the odds which was the most poignant for me.

As good as the awards dinner was the next evening, the shadow of sports minister Fikile Mbalula’s enormous ego and Donald Trump-like “leadership” did hang over it a bit for me. I am sad that Cricket South Africa’s response to the increase in pressure from the sports minister for a faster transformation pace, purely intended to put the spotlight on himself in this election year, has been to kowtow to a man who is all bluster and no positive action.

First we had HD Ackerman shamefully removed from the hosting duties because he is taking up a job in Australia (Derek Alberts did a fine job standing in), and then the announcement that quotas will be formally introduced at national level. At least that ends the dishonest sham that resulted in disasters like last year’s World Cup semifinal.

As if to really drive home the point that CSA have worked harder on transformation than any other code, Rabada then takes home half-a-dozen awards.

What was miserable Mbalula’s response? – a tweet that read “Congratulatons! Kagiso Rabada, I sincerely believe you not gonna disappear after being used like all others who came bfo”.


Cobras seal title with Australian-like ruthlessness 0

Posted on April 08, 2014 by Ken

The Cape Cobras officially sealed the four-day domestic series title on Saturday with Australian-like ruthlessness and efficiency, closing in on an innings victory over the Highveld Lions at the Wanderers in the process.

The Cobras, having amassed a daunting 544, dismissed the Lions for just 201 in their first innings and then reduced them to 124 for five in their follow-on.

According to the rules that govern the allocation of bonus points, the Cobras have earned a whopping 9.34 points, putting them out of reach at the top of the log even in the unlikely event of the second-placed Knights beating the Dolphins in Bloemfontein.

The Lions had begun their first innings in solid fashion, resuming on Saturday morning on 111 for one, with Rassie van der Dussen unbeaten on 68.

Opening batsman Van der Dussen had added just six to his overnight score when paceman Dane Paterson trapped him lbw, but the Lions had little inkling of the terrible collapse that would follow as Temba Bavuma and Devon Conway took them to 165 for two.

The drama started in off-spinner Dane Piedt’s fifth over of the day when he had Conway smartly caught at slip by Justin Kemp for 16 and then successfully asked for an lbw verdict two balls later as he trapped Bavuma on the crease on 51.

Cobras captain Justin Ontong could not have asked for much more of his seamers as Shaheen Khan (2-32), Paterson (3-47) and Kemp (3-30) then wrapped up the rest of the innings as the Lions lost their lost eight wickets for just 36 runs.

The Lions, trailing by 343, were asked to follow on and were in early trouble as captain Stephen Cook was caught behind off Kemp for six in the second over.

Van der Dussen and Bavuma once again stood in the Cobras’ way as they added 56 for the second wicket, but Piedt then had Bavuma caught close-in for 34 and added the wickets of Conway (7) and Shaylen Pillay (0) as he took his tally of victims for the competition to 43 in eight matches.

Van der Dussen had once again donned the mantle of chief obstacle to the Cobras as he ended the day on 55 not out.

In Bloemfontein, the Dolphins seemed to be easing to victory when they reduced the Knights to 329 for nine in reply to their massive first-innings total of 564 for seven declared.

Opener Reeza Hendricks had scored 103 to keep shouting in the ears of the national selectors, but wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi then took three wickets to leave the Knights facing a follow-on.

But a magnificent unbeaten last-wicket stand of 107 between Malusi Siboto (51*) and Corne Dry (68*) then took the Knights well past the follow-on mark and to within 128 runs of the Dolphins total.

Gihahn Cloete (83) and Gerhardt Abrahams (51) had also scored half-centuries to frustrate the Dolphins in their quest to overtake the Knights in second place on the log.

Half-centuries by Ernest Kemm (62), Qaasim Adams (89) and Grant Thomson (53) allowed the Titans to take control of their match against the Warriors at Centurion.

That trio of batsmen carried the Titans to 275 for six declared in the second innings, which meant the Warriors were chasing a formidable 395 for victory, with batting out 109 overs to save the match a more likely target.

David Wiese has bowled Michael Price for 13, but otherwise the Warriors have started well, reaching 46 for one in the nine overs they batted before bad light stopped play with four overs left in the day.

The Titans’ dominance in this game has meant they have overtaken both the Warriors and Lions on the log, climbing into fourth place.

The Warriors made 234 in their first innings, only earning 2.68 batting points, after starting the third day on 165 for eight.

Debutant Somila Seyibokwe made a defiant 40, while Basheer Walters took the attack to the Titans bowlers in slamming 38 off 28 balls.

Wiese, with four for 52 in 21 overs, and Shaun von Berg, the leg-spinner, with three for 36 in 11 overs, were the most successful Titans bowlers.

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