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Ken Borland



Adherence to age-old virtues brings reward for Zondo 0

Posted on June 05, 2017 by Ken

 

An adherence to the age-old cricketing virtue of letting your runs speak for you has seen Khaya Zondo recover from a slump in form in 2015/16 to such good effect that he leaves on Tuesday for England as the captain of the SA A limited-overs team.

It is a richly deserved honour for the 27-year-old as he not only averaged 49.75 in the Momentum One-Day Cup last season and 67.27 in the Sunfoil Series, but also led the Dolphins with aplomb when the captaincy was thrust upon him in mid-season.

It was a far cry from the previous season, when he returned from a tour of India with the Proteas, where he was upset that he did not play a match, and scored just 61 runs in his first 14 innings of the summer. He then scored a 65 against the Titans, but then made just one run in his next three innings.

“I was in the desert and no-one wants to come into the desert with you, only God. But I was told by one of my mentors [whom Zondo wanted to remain anonymous], who gives me lots of spiritual guidance, that the world owes me nothing, rightly or wrongly. What happened can’t be changed and it was up to me to make sure that it helped me to grow as a cricketer.

“So that gave me a lot of comfort. What happened in India was unfortunate, but it was part of a bigger plan, a building block. It gave me a lot of confidence to know that I was strong enough to get out of that bad slump. Lance Klusener [former Dolphins coach] showed me a lot of love and told me that if I’m burning in the fire, then I must make sure that I come out the other side as a roast chicken, I must be something a lot better, make sure I just get through it.

“I think I’ve learnt to be more resilient, to get through what I went through taught me that things can be taken from you, rightly or wrongly, that’s life. Maybe I unintentionally took things for granted a bit, I just relaxed a bit. Now I know never to relax,” Zondo said on Monday.

A greater focus in training and on every ball he faces has led to much better consistency for the Westville product, and he goes to England as one of the most in-form batsmen in the country.

“I just want to be better each day, whether that’s getting underarm throws or full-out nets, I want to leave every training session and every match a slightly better batsman; the greats are always evolving. As a captain, I also like leading from the front, I’m more focused, and last season I didn’t do too much differently, just making sure I watched every ball, made sure I was awake and ready for every ball. My focus was much better, and I just changed my head position a bit,” Zondo said.

https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/the-citizen-gauteng/20170525/282252370473828

Dala understands the physics of his action better now 0

Posted on May 15, 2017 by Ken

 

Titans fast bowler Junior Dala has ascribed his selection for the South Africa A side’s tour of England later this month to an improved understanding of the physics of his bowling action, which has led to greater control and consistency.

Dala was one of the best bowlers in the country in limited-overs cricket last season, being the joint-highest wicket-taker in the Momentum One-Day Cup with 16 scalps at an average of only 18.68 and an excellent economy rate of just 5.29. He was also outstanding in the CSA T20 Challenge with 11 wickets at 26.63 and he was one of the key performers as the Titans claimed both white-ball titles, where there is huge pressure on bowlers to be more skilful.

“In the last two years I have made a big step up. When I first went to the Titans, I did not really know my action, but Rob Walter and Mandla Mashimbyi really coached me on that, whereas other coaches before that were just happy that I could bowl fast. But I was being found out in franchise cricket, I always felt under pressure because I did not really know what I was doing from ball-to-ball. I would try and bowl a yorker and miss by eight metres!

“But I’ve realised that I can’t just get away with being quick, at times things went horribly wrong in four-day cricket and that has taught me the importance of consistency. I’m a lot more consistent now, Albie Morkel has shown a lot of trust in me and even used me in the powerplay with the new ball. I trust myself 90-95% of the time to hit my mark now,” the unorthodox Dala told The Citizen on Wednesday.

It is a measure of how quick a learner the 27-year-old Dala is that he changed from being mostly an inswing bowler to an away-swinger this last season, simply because he felt batsmen were beginning to read him too easily.

“I sacrificed a little pace but I’m still bowling 140 with more control, and I predominantly shaped the ball away because nobody thought I could do that. Now I’m working on doing all that at 145km/h.

“You have to accept that you’re going to be hit for fours and embrace that, but I have the freedom to express myself at the Titans and then it becomes a lot easier to execute, without that fear of failure.

“I haven’t played in England before so I’m excited for that and I hope it’s a good tour with lots of wickets. Guys are getting reward for their performances in the last six months, whereas before they had to wait two years sometimes. Mark Boucher told me things can happen very quickly at that level and I must just make the most of the opportunity,” Dala, who was born in Lusaka in 1989 as his parents were in exile, said.

 

 

De Bruyn now selected as middle-order batsman – Zondi 0

Posted on May 04, 2017 by Ken

 

Theunis de Bruyn was only selected as a Test opening batsman as a once-off and will be batting in the middle-order for the SA A side, convenor of selectors Linda Zondi confirmed on Wednesday.

De Bruyn made his Test debut in South Africa’s last outing, the third Test against New Zealand in Hamilton, selected out of position as an opener and was dismissed for a three-ball duck in the first innings and run out comically for 12 in the second innings.

The 24-year-old was chosen ahead of specialist opener Stephen Cook, who had scored three centuries in his first nine Tests but only made 17 runs in four innings in New Zealand, painting the selectors into a corner when it comes to the next Test, against England at Lord’s from July 6, because no player should be dropped after just one game.

“As selectors we want to look after every single player and it is unfair to leave someone out after one game. But the decision to play Theunis was because we only had one back-up batsman in New Zealand and we gave him an opportunity. Opening the batting is not the long-term plan for him, not even for SA A.

“The decision to open with Theunis in Hamilton was just because he was the back-up batsman. He will now play in the middle-order. Aiden Markram is someone we would like to see open for SA A, as well as someone like Heino Kuhn. Aiden has done very well and if you’re playing for SA A then you’re good enough to play for the Proteas.

“It will be like a trial, but because of how well he’s done, I’m sure he’s very confident and we have named him captain because we know from his SA U19 days that he does have leadership qualities. We don’t shy away from making calls like that,” Zondi said.

The SA A four-day squad includes Dale Steyn, the great fast bowler who is building his way back to full fitness after serious shoulder surgery.

“Dale is very much on track with his recovery and the plan is for him to bowl flat out in one month’s time and hopefully he can make himself eligible for two of the three SA A four-day games in the UK,” Proteas doctor and team manager Mohammed Moosajee said.

The four-day games will also be vital for Markram and De Bruyn as they look to build on their stellar summers and force their way into the Test team for the series against England, while Temba Bavuma will also want to accumulate confidence-building runs ahead of the Tests.

Squads

SA A 50-over squad: Aiden Markram, Jon-Jon Smuts, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Khaya Zondo (captain), Dwaine Pretorius, Mangaliso Mosehle, Sisanda Magala, Tabraiz Shamsi, Junior Dala, Lungi Ngidi, Dane Paterson, Reeza Hendricks, Heino Kuhn, Duanne Olivier.

SA A four-day squad: Heino Kuhn, Aiden Markram (captain), Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Khaya Zondo, Heinrich Klaasen, Jason Smith, Dwaine Pretorius, Dane Piedt, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi, Dane Paterson, Beuran Hendricks, Rudi Second, Junior Dala, Dale Steyn.

SA A itinerary

Sat 27 May                    1-day v County                                       Headingley, Leeds

Mon 29 May                1-day v County                                       The 3aaa County Ground, Derby

Thu 1 June                    1st A ODI v England Lions                      Trent Bridge, Nottingham

Sat 3 June                     2nd A ODI v England Lions                     Northampton

Mon 5 June                  3rd A ODI v England Lions (D/N)          Northampton

8-11 June                      4-day v Hampshire                                 Ageas Bowl, Southampton

14-17 June                   4-day v Sussex                                        Arundel (v Duke of Norfolk XI if Sussex in RL play-offs)

21-24 June                   ‘A’ Test v Lions                                        The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, Canterbury

 

Bumpy road for franchises as 1-Day Cup enters critical stage 0

Posted on May 26, 2015 by Ken

It’s going to be a bumpy road to the Momentum One-Day Cup playoff for the Dolphins, Lions and Titans, who are all in action on Friday night as the competition enters a critical stage with World Cup and SA A call-ups playing havoc with team selection for the franchises.

The Nashua Cape Cobras must rate themselves as being virtually assured of automatic entry to the final as they enjoy a nine-point lead at the top of the log with three matches to play.

Last season’s joint champions have won five of their seven matches, including an excellent five-wicket win over the bizhub Highveld Lions last week at the Wanderers, when they were missing a large proportion of their first-choice side.

But the fortunes of the three teams below them in the standings – the Dolphins (16pts), Lions (15pts) and Titans (13pts) – have fluctuated wildly and one of the franchises needs to get a solid run going in order to cement themselves into second place.

Lions coach Geoff Toyana will be hoping that it will be his team, that has been boosted by the return of several key players, that will take control of their destiny with victory over the Chevrolet Knights at the Wanderers on Friday, while Titans coach Rob Walter will be aiming for similar success as they take on the Cobras in Cape Town in a match-up that is a repeat of last season’s washed out final.

The fact that SA A play their next limited-overs match against the England Lions in Potchefstroom on Saturday means that Toyana is able to use star bowlers like Eddie Leie and Kagiso Rabada, while Hardus Viljoen is also fit again to further boost their attack and experienced campaigners Alviro Petersen and Thami Tsolekile also come back into the line-up.

Toyana said on Thursday that his team’s chances of possibly moving into second place will all come down to their ability to focus on their own skills and getting the execution of those right.

The Knights come to Johannesburg with their hopes of making the playoff all but gone after just one win in seven games, and they will be without key batsman Reeza Hendricks.

Toyana is not going to write them off, however.

“The Knights are a very dangerous team and very competitive in 50-over cricket. They can still get to 20 points so it’s a crunch game for us. If we don’t win then we’re not going to go far in this competition, so it’s important we do well and keep our destiny in our own hands,” Toyana toldThe Citizen on Thursday.

The Unlimited Titans travel to Newlands fresh from a morale-boosting win over the Knights in Kimberley, but are going to have to find replacements for key players like Marchant de Lange, Theunis de Bruyn and David Wiese, who are all with the SA A side.

Albie Morkel is set to make a return to domestic action and the Titans are going to have to decide, depending on pitch conditions, whether to play a second frontline spinner in Tabraiz Shamsi or another seamer in Ethy Mbhalati, while Graeme van Buuren (slow left-arm) and Grant Thomson (medium-pace) are both batting all-rounders competing for a single place.

The Titans will be hoping for more of the same from openers Jacques Rudolph and Henry Davids, who put on 77 for the first wicket in 14.3 overs against the Knights.

The Cobras have more players unavailable than most, but they have been able to make do thanks to the excellent depth they enjoy down in the Western Cape.

Openers Richard Levi and Andrew Puttick have been making bucket-loads of runs, while this season has also seen Sybrand Engelbrecht make strong progress.

Justin Kemp, the old warhorse, can still cart the best of bowlers around the park, while Robin Peterson is another experienced, dangerous campaigner for the Titans to be wary of.

The Sunfoil Dolphins travel to Port Elizabeth to face a Chevrolet Warriors side that has been boosted by the return of Rusty Theron from a knee injury and the availability of Simon Harmer.

Both sides have been in danger of having their 50-over skills decomposing due to lack of use as neither of them have played in the Momentum One-Day Cup since the end of October, but while the Dolphins still have the title to aim for, the Warriors can realistically only build for next season having won just one of their five games thus far.

Against the strengthened Warriors attack, the Dolphins will be relying heavily on three hugely experienced batsmen – Morne van Wyk, Daryn Smit, who had his 31st birthday on Wednesday, and Vaughn van Jaarsveld, who turns 30 on Monday.

http://citizen.co.za/317374/bumpy-road-momentum-one-day-cup-playoff/

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    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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