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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.

Titans looking to lift after weekend slump gives them away playoff 0

Posted on July 14, 2015 by Ken

The Unlimited Titans’ beer has gone rather flat after successive defeats have condemned them to an away playoff against the Sunfoil Dolphins today at Kingsmead and coach Rob Walter is eager for his team to regain the composure that saw them to five consecutive wins before their weekend slump.

The Titans pace bowlers will be under the most pressure to step up after their messy performances against the Warriors, who chased down a record 354, and the Dolphins themselves, with the wayward seamers conceding 49 wides in those two games.

“The bowling was poor and unacceptable in the last two matches and we need to remove those extras from our game. The bowlers need to go back to what worked for us before, they’re able to pull things back.

“It was probably nerves, we maybe built up those games too much, trying to secure a home playoff. They didn’t try to do anything different and we always try to do the right things in training. Obviously we’ll try and improve the bowling and try to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” Walter told The Citizen on Monday.

If the bowlers can provide a measure of control in the field, then the Titans have a top-class batting line-up capable of either setting a winning score or chasing down a target. Theunis de Bruyn has been a stand-out player this season, David Wiese a hard-hitting contributor, Qaasim Adams a revelation in the middle-order and Jacques Rudolph, Dean Elgar and Henry Davids a reliable top-order. Plus Albie Morkel has made a couple of important contributions with the bat.

Walter said the Kingsmead pitch was a tough one to bat on during their weekend loss to the Dolphins and a total of 250 could well be enough, setting the stage for a nailbiting playoff.

Vaughn van Jaarsveld has become the key batsman for the Dolphins, reeling off successive centuries after also scoring a hundred earlier in the competition, while the opening pair of Morne van Wyk and Cameron Delport is amongst the most destructive in the competition.

The Dolphins middle-order has been less successful and the Titans know the importance of getting early wickets to put them under pressure.

Calvin Savage held together the lower-order and was then tidy with the ball during the weekend win over the Titans, but has not been named in the squad for the playoff, presumably due to injury. The return of the experienced Ryan McLaren or the skilful Robbie Frylinck could make up for that.

With Elgar doing a good job as the Titans’ main spinner, Walter said he was hopeful Morkel, who is struggling with a side strain, would be able to get through a couple of overs as well on a pitch that is expected to provide grip.

The Titans had a five-wicket win over the Dolphins at Kingsmead at the same stage of last season’s Momentum One-Day Cup. On that occasion they had a Heino Kuhn century to thank for their victory, while Graeme van Buuren, Shaun von Berg and CJ de Villiers – none of whom are in the squad for today’s game – had important roles as well.

“There’s good stuff from last season for us to reflect on. Maybe we made too much of the last two games, whereas in the middle phases of the tournament we just trusted our skills,” Walter said.


Dolphins: Morne van Wyk, Cameron Delport, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Cody Chetty, Khaya Zondo, Kyle Nipper, Andile Phehlukwayo, Ryan McLaren, Keshav Maharaj, Tumi Moreki, Daryn Dupavillon, Robbie Frylinck, Daryn Smit, Craig Alexander, Jonathan Vandiar.

Titans: Henry Davids, Jacques Rudolph, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Qaasim Adams, Albie Morkel, Mangaliso Mosehle, David Wiese, JP de Villiers, Rowan Richards, Junior Dala, Ethy Mbhalati, Grant Thomson.




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