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Ken Borland



Cook amongst the runs again as SA pile up massive lead 0

Posted on December 29, 2016 by Ken

 

Stephen Cook hit his second successive Test century as South Africa piled up a massive lead on the third day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

South Africa finished the day on 351 for five in their second innings and it was enough for them to lead by 432 with two days and five wickets remaining.

Cook was the mainstay of the innings with his 117 off 178 balls and it was an effort that put him in the record books alongside opening partner Dean Elgar, who scored 52 in a first-wicket stand of 116.

It was just the 10th time in Test history that the same opening pair have posted a hundred partnership in both innings of the same match and it is the first time since the famous Timeless Test against England in Durban in 1938/39 that South Africa had a century stand for the first wicket in both innings.

“It was great to bat with Dean for a period of time and nice to dovetail that we both got runs for the first time. If we can get a partnership going up front then it helps the team a lot and opening the batting is always about forging that partnership and the only way to do that is by spending time out in the middle.

“Australia was very tough and I went through some hardships there, but the hundred in Adelaide made me a bit more relaxed. Coming off a century you feel better about the way things are going and I was able to make a few little adjustments to my technique over the last three weeks and bed them down,” Cook said.

It was a wonderful day from beginning to end for the Proteas, with Vernon Philander striking with the first ball of the day as he had Sri Lankan top-scorer Dhananjaya de Silva (43) caught behind with a peach of a delivery, the first of two wickets in the opening over as the tourists were bowled out for 205, a first-innings deficit of 81.

Philander finished with five for 45 in 20 excellent overs, his 11th five-wicket haul in 38 Tests, while Kyle Abbott provided great support with three for 63 in 21.5 overs.

After Cook and Elgar’s 137-minute opening stand, interrupted twice by rain, Hashim Amla struck a fluent 48 off 53 balls, before he was trapped leg-before by Nuwan Pradeep, the 10 000th lbw dismissal in Test history.

JP Duminy (25) and Temba Bavuma (8) were both dismissed by off-spinner De Silva, but the finishing touches to a thoroughly dominant day for South Africa were applied by captain Faf du Plessis (41*) and Quinton de Kock (42*), who had added a brisk 74 in less than an hour by stumps.

Kuhn has hope and inspiration from Cook’s selection 0

Posted on April 04, 2016 by Ken

 

The fact that the national selectors were willing to choose a 33-year-old new cap for Test cricket in Stephen Cook this summer has provided hope and no little inspiration to Heino Kuhn, who is the leading run-scorer in the Sunfoil Series this season.

The 31-year-old Titans batsman also averaged 60 in the Momentum One-Day Cup and a golden summer has pushed Kuhn right back into the picture for national honours after playing five T20 internationals for South Africa as a wicketkeeper/batsman between 2009 and 2011.

Kuhn is now strictly an opening batsman (and a quality fielder too) and regularly goes big, with six centuries in the last two seasons. His tally of 18 first-class hundreds includes three doubles and a 191 for South Africa A against Bangladesh A.

“It was nice to see Stephen Cook get an opportunity with the Proteas, I was happy for him because for years he’s been flippen good for the Lions. It was great that he took his chance and it’s great to see that South African cricket is now like Australian cricket where, if you’re a good enough batsman, you’re never too old.

“As long as my body holds, I’ll always believe that I can play for South Africa again and my fiancé Trudie probably believes even more than me! But I’m playing the best cricket of my career and luckily enough I have another two years on my contract with the Titans, so I hope I can continue this run because it’s the best I’ve ever batted,” Kuhn says.

The Titans stalwart – he has been granted a benefit season by the franchise – says his purple patch is not down to anything new in his technique but rather a better focus on the basics of top-order batting.

“I just try to bat time and play straight. I know I have the square shots, but if I just try and play straight and face a lot of balls then I know I’ll get runs. I know that if I face 200 balls then I’ll be close to a hundred. It’s about sticking to the basics and Rob Walter [Titans coach] is big on us just worrying about our own things and not the opposition,” Kuhn says.

It’s amazing to think of all the different jobs Kuhn has fulfilled on a cricket field since his days at Affies in the early 2000s, playing alongside AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis. He was actually a middle-order batsman who dabbled in leg-spin.

“I batted four at Coke Week for Northerns, behind AB and Faf, and I batted twice, scoring 40 not out and four not out, the winning runs. And at club level, Roelof van der Merwe kept wicket and I bowled leg-spin, and then one day I said we should swop. I made a stumping off Roela and our ways were set!

“I was very fortunate to keep to guys like Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Alfonso Thomas, Paul Harris and Imran Tahir in my early days at the Titans. But if opening the batting is the only way I can play in a team, I’ll definitely take it. Not many people enjoy opening, but I put up my hand, I like the challenge. It’s like I prefer a green pitch because then you have to work for your runs and you know you deserve them. It’s lovely to get runs in those tough conditions,” Kuhn says.

The likeable man from Piet Retief certainly deserves a successful benefit and another look-in at international cricket, and there have been few more loyal servants of the Titans.

“At the beginning of my career I was fortunate to have traditional team-mates like Martin van Jaarsveld and Pierre de Bruyn, so that was the way I grew up. My family are all here in Pretoria and the Titans are the best franchise in the land. I can’t see myself playing in another country and, if I don’t play any more cricket for South Africa, then I won’t play international cricket for anybody else,” Kuhn says.

Cook reaches illustrious landmark & puts Lions in command 0

Posted on March 25, 2015 by Ken

Stephen Cook became just the fourth batsman to score 10 000 runs in South African domestic first-class cricket as he led the bizhub Highveld Lions to a commanding position on the first day of their top-of-the-log Sunfoil Series match against the Unlimited Titans at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Thursday.

Cook showed great shot-selection and poise in reaching 108 not out before bad light stopped play at 4.15pm, with 25 overs still scheduled to be bowled, with the Lions on 264 for two.

It was a typically methodical innings by Cook, who in the process joined the illustrious trio of Graeme Pollock (12409), Peter Kirsten (11835) and his own father, Jimmy Cook (11307), in scoring 10 000 domestic first-class runs.

The Lions captain seldom looked threatened, but he did survive a chance on 32 when Heino Kuhn missed a catch at slip off left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe, who presumably aired his frustrations in the changeroom because it was the last ball before lunch.

The Lions had elected to bat first on a brownish, dry-looking pitch after winning the toss, and Rassie van der Dussen took the attack to the Titans bowlers as he breezed to an 84-ball half-century, the visitors going to lunch on 92 without loss.

Van der Dussen fell seven overs after the break, top-edging a hook at left-arm seamer Rowan Richards to fine-leg, where Junior Dala took a good running catch. Van der Dussen’s 65 off 109 deliveries had taken the Lions to 114 before the first wicket fell.

Cook went to his half-century soon afterwards and, with the Titans bowlers contriving to bowl on both sides of the wicket, and often too short, the Lions piled on 125 runs in 28 overs in the middle session, going to tea on 217 for one.

The Lions have high hopes for young Dominic Hendricks and he is starting to repay their faith this season, the left-hander scoring a dashing 63 off 87 balls to take his four-day average to 39 this season, with four half-centuries.

Hendricks hammered 11 fours and a six and added 115 off 158 balls with Cook for the second wicket, their partnership ending in the fifth over after tea when he pushed at a delivery outside off stump from Richards and Mangaliso Mosehle, the Titans wicketkeeper, dived to his left to take the catch.

Neil McKenzie (13*) then joined Cook and their partnership had already reached 35 when play was halted.

Down in Port Elizabeth, the Chevrolet Warriors’ capitulation to 203 all out was music to the ears of the struggling defending champions, the Nashua Cape Cobras.

Paceman Lizaad Williams and unorthodox spinner George Linde operated well in tandem as they shared six wickets and fast bowler Dane Paterson claimed two.

Richard Levi and Omphile Ramela then took the Cobras safely through to stumps on 11 without loss.

After the Cobras won the toss and bowled first, Paterson removed Michael Price for a duck in the first over and then had Jon-Jon Smuts caught behind for a single in the seventh over.

David White (38) and Ryan Bailey (37) added 43 for the third wicket, before Linde broke the partnership.

Simon Harmer dug in for 33 off 72 deliveries, but the Warriors only got to 203 thanks to a last-wicket stand of 53 between Sisanda Magala (32) and Basheer Walters (24*).

In Kimberley, Imraan Khan marked his recent return to the Sunfoil Dolphins line-up with his second successive century, scoring 127 to usher them to 251 for four against the Chevrolet Knights.

Divan van Wyk scored 57 as the Dolphins, who elected to bat first, put up a solid opening stand of 168.

Off-spinner Patrick Botha removed both openers, before the hostile Quinton Friend got busy with the second new ball and claimed two more wickets to give the Knights some late cheer.

 http://citizen.co.za/307726/cook-makes-history-books-first-day-sunfoil-series/

Top-class Cook scores ton & passes major landmark 0

Posted on March 25, 2015 by Ken

A top-class century by Stephen Cook, who passed a major landmark in the process, gave the bizhub Highveld Lions a firm grip on their top-of-the-log Sunfoil Series match against the Unlimited Titans after the first day at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Thursday.

The Lions had reached a commanding 264 for two when bad light stopped play at 4.15pm, with 25 overs still scheduled to be bowled, thanks to a great 108 not out from Cook after the visitors had won a good toss and elected to bat first on a brownish, dry pitch.

Cook has always brought a sober, methodical approach to opening the batting and he was content to let Rassie van der Dussen dominate the morning session, the youngster scoring an 84-ball half-century as the Lions went into lunch on 92 without loss.

The 32-year-old Cook did have a moment of rare celebration however when he became only the fourth batsman to score 10 000 runs in South African domestic first-class cricket, joining the hallowed trio of Graeme Pollock (12 409), Peter Kirsten (11835) and his own father, Jimmy Cook (11307).

Playing the anchor role suits Cook just fine and he brushed off being dropped the ball before lunch on 32 by Heino Kuhn at slip off left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe, as well as the departure of Van der Dussen, top-edging a hook off Rowan Richards, and being well-taken by Junior Dala running round from fine leg, for 65.

Cook and Van der Dussen had opened the innings with a stand of 114 off 230 balls and the captain and young Dominic Hendricks then added 115 for the second wicket in just over two hours, off 158 deliveries.

Hendricks played a dashing innings, hitting 11 fours and a six in his 63 off 87 balls before he pushed at a Richards delivery outside off stump and wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle took a good diving catch.

Cook and McKenzie then took the Lions through to stumps, with the centurion having batted for five-and-a-quarter hours and faced 211 deliveries.

It was a messy bowling display by the Titans and a top-class batsman like Cook duly capitalised, stroking 11 fours and seldom looking threatened.

Richards may have claimed a pair of wickets, but it came at a cost of more than four runs an over for the left-arm seamer, while Dala produced a barrage of short-pitched bowling on a placid pitch.

JP de Villiers also conceded a lot of boundaries, including four in one over by Hendricks as the left-hander brought up the 150.

Van der Merwe, who should have removed Cook on the stroke of lunch, was the best of the Titans bowlers, but the weather certainly saved the hosts from further punishment. The Lions hammered 125 runs in 28 overs between lunch and tea as the bowlers served up numerous poor deliveries, and Cook and McKenzie were just getting into their stride when play was halted.

 

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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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