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Ken Borland

Tuks end season far ahead of any other club 0

Posted on May 05, 2014 by Ken

The University of Pretoria’s Assupol Tuks have ended the 2013/14 summer far ahead of any other club in the country, winning their third successive National Club Championships title earlier this week, to add to their triumphs as the leading student team in the country and their success in qualifying as the South African representatives for the closest thing to a varsity world cup.

Tuks’ success – they have gone unbeaten through 18 games and three years in the National Club Championships and have won the Northerns Premier League for the last five years, including an unbeaten run of 85 matches – is down to the perfect dovetailing of wonderful talent, an inspiring coach and tremendous facilities at the same time and in the same place.

Graeme van Buuren, Theunis de Bruyn and Vincent Moore are all players who have already shown great potential at franchise level for the Titans, while Aiden Markram and Corbin Bosch are two future stars fresh from winning the U19 World Cup.

And then there are the lesser known but key players like new-ball pair Gerhard Linde and Sean Nowak, spinners GC Pretorius, Ruben Claasen, Tertius Gouws and David Mogatlane, all-rounders Johan Wessels and Tian Koekemoer, and talented batsmen like Sean Dickson, Heinrich Klaasen, Murray Coetzee and Gerry Pike.

Pierre de Bruyn is the coach who brings all this talent together and gets it performing as a phenomenal unit. A hard-nosed cricketer from Easterns and a protégé of Ray Jennings, De Bruyn believes strongly in work ethic and discipline.

“I wasn’t talented at all but I managed to string together 15 years as a professional cricketer through complete hard work. I always tried to be one step ahead of the guy next to me through focus, discipline and work ethic. I really wanted the tough situation and it helps coaching to have had a tough career myself.

“From what I’ve experienced as a player, I can teach the youngsters how to start and sustain a professional career, both of which are not that easy. I’m working with guys who have everything in terms of talent, but I can really teach them things in terms of mental preparation or how to build an innings,” De Bruyn said.

Multiple trophy-winning Tuks coach Pierre de Bruyn

The professional approach at Tuks has led to someone like national U19 captain Markram making the strides Jennings hoped for when he suggested the batsman go to the University of Pretoria.

“I’m very happy here, the training is awesome, at very high intensity, and this is where my game will improve,” Markram said, and that was borne out by him winning the player of the tournament awards for both the Red Bull Campus Cricket Finals, that saw Tuks beat Maties to secure a trip to London for the world finals, and the Momentum National Club Championships.

The considerable support of both the University of Pretoria’s sports office and chief sponsor Assupol ensures that the Tuks cricket team has facilities which are fit for a first-class team and that they have been able to spend R2.5 million on upgrading the nets.

While Tuks’ success is obviously wonderful for the team, their coaching staff and the players’ parents and supporters, it’s important not to lose sight of the bigger picture and that is the benefit Titans cricket derives from their prosperity.

“The Titans definitely benefit from the excellence of Tuks. With full-time coaching, top facilities and the support of the university and a major sponsor, they attract top players. It makes it hard for the other clubs in Northerns, but ultimately it all benefits the Titans,” president John Wright said.

Van Buuren breaks loose for Tuks, NMMU then well-policed 0

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Ken

Graeme van Buuren broke loose with the bat to lead Assupol Tuks to a daunting 316 for six and the defending champions then kept Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University PE Madibaz well-policed in the field as they claimed their third successive Momentum National Club Championships title at SuperSport Park yesterday.

NMMU PE were bowled out for 222 as pacemen Gerhard Linde, Sean Nowak and Corbin Bosch put regular spokes in their wheel, sharing seven of the wickets as Tuks won by an impressive 94 runs.

Josh Dolley was the one man to seriously trouble Tuks with the bat, scoring a brave 64 off 60 balls, while wickets fell regularly at the other end.

The Port Elizabeth students had won the toss and sent Tuks in to bat, and openers Aiden Markram and Murray Coetzee ensured that the NMMU bowlers were having a hairy time of it from the start.

Markram continued his incredible week – for which he won the Player of the Tournament award – with a fine 79 off 85 balls, proving once again that he is a star of the future, while Coetzee scored a fluent 52 as they added 133 for the first wicket in the first half of the innings.

The Madibaz were under considerable stress already by the time Markram holed out at long-off off slow left-armer Brad Dolley, and the loss of Coetzee to the same bowler did not bother Tuks.

Johan Wessels, who continued his fine week with 49 off 55 balls, and Van Buuren added 96 for the third wicket in 14 unruffled overs.

Wessels fell just one run short of his fourth half-century of the tournament when he mis-hit Sisanda Magala to long-off, but Van Buuren just kept plundering runs as he struck a match-winning 97 off just 66 balls, with eight fours and five sixes, to add to his reputation as a fantastic finisher.

He took 20 runs off Magala in the penultimate over before swinging the 23-year-old Muir College product to deep square-leg. Van Buuren may have just missed out on his century, but he had done enough to win the Man of the Match award and he averaged 90.70 during the week.

University of Pretoria coach Pierre de Bruyn said Van Buuren had again showed that a long and successful career lies ahead of him – “his innings was really important and he absolutely took the game away from them”.

De Bruyn also said the performance of his new-ball bowlers, Linde and Nowak, had been crucial, removing key Madibaz batsmen David White (5) and Ed Moore (18) early in the innings.

“We were aiming to have them three down in the first 20 overs because then they would always have to try and rebuild. With wickets in hand, you could have chased just about anything with the one very short boundary, but we definitely bowled better than them, our disciplines were much better.

“They had a sloppy start with the ball, but we pride ourselves on working hard on those disciplines,” De Bruyn said.

It was a highly mature bowling performance by Tuks, with Linde taking two for 32, Nowak three for 31 and Bosch, who showed wonderful skill and strategic thinking for one so young, claiming two for 28.

With Wessels and off-spinner Ruben Claasen chipping in with wickets, NMMU were already faced with a required rate of nearly eight-an-over midway through their innings, and although the lower-order tried hard, the target was way too high.

The ridiculously short boundary on the Wierda Park side of the ground certainly prejudiced the Port Elizabeth students as it meant they were unable to bowl spinners in tandem – which has been their greatest strength this week.

But the discipline and focus, and excellent skills of Tuks were the major difference on the day, with the University of Pretoria’s unbeaten run in the National Club Championships now stretching to 18 games over the last three years.

Scores in brief

Tuks 316 for six (Aiden Markram 79, Murray Coetzee 52, Johan Wessels 49, Graeme van Buuren 97; Sisanda Magala two for 72, Onke Nyaku two for 78, Brad Dolley two for 37).

NMMU PE Madibaz 222 (Lloyd Brown 20, Curtis Samboer 31, Josh Dolley 64, Kirwin Christoffels 20, Sisanda Magala 27; Gerhard Linde two for 32, Sean Nowak three for 31, Corbin Bosch two for 28).

Tuks won by 94 runs.


De Bruyn a satisfied man as Tuks reach final 0

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Ken

Assupol Tuks coach Pierre de Bruyn was a satisfied man yesterday evening after his team beat NMMU George by seven wickets to seal their place in today’s Momentum National Club Championships final at SuperSport Park.

The victory left two-time defending champions Tuks unbeaten and at the top of Section Two, meaning they will take on the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Madibaz, the students from the Port Elizabeth campus, who came through Section One with a similar record, in today’s final.

“We set ourselves the tremendously high goal going in of achieving a hat-trick of titles and we said we had to go through the first five days unbeaten to do that.

“We are unbeaten, which makes it 17 games in a row at club champs, and now there’s the big one to go tomorrow,” De Bruyn told The Pretoria News yesterday.

“We probably had the easier pool, but there were areas in which we were tested and I was happy to see how we responded.”

Tuks lost the toss yesterday against NMMU George and had to bowl first, and this time leg-spinner Tertius Gouws was the man to shine as he took four for 27 in 10 excellent overs to limit the South-Western Districts champions to 171.

Neil Hornbuckle (36), Tyron Walsh (36) and Hendrik Kotze (33) provided islands of resistance, but no-one else reached double figures as the George students were bowled out in 45.2 overs.

Paceman Gerhard Linde claimed an impressive three for 23 in 8.2 overs, but Graeme van Buuren (8-1-27-0), Ruben Claasen (7-1-14-1) and Johan Wessels (5-0-18-1) were also effective.

Wessels then also starred with the bat as he safely steered Tuks to their target in just the 35th over with a swift 69.

Captain Heinrich Klaasen applied the finishing touches with 53 not out and he hit the winning runs that put Tuks into their third successive final, and a repeat of last year’s title decider against the Port Elizabeth students.

The NMMU Madibaz outfit is a potent one, with their spin bowlers – Simon Harmer and Brad and Josh Dolley – a real threat.

Opening batsman David White is one of the most exciting young players in the country, while his partner Ed Moore is once again in fine form at this tournament.

The University of Pretoria students are going to be under increased pressure today, but then again they came through a tough situation on Saturday in their crunch game against Maties.

Chasing 207, they had crashed to 107 for five, but Sean Dickson anchored the innings with a determined, match-winning 74 and there were important contributions too from Tian Koekemoer (29) and Sean Nowak (19*), who had earlier been the best bowler with three for 20 in 10 overs.

“We were tested the whole game against Maties, but we’ve trained those situations, like chasing 20 off 20, and we stood up and really believed we could do it,” De Bruyn said.


Yesterday: Section OneUniversity of Free State Kovsies 307-5 (Jacobus Dreyer 120, Dirk Bruwer 49 not out) Crusaders 246 (Michael Alexander 70, Robbie Clift 68, Jason Biddulph 40; Leonard Killeen 4-61) University of Free State Kovsies won by 61 runs. University of Jhb 73 (Brad Dolley 5-11) NMMU PE Madibaz 75-0 NMMU PE Madibaz won by 10 wickets. NWU Pukke 370-7 (Grant Mokoena 105, Righardt Frenz 81, Wihan Lubbe 57; Gerhardt Abrahams 4-51) West End 274-6 (Xander Pitchers 62, Roche Rossouw 47, Gerhardt Abrahams 76) NWU Pukke won by 96 runs. Section TwoNMMU George 171 (Tertius Gouws 4-27) Tuks 173-3 (Johan Wessels 69, Heinrich Klaasen 53 not out) Tuks won by 7 wickets. Kempton Park 67 (Dewald Botha 5-10) Maties 70-3 Maties won by 7 wickets. United CC 112 (Romano Esau 53) Cape Town CC 113-4 Cape Town CC won by 6 wickets.

Saturday: Section OneCrusaders 218-9 University of Jhb 203 (Umar Asad 57 not out, Harry van Straaten 42, Neels Bergh 41; Jared van Heerden 4-47) Crusaders won by 15 runs. West End 139 (Gihahn Cloete 40 not out; Brad Dolley 4-35) NMMU PE Madibaz 141-4 (Lloyd Brown 51 not out) NMMU PE Madibaz won by 6 wickets. NWU Pukke 332-7 (Ludwig Roos 103, Grant Mokoena 82, Righardt Frenz 74) University of Free State Kovsies 243 (PJ Jansen 101; Bjorn Fortuin 4-56) NWU Pukke won by 89 runs. Section TwoMaties 206-9 (Dewald Botha 58) Tuks 207-7 (Sean Dickson 74) Tuks won by 3 wickets. United CC 182 (Romano Esau 64, Marco Marais 53; Lance Roelfse 5-47, Bronwell Goeda 4-35) NMMU George 183-6 (Tyron Walsh 68 not out) NMMU George won by 4 wickets. Kempton Park 179-9. Cape Town CC 162 (Marc de Beer 40; Jurie Snyman 4-33) Kempton Park won by 17 runs.


Markram underlines his excellence 0

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Ken

Aiden Markram underlined what an excellent prospect he is as he cruised to an unbeaten 210 to lead Assupol Tuks to a comprehensive 154-run victory over United CC on the third day of the Momentum National Club Championships at Sinovich Park yesterday.

Markram not only made the first double-century of his fledgling, exciting career but also broke the previous record for the highest score in the National Club Championships – Blake Snijman’s 204 for the University of Johannesburg in 2006/7.

It was a commanding innings – coming off just 153 balls with 14 fours and three sixes – but not without some good fortune as he was dropped twice relatively early on in his knock.

Markram’s superb innings carried Tuks to a massive 377 for two in their 50 overs after they had won the toss and elected to bat first on a lovely sunny day in northern Pretoria.

A depleted United side were not ever going to challenge that, but they showed plenty of spunk in amassing 223 in 48.1 overs, the highest total scored against the two-time defending champions so far this week.

But the day belonged to Markram, a tall and powerful 19-year-old who hits the ball hard, but concentrates on playing straight. An impressive 106 of his runs came in the “V” straight down the ground and the ICC U19 World Cup-winning captain is clearly an amazing talent.

“I know Blake Snijman had the record so it’s nice to beat a high-profile cricketer like him, but in the end you do it for the team and we’re glad we got the bonus point.

“I was dropped a couple of times, so I was lucky, and it was a nice deck to bat on,” a modest Markram said after his epic innings.

After the early loss of Murray Coetzee, caught behind by Jason van Zyl off Thoza Neku for six, Markram enjoyed the considerable support of Johan Wessels (80 off 94 balls) in a run-a-ball second-wicket stand of 189, and then the lively assistance of Graeme van Buuren (73 not out off just 49 deliveries) in powering Tuks to the highest score of this year’s tournament thus far. Markram and Van Buuren added 168 off only 101 balls to end the carnage.

United are already missing a couple of players due to injury, and the loss of opening bowler Bevan Jonker after he bowled just five overs yesterday did not help their cause either.

But they made a brave start to their near-impossible run-chase, Marvin Lazarus slamming 35 off 18 balls, while Bevan Bennett scored 31 and Marco Marais 38 as they reached a hundred in the 20th over, an over quicker than the Pretoria students had managed!

But it obviously could not last and lanky off-spinner Ruben Claasen, who married tremendous determination to the turn and bounce he obtained, claimed three for 41 in 10 overs in the middle of the innings to settle the contest.

With pacemen Tian Koekemoer and the tidy Corbin Bosch each picking up a pair of wickets, it was left to Romano Esau to provide some late cheer for the Border champions with 43 off 46 deliveries.

Elsewhere in Section Two, Maties coolly chased down a tricky target against Cape Town Cricket Club to win by four wickets and set up a crunch game against Tuks today at Irene Villagers.

The Stellenbosch students have also been in top-class form this week and today’s encounter against their Pretoria arch-rivals could be a decisive one in terms of who qualifies for Monday’s final at SuperSport Park.

Kempton Park won again yesterday, beating NMMU George by eight wickets and they still have a chance of qualifying, provided Tuks slip up somewhere and the Easterns champions beat Cape Town CC and Maties over the last two days.


Section One: Crusaders 191-9 (Ruben Hattingh 49 not out) NMMU PE Madibaz 194-4 (Lloyd Brown 52 not out, Peter Furstenburg 47) NMMU PE Madibaz won by six wickets. University of Free State Kovsies 266 (Jacobus Dreyer 76, Andries Gous 56; Jan Frylinck 5-45) West End 190 (Gerhardt Abrahams 71, Gihahn Cloete 58) University of Free State Kovsies won by 76 runs. University of Jhb 336-9 (Jaden Broodryk 93, Matt McGillivray 136; Garnett Kruger 6-44) NWU Pukke 322-8 (Righardt Frenz 58,Wihan Lubbe 127) University of Jhb won by 14 runs.

Section Two: Tuks 377-2 (Aiden Markram 210 not out, Johan Wessels 80, Graeme van Buuren 73 not out) United CC 223 (Romano Esau 43) Tuks won by 154 runs. NMMU George 121 (Nico de Klerk 4-17) Kempton Park 126-2 (Wesley Marshall 68 not out) Kempton Park won by eight wickets. Cape Town CC 155 Maties 157-6 (Philippus van Vuuren 74) Maties won by four wickets.

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