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Ken Borland


WP bemused by Mkhize as Lions attack superbly disciplined 0

Posted on June 19, 2024 by Ken

The powerful Western Province batting line-up was bemused by the left-arm seam of Relebohile Mkhize as she led the DP World Lions to a vital victory in their one-day match at Newlands last weekend, while the attack as a whole was superbly disciplined as our Pride did the double in Cape Town by also winning the T20 game.

Mkhize took three for 32 in eight overs as she ripped through the World Sports Betting Western Province middle-order, the DP World Lions bowling the home side out for 188 as they successfully defended their total of 228. Mkhize claimed the key wickets of Proteas Faye Tunnicliffe, bowled first ball by a beauty that swung in late from over the wicket, and Delmi Tucker (10), trapped lbw by a similar delivery, while she also bowled Tatum le Roux, who provided the last bit of resistance with 37 off 45 balls.

The victory for the #PrideOfJozi sets up a title decider on April 13 with the Dolphins at the DP World Wanderers Stadium. If the Lions beat the KwaZulu-Natalians with a bonus point then they will finish tied with them at the top of the log with 29 points; but the Central Gauteng team could then take the title based on number of wins or nett run-rate.

The DP World Lions total was built around the solid platform laid by opener Nonkululeko Thabethe, whose 56 off 89 balls ensured there would be freedom to score quickly for those who followed. Jenna Evans went wild in the closing overs with some daring shots taking her to 44 off 52 deliveries, while Madison Landsman struck a brisk 52 off 65 balls.

The DP World Lions bowling was exceptional as a unit in the T20 match, bowling just one wide in the Western Province innings as the hosts were restricted to 127 for six to lose by 17 runs. Like a liposuction machine that sucks up off the fat lying around, there was just nothing loose for the WP batters to make use of, no easy runs given away.

Seamers Lehlohonolo Meso (4-0-24-1) and Mkhize (4-0-25-1) were both extremely difficult to get away, while spinner Sarah Nettleton (4-0-21-2) bowled both Proteas openers Lara Goodall (5), with a superb delivery that was angled in and then spun away sharply from the left-hander to hit off-stump, and Tunnicliffe (11). The other spinners, Jenna Evans (3-0-17-1) and captain Kgomotso Rapoo (4-0-25-0) supported well.

Electing to bat first, after a solid run-a-ball start by Palesa Mapoo (20) and Landsman (19), the DP World Lions lost four wickets in successive overs to slip to 49 for four at the halfway mark. But doctor Kirstie Thomson had the right medicine, using her considerable experience to stabilise the innings and form a partnership with Thabethe.

By the end of their unbeaten 95-run stand, they were really dishing out the treatment to the WP bowlers, lifting our Pride to 144 for four.

Thomson finished with a fine 55 not out off 42 balls, while Thabethe struck a punishing 41 not out off only 27 deliveries.

Lions hoping weather plays along & no interruptions v EP 0

Posted on June 10, 2024 by Ken

The DP World Lions will be hoping the weather plays along and there are no interruptions to the action in the top-of-the-log CSA T20 Challenge clash between our #PrideOfJozi and the Dafabet Warriors at the Wanderers Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Lions are still well-placed in second position on the log despite the shock rain-affected loss to the Tuskers in the weekend’s action, while the Warriors come to the DP World Wanderers Stadium as the only unbeaten side in the competition.

The DP World Lions’ last two matches at the Bullring have been affected by the weather and have seen our Pride not being able to produce their best. They scraped a one-run win over Western Province in a Super Over, having been cruising to their target before a rain interruption. The start of their match against the Tuskers was delayed by showers after the toss, and Keith Dudgeon, who used to represent the Pride, then laid waste to the top-order in the sort of conditions seam bowlers dream of having.

But the DP World Lions will be confident that they have the beating of any side in a full 20-over contest, even the in-form Warriors.

Ryan Rickelton, having set alight the SA20, has been the star performer with the bat for our Pride, averaging 41.25 with a strike-rate of 147.32, while he has international-class back-up in Wiaan Mulder, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma and Reeza Hendricks.

Kagiso Rabada and Kwena Maphaka may be away representing the #PrideOfJozi on the IPL stage, but the ever-reliable left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin will be there to lead the attack, while seamer Codi Yusuf has shown he is a fast-rising talent.

Having suffered a rare defeat, there is no doubt the DP World Lions will be raring to bounce back and produce a dazzling all-round performance to solidify their place in the top two of the CSA T20 Challenge.

Like an actor ascending to the lead role, Maphaka claims the Wanderers as his own stage 0

Posted on June 10, 2024 by Ken

Like an actor ascending to the lead role, Kwena Maphaka made the famous DP World Wanderers Stadium his own stage on Sunday as he bowled the Pride to a Super Over victory over old rivals World Sports Betting Western Province in their CSA T20 Challenge match.

After a rain-interrupted game was tied during the regular 20 overs each, Maphaka defended 10 runs in the Super Over, against two experienced internationals in Kyle Verreynne and George Linde, conceding just nine runs. The 17-year-old, still in school doing his matric year at St Stithians, bowled beautifully full and straight, and was in no way overawed by a task that has turned more experienced bowlers into jelly.

It meant back-to-back one-run wins for the DP World Lions men’s team as they also edged the Momentum Multiply Titans by one run on Friday night in a thrilling Jukskei Derby. The two sensational wins mean the Lions remain second on the log, well in-touch with the leaders, the Dafabet Warriors.

Western Province decided to bat first, but the DP World Lions bowlers were wonderfully disciplined and accurate, restricting the visitors to 127 for nine.

Pacemen Lutho Sipamla (4-0-20-2) and Codi Yusuf (4-0-28-2) were the bowlers who did the most damage, but fellow seamers Maphaka (4-1-27-1) and Evan Jones (3-0-20-1), and spinner Bjorn Fortuin (4-0-22-1) were all excellent too.

But the afternoon thunderstorm that covered a large tract of Johannesburg then arrived at the DP World Wanderers Stadium between innings and definitely did not help the Lions.

After an hour-long delay, the Lions were set a revised target of 81 in 11 overs and were going well on 27 without loss in 3.5 overs, needing just 54 more to win off 43 balls, when the threat of lightning forced the umpires to suspend play again.

After 25 minutes, play resumed with the DP World Lions set another revised target of 52 in seven overs, meaning they needed 25 off 19 balls. That was then whittled down to eight runs required from the final over, and then one run from one ball. But veteran WP seamer Wayne Parnell bowled the last ball exactly where he needed to with his tight off-side field, and Reeza Hendricks (12) was caught at extra cover. That left the scores tied, which was why there was a Super Over to decide where the four log points were going.

Ryan Rickelton and Jones managed to get 10 runs off Parnell, and then Maphaka stepped up and delivered an over that was worthy of the cacophonous acclaim from the DP World Wanderers Stadium, worthy of the brass band in attendance and not vuvuzelas.

The #PrideOfJozi were sent in to bat by the Titans in Friday night’s game and were in early trouble on 54 for four in the ninth over. But a partnership of 81 off 57 balls between Wiaan Mulder (48) and Mitchell van Buuren (37*), and then the big finish provided by Delano Potgieter’s 32 not out off just 15 deliveries would have had Lions fans celebrating from Sandton City to the Oriental Plaza to Walter Sisulu Square.

Having posted 183 for five, the DP World Lions then had the mettle and the execution to keep the Titans to 182 for six.

The Titans chase revolved around Rivaldo Moonsamy’s 88 off 62 balls, but Codi Yusuf had him caught at midwicket in the 17th over for the crucial breakthrough.

Maphaka then only conceded four runs in the 18th over, while claiming the wicket of the dangerous Dayyaan Galiem, and the pace and skill of Yusuf and Kagiso Rabada (4-0-24-1) then finished the deal.

Fortuin was once again outstanding with two for 23 in his four overs.

The Pride will be back in action again on Saturday as they take on the AET Tuskers from KwaZulu-Natal Inland on Saturday at the DP World Wanderers Stadium.

One could tell Venter was poised for big things … and she delivers with Royal Cape win 0

Posted on June 07, 2024 by Ken

CAPE TOWN – Judging by her two previous appearances on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, one could tell young Gabrielle Venter was poised for big things and the 19-year-old duly delivered on Friday when she won the Standard Bank Ladies Open in a thrilling battle with the experienced Kylie Henry at Royal Cape Golf Club.

Venter had finished tied-fifth in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am and second in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge earlier this season, and on Friday she showed her enormous talent and mettle by shooting a superb four-under-par 70 to finish on nine-under-par.

It was enough to overtake 37-year-old Henry, a two-time Ladies European Tour winner, who had led after the first two rounds but could only post a level-par 74 on the final day, finishing on eight-under.

While the victory might not have been a big surprise for followers of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, Venter said afterwards she had no inkling her maiden professional win was on the cards until she was on the 18th green.

“Honestly I was not focusing on the win at all because if you do that too much then you lose focus on the actual golf,” Venter said. “So I didn’t know what the scores were at all, I was just focused on my own game. I felt my game was in place to win, but if it didn’t happen then I would just wait for the next time.

“The first time I saw a scoreboard was when I was putting on 18, I missed the birdie putt and then you expect the best from your opponent and I was ready for a playoff with Kylie.”

While Henry had the misfortune to bogey the last two holes, she had played a full part in cultivating an exceptional final day in the R600 000 event. The Scotswoman recovered from a a double-bogey on the par-four first hole, while Venter made birdie to immediately catch up with the leader; Henry regained the sole lead with a birdie on the third hole and she matched Venter’s four on the par-five fifth.

The lead switched on the sixth hole, however, as Venter birdied the par-four and Henry dropped a shot. Both golfers birdied the par-five seventh, but they were level again when the Bloemfontein Golf Club representative three-putted the par-three eighth.

But she regained the lead with a birdie on the ninth, before Henry pulled level again with a birdie on the par-five 11th. Venter struck back with a birdie on the 12th, but another three-putt on a par-three followed as both golfers left the 13th green on nine-under-par.

Henry birdied the par-five 14th to lead again, but Venter’s birdie-bogey-par finish was enough to pip the Investec Order of Merit leader, who closed par-bogey-bogey.

While Venter’s pure ball-striking off the tee deserted her a bit in the closing stages, she made a lot of key putts and her short game was amazing. While the back nine was a little unkind to her, she showed impressive patience to pull off the win.

“It was quite a struggle on the back nine, but for the entire season my all-round game has been good. This win really means a lot to me because it puts me into a position to win the order of merit, which I really want to do.

“I will also take a lot of confidence into the co-sanctioned events – the SA Open and the Joburg Open – and I’ve learnt that every shot counts at this level. Now I know I can win here. This tour is a great tool to do well enough to be invited overseas and play against the best,” Venter said.

Emie Peronnin of France shared second with Henry after shooting a fantastic 70 that kept the pressure on the two leaders to not slip up.

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