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Ken Borland

Proteas rush to victory with brilliant fast bowling & beguiling spin 0

Posted on October 07, 2022 by Ken

South Africa rushed to victory by an innings and 12 runs as their combination of brilliant fast bowling and the beguiling spin of Keshav Maharaj saw England bundled out for 149, 20 minutes before tea on the third day at Lord’s on Friday.

England began their second innings an hour before lunch, trailing by 161 runs, and a brutal wake-up call for Brendon McCullum’s team was completed in 37.4 overs.

The innings will be remembered for the blistering fast bowling of Anrich Nortje, who ripped through the middle-order with three wickets in two overs. The quick-scoring Jonny Bairstow was a key dismissal, caught behind for 18, edging a beautiful delivery that was angled in and nipped away just outside off-stump.

Nortje then had dogged opener Alex Lees (35 off 83 balls) and Ben Foakes also caught by tidy wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne in his next over.

But it was Maharaj who began the rout with two wickets before lunch.

Captain Dean Elgar’s decision to bring the spinner into the attack after just seven overs, even though new-ball bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada looked likely to take a wicket imminently, will be considered a masterstroke as Maharaj trapped both Zak Crawley (13) and Ollie Pope (5) lbw.

Ngidi has bowled beautifully in this Test match with scant reward, but he will be delighted that his one wicket was a major one as he had Joe Root caught in the slips for just 6. It will be a long time since Root has managed just 14 runs in a Test.

Rabada returned to claim the wickets of Stuart Broad (35) and Ben Stokes (20) and Marco Jansen wrapped up the thumping win with a couple of wickets as well.

But it was Nortje who most rattled England with some of the fastest bowling seen in the UK for many years. It must be remembered too how well he batted on Friday morning, scoring 28 not out, a fighting innings that saw him unleash some memorable strokes.

The lower-order produced crucial runs to bump up South Africa’s lead after Stokes had inspired a collapse to 210 for six on the second evening. But Jansen and Maharaj (41) turned the momentum by adding 72 runs in 12-and-a-half overs and Jansen, with Nortje’s help, scored a career-best 48 to lift the Proteas to 326 all out.

SA rebound from a terrible start 0

Posted on August 17, 2022 by Ken

The South African women’s hockey team rebounded from a terrible start to their crunch World Cup match against Japan on Tuesday night, salvaging a remarkable 3-3 draw from 3-0 down with 20 minutes remaining to avoid elimination from quarterfinal contention in Terrassa, Spain.

Having conceded two goals in the first eight minutes, South Africa then went 3-0 down three minutes into the second half. Hesitant on the ball and porous in defence, the African champions’ hopes were faltering.

But they then fought back superbly with Onthatile Zulu giving the Japanese defence a torrid time with her attacking runs down the flank. South Africa were on the board in the 37th minute through Kristen Paton’s reflex shot after a rebound from Kayla de Waal’s strike.

The team sitting in 16th spot on the world rankings continued to pile pressure on the 10th-ranked Japanese in the final quarter, with another fine run by Zulu earning a 54th-minute penalty corner. Jean-Leigh du Toit’s slap was brilliantly guided in by Tarryn Lombard to cut the deficit to 1-2.

With two minutes remaining, Zulu won another short corner and Lombard steered the ball home again to complete a remarkable comeback.

“We started very slowly and conceding two goals in the first quarter really set us back,” stalwart goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande said afterwards. “We did well to come back, we knew we were never out of it, but it took pure grit and determination.

“We knew what it meant if we lost, now we are still in it, which we wanted so badly. We will fight even harder against Australia,” Mbande said.

South Africa and Japan both have one point in the standings, but the Cherry Blossoms are currently in third place in Pool D, the last qualifying spot, because they have a goal-difference of minus-two compared to South Africa’s minus-three.

South Africa have conceded seven goals and scored four, and if they can somehow prevent making it an octoplet of shots into the back of their net against Australia in the late game on Wednesday night, then they could pip Japan on goal-difference because they play Belgium, who beat Giles Bonnet’s side 4-1 last weekend.

Just 20 poor minutes enough to take gloss off Bulls’ win 0

Posted on March 09, 2016 by Ken


It was just 20 minutes of poor rugby in the second half, but Bulls coach Nollis Marais admitted it was enough to take the gloss off their 45-25 victory over the Melbourne Rebels in their SuperRugby match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria at the weekend.

Before that, the Bulls had produced some champagne rugby to storm into a 42-3 lead and seemed to have guaranteed themselves a bonus point in their first home match. But poor ball-retention, struggles at the breakdown and aimless kicking all contrived to let the Rebels back into the game, their four unanswered tries robbing the Bulls of a bonus point that could prove crucial in the long run.

“Those 20 minutes in the second half we let them back in the game. We should have had the bonus point, but only two of their tries they really had to work for. I don’t know where the idea came from to kick so much, so many little chippies!

“And our defence was really poor for those 20 minutes of the second half, we made simple mistakes which changed the momentum in their favour. We weren’t very good at the breakdown either, we were penalised four times there in the second half and that allowed the Rebels to have lineouts in our half,” Marais said after the game.

“But last week we couldn’t score a single try and this week we got six, so that is a positive and shows us the way to play moving forward. We’re trying to play ball-in-hand rugby after seven or eight years of playing the same way, and we need to stick to the plan. Some of the tries we scored were brilliant and that’s the way forward. When last did we score six tries?” Marais continued.

Unfortunately, the Bulls then let the Rebels score four tries, meaning they only took four log points away from the game and leaving them still five points behind the Stormers in South Africa Conference 1.

“We were fully aware that the bonus point was vital, we were in position to score again, we got there but we just couldn’t finish. We gave away penalties which allowed them easy exits and we took the pressure off them,” captain Adriaan Strauss said.

“So there are mixed emotions, it was good to win and to play a good brand of rugby, but we needed the bonus point. We’re happy, we’ll enjoy the win, but we let the bonus point slip so there are some regrets. But it’s a step in the right direction. If we get quick ball, if we’re on the front foot, we showed we can play some rugby, but if not we get stuck,” the outstanding hooker said.

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