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Ken Borland



Powerhouse Lions field top-class outfit for T20 opener 0

Posted on May 10, 2024 by Ken

A “powerhouse” DP World Lions men’s team are determined to claim a second trophy this season as they start their CSA T20 Challenge campaign against the GBets Rocks in Johannesburg on Friday night, and they will be fielding a top-class outfit.

The #PrideOfJozi boast a couple of players named in the Betway SA20 Team of the Tournament in Ryan Rickelton and Wiaan Mulder, there is a thrilling prospect of Kagiso Rabada and his protégé Kwena Maphaka sharing the new ball, and a wonderful batting line-up with other Proteas stars in Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma.

Apart from Rickelton and Mulder blazing a trail in the SA20, the DP World Lions are guided by a coach in Russell Domingo who has played a key role in the Sunrisers Eastern Cape winning back-to-back titles as their batting coach. The experienced Domingo will know exactly how to play winning T20 cricket in South Africa.

Rickelton, who was the leading run-scorer in the SA20 with 530 runs at an average of 58.89 and a strike-rate of 173.77, is setting a confident tone right up front.

“We will have a full squad, barring KG when he goes to the IPL, so we have a powerhouse team, obviously we’re going to put our names up for the overall win. We would be upset if we don’t get that far and we’re really looking forward to it after winning the four-day title, which was a big incentive for us because we haven’t won that in a while,” Rickelton said.

“While the tournament was obviously a major let-down for us at MI Cape Town, I have clarity about my batting. Coach Robbie [Peterson] was quite decisive about what he wanted us to do and we really strived to win the powerplay. So I had to execute my role as well as I can with Rassie, because of the power we had to come behind.

“The opportunity was there to really take the game on there up front, to really maximise the powerplay. I had the freedom to fail and I just tried to keep it simple, while training specifics. Now I want to make sure I make an impact for the Lions, that is hugely important for me,” Rickelton said.

All-rounder Mulder earned a spot in the SA20 Team of the Tournament mostly for his batting, where he averaged a healthy 37.13 and scored at a dynamic 157.14, continuing what has been a top-class summer with the bat. Mulder shone as a finisher, but also as a safeguard who could come in during the powerplay and lay a platform for the spectacular hitting of Heinrich Klaasen.

Mulder said he went into the competition with confidence, thanks to, again, the freedom given him by the DP World Lions coaches, and a clear job description from Durban Super Giants coach Lance Klusener.

“Russell Domingo and Hashim Amla have been incredible for my game, they have really motivated me and allowed me to just go and play, to break the shackles. Because of them I took a lot of confidence into the SA20.

“I discovered a couple of new things about my game during the tournament. I worked really hard on playing spin and finishing, which is a part of the game Mark Boucher told me he didn’t think I had when he was Proteas coach. I spent quite a lot of time working with Heinrich and Dwaine Pretorius, but I’m never going to be that type of batter, having a perfect swing and getting carried away hitting sixes.

“But I can hit space and I can score different sorts of boundaries, I can still score 50 off 25 balls. Lance backs me quite a lot, my technique gave me the opportunity to bat in the top five and my role was to face quite a lot of balls and protect Heinrich. You can get some real jaffas in the powerplay, but you can play with a lot of freedom afterwards,” Mulder said.

With the players that the Lions have, playing at a fast-action venue like the DP World Wanderers Stadium, and with so many of them knowing exactly what to do to win T20 games, there is no reason why our Pride should not back themselves to bring home another trophy.

De Kock ready to blow England away with gale-force batting when rain arrives 0

Posted on September 02, 2022 by Ken

Quinton de Kock was ready to blow England away with a gale-force batting display when rain forced the abandonment of the third and decisive ODI at Headingley on Sunday, leaving the Proteas to share the series 1-1.

De Kock had produced an innings of enormous quality in reaching 92 not out off just 76 balls to steer South Africa to 159 for two in 27.4 overs when a second rain interruption proved terminal for a match that was intriguingly poised.

After a scratchy start, De Kock played some top-class strokes as he raced to a 39-ball half-century, showing a fine degree of judgement when he was not at his most fluent. Ever a threat through the off-side, the left-hander played a couple of sumptuous cover-drives, but also showed a superb touch behind the wicket, highlighted by a phenomenal boundary off Sam Curran, lifting a bouncer over the wicketkeeper.

The Proteas had surprisingly, given the weather forecast, elected to bat first and England’s opening bowlers, the new-ball pair of left-armers David Willey and Reece Topley, blunted South Africa’s desire for an aggressive start with some quality bowling.

Janneman Malan (11) fell in the sixth over, trying to drive Willey on the up but skewing a catch to backward point.

Rassie van der Dussen then came in and 75 was added for the second wicket as De Kock got into his stride. Van der Dussen had made 26 off 38 balls when he slog-swept leg-spinner Adil Rashid into the hands of deep square-leg, leaving the Proteas on 99 for two in the 17th over.

Aiden Markram was getting himself in when the first rain interruption came with South Africa on 119 for two in the 21st over.

The teams were stuck in the changerooms for 110 minutes and De Kock and Markram (24* off 34*) then added 40 more runs in the 41 balls they faced before the rain returned and washed out the match.

The three-match T20 series starts on Wednesday in Bristol.

A top-class putting display gives Mostert a 2-stroke lead 0

Posted on July 21, 2022 by Ken

IRENE, City of Tshwane – Dylan Mostert produced a top-class display of putting for a second day in a row as he took a two-stroke lead on 13-under-par on Saturday heading into the final round of the KitKat Group ProAm at Irene Country Club.

Mostert was just a shot off the lead after a brilliant 65 in the first round, and on Saturday he followed up with a marvellous 66, leaving him a couple of shorts clear of Keagan Thomas on 11-under after rounds of 66 and 67.

First-round leader Ryan van Velzen (70) is in a tie for third on 10-under-par with Louis Albertse (68).

The 23-year-old Mostert, a big-hitting former U.S. College golfer at Dalton State, said it was a hot putter which had made the difference for him so far at Irene CC.

“My mental game has been very good, I’m hitting it in the right spots and then putting well,” Mostert said. “I just seemed to have had the knack of reading the greens right.

“It feels like if you leave yourself in a bad spot on the green here, then it will be really tough. The greens are undulating and some of the putts are very quick and can go sideways.

“I actually haven’t hit the ball that well off the tee, but I have missed in the right spots and then my play has been very good from there,” Mostert said.

The Modderfontein Golf Club representative now has a wonderful opportunity to claim his first Sunshine Tour title in Sunday’s final round, having finished second in the Blue Label Challenge at Gary Player Country Club last October.

“It takes consistency over all three rounds to be successful, so I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing,” Mostert said. “It’s going to be important to stay calm and patient, and just let it happen.

“For tomorrow, I will try to stay neutral emotionally, just do what I’ve been doing. But I also need to keep pushing because you’re not going to win this tournament shooting level-par.

“So I’ll be trying to make birdies and just keep that putter rolling,” Mostert said.

MJ Viljoen and Madalitso Muthiya both fired wonderful six-under-par 66s on Saturday to join Malcolm Mitchell (69) and Ockie Strydom (68) in the tie for fifth place on nine-under.

A contingent of 11 Saffas tackle PGA layout that favours top-class approach play 0

Posted on June 20, 2022 by Ken

A contingent of 11 South African golfers will tackle a daunting Southern Hills layout from Thursday in the PGA Championship, the second Major of the year, with the 7556-yard course favouring those with top-class approach play.

Tilted greens with fast run-off areas that repel wayward approach shots, combined with heavy bunkering, make for a difficult challenge that will put a premium on accurate approach play and good putting.

Erik van Rooyen is the leading South African on the PGA Tour in terms of the Shots Gained on Approach statistics but he has a love-hate relationship with the PGA Championship. His best finish in a Major was his tied-eighth finish in the 2019 event at Bethpage Black, but last year at Kiawah Island he smashed a tee-box marker on his way to missing the cut.

Although he withdrew for unexplained reasons from last weekend’s Byron Nelson Classic, Van Rooyen is South Africa’s second-highest ranked golfer at No.61 in the world.

Louis Oosthuizen (15th) is still South Africa’s highest-ranked performer, but a cloud of uncertainty hangs over a golfer who has perennially flattered to deceive at the Majors, having six runners-up finishes to go with a solitary win – at the 2010 Open Championship.

Oosthuizen has been strongly linked with the breakaway LIV Golf Invitational Series backed by Saudi Arabia, which starts in June, so this could be a swansong at the Majors for the 39-year-old.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout is third in the rankings amongst South Africans at 67th and also good around and on the greens. He has been consistent, making 13 of 15 cuts on the PGA Tour this year, without being a regular contender.

For a real dark horse, look no further than world number 68 Shaun Norris, who has been the best putter on the DP World Tour this year and strong in his approach play as well. This week could be a great opportunity for him to improve on his Major record of five missed cuts in seven events, with a best finish of tied-61st in the 2018 Open.

The other South Africans in the field – Justin Harding, Garrick Higgo, Dean Burmester, Oliver Bekker, Charl Schwartzel, Danie van Tonder and Branden Grace – can all be considered long shots, although Southern Hills was the venue for two memorable Southern African Major triumphs with Nick Price winning the 1994 PGA Championship by a lengthy six shots and Retief Goosen triumphing in a nervewracking playoff for the 2001 U.S. Open.

Not only is Southern Hills long, but it will be playing to par-70 and there are normally tricky winds to deal with in the rolling hills of Oklahoma’s Green Country, as well as a creek that runs throughout the course. It requires precise planning and execution, especially on the lay-ups, and the winning score is not expected to be much under-par.

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    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.

     



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