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Ken Borland



Boucher acknowledges worst result of his tenure, implies players to blame 0

Posted on February 06, 2023 by Ken

Mark Boucher finished his tenure as Proteas coach with what he acknowledged was the worst result of his three-year term, but he absolved the coaching staff of any blame in the shock T20 World Cup loss to the Netherlands, implying the fault was squarely with the players.

“As coach, yes, it is the worst of the lot. It’s frustrating because as a player you still have a say, but as coach you leave it up to others to perform. Looking at the coaching staff, we ticked every box and we thought the guys were in a very good space,” Boucher said.

“At the start of the tournament, we would have taken having to beat the Netherlands to get into the semi-finals. We’ve got a good team and we believe on a given day we can beat anyone.

“That’s why the loss is so disappointing and we only have ourselves to blame. We were never really in the game, the Netherlands could come out and play brave cricket and we just weren’t able to get the momentum back on our side.

“We mustn’t look at one or two players, we need to look at the whole squad and they simply were not good enough today. The bottom line is we did not play well enough,” Boucher said.

Many articles have been devoted to why the Proteas consistently under-perform at World Cups, but Boucher said the team had shown their mettle in tight wins before, like over India in their third match of the tournament.

“I believe each world cup exit has been an individual event, although I know there is a lot of history. We have really played some good cricket in the T20 format, but we lost to Pakistan and looked flat today.

“The energy just did not seem to be there and we did not bowl or bat the way we should have. We certainly should have been better, but it just didn’t happen.

“But it’s not the only upset in this tournament, some very good sides have been beaten by so-called ‘lesser’ teams. The more we don’t do well at World Cups, it does start to play on your mind.

“But we’ve played tight games and won. I’m gutted, to be honest. The players really deserved to give themselves a better chance,” Boucher said.

Joburg-born Naidoo claims maiden title down by the seaside 0

Posted on January 09, 2023 by Ken

BALLITO, KwaZulu-Natal – Johannesburg-born Steyn City representative Dylan Naidoo is acknowledged as one of the most talented young golfers in the country and the 24-year-old claimed his maiden Sunshine Tour title on Friday down by the seaside as he won the SunBet Challenge hosted by Sun Sibaya at Umhlali Country Club by two shots.

For all his talent, Naidoo said the key to his breakthrough title, having picked up four previous top-10 finishes on the Sunshine Tour, was becoming a creature of habit out on the golf course, taking comfort from a set process.

“The most important thing is that I felt I had the win coming, I’ve been playing very well for the last few weeks. It’s the culmination of having really good processes and discipline out on the course.

“So the best part is that it does not feel like a lightning bolt came down from the sky and I got lucky and won. I feel like I can replicate this because I have a really good process. But of course we will have to wait and see what happens because you never know in golf.”

Naidoo began the final round two shots off the lead and settled himself with a wonderful front nine that was bogey-free and featured back-to-back birdies on the third and fourth holes. But he was still a couple of shots behind Luke Brown until a brilliant eagle on the 489m par-five 10th saw the former Big Easy Tour golfer vault strongly into contention.

Naidoo then targeted the short par-fours on the back nine, picking up birdies on three of them, and dropping a shot on the 15th, which he described as “a good bogey”.

A pair of birdies on 16 and 17 beat back the tentacles of the chasing golfers trying to reach him at the top of the leaderboard.

“My goal was just to turn under-par because I had not done it the whole week, so I got that job done on two-under, I played really solid,” Naidoo recalled.

“We had 209 to the flag on 10, but we wanted to pitch it well short because the greens were really starting to firm up. It was a little downwind and my seven-iron pitched and bounced exactly where it needed to and I sank the eight-foot putt for eagle.

“There are so many opportunities on the back nine and good tee shots set me up. I hit really good iron shots too, we were super-consistent with where we wanted to hit them and I putted really well. I sank a 25-footer on 17 which was not expected because it’s a very uphill putt, tricky just to get to the hole,” Naidoo said.

Once the job was done with a four-under 67 leading him to six-under-par for the tournament, he was grateful for all the supporting cast to his biggest win yet in his fledgling golf career.

“It’s taken thousands of hours of hard work and I could not have done it without the team around me – my sponsors, parents and loved ones – and everyone who helped along the journey. I’m just so ecstatic,” Naidoo said.

Brown fell away on the back nine as he dropped three shots by the 15th hole, finishing on four-under and in a four-way tie for second place with Jaco Prinsloo, amateur Jonathan Broomhead and Ian Snyman.

Prinsloo produced a top-class round of 68 that included two birdies and an eagle on the par-four ninth.

SA Strokeplay champion Broomhead, playing in just his second Sunshine Tour event, also shone with marvellous 69.

Overnight leader Richard Joubert went through hell on the front nine with two double-bogies and then three more bogeys on the back nine, finishing on one-under, in a tie for ninth.

Maharaj rewarded for being at the heart of the Proteas in all formats 0

Posted on September 26, 2022 by Ken

Spin bowler Keshav Maharaj was acknowledged as being at the heart of the Proteas team in all formats as he was named the 2021/22 SA Men’s Cricketer of the Year at Cricket South Africa’s virtual awards on Sunday evening.

Seamer Ayabonga Khaka claimed the SA Women’s Cricketer of the Year award, and both her and Maharaj were voted by their team-mates as the Players’ Player of the Year.

In the year’s action up to the end of the Test series against Bangladesh on April 11, Maharaj shone with the ball in all three formats. In eight Tests, the left-arm spinner took 30 wickets at an average of just 18.20; in 14 ODIs, he claimed 18 wickets at 31.77 and an economy rate of only 4.61, while he conceded just 5.84 runs per over in eight T20s, also taking six wickets while captaining the side on occasion.

Khaka has become an extremely consistent member of the effective Proteas Women’s attack, especially in ODIs, where she took 28 wickets in 15 matches.

Kagiso Rabada was named the Test Player of the Year, Aiden Markram the T20 International Player of the Year,and Janneman Malan was One-Day International Player of the Year.

Marco Jansen was named the International Newcomer of the Year, while other notable winners from the women’s categories were Lizelle Lee (T20 International Player of the Year)and Laura Wolvaardt (One-Day International Player of the Year).

Central Gauteng Lions paceman Sisanda Magala will continue to remind the national selectors of his abilities as he was the biggest winner on the domestic front, claiming the One-Day Cup Player of the Season, Domestic Players’ Player of the Season, and the SACA Most Valuable Player Award.

Mandla Mashimbyi of the Titans will go into the new season basking in the glow of his Coach of the Year award, while SuperSport Park’s Bryan Bloy was named Groundsman of the Year.

CSA AWARD WINNERS 2021/22

AMATEUR AWARDS

  1. KFC MINI-CRICKET COACH OF THE YEAR – Jerry Thulo(CGL)
  2. KFC MINI-CRICKET BUCKET LOADS OF GOOD AWARD – Joseph Ngqasa (Kei)
  3. CSA BOYS U16 PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT – Riley Norton (Boland)
  4. CSA GIRLS U16 PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT – Mpumelelo Mashiloane (Easterns)
  5. CSA GIRLS U19 PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT – Elandri Janse van Rensburg (NW)
  6. KHAYA MAJOLA CRICKET WEEK PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT – Ronan Hermann (CGL)
  7. CSA U19 PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Dewald Brevis (Titans)
  8. CSA BLIND CRICKET PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Buhle Bhidla (CGL)
  9. CSA DEAF CRICKET PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Arthur McGee (Titans)
  10. CSA RURAL CRICKET PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Nathan Engelbrecht (Boland)
  11. T20 COMMUNITY CUP PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT – Nathan Engelbrecht (Boland)
  12. CSA STUDENT PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Donovan Ferreira (Tuks)
  13. WOMEN’S PROVINCIAL COACH OF THE YEAR – Wynand Schmitt (NW)
  14. KEMACH EQUIPMENT GROUNDSMAN OF THE YEAR – Bryan Bloy – SuperSport Park, Centurion
  15. CSA FAIRPLAY AWARD – EP Warriors
  16. CSA WOMEN’S PROVINCIAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Tazmin Brits (NW)

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS – DOMESTIC

  1. CSA UMPIRES’ UMPIRE OF THE YEAR – Allahudien Paleker
  2. CSA UMPIRE OF THE YEAR – Allahudien Paleker
  3. DOMESTIC NEWCOMER OF THE SEASON – Mitchell van Buuren (CGL)
  4. SACA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD – Sisanda Magala (CGL)
  5. DIVISION 1 COACH OF THE SEASON – Mandla Mashimbyi (Titans)
  6. DIVISION 2 COACH OF THE SEASON – Mark Charlton (NC)
  7. T20 KNOCK OUT COMPETITION PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT – Rilee Rossouw (FS Knights)
  8. T20 CHALLENGE PLAYER OF THE SEASON – Pieter Malan (Boland Rocks)
  9. DIVISION 1 4-DAY DOMESTIC SERIES PLAYER OF THE SEASON – Ryan Rickelton (CGL)
  10. DIVISION 2 4-DAY DOMESTIC SERIES PLAYER OF THE SEASON – Thomas Kaber (Border Iinyathi)
  11. DIVISION 1 ONE-DAY CUP PLAYER OF THE SEASON – Sisanda Magala (CGL)
  12. DIVISION 2 ONE-DAY CUP PLAYER OF THE SEASON – Michael Erlank (KZN Inland Tuskers)
  13. DOMESTIC PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE SEASON – Sisanda Magala (CGL)

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS  – NATIONAL

GENERAL CATEGORIES

  1. THE BEST DELIVERY FUELLED BY KFC – Simon Harmer to Najmul Hossain Shanto (Bangladesh)
  2. MAKHAYA NTINI POWER OF CRICKET AWARD – Nonkululeko Mlaba
  3. SA FANS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR – David Miller

MEN’S CATEGORIES

  1. INTERNATIONAL MEN’S NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – Marco Jansen
  2. T20 INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Aiden Markram
  3. ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Janneman Malan
  4. TEST PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Kagiso Rabada
  5. SA MEN’S PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Keshav Maharaj
  6. SA MEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Keshav Maharaj

WOMEN’S CATEGORIES

  1. MOMENTUM WOMEN’S T20 INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Lizelle Lee
  2. MOMENTUM WOMEN’S ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Laura Wolvaardt
  3. SA WOMEN’S PLAYERS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Ayabonga Khaka
  4. SA WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Ayabonga Khaka

Boks talk Wales up with doe-eyed sincerity; alarm bells ring for Welsh 0

Posted on August 15, 2022 by Ken

The Springboks have spoken all week with doe-eyed sincerity about how desperate and tough opposition Wales are going to be in the first Test at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday evening, while the tourists themselves have acknowledged how large, both literally and metaphorically, the challenge will be for them in Pretoria.

Wales centre Nick Tompkins admitted on Friday that if they don’t shut down the Springboks from early on, then Saturday night could develop into a very dark time for them indeed.

The 1.80m, 95kg Tompkins will earn his 21st cap as he steps into the Loftus Versfeld ring at inside centre, but he does have considerable experience and bulk alongside him in George North, who will bring his 1.93m, 109kg frame into the Test arena for the 106th time, including three appearances for the British and Irish Lions. The 30-year-old ruptured his ACL in April 2021 and last played for Wales at the end of the 2021 Six Nations.

“To have George back is brilliant and I’m massively excited to play alongside him,” Tompkins said on Friday. “Hopefully we can take our chance and do what we can do.

“Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am have consistently shown how good they are as a pair. They have done great things, so it’s going to be a massive test for us. They are also sharp in defence.

“So it’s going to be a real Test match for us and obviously we have to try and contain them. But George brings a real voice on the field along with his strong carries.

“We just need to try and get that consistency as a combination and really carry it on. It’s up to us as a team to shut the Springboks down, but especially us as centres,” Tompkins said.

The ability of Am to disrupt an opposition backline was especially concerning for the 27-year-old Tompkins, who hinted that every time the Sharks star flinches, alarm bells will ring in his head.

“We know Lukhanyo defends very aggressively and you need to look at his body language to see what he’s going to do. Whatever happens, you have to be decisive.

“Those seconds are so vital and you can’t afford to be passive. I’ve gone through the scenarios and what will happen, and it’s good to have a big guy like George outside me,” Tompkins said.

Focus on the job at hand is the key for Wales if they are to win their first Test on South African soil in 11 attempts.

“We just need to focus on our jobs and make sure every action we make is positive, it’s got to be aggressive and 100% committed,” Tompkins said. “We need to scrap for each other and give a 100% performance.

“The game will ebb and flow, like it did when we played them in Wales last year. There will be a lot of kicking, and with the bounce of the ball, things can happen.

“We don’t doubt it’s going to be physical, and in the first few minutes hopefully we’ve figured out where we are, and hopefully after 20 minutes we have stood up to it,” Tompkins said.

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