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Ken Borland

Verreynne clobbers new record score, but says it’s nothing new for him 0

Posted on February 02, 2024 by Ken

POWER APLENTY: Kyle Verreynne hits one of his nine sixes for Pretoria Capitals.
Photo: Arjun Singh

Kyle Verreynne made the highest ever SA20 score in the most unlikely of circumstances at SuperSport Park on Thursday night: His magnificent 116 not out off 52 balls was in a losing cause and it came after the Pretoria Capitals had crashed to 42 for six. The wicketkeeper has also not always been rated the most effective T20 player, but he clobbered seven fours and nine sixes and bristled afterwards at suggestions that this was something new in his game for the shortest format.

Verreynne’s astonishing innings miraculously prevented MI Cape Town from pulling off a bonus point win that seemed inevitable after they took six wickets in the powerplay while defending a mammoth total of 248 for four.

And it is a crucial bonus point because it keeps Pretoria Capitals alive in the competition, despite their woeful display in Centurion in their penultimate game. They play MI Cape Town again at Newlands on Saturday and, trailing them by just three points on the log, they know victory will put them in the qualifiers as long as high-flying Durban Super Giants beat Joburg Super Kings on the same day.

Verreynne had a T20 career strike-rate of 127.53 before this match, with three fifties in 48 innings, and the Pretoria Capitals only included him in their XI from their fourth game this season. But however he does it, he gets the runs on the board and is one of those cricketers blessed with tremendous temperament; he seems to lift his game to a new level when the pressure is on.

“It’s pretty sick that I’ve got the highest score and to score my maiden hundred is really special. I feel like my red-ball game is sorted, but T20 has been a bit of a monkey on my back,” Verreynne said after the Pretoria Capitals lost by 34 runs.

“But scoring 72 not out in my first game of the season against JSK and now a century has given me lots of confidence. But all the coaches I have ever had have never questioned my technique or boundary-hitting ability. Those who question it don’t know cricket.

“I went to Wynberg Boys High and that school instils in you that you must keep fighting even when the chips are down. Nothing comes easy at that school. Pressure is a mother going to work at 5am and coming home at 9pm to provide for her kids, playing cricket is not really pressure and that’s why I stay calm,” Verreynne said.

If you had offered Verreynne and the Pretoria Capitals an eventual total of 214 for eight, especially after he had watched Nuwan Thushara bowl Rilee Rossouw, Colin Ackermann and Shane Dadswell for ducks in the space of nine deliveries, it would have been one of those deals that was too good to refuse.

Even though Wayne Parnell (23) helped him add 78 off 49 deliveries for the seventh wicket, an SA20 record, the home side were still languishing on 129 for eight after 15 overs, needing 70 more runs off 30 balls just to prevent conceding the bonus point.

With Adil Rashid providing great support with 21 not out off 14 deliveries, Verreynne got them there with four balls to spare! Fifteen runs were taken off debutant Nealan van Heerden’s last over, Verreynne then hit the previously-terrifying Thushara for 23 in the 18th over, Rabada went for 18 in the penultimate over and Verreynne finished in style with 22 off the final over bowled by Sam Curran.

“Obviously we wanted to win, but we realised pretty quickly that realistically we weren’t going to do that, but giving them a bonus point would mean we were basically out of the competition,” Verreynne said.

“So we just kept 199 in mind and getting more than 200 will give us a lot of confidence as a batting unit. And it’s crazy to think that we lost but we still go to Cape Town with a genuine chance of making the playoffs.

“So it felt like a win afterwards, we knew getting 200 keeps us in the competition even if it was a really daunting target. So the mood in the changeroom was that it was a small victory we will take and the positivity is definitely there. We are still in with a chance of winning the competition, so we can’t be too down,” Verreynne said with typical tenacity.

Bavuma feels like he’s been ditched on Lovers’ Lane & wants to park the disappointment 0

Posted on November 07, 2022 by Ken

Temba Bavuma says he wants to park the bitter disappointment of not being bought for the SA20 franchise tournament for now as he looks ahead to the tour of India and then the T20 World Cup in Australia straight afterwards, but there is no doubting the Proteas captain feels like he has been ditched on Lovers’ Lane.

Bavuma, captain of the national T20 side, failed to draw a single bid in this week’s auction, despite being put up for sale three times, and will now not be a part of the most important T20 tournament this country has hosted. The 32-year-old suffered the same fate as fellow Proteas white-ball stalwart Andile Phehlukwayo.

“I would be lying if I said there wasn’t disappointment and obviously I expected to play a role in the SA20. And it’s not just myself but Andi as well, he has played for several years for South Africa in white-ball cricket.

“I feel almost let down. This is not coming from a place of entitlement though and you want to be selected on merit or whatever credentials you have.

“I also need to caution myself not to delve too deeply into it, even though I would like to think about it more. It’s not the right time now, my focus is on the India tour and the World Cup afterwards.

“It is comforting that some people share the same sentiments as me, but the biggest thing for me is to serve the team the best I can, I still have a big responsibility as captain,” Bavuma said on Thursday, sounding like someone who needed to be in hospital.

Setbacks have generally brought out the best of the feisty, determined Bavuma in the past and he’s not one for cussing and moaning in a dark corner. Coach Mark Boucher said the team ensured the captain knew he had their support when the squad had a get-together before their departure for India on Friday – “Temba is our leader, we back him 100% and you could see the energy around him, the guys understand the situation he is going through.”

“There are things I need to deal with on a personal level, but I’m not going to sit here and say I need to prove anything,” Bavuma said. “We had some team-building last night and it was nice to see the guys.

“We have friendships and relationships that go far beyond just being team-mates and knowing that they are there as my team-mates is enough, their presence is enough.

“I don’t expect words of sympathy, let’s rather go out there and create some memories. I’ve been out injured for three months so I’m looking forward to getting out on the park again,” Bavuma said.

Klaasen deeply annoyed the English gingers 0

Posted on September 01, 2022 by Ken

The Proteas’ resident ginger, Heinrich Klaasen, deeply annoyed the English team, especially his fellow red-haired opponents, with his gamesmanship in the second ODI at Old Trafford on Friday night, but the 30-year-old batsman afterwards brushed off the incident as “fun and games on the field”.

South Africa had plummeted to 39 for five after 10 of their 29 overs when Klaasen stopped play to complain about his vision of the ball being disturbed by white sheeting at the bottom of the black sightscreen. Initially the umpires battled to understand what he was complaining about, with England getting more and more frantic for play to resume as the drizzle that was falling was only getting heavier.

By this stage, the Proteas were already badly behind in the contest, needing 164 runs in 19 overs with the last recognised pair of batsmen together at the crease. Their best hope seemed to be for the match to be rained off before they had faced 20 overs, in which case there would be no result.

It took a few minutes for the penny to drop that the ground staff had shifted the boundary boards aside in order to allow them to bring the covers on quickly if necessary, thereby exposing the white sheeting which Klaasen alleged made the white ball difficult to see.

The wicketkeeper/batsman afterwards admitted that he actually had no problems sighting the ball but he was just trying to delay play. England were boiling over with frustration and Klaasen sparked something of a Ginger War as Jonny Bairstow fumed at the batsman and the umpires, and captain Jos Buttler, who has a hint of reddish-brown hair himself, stomped around.

“It was zero percent about the ball disappearing,” Klaasen admitted. “It was starting to rain harder and I was just trying to delay matters. I hoped the umpires would take us off the field before the 20 overs, but unfortunately they didn’t.

“It was just some old-school tricks. The England boys didn’t like it and I knew the abuse would come. I was just trying to upset their game a bit, I thought it couldn’t do us any harm.

“It frustrated a lot of them, but we didn’t come off in the end. What they said to me didn’t bother me at all, it was just fun and games on the field, and off the field hopefully we can still have a beer after the next game. It’s easy for me to keep that sort of thing on the field,” Klaasen said.

England had the last laugh though as South Africa were skittled for a dismal 83 all out and left to mourn a massive 118-run defeat, with paceman David Willey saying “I’m thinking Mother Cricket came around”.

Mowat starts well & continues on that high for a feel-good round 0

Posted on July 06, 2022 by Ken

SUN CITY, North-West – Callum Mowat began with two birdies and just continued on that high as he shot a 67 to lead the SunBet Challenge hosted by Sun City after the first round on Wednesday, saying afterwards it was a round that “made me feel good about me”.

Mowat’s five-under-par score included just one bogey on the testing Gary Player Country Club layout and he came home in three-under 33. That gave him a one-stroke lead over Rourke van der Spuy on four-under, while MJ Viljoen and Harry Konig were tied for third after shooting 69s.

“I’ve been inside a deep hole and I needed to figure out how I felt about myself,” Mowat said. “It was nice to feel I belong out here and I am competitive, it was good to feel good about myself and where my game is trending. It made me feel good about me.

“I just tried to be aggressive, just let fly and stop trying to steer the ball around, let it run! The demanding thing about Gary Player Country Club is off the tee, but I was more aggressive than usual.

“That meant I could hit a lot more greens with shorter irons. My game-plan was to just get as far as possible off the tee, it worked well and then I just stuck to the plan,” the 30-year-old Mowat said. The Glendower golfer had not broken 70 yet in four rounds this season at the FBC Zimbabwe Open and the Sishen Classic.

The 27-year-old Viljoen looked like catching Mowat as he raced to four-under through 14 holes, but a weak finish saw him drop a shot at the par-four 18th to finish two back on three-under.

Van der Spuy started his round with eight pars, but he caught fire around the turn with birdies on the ninth and 10th holes, and he picked up further shots on the 13th and 17th holes in a bogey-free round.

Konig, hailing from Devon in England, is in his first season on the Sunshine Tour and he also dropped just one shot, making a four on the par-three 16th, in his 69.

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