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Ken Borland



Brevis all the rage; critics all up in arms about Bavuma 0

Posted on January 30, 2023 by Ken

Five days ago, Dewald Brevis was all the rage as the most exciting T20 talent anyone had ever seen, while Temba Bavuma’s continued presence at the top of the order for South Africa at the T20 World Cup had people all up in arms, many of them enraged, judging by social media comments.

This weekend, however, Brevis will open the batting for the Northerns Titans in the CSA T20 Challenge final with his mortality exposed, having looked all at sea against the sheer pace of Free State Knights fast bowler Gerald Coetzee in their semi-final.

Bavuma will open the batting for the Proteas in the early hours of Sunday morning against the Netherlands, some confidence renewed after it all finally clicked against the powerful Pakistan pace attack and he struck a commanding 36 off just 19 balls.

‘All’ the Proteas have to do is beat the Netherlands and they will be in the semi-finals, and all true South African fans will be hoping the skipper builds on the promise of his previous innings.

How quickly things can change in cricket is one of the prime attractions of the game; the vacillating fortunes are why players are always entreated to mine a good run of form for as long as they can.

If someone asks me for my list of the top-10 T20 innings I have seen, then Brevis’s outrageous, record-breaking 162 off 57 balls is on mine.

Coming from someone whose talent has already had people shouting from the rooftops, it was understandable that the innings was greeted with a wave of public opinion that the 19-year-old should be rushed straight into the Proteas team.

But we need to be careful not to extrapolate too much from one innings. When Dave Callaghan blasted 169 not out off just 143 balls, an incredible scoring rate back in 1994, for South Africa against New Zealand at Centurion, he looked a world beater and it was also one of the best innings I have seen.

But as good a cricketer as Callaghan was, the innings proved to be a once-off and his next highest score in 24 other ODI innings was just 45 not out.

On October 31, Brevis knocked two sixes and three fours off Coetzee as he scored 29 runs off 13 balls against the highly-rated 22-year-old. Coetzee eventually had his nemesis caught on the boundary in the final over.

On November 2, this time given the new ball against Brevis, Coetzee, pride hurt, was on fire. He came roaring in and bowled fast and aggressively at a batsman two-and-a-half years his junior. He ruffled him up with short-pitched bowling, struck him on the gloves and this time Brevis could only score five runs from the 10 balls he faced from the St Andrew’s Bloemfontein product on the same pitch.

Brevis surely has the talent to sort all this out, of course, but the cautionary lesson is that he is still just a 19-year-old with just one season of experience playing with men. He spoke with maturity about the journey he has to travel after his 162, and the precocious potential he undoubtedly possesses needs to be carefully managed by the national selectors.

The selectors have certainly taken a lot of flak for persisting with Bavuma at the top of the Proteas batting order, but there were many glimpses of the reasons why against Pakistan: the crisp strokeplay, the ability to hit boundaries in the powerplay with ‘proper’ cricket shots and his brilliant handling of the short ball.

The jury is still out, of course, on Bavuma’s long-term future as an international T20 batsman, but the graph has now taken a little up-turn back in the right direction.

Proteas welcome the return of De Kock’s services 0

Posted on December 10, 2021 by Ken

Quinton de Kock may have left his team in the lurch by pulling out of their last game a couple of hours before the start, but the Proteas are all looking forward to having his services once again and will welcome him back with open arms, Rassie van der Dussen said on Thursday.

De Kock on Thursday issued a statement apologising for, and explaining, his reasons for refusing to take a knee in support of BLM ahead of South Africa’s T20 World Cup match against the West Indies earlier this week, and has now agreed to follow the CSA Board’s directive.

Fellow batsman Van der Dussen said all is forgiven and the team are really looking forward to having him back in the line-up for their game against Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Saturday.

“Quinny has been extremely remorseful and everyone understands and supports what he did, even though the timing was not great,” Van der Dussen said.

“It speaks volumes for the open environment the team and management has. He did not have to explain himself to us really, but we have come a long way in creating a safe space within the squad.

“He’s one of the best players in the world and of course we will welcome him back with open arms. We understood why he did what he did, and that’s the end of the story for us.

“I’m sure he will be selected on Saturday and it will be like nothing has happened as far as the team is concerned. Hopefully he himself will be in the right frame of mind to deliver a matchwinning performance like he has done so many times before. But it’s going to be great to have our brother and friend back on the field,” Van der Dussen, one of the strongest supporters of taking a knee amongst the White contingent in the team, said.

The statement De Kock issued earlier on Thursday said his actions were guided by the lack of engagement on the issue between the CSA Board and the squad, with the “take a knee” edict seemingly coming out of the blue for the players.

CSA Board chairman Lawson Naidoo and two other directors subsequently held a virtual meeting with the Proteas squad and management on Wednesday night, in which the reasons for their directive were clarified and the players’ concerns addressed.

A CSA statement on Thursday said De Kock and the rest of the team had now agreed to align themselves with the stance against racism as a moral issue and not a political statement.

Adams frees his arms but can’t beat the rain 0

Posted on February 18, 2016 by Ken

 

Qaasim Adams freed his arms to record-breaking effect at the end of the Titans innings, but to no avail as their Momentum One-Day Cup match against the Highveld Lions in Centurion was washed out on Wednesday night.

Adams hammered 50 off just 21 balls – reaching his half-century off 20 deliveries, the fastest in the competition’s history – to boost the Titans to 240 for six in 35 overs, after rain had initially interrupted their innings on 118 for two in the 26th over. Four big-hitters of note had previously notched a fifty off 21 balls – Justin Kemp, Adrian McLaren, Richard Levi and Dwaine Pretorius.

The Highveld Lions, set a revised target of 255 in 35 overs, then breezed to 74 for one in 10.1 overs with Rassie van der Dussen (33*) and Alviro Petersen (37*) in imperious form.

The Lions will now go on to the Momentum One-Day Cup playoff match against the Warriors in Johannesburg next Wednesday.

The Lions had won the toss and elected to bowl first and looked in serious trouble when Aiden Markram (37 off 25) was off to a flier at the top of the innings and left-arm opening bowler Carmi le Roux left the field in his third over with a leg injury. Having already lost spinner Eddie Leie to an injury in the warm-up, the Lions were forced to employ part-time bowlers Stephen Cook and Petersen, while coach Geoff Toyana came out to field until a young Tshwane University of Technology player, William Wentzel, could be found to fill in as 12th man for the visitors.

Grant Mokoena (37) and Dean Elgar (38 off 32) were in the middle of their 71-run third-wicket stand when the first storm arrived and, when they were dismissed within three balls of each other, it was left to Adams, who launched five sixes, and Albie Morkel (21 off 9) to add the finishing touches to the innings.

Pumelela Matshikwe was the best of the Lions bowlers, with two for 44 in seven overs, although he bowled a horrible last over which included two wides, two no-balls and a six and a four by Adams when he went to his half-century.

 

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    Don’t be so busy – even working for God – that you don’t have regular quiet time. Don’t let your activities become more important than your time with the Father. You can be alive ‘for’ God without experiencing the presence and power of the living Christ.

    “Attempting to serve the Lord without the strength of the Holy Spirit results in frustration and ultimate disaster.

    “If your vision of him grows dim, your service will become powerless and ineffective. This will happen if your spiritual reserves are not regularly replenished through prayer and meditation.

    “You must put him first in all your activities. Your service for him must be the result of your intimate knowledge of him. Only when he enjoys priority in all things, can you understand life from his perspective. Putting Christ first in your life and work makes you a more capable servant of God.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech



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