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Ken Borland

Highs & lows of 2022: The shock wins & humiliating defeats 0

Posted on August 29, 2023 by Ken


  • The Bulls pulling off a shock victory over Leinster in the 2021/22 United Rugby Championship semi-final in Dublin, overcoming the daunting challenge against the giants of European rugby, laden with Irish internationals. The Bulls produced an inspired performance to stun the juggernauts 27-26, ensuring Leinster went trophyless for the first time since 2017. It was a mighty display of physicality and fierce defensive effort.
  • The Proteas sealing a memorable series win over India, their superb pace attack revelling at home and their batsmen showing impressive toughness against a feisty bowling line-up. Despite their greatness as a cricketing nation, India have never won a Test series in South Africa, and the Proteas had to win the last two Tests to maintain that record. It was an exceptional achievement against the powerhouse Indian team, especially since South Africa produced two top-class fourth-innings chases to secure the thrilling win.
  • The South African men’s hockey team had to deal with many frustrations in 2022, as usual, so roaring to victory in the FIH Nations Cup in Potchefstroom, despite the resignation of coach Garreth Ewing on the eve of the tournament, was a remarkable effort. Victory over Ireland in the final meant South Africa grabbed the single qualification spot for the 2023/24 FIH Pro League, where they will compete on a regular basis with top teams like Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and India. One can only praise interim coach Cheslin Gie and his charges.


  • South Africa have kissed many toads when it comes to cricket world cups but this year’s defeat to minnows the Netherlands and subsequent exit from the T20 World Cup at the group stage might be the worst blow-out of them all. Despite a washout against Zimbabwe, everything was going swimmingly as the Proteas needed to win just one of their last two matches, against Pakistan and the Netherlands, to reach the semi-finals. A desperate Pakistan side put up a stout effort to beat South Africa by 33 runs, but the Proteas looked astonishingly short of energy in the crunch match against the Dutch. A lacklustre bowling effort was followed by a miserable batting performance as they limped to 145 for eight and a humiliating defeat.
  • The sheer greed exposed by the breakaway LIV Golf Tour. One would think the world’s leading golfers have enough fancy motor cars, luxurious villas and lavish luxury goods, but apparently not.
  • Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber’s decision to not use the services of his first-choice team for the Rugby Championship Test against New Zealand at Ellis Park. After South Africa’s magnificent victory in Nelspruit (one of the highlights of the year), the All Blacks were hanging by a prayer, their coach Ian Foster and their captain Sam Cane being on the verge of being axed one year out from the World Cup. But instead of ruthlessly finishing off the job against their old rivals the following weekend, Nienaber took the foot off their neck by leaving key players on the bench at Ellis Park, resulting in an impressive 35-23 triumph for New Zealand, on their way to winning the tournament.

Too many amorphous deliveries lead to tough times for SA attack 0

Posted on August 21, 2023 by Ken

The second and third days of the second Test against Australia at the MCG have been tough times for the South African attack, a good batting pitch meaning too many of their balls were amorphous, non-shaping deliveries that did not threaten a powerful batting line-up that racked up a massive 575 for eight declared.

That gave Australia a huge first-innings lead of 386 and the Proteas struggled to 15 for one in their second innings at stumps.

Bowling coach Charl Langeveldt said on Wednesday that although the attack could be proud of their effort, they needed better control when the ball was not doing much.

“It’s been a tough three days in general for us, but we did not start well with the ball on Day One. On the second day we put in the effort, Anrich Nortje brought a lot of heat,” Langeveldt said.

“Control is something we need to speak about, that can improve. It’s a young bowling attack, but they need to control the run-rate for longer periods.

“Stringing together 18 consecutive good balls is one of our KPIs and we could not achieve that, which is a bit of a red flag going forward. But this is a good pitch and we have played a lot of Tests lately on more bowler-friendly wickets.

“I’m happy with the enthusiasm, that was brilliant and I cannot fault it. We need to stay patient and I think reward is going to be around the corner,” Langeveldt said.

While Kagiso Rabada is currently the year’s leading wicket-taker in global Test matches with 47 in just nine matches, Langeveldt admitted that their spearhead has been out of sorts in Melbourne and that the other bowlers have not bowled well enough in partnerships.

“KG has not been on song and the others have only been in periods. We haven’t bowled well as a unit, those bowling partnerships are important and they have just not been there,” Langeveldt said.

“So we need to address that, but we have not played much on good cricket wickets lately and this is a good one. Sometimes you just need to bowl a few dot balls and use the bumper as a surprise ball.

“KG always takes wickets, but the challenge for him at the moment is control. Someone like Pat Cummins also leaked runs when he was at the beginning of his career, now he takes wickets and has control.

“That’s the challenge for KG going forward, especially on flatter pitches. We always need to assess the conditions and we always talk about adapting,” Langeveldt said.

But blaming these shortcomings on inexperience does not seem right. Rabada has already been playing Test cricket for seven years and has 267 wickets. Cummins debuted 11 years ago but has played 11 Tests fewer than Rabada due to injuries.

Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi are both playing in their 17th Test match, while Marco Jansen has only just completed his first year of Test cricket.

Spinner Keshav Maharaj, playing his 47th Test, was also not at his best as he conceded 135 runs in 41.5 overs and went wicketless.

Warner motors to commanding century as SA bowlers keep chugging in 0

Posted on August 01, 2023 by Ken

David Warner was able to motor to a commanding century as Australia reached 231 for two at tea against a South African attack that kept chugging in without much luck on the second day of the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

Warner celebrated the considerable milestone of making a century in his 100th Test, becoming just the 11th player to achieve this landmark, but arguably more important to him was that it was his first hundred in nearly three years.

Together with Steven Smith, he ensured that Australia were already 42 runs ahead on first innings, with eight wickets in hand. Warner had reached 135 not out off 207 balls at tea, while Smith stuck to his task well against plenty of testing bowling as he reached the break on 60 not out off 129 deliveries.

Although the only wicket South Africa had claimed on Tuesday came through a run out, the Proteas bowlers generally stuck to their task well. Anrich Nortje was especially impressive, running in tirelessly and delivering 150km/h thunderbolts, and he troubled the left-handed Warner in particular, several inside-edges narrowly avoiding the stumps.

Left-armer Marco Jansen was also probing and he had Smith dropped on nine, gloving a hook down the leg-side, wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne spilling a tough, diving chance.

Australia had resumed on 45 for one in pursuit of South Africa’s poor first innings of just 189, and made a bright start as Warner and Marnus Labuschagne took their stand to 54.

Warner had been particularly busy and intense, always looking for the extra run. His enthusiasm proved to be Labuschagne’s downfall, however, as he called his partner through for a second run on an overthrow, but the South African had run through the crease scampering what was a quick single in the first place, and, after trying to send Warner back, Labuschagne was run out at the bowler’s end for 14.

Keshav Maharaj had thrown the ball to Nortje, who had done well to transfer the throw on to the stumps from a couple of metres away.

But Warner and Smith have since added 156. This Australian batting line-up spares nobody when they get the bit between their teeth, and on a lovely batting pitch on a sweltering day in Melbourne, South Africa’s bowlers are once again in for plenty of toil after another dismal failure by their batsmen.

Head punishment leaves SA bowlers looking like battered old bakkies 0

Posted on May 31, 2023 by Ken

South Africa’s attack went from being a sleek, powerful sports car to a battered old bakkie in the space of an hour as Travis Head bashed a punishing unbeaten half-century to put Australia on the brink of seizing the lead after the first day of the first Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on Saturday.

Replying to South Africa’s mediocre 152 all out, Australia reached stumps on 145 for five, with Head producing a great knock of 78 not out off just 77 balls.

The Proteas made a great start in the field as Kagiso Rabada delivered a pinpoint short ball to David Warner first up, the left-hander trying to fend the ball away, but Khaya Zondo, leaping up at short-leg, taking a miraculous one-handed catch.

Left-arm quick Marco Jansen then struck with his first ball as he had Marnus Labuschagne (11) caught in the slips, and in the next over, Anrich Nortje removed Usman Khawaja, also for 11, 12th man Simon Harmer taking a sharp catch in the slips.

Australia were 27 for three and the Proteas pace attack was looking like a mean machine. Steven Smith and Head then dug in initially, but once they had doubled the score, they shifted gears. Smith pulled and drove Nortje for boundaries in the 18th over, and Head collected a couple of fours in the next over, as spinner Keshav Maharaj was introduced to the attack.

The Proteas began losing their lines and lengths and boundary balls were regularly on offer, with Head and Smith seizing their opportunities to score with alacrity. In the six overs from the 18th to the 23rd, 58 runs were hammered as the momentum was emphatically shifted.

South Africa did regain their composure at the end of the day though, as Nortje produced a superb delivery to rip through Smith’s gate and bowl him for 36, while Rabada nipped the ball away from nightwatchman Scott Boland (1) to have him caught behind with what became the last ball of the day.

The Proteas batting continues to confound even the most expert panel of batting coaches as they were dismissed in just 48.2 overs before tea, crumbling from 125 for four to 152 all out.

Sent in to bat on a pitch that was just a slightly paler shade of green than the outfield, South Africa’s top-order was blasted out with just 27 runs on the board. Captain Dean Elgar (3) and Rassie van der Dussen (5) were both caught behind, off Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins (12.2-3-35-2) respectively, before Boland (11-2-28-2) took two wickets in his second over, having Sarel Erwee well-caught by Cameron Green in the gully for 10 and then trapping Zondo lbw for a two-ball duck.

But Temba Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne are probably two of the most determined batsmen in the Proteas line-up and they did invaluable repair work with a fifth-wicket stand of 98.

Verreynne counter-attacked and belted eight fours and a six in his 64, while Bavuma was typically defiant in putting up 38 vital runs.

Left-arm paceman Starc (14-1-41-3) made the breakthrough when he swung the ball back into Bavuma from over the wicket, the batsman inside-edging into his stumps.

Jansen (2) then tried to hammer off-spinner Nathan Lyon (8-2-14-3) out of the ground but could only sky a catch, leaving the bowlers exposed and they were quickly removed by the Australians.

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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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