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Ken Borland

Coach Pretorius not hitting the roof as Lions hope for sun 0

Posted on May 10, 2024 by Ken

The DP World Lions ladies team will be hoping for two days of sun and better basics as they take on the Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers in Johannesburg this weekend, following their disappointing trip to Durban three weeks ago.

The Lions were frustrated to have their one-day match against the Dolphins abandoned due to rain, seeing them slip to fifth in the standings, and they then suffered a 10-wicket defeat in the T20 game.

But it’s not like coach Shaun Pretorius hit the roof or anything, he knows our DP World Lions ladies are not far off from winning form. Just one win in the One-Day Cup will lift them back up to third.

“Things didn’t go according to plan in Durban, and there were small things that we can learn from; the only way you’re going to learn those lessons is on the park,” Pretorius said.

“I’m quite confident actually that if we stick to the basics and follow our game-plans, then we have got enough ability to win this weekend. There are still good things happening around the team, there’s no stress.

“If we execute in the right phases of the game, if we get a grip on the game and then hang on to it, then we are capable of a bonus point win which has a massive effect on the log. It’s about handling situations, not overthinking things. We must focus on the ball being delivered now and not look too far ahead. One ball can change the game,” Pretorius said.

They may be feeling a little blue after recent results, but Pretorius has been reminding our #PrideOfJozi of past successes and epic performances like chasing 250 twice at the DP World Wanderers Stadium before.

Our Pride will be without Chloe Tryon and Shabnim Ismail, who are in India for the IPL, and young stars Karabo Meso and Jenna Evans, who are representing South Africa at the Africa Games in Ghana.

But the DP World Lions are not about individuals, but the system, and Pretorius backs the squad for this weekend to put their hands up in the key phases of the game.

Proteas star Tazmin Brits battered a century off the Lions in their meeting in Oudtshoorn in November, but our Pride will not be overly focused on her. Besides, the DP World Lions have experienced, quality Proteas batters of their own in Kirstie Thomson, Sunette Viljoen-Louw and Nonkululeko Thabethe.

Not much Proteas batsmen can do about structural issues, but basics can be better – Zondo 0

Posted on June 15, 2023 by Ken

Khaya Zondo and the rest of the Proteas batsmen in Australia can’t do much now about the structural issues in South African domestic cricket that are undermining the batting at international level, but the Test rookie did mention some basics of the game that he and his colleagues can do better to ensure they get more runs on the board in the second Test starting in Melbourne on Boxing Day.

The 32-year-old Zondo had batted in just two previous Test innings before he was thrown on to the Gabba minefield, but his 36 not out in the second innings was a defiant, plucky effort that would have given him some confidence for the rest of the series.

“It’s just a matter of really applying ourselves, getting really focused and making sure that we are present at the crease at all times,” Zondo said on Wednesday.

“A lot of the guys are new to Test cricket and there is a lot of intensity at that level, so we need to really focus on the ball. We need to bring all our soul and might while there at the crease.

“You’ve got to find a way to work through the challenges. It’s been a tough year of international cricket for the Proteas, playing in New Zealand, England and Australia is tough.

“And most of the pitches have been really tough. Test cricket tests your technique, makes you play with a straight blade because the ball is always between the stumps and you have to make sure you defend them,” Zondo said.

Watching the ball seems like an obvious thing for a professional cricketer to do, but there are levels and Zondo said his focus on every delivery has been something he has had to work on, even between innings in Brisbane.

“In the first innings, when I was lbw [for a two-ball duck], the ball nipped back quickly. So in the second innings I was trying to react ahead of the ball, watch the ball more closely,” Zondo said.

“Australia bowled very well, they were on the money. They realised there was a lot happening and they bowled a lot straighter. So it takes better defence to ensure you keep the good balls out.

“Playing for the SA A side and a bit of ODI cricket [6 matches] helped me adjust to this level, but there’s quite a difference in intensity and execution of skills. They were ruthless in their skills and their basics are sharp.

“You need to really defend your stumps and watch your off-stump. There’s not much to score off, but you can’t just sit there and think you’ll survive, because the bowlers will work you out,” Zondo said.

Proteas look to marry batting basics with more dashing strokeplay 0

Posted on August 16, 2022 by Ken

Following their historic one-off Test against England, the Proteas Women now begin their preparations for the ODI and T20 series that will be played over the next two weeks, and will be looking to marry the batting basics they showed in the longer format with the more dashing strokeplay required against the white ball.

Star batter Laura Wolvaardt is probably not alone in being quite pleased to return to what she is more used to facing.

“The red ball was very tough to face, it was quite a challenge up front,” Wolvaardt said. “And there were some very tough conditions to deal with too, plus the Duke ball does a lot more than we’re used to.

“So I had to concentrate on leaving a lot of balls, which I’m not used to, especially since so much of my game is about cover-drives and going after wide balls. So it was quite a mental challenge as well.

“Test batting is all about technique and getting in strong positions, and the basics stay the same, so it’s good I’ve done that work ahead of the white-ball games and hopefully my timing will be there.

“It also helps having faced their bowlers in tough situations, and hopefully the white ball doesn’t do as much. But the ODIs are a format we enjoy and we’re very good at it,” Wolvaardt said.

The South African bowlers have also borne a heavy burden, but the chance to avenge their semi-final loss to England in the World Cup at the end of March is no doubt going to motivate and energise the squad.

“It was a big effort from our bowlers. Marizanne Kapp scored an incredible 150 and then bowled 16 overs the next day, and Nadine de Klerk bowled 23 overs in one day.

“But we are all very excited for the white-ball series. We’ve had a mixed bag of results against England recently: we won the first game against them at the World Cup but then we were very disappointed to lose the semi-final.

“Hopefully we can get a bit of payback for the semi-final. It feels like a long time ago, but it was still this year that it happened,” Wolvaardt said.

The first ODI in the three-match series will be played next Monday in Northampton.

Notshe has the x-factor gene, but his focus is on the basics 0

Posted on April 25, 2022 by Ken

Sharks eighthman Sikhumbuzo Notshe certainly has the x-factor gene in abundance, but he says his focus is on the basics as he continues his comeback from serious injury. It is an attitude the profligate Sharks team in general would probably benefit from after their embarrassing lack of finishing cost them against Edinburgh last weekend.

Notshe ruptured his patella last May and only returned to action at the beginning of February. Starting in the Currie Cup, his form has been good enough to see him reinstalled as the Sharks’ first-choice eighthman in the United Rugby Championship side.

“There are always a lot of extras one can focus on in rugby and I know I’ve got x-factor,” Notshe said on Tuesday. “But that’s not my focus going into games.

“I just try and get into as many battles as I can, make as many tackles as I can, make sure I set the maul properly if that’s my job.

“I just try and do the industrial work first, my other abilities will come naturally. In terms of my best, I’m not there yet and I am still working hard.

“The road to recovery was tough, but I had the best rehab and support I could get here at the Sharks in Dean Macquet [head physio] and Jimmy Wright [head biokineticist]. But it was a helluva road,” Notshe said.

In terms of fixing the disgraceful finishing shown in their last match, when they spent much of the game in the Edinburgh 22 but could only score one try, Notshe said you needed to look at individual errors, which can only be fixed on the training field.

“Our conversion rate in the 22 has not been great, we know how to get there but we just can’t finish off our opportunities.

“It comes down to individual errors and we need to clean up our own personal games. You can only do that through time in the saddle, on the training pitch. We need to put ourselves in those situations over and over again.

“And you can never make the weather an excuse. We’re playing at home, in front of our people, so we must always have energy. We can control that but we can’t control the weather.

“We don’t want to be a side that makes excuses and you can’t wait for a sunny day in Durban. We must always express ourselves,” Notshe said.

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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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