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Ken Borland

A cricket ball that was a pivotal item of lost property at SuperSport Park 0

Posted on December 17, 2020 by Ken

A cricket ball that had had 116 runs belted off it by the opening batsmen was a pivotal item of lost property at SuperSport Park on Sunday as the Dolphins staged an impressive comeback against the Titans.

Having won the toss and batted, the probable Proteas opening pair at the same venue on Boxing Day, Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar, showed their class as they reached 92 without loss at lunch.

The runs were then flowing after the break when Markram unleashed a powerful straight drive for four off Daryn Dupavillon. Bizarrely, the Dolphins then could not find the ball and, after several minutes, a change of ball was ordered by the umpires.

And it proved a turning point as Elgar was caught in the slips off Ottneil Baartman in the next over for 52. Worse was to come in Dupavillon’s next over when the fast bowler got his hand to another fierce straight drive by Markram, deflecting the ball on to the stumps and running out Neil Brand for a duck.

Former Northerns star Ruan de Swardt then took over, removing the in-form Markram for 75 with the help of a superb catch at gully by Andile Phehlukwayo, and the seamer finished the day with career-best figures of four for 41 in 15 overs, nipping the ball in and out, as he did to great effect when he had Diego Rosier caught behind for 27.

With left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj getting some late reward for his lovely bowling all day, the Titans closed on 269 for nine. Maharaj ended the first day with figures of 23-9-48-3, winning his battle with Theunis de Bruyn (22), before Dayyaan Galiem denied him late in the day with a crucial contribution of 45 not out.

Batting at St George’s Park is even tougher, with the match between the Warriors and Cape Cobras looking already as if it is heading for an early finish.

The Warriors were bowled out for just 194 after winning the toss and batting, thanks in the main to Rudi Second’s 55.

Spinner George Linde wrapped up the tail to finish with four for 52, but Akhona Mnyaka (9-2-34-2) and Calvin Savage (15-7-23-2) were the chief threats.

The Cobras then struggled to 72 for three at stumps, but opener Pieter Malan, who is unfortunate not to be in the Test squad, is still there on 35 not out, along with Kyle Verreynne on 21*.

Glenton Stuurman, who is hoping for a Test debut after Christmas, was a handful up front, taking two for nine in nine overs.

In Bloemfontein, the Knights scored 327 for six after batting first, with Raynard van Tonder the only batsman to flourish, scoring a phenomenal 180 not out off just 226 balls against the Imperial Lions, the defending champions.

Van Tonder, who also has reason to feel hard done by with his exclusion from the Test squad, certainly gave the selectors more to think about as he stroked 23 fours and two sixes. No-one else scored more than 28 as pacemen Lutho Sipamla and Tladi Bokako took two wickets apiece.

Handling & defence chief concerns for Nollis 2

Posted on March 27, 2017 by Ken


Handling errors and poor defence were the chief concerns of Bulls coach Nollis Marais following their dismal display in Albany which saw them being belted 38-14 by the Blues at the weekend.

Despite having their fair share of possession and shading the territory battle, the Bulls were outscored by six tries to two and fell apart badly in the second half after going into the break level at 7-7.

“We were very competitive in the first half but we didn’t take our chances in the second half. We made too many errors with our handling and we couldn’t convert from the lineout. We gave them too many opportunities and obviously the defence is definitely a concern.

“We conceded too many points in the second half and we will have to look at that, re-visit our defence,” Marais said.

The Bulls allowed 13 linebreaks and missed 24 tackles against the Blues, and have now conceded 17 tries in four matches.

The Blues had won just one of their four matches prior to their meeting with the Bulls, who now face far tougher opposition in the form of the unbeaten Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

“There will definitely be one or two changes to the team, but we’re not going to change structurally, we have to make sure everything is in place for next Saturday,” the coach said.

The scrums were perhaps the only area where the Bulls did themselves justice.

“It was a great performance in the scrums, Trevor Nyakane did really well at tighthead, and we were dominant there, so that was a very good positive,” Marais said.

“But we didn’t take our chances in the second half, we wasted too many opportunities. A couple of times we were in their 22 but we didn’t convert that into points either.”


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