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Ken Borland



Powerhouse Lions field top-class outfit for T20 opener 0

Posted on May 10, 2024 by Ken

A “powerhouse” DP World Lions men’s team are determined to claim a second trophy this season as they start their CSA T20 Challenge campaign against the GBets Rocks in Johannesburg on Friday night, and they will be fielding a top-class outfit.

The #PrideOfJozi boast a couple of players named in the Betway SA20 Team of the Tournament in Ryan Rickelton and Wiaan Mulder, there is a thrilling prospect of Kagiso Rabada and his protégé Kwena Maphaka sharing the new ball, and a wonderful batting line-up with other Proteas stars in Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma.

Apart from Rickelton and Mulder blazing a trail in the SA20, the DP World Lions are guided by a coach in Russell Domingo who has played a key role in the Sunrisers Eastern Cape winning back-to-back titles as their batting coach. The experienced Domingo will know exactly how to play winning T20 cricket in South Africa.

Rickelton, who was the leading run-scorer in the SA20 with 530 runs at an average of 58.89 and a strike-rate of 173.77, is setting a confident tone right up front.

“We will have a full squad, barring KG when he goes to the IPL, so we have a powerhouse team, obviously we’re going to put our names up for the overall win. We would be upset if we don’t get that far and we’re really looking forward to it after winning the four-day title, which was a big incentive for us because we haven’t won that in a while,” Rickelton said.

“While the tournament was obviously a major let-down for us at MI Cape Town, I have clarity about my batting. Coach Robbie [Peterson] was quite decisive about what he wanted us to do and we really strived to win the powerplay. So I had to execute my role as well as I can with Rassie, because of the power we had to come behind.

“The opportunity was there to really take the game on there up front, to really maximise the powerplay. I had the freedom to fail and I just tried to keep it simple, while training specifics. Now I want to make sure I make an impact for the Lions, that is hugely important for me,” Rickelton said.

All-rounder Mulder earned a spot in the SA20 Team of the Tournament mostly for his batting, where he averaged a healthy 37.13 and scored at a dynamic 157.14, continuing what has been a top-class summer with the bat. Mulder shone as a finisher, but also as a safeguard who could come in during the powerplay and lay a platform for the spectacular hitting of Heinrich Klaasen.

Mulder said he went into the competition with confidence, thanks to, again, the freedom given him by the DP World Lions coaches, and a clear job description from Durban Super Giants coach Lance Klusener.

“Russell Domingo and Hashim Amla have been incredible for my game, they have really motivated me and allowed me to just go and play, to break the shackles. Because of them I took a lot of confidence into the SA20.

“I discovered a couple of new things about my game during the tournament. I worked really hard on playing spin and finishing, which is a part of the game Mark Boucher told me he didn’t think I had when he was Proteas coach. I spent quite a lot of time working with Heinrich and Dwaine Pretorius, but I’m never going to be that type of batter, having a perfect swing and getting carried away hitting sixes.

“But I can hit space and I can score different sorts of boundaries, I can still score 50 off 25 balls. Lance backs me quite a lot, my technique gave me the opportunity to bat in the top five and my role was to face quite a lot of balls and protect Heinrich. You can get some real jaffas in the powerplay, but you can play with a lot of freedom afterwards,” Mulder said.

With the players that the Lions have, playing at a fast-action venue like the DP World Wanderers Stadium, and with so many of them knowing exactly what to do to win T20 games, there is no reason why our Pride should not back themselves to bring home another trophy.

Frustrating draw will ensure Lions bring ferocious intensity into Titans derby 0

Posted on April 03, 2024 by Ken

A frustrating draw against the GBets Rocks last weekend will ensure that the DP World Lions men’s team will bring a ferocious intensity into their local derby against the Momentum Multiply Titans at Centurion from Wednesday as they chase a place in the CSA 4-Day Series final.

Our Lions were in rampant form against the Rocks at the DP World Wanderers Stadium, a fine all-round bowling effort seeing the Bolanders bowled out for just 226 on the first day. The Pride then gathered a formidable 252-run first-innings lead as captain Dominic Hendricks led from the front with an innings of great determination and quality bringing him 135 runs. Wiaan Mulder then blazed 141 off 128 balls and there were also classy half-centuries from Ryan Rickelton and Temba Bavuma.

The Lions then reduced the Rocks to 36 for three in their second innings, raising hopes of a victory that would have taken them to the top of the log. But tremendous rearguard centuries by Pieter Malan and Jean du Plessis, and an 84 not out on debut by Nathan Engelbrecht, denied the Lions as the pitch seemed to just get better and better for batting.

Nevertheless, our Pride are still very much in contention for a place in the final, third in the standings on 95.50 points. They are just 8.02 points behind the log-leading Dolphins, so if they beat the Titans (102pts) this week then they are bound to finish in the top two.

“It’s just one of those things,” Hendricks said. “The pitch didn’t really deteriorate, there was just a little bit of variable bounce. So it was a phenomenal effort to take 19 wickets on a batting-friendly surface. It showed good skills and a desire not to turn down a challenge, so I was very chuffed for the bowlers and their monumental effort.

“It’s knockout cricket against the Titans, like a semi-final with the winners having the opportunity to play in the final. It’s the Jukskei derby and we will be up for it, matches against them are always a challenge, a good test of skills and the big thing is to be highly competitive for as long as possible.

“But it’s not rocket science, we will need to play good, old-fashioned cricket against them, good simple cricket. We will try to force mistakes and then capitalise on them. Even if we win on the fourth day, we will be happy, and we won’t worry about what the other teams are doing,” Hendricks said.

The left-handed opener admitted to some personal frustration this season before notching his first century of the campaign against the Rocks, more than doubling his tally of runs.

“It’s been a while since I scored a first-class century, I’ve had quite a few opportunities over the last couple of seasons which I didn’t convert, so it’s been very frustrating.

“So there was certainly some inward determination and grit to make sure that ‘today was the day’. There was not a helluva lot of assistance for the bowlers, unlike some of the tricky wickets at the beginning of the season, so I just wanted to knuckle down, get stuck in and bat for as long as I can,” Hendricks said.

Pace bowler Lutho Sipamla seems to have proven his fitness by bowling several spells during breaks in play against the Rocks. The condition of the Centurion pitch will determine whether he is brought back into the XI, however.

“The SuperSport Park pitch has generally done a bit more than the Wanderers this season, and it’s quicker with more bounce. So it will be a nice challenge,” Hendricks said.

Buccaneering SA20 trio return to 4-day action for Lions 0

Posted on February 21, 2024 by Ken

Ryan Rickelton, Wiaan Mulder and Mitchell van Buuren will all return to four-day action for the DP World Lions on Wednesday, fresh from their buccaneering batting exploits in the SA20, but the Pride will also welcome back two vital backroom members of the triumphant Sunrisers Eastern Cape to the team for their meeting with the Gbets Rocks in Johannesburg.

DP World Lions head coach Russell Domingo played a key role, as batting coach, in the Sunrisers claiming back-to-back SA20 titles at the weekend, and now he is eager for our Pride to seal a place in the four-day final.

Also returning to the DP World Wanderers Stadium is national Test captain Temba Bavuma, who is over his injury problems and, even though he played just the one game for the Sunrisers, scoring 33, he had an important effect on the happy mood and outstanding culture of the champions’ camp.

Bavuma’s addition nicely makes up for the absence of our Lions’ leading run-scorer in the four-day competition this season, Zubayr Hamza, who is with the Proteas in New Zealand.

The Lions’ two strike bowlers, Tshepo Moreki and Duanne Olivier, are also involved in that Test series.

With Rickelton, Mulder and Van Buuren all consistently amongst the runs in the SA20, it is an in-form and confident home batting line-up that will take the field at the DP World Wanderers.

Rickelton was the leading run-scorer in the SA20 with 530 in just 10 innings for MI Cape Town, who were eliminated before the playoffs. The left-hander was at his best as he scored at a phenomenal strike-rate of 173.77.

Mulder was one of the main reasons the Durban Super Giants reached the final, his 297 runs putting him in the top-10. His tally included three half-centuries, while he scored at a blazing strike-rate of 157.14.

Van Buuren had a solid campaign with the Paarl Royals, making 221 runs at 31.57.

The DP World Lions go into the penultimate CSA 4-Day Series match in third place on the log, but they are just 0.12 points behind the second-placed Warriors and 11.48 points adrift of the leaders, the Titans. So a place in the final and even hosting that five-day match is well on the cards for our Pride.

“It was a great time with the Sunrisers and obviously wonderful to win the trophy again, but now my full attention is on the four-day prize,” Domingo said. “There are two big games ahead for the Lions and we’re obviously missing a few players in New Zealand.

“But it’s very lucky for us to have Temba back, he’s fit and ready to play again and very keen to score lots of runs. Wiaan Mulder is also back after he missed our last game. Both he and Ryan Rickelton had fantastic SA20 tournaments, Mitchell van Buuren did really well and Codi Yusuf bowled nicely too.

“Any cricket played ahead of the four-day restart is good and we’re lucky that we have a few players who have been involved in very intense cricket. They will certainly come in match-ready and I’m really pleased that the Lions guys mostly played very well in the SA20,” Domingo said.

Although the Boland team will be without key players in Shaun von Berg, Clyde Fortuin and Keegan Petersen, who are in New Zealand with the Proteas, most of the rest of their squad would have been able to plan with much forethought ahead of their trip to Johannesburg for the return of red-ball cricket. Fast bowler Hardus Viljoen is the only member of their squad who saw much SA20 action.

“The Malan brothers [Janneman and Pieter], Stiaan van Zyl and Hardus Viljoen – those are all players with international experience and we know the Rocks are a tough unit. They would have worked hard on their skills these last few weeks and they have a lot to play for too, it’s a big game for them as well,” Domingo said, referring to their log-position of sixth, which could leave them flirting with the relegation zone.

Paceman Lutho Sipamla, who has not played a four-day game for the Lions this season due to injury, has been named in the squad and seems almost ready to play, pending the outcome of nets and a fitness test on Tuesday.

DP World Lions squad – Dominic Hendricks (capt), Josh Richards, Temba Bavuma, Ryan Rickelton, Wiaan Mulder, Mitchell van Buuren, Wandile Makwetu, Bjorn Fortuin, Delano Potgieter, Malusi Siboto, Codi Yusuf, Muhammad Manack, Connor Esterhuizen, Lutho Sipamla.

Boland surrender T20 Challenge title in maudlin fashion 0

Posted on January 27, 2023 by Ken

The Boland Rocks surrendered their CSA T20 Challenge title in maudlin fashion on Wednesday night as they bowed out at the semi-final stage, losing by 20 runs to the KZN Dolphins in Potchefstroom.

Having sent the Dolphins in to bat, the excellent Boland bowlers dominated all but the first five overs and the last over of the innings as they bowled KZN out for 146 in the final over.

Openers Grant Roelofsen (26) and Keegan Petersen (25) added 42 off 35 balls up front, but the Dolphins then crashed to 124/8. KZN captain Prenelan Subrayen hit 22 off 11 balls at the death to boost his team to a total that they felt they could defend on a two-paced pitch.

After Eathan Bosch had Leus du Plooy caught behind for a first-ball duck, Janneman Malan gave Boland a good start, scoring 31 off 29 balls to take them to 40/1 in the powerplay. But the arrival of spinners Subrayen and Jon-Jon Smuts began a sorry tale for the Rocks.

Left-arm spinner Smuts struck with his first delivery, beating the dangerous Clyde Fortuin in the flight and bowling him for 7. Malan could only score six runs off the 10 balls he faced from the spinners, before being outdone by off-spinner Subrayen’s arm ball and being neatly stumped by Roelofsen for 37.

Subrayen (4-0-18-3) and Smuts (4-0-17-2) then reduced the Dolphins to 65/6 in the 13th over.

Farhaan Behardien (31*) and Hardus Viljoen (22 off 18) tried valiantly to rescue the sinking ship, but Boland limped to 126/8 in the end.

The Dolphins now meet the Northerns Titans in Saturday’s final, and they will bring a proper all-round bowling attack to the contest.

Bosch’s control set an excellent tone up front as he finished with 1/22 in his four overs and Ottneil Baartman is also a primary weapon, taking 1/29 in four on Wednesday.

Daryn Dupavillon’s pace makes him a proper threat, and he bowled just one poor over, which cost 16 runs, but bowled well at the death with Baartman to ensure the Dolphins’ dominance was reflected in the final result.

Bamanye Xenxe, a real talent unearthed by this tournament, was the best of the Boland bowlers with 4/34, but he did concede 17 off the last over.

Leg-spinner Shaun von Berg took 3/22 in his four overs, but a couple of his wickets were gifted by the Dolphins hitting long-hops to fielders. His dismissal of Andile Simelane for a duck, beautifully stumped by Fortuin, was a masterful piece of cricket, however.

Ferisco Adams once again showed his T20 skills by taking 1/19 in four overs.

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  • Thought of the Day

    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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