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Ken Borland

Like an actor ascending to the lead role, Maphaka claims the Wanderers as his own stage 0

Posted on June 10, 2024 by Ken

Like an actor ascending to the lead role, Kwena Maphaka made the famous DP World Wanderers Stadium his own stage on Sunday as he bowled the Pride to a Super Over victory over old rivals World Sports Betting Western Province in their CSA T20 Challenge match.

After a rain-interrupted game was tied during the regular 20 overs each, Maphaka defended 10 runs in the Super Over, against two experienced internationals in Kyle Verreynne and George Linde, conceding just nine runs. The 17-year-old, still in school doing his matric year at St Stithians, bowled beautifully full and straight, and was in no way overawed by a task that has turned more experienced bowlers into jelly.

It meant back-to-back one-run wins for the DP World Lions men’s team as they also edged the Momentum Multiply Titans by one run on Friday night in a thrilling Jukskei Derby. The two sensational wins mean the Lions remain second on the log, well in-touch with the leaders, the Dafabet Warriors.

Western Province decided to bat first, but the DP World Lions bowlers were wonderfully disciplined and accurate, restricting the visitors to 127 for nine.

Pacemen Lutho Sipamla (4-0-20-2) and Codi Yusuf (4-0-28-2) were the bowlers who did the most damage, but fellow seamers Maphaka (4-1-27-1) and Evan Jones (3-0-20-1), and spinner Bjorn Fortuin (4-0-22-1) were all excellent too.

But the afternoon thunderstorm that covered a large tract of Johannesburg then arrived at the DP World Wanderers Stadium between innings and definitely did not help the Lions.

After an hour-long delay, the Lions were set a revised target of 81 in 11 overs and were going well on 27 without loss in 3.5 overs, needing just 54 more to win off 43 balls, when the threat of lightning forced the umpires to suspend play again.

After 25 minutes, play resumed with the DP World Lions set another revised target of 52 in seven overs, meaning they needed 25 off 19 balls. That was then whittled down to eight runs required from the final over, and then one run from one ball. But veteran WP seamer Wayne Parnell bowled the last ball exactly where he needed to with his tight off-side field, and Reeza Hendricks (12) was caught at extra cover. That left the scores tied, which was why there was a Super Over to decide where the four log points were going.

Ryan Rickelton and Jones managed to get 10 runs off Parnell, and then Maphaka stepped up and delivered an over that was worthy of the cacophonous acclaim from the DP World Wanderers Stadium, worthy of the brass band in attendance and not vuvuzelas.

The #PrideOfJozi were sent in to bat by the Titans in Friday night’s game and were in early trouble on 54 for four in the ninth over. But a partnership of 81 off 57 balls between Wiaan Mulder (48) and Mitchell van Buuren (37*), and then the big finish provided by Delano Potgieter’s 32 not out off just 15 deliveries would have had Lions fans celebrating from Sandton City to the Oriental Plaza to Walter Sisulu Square.

Having posted 183 for five, the DP World Lions then had the mettle and the execution to keep the Titans to 182 for six.

The Titans chase revolved around Rivaldo Moonsamy’s 88 off 62 balls, but Codi Yusuf had him caught at midwicket in the 17th over for the crucial breakthrough.

Maphaka then only conceded four runs in the 18th over, while claiming the wicket of the dangerous Dayyaan Galiem, and the pace and skill of Yusuf and Kagiso Rabada (4-0-24-1) then finished the deal.

Fortuin was once again outstanding with two for 23 in his four overs.

The Pride will be back in action again on Saturday as they take on the AET Tuskers from KwaZulu-Natal Inland on Saturday at the DP World Wanderers Stadium.

Seven wickets from the spinners bowls Titans to victory 0

Posted on January 27, 2023 by Ken

Seven wickets from the spinners bowled the Northerns Titans to a 38-run victory over the Free State Knights in their CSA T20 Challenge semi-final in Potchefstroom on Wednesday.

A vastly-improved Knights attack meant the Titans could only score 158 from their 20 overs, compared to the record 271/3 they made just two days earlier.

Free State were well in the game on 92/3, having benefited from a bright start from openers Gihahn Cloete (21) and Jacques Snyman (33), but from the 15th over onwards it was one-way traffic as the Northerns spinners took control.

Five wickets were claimed in the space of 22 deliveries as the Knights crashed to 111/8, and they eventually closed on 120/8.

Left-arm spinner Neil Brand did the bulk of the damage with 3/24 from his four overs, but there was much pressure exerted from the other end as well, with orthodox left-armer Aaron Phangiso (3-0-16-1), off-spinner Simon Harmer (4-0-22-2) and leggie Dewald Brevis (3-0-15-1) all emerging from the match with excellent figures.

Northerns had elected to bat first, but with fast bowler Gerald Coetzee roaring in with impressive pace, the Knights turned their frustrations and humiliation from their previous meeting into redemption.

Coetzee roughed up their nemesis Brevis, and fellow quick Migael Pretorius then roared with delight as he had the prodigious talent caught at mid-on for just 9, trying to drive on the up.

It was a real arm-wrestle for the Titans, but Jiveshan Pillay scored a composed 33 off 24 balls, and the experienced Theunis de Bruyn (36 off 28) and Sibonelo Makhanya (45 off 34) shared a key partnership of 48 for the third wicket in 6.2 overs.

Coetzee (4-0-28-2) was outstanding in leading a Knights attack that was as smart as it was ferocious, with Mbulelo Budaza (4-0-22-1) and Alfred Mothoa (4-0-31-0) also impressive.

Off-spinner Jacques Snyman (3-0-17-1) was also hard to get away, but the Titans had given themselves enough of a total for their spinners to run rampant once again.

Years since Australia had such volumes of rain & Proteas warm-up falls victim 0

Posted on January 04, 2023 by Ken

It’s been many years since Australia experienced such volumes of rainfall as they are at the moment and the Proteas fell victim to the inclement weather on Wednesday when their second and final warm-up match for the T20 World Cup, against Bangladesh in Brisbane, was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

South Africa will open their World Cup campaign on Monday in Hobart against the top qualifier from Group B, in which Scotland, Zimbabwe, West Indies and Ireland are all locked on two points.

The abandonment of the Bangladesh game happened without there being a toss, so we don’t know whether appointed captain Temba Bavuma was going to play or not. But his form in a year so badly disrupted by injury and illness has been the biggest talking point in South African cricket of late, and there is no doubt he would have loved to have gathered some much-needed runs under his belt.

For the rest of the Proteas team, the weather was a mild irritation and Rilee Rossouw, such a well-travelled T20 player these days, said they are ready for when their curtain comes up on Monday.

“Some guys might be frustrated that we couldn’t play today, but for the others, we’re pretty much ready to go,” Rossouw said. “It’s something we couldn’t control and it’s unfortunate that we did not play today.

“But the guys put in a good shift in the indoor nets and the team is very confident, we have played a lot of cricket over the last month, we’ve had a lot of game-time.

“The boys are ready, playing good cricket and excited for that first match,” Rossouw said.

While Bavuma’s woes would almost certainly see him left out of Monday’s starting XI if he were not the captain, at least the Proteas know they have a ready-made, in-form replacement in Reeza Hendricks. Either him or Rossouw could comfortably open the batting with Quinton de Kock.

In the absence of both Bavuma and De Kock in the first warm-up game – the nine-wicket hammering of New Zealand – Hendricks and Rossouw opened the batting and put on 66 at 10-runs-an-over. It’s been six-and-a-half years since they played together in the Free State Knights team and Rossouw is hoping his former provincial team-mate can really announce himself on the global stage considering the great form he is in at present.

“Reeza and I go a long way back and it’s always nice to bat with him, he always brings something special,” Rossouw said.

“I hope he gets the chance to show the world what he’s about. We are all much better players than we were in those Knights days, we’ve learned from experience and from each other. And he is world-class,” Rossouw said.

Fitness of SA batting for Test cricket again called into question 0

Posted on October 25, 2022 by Ken

The fitness of South Africa’s batting line-up for Test cricket was once again called into question as they were bowled out cheaply for the second time in the third Test against England, with the home side rushing to the brink of victory until only poor light stopped them at The Oval on Sunday evening.

This was despite restricting England to just a 40-run first-innings lead and a first-wicket stand of 58 between Sarel Erwee (26) and Dean Elgar (36). England’s pacemen once again bowled superbly to dismiss South Africa for just 169 in their second innings, leaving them with a target of 130 for victory, and openers Zak Crawley (57 not out off just 44 balls) and Alex Lees (32*) batted in dashing fashion to get them to 97 without loss in just 17 overs. England will need just 33 more runs on Monday’s final morning to win the Test and the series.

It was a sad ending to the day for the Proteas after they had enjoyed a magnificent morning session.

England had resumed their first innings on 154/7 and Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen needed just 16 balls to wrap up the innings for only 158.

Jansen (12.2-2-35-5) claimed his maiden five-wicket haul and showed what a bright future he has as a Test strike bowler, while Rabada showed that class is permanent as he rebounded from a poor first eight wicketless overs for 63 runs to end with 4/81 in 13 overs.

South Africa were looking good on 70/1 at lunch, but three overs after the break, Elgar showed poor decision-making as he failed to review when Stuart Broad, bowling around the wicket and angling the ball into the left-hander, won an lbw decision against him. Replays showed the ball was clearly missing leg-stump and Elgar’s battling innings ended on 36.

Veteran quicks Broad (13-2-45-3) and Anderson (15.2-4-37-2) then turned the screw with some wonderful pressure bowling and the Proteas batsmen were simply unable to get out of their hole. They lost their last nine wickets for 86 runs, with Ben Stokes (13-2-39-3) once again taking key wickets and Ollie Robinson producing a telling double-strike against the middle-order as England got the ball swinging prodigiously.

Needing just 130, England were obviously overwhelming favourites and South Africa needed early wickets and quickly. Rabada found Lees’s outside edge with the first ball of the innings but Jansen, lunging to his left at fourth slip, dropped a two-handed chance.

The bowlers, having toted around such a heavy burden in this series due to the horribly misfiring batting, just could not lift themselves to perform any miracles after that.

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