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Ken Borland



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.

T20 auctions will be searching for Klaasen, as he showcases new game with pared down options 0

Posted on September 15, 2023 by Ken

Heinrich Klaasen heaves another boundary in his record-breaking innings against Australia.

Heinrich Klaasen ensured that he will remain one of the most sought-after players in whatever T20 league auctions he wishes to put his name forward for with a breathtaking, extraordinary innings at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday that blew Australia away and allowed South Africa to level the ODI series at 2-2.

Klaasen plundered 174 off just 83 deliveries to lead the Proteas, who had been sent in to bat, to an imposing 416 for five. Australia were then bowled out for 252, as South Africa registered their second biggest victory over their great rivals, triumphing by 164 runs.

The first half of the Proteas innings was a cautious affair as the top-order never seemed entirely sure what a two-paced pitch that also provided some nibble off the seam was going to do. After 25 overs, the score was 120 for two, Quinton de Kock (45), Reeza Hendricks (28) and Rassie van der Dussen (62 off 65 balls) having done a fine job in laying a solid platform.

The first ball of the 26th over saw Aiden Markram (8) caught at extra cover off Michael Neser, bringing Klaasen to the crease. Even though he breezed to a 38-ball half-century, he did not look as though he had hit top gear.

In fact, as Klaasen said later, it was actually Van der Dussen’s aggression that provided the spark. The pair of Pretoria-born batsmen had added 74 off 59 balls for the fourth wicket when Van der Dussen was caught behind attacking Josh Hazlewood, leaving South Africa on 194 for four in the 35th over.

What followed was utter mayhem as Klaasen and David Miller (82 not out off 45 balls) lashed another 222 runs off just 100 deliveries, including a scarcely-believable 173 runs in the last 10 overs. From eyeing 300 to hoping for 350 and then totally exceeding that too, it was an onslaught that brought back memories of the famous 438 game against the same rivals down the road at the Wanderers in 2006.

Remarkably, the Australian attack actually did not bowl as badly as the figures suggest. It was just that whatever plan they came up with for the rampant Klaasen, the 32-year-old had an answer and it almost always involved a boundary. He hit 13 fours and 13 sixes in less than two hours of batting. Middle-stump yorkers were blasted back over bowlers’ heads; full and wide deliveries were steered with an open blade over backward point.

And, counter-intuitively given how he seemed to have a shot for every delivery, Klaasen said his success these last couple of years is down to him actually decreasing the number of options he employs.

“In the last few years, the turning point for me has been taking a lot of options out of my bag. When I was young, you look up to a guy like AB de Villiers and you try and play all the shots.

“But the genius is in knowing when to play them. Like a golfer who’s trying to hit the green every time, you have to stick to the game-plan and use the right clubs. Now I have three different options for every game and I play every ball as it is, I don’t try and recap the previous ball.

“I didn’t know how many sixes I had hit, which shows I was only focused on the next moment, my mind was in the right space. I went through a bad phase in my career when I was taking a risk too early in my innings and I ended up being dropped from the Proteas.

“I came back to my domestic team [Titans] and my coaches [Mark Boucher, Richard das Neves and Matthew Reuben] said I’m using too many options. Richard and Matthew have done lots of work throwing thousands of balls at me, and Albie Morkel has also given me some great ideas,” Klaasen said on Friday night.

The willingness to avail himself of advice was also backed by an enormous amount of work in the nets.

“I never used to be one for hitting a lot of balls, but I had to because I had to invest in my batting. I developed a blueprint in training and it’s still working. Now I stand still and watch the ball and almost just let my body take over with what I’ve practised. It also involves a lot of homework on the opposition, it’s all about options and taking what’s on offer from the bowlers,” Klaasen said.

In the field, the Proteas were also much improved up front with the new ball. Lungi Ngidi removed both David Warner (12) and Mitchell Marsh (6) in the first five overs, and his final figures of four for 51 in eight overs were a welcome return to form for him.

The dangerous Travis Head was struck twice on the hand by the pacy but inconsistent Gerald Coetzee, and retired hurt for 17 off 11 balls, and it fell to wicketkeeper Alex Carey to try and keep things going with the bat for Australia.

Although never ahead of the steep required run-rate, the tourists were also not too far behind and when the towering frame of Tim David (35) began unveiling the big hits in a stand of 72 off 53 balls with Carey, it looked possible that the Proteas might still be involved in a close finish.

But Ngidi returned to remove David, Markram taking an excellent running catch at extra cover, and Kagiso Rabada then wrapped things up with three for 41 in 7.5 overs. Carey was the last wicket to fall, Rabada denying him a century when he had him caught behind gloving a hook for 99 off 77 deliveries.

The Proteas have discovered a new lease on life in the last two matches, setting up a series-decider at the Wanderers on Sunday. With Klaasen and Markram riding high after their extraordinary centuries in Potchefstroom and Centurion, and the rest of the batsmen in the runs too, the batting unit will go to the World Cup in good shape.

Spinner Keshav Maharaj, Ngidi and Rabada were impressive with the ball and the bowling attack will want to build on the progress shown.

In the meantime, Klaasen can bask in the glory of what he said was the sort of innings that only comes around once or twice in a career.

That’s how special it was.

Like snogging a slobber-mouthed dog as Titans set up for win while title slips away 0

Posted on March 14, 2023 by Ken

Young JP King shone with the bat for North-West.

If a tie is like kissing your sister then winning your last game but seeing your trophy hopes disappear could be like snogging a slobber-mouthed dog. The Northerns Titans maybe felt a bit like that as they set themselves up for a comfortable victory over the North-West Dragons at Centurion, but had to accept that they can no longer win the first-class competition.

The KZN Dolphins have assured themselves of the CSA 4-Day Series title and R1.5 million in prizemoney, even if they lose to the Central Gauteng Lions in Potchefstroom, because the 8.58 bonus points they gathered in the first innings push their tally to 118.04, which none of the other teams can overtake.

The Titans also face a battle for second place and the R750 000 prizemoney because if the Eastern Province Warriors bowl Western Province, currently 129 for three, out for less than 339 on Wednesday then they will pip Northerns by 0.5 of a point. There is no prizemoney for finishing third.

Northerns made heavy weather of bowling North-West out for 360 on Tuesday, letting catches slip and bowling messily. That left them with a potentially awkward target of 190 for victory, but openers Neil Brand and Modiri Litheko did a great job of lifting spirits in the home changeroom with a dashing unbeaten stand of 53 before stumps.

The Titans were probably eyeing the spoils of victory before tea when they claimed three early wickets on the third morning to reduce North-West to 90 for four, still 81 behind.

But Senuran Muthusamy and JP King took advantage of the crisis to prove their mettle. Muthusamy showed why new Test coach Shukri Conrad rates him so highly as he made a determined 62 to go with the six wickets he took in the Northerns first innings, while King, playing just his second game at Division I level, defied the Titans for four hours.

King eventually fell to the natural away-swing of Matthew Boast with the second new ball, but his 92 was a great effort, and the 10 fours and a six he struck showed he has the strokes to go with the determination.

Once Muthusamy was dismissed though, bowled by an excellent yorker from Boast, to leave North-West on 207 for five, just 36 ahead, there was a general laxity to the Titans performance. Perhaps the news had reached them that they were no longer playing for the title, but one would hope a R750 000 prize would still be motivation enough.

The Dragons tail wagged with enthusiasm in response and they added another 153 runs to give themselves a chance of winning their first four-day match this season. Duan Jansen was again an obstacle with 30 and then Juan James, the concussion substitute for Khaya Cotani, who was struck on the head first ball by Junior Dala, lashed 37 off 35 balls and put on 39 for the ninth wicket with Lwandiswa Zuma (15).

Boast was the best of the Northerns bowlers, finishing with three for 62 in 19 overs.

The Titans would have been unhappy with having let North-West come back into the match, but Brand was solid as ever at the top of the order as he reached 17 not out at stumps, while Litheko was in a rush, racing to 29 not out as he banished the memory of scoring just four runs in his last three innings.

Lions guts

The Central Gauteng Lions showed plenty of guts on Tuesday as they fought back superbly on the third day of their CSA 4-Day Series match against the KZN Dolphins in Potchefstroom.

The Dolphins had been calling the tune until Tuesday as they scored 329 and then reduced the Lions to 171 for eight. But the Central Gauteng team began their fightback with some brilliant resistance with the bat, led by Malusi Siboto.

Coming to the wicket at a difficult 128 for six, Siboto was involved in important partnerships of 27 with Connor Esterhuizen (36), 16 with Lutho Sipamla (12) and 26 with Codi Yusuf (14). But at 197 for nine, the Lions still faced a deficit of 132.

But Siboto and 19-year-old Liam Alder, making his first-class debut, then added a defiant 62 for the last wicket, making the trophy-hunting Dolphins really fight for the final wicket.

Siboto ended with a marvellous 54 not out off 167 balls, while Alder eventually fell for 23 off 63 deliveries. The last pair had crucially reduced the Lions’ first-innings deficit to just 70.

The bowlers then did a great job maintaining the comeback vibe for the Lions with Siboto having both Tshepang Dithole and Keegan Petersen caught behind, and spinner Alder claiming the wicket of first-innings top-scorer Marques Ackerman for just 10 as the Dolphins slipped to 68 for four.

Khaya Zondo (65) and Jason Smith (59) then added 111 for the fifth wicket, but Evan Jones then showed some proper skills with the old ball as he ripped through the lower-order, taking five for 46 as the Dolphins crashed from 179 for four to 222 all out.

Set a target of 293 for victory, the Lions were in good condition at stumps as they reached 64 for one.

Thando Ntini drew first blood when Josh Richards was unfortunate to be adjudged lbw for just 2, but instead of venting his spleen, captain Dominic Hendricks went about setting a solid foundation with his 32 not out.

Kagiso Rapulana also looked adept at the crease as he went to 30 not out, he and Hendricks adding 49 as the Lions went to stumps on 64 for one.

Needing another 229 runs to win, the Lions have certainly impressed with the way they have stayed professional right until the final day of the season, even though they can no longer win the four-day title, the Dolphins having accrued too many bonus points in the first innings to be overtaken.

Newlands

The Eastern Province Warriors are pushing hard for second place as they set Western Province a target of 339 to win at Newlands, the home side reaching 129 for three at stumps.

Glenton Stuurman had Jonathan Bird caught behind for 5 early on, and then returned to claim the key wicket of Zubayr Hamza, bowling him for 51.

Stuurman had earlier top-scored for the Warriors with his 38 lifting them to 184 all out. Left-arm spinner George Linde was the destroyer-in-chief for Western Province, taking three for 25 in 13 overs.

Knights hammer Rocks

The final round’s other game has already been completed with the relegated Free State Knights hammering the Boland Rocks by nine wickets.

Despite a second-wicket partnership of 146 between Pieter Malan (86) and Clyde Fortuin (133), Boland were bowled out for 319 with 23-year-old slow left-armer Monde Maqunqu taking six for 82 in 26.4 overs.

Thanks to his efforts, the Knights were left needing just 39 for victory, with Pite van Biljon and Raynard van Tonder scoring those runs in half-a-dozen overs.

Titans gain big lead & bought themselves plenty of time to win 0

Posted on March 13, 2023 by Ken

Sibonelo Makhanya top-scored for Northerns Titans as they gained a formidable lead.

The Northerns Titans gained a 171-run first-innings lead and bought themselves plenty of time to win too with a positive batting display on the second day of their CSA 4-Day Series match against the North-West Dragons at Centurion on Monday.

Having bowled North-West out for just 148 on the first day of the match, Northerns resumed on 18 for one on Monday and batted at 3.91 runs-per-over to post 319 and give themselves a formidable advantage.

They had already claimed a wicket in the North-West second innings by stumps, Matthew Boast having Lesego Senokwane (4) caught in the slips, edging an expansive drive at an away-swinger. The visitors closed on 24 for one as bad light intervened, still trailing by 147 runs.

Left-handed opener Neil Brand set the tone for the Titans up front on Monday, stroking a brisk 54, but it was a fourth-wicket partnership of 89 in 19 overs between Sibonelo Makhanya and Dewald Brevis that gave Northerns control of the game.

Makhanya, given his seniority, played the more responsible role, setting up the innings with his 71 off 134 balls, including 13 fours. But Brevis really took on the North-West bowlers, hammering a dashing 56 off just 64 deliveries, with nine fours and a six.

Brevis had just gone to his maiden first-class half-century with a six, when he sold his wicket to left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy, skying an attempted slog-sweep into the covers.

Muthusamy then capitalised on some more adventurous strokeplay by the lower-order, reducing Northerns from 182 for three to 280 for nine.

Aya Gqamane then produced the most exciting batting of the day as he plundered 40 not out off just 32 deliveries, hitting seven fours and a six.

Muthusamy showed his class though as he wrapped up the innings with six for 62 in 24.4 overs.

Lions

The Central Gauteng Lions had to suck up a lot of pressure on a tough second day of their final CSA 4-Day Series match against the KZN Dolphins in Potchefstroom on Monday, with Lutho Sipamla leading a fine fightback with the ball.

The Dolphins began the second day well-placed on 181 for two, but lost their last eight wickets for just 148 runs to be all out for 329. Sipamla, tightening his grip on the batsmen like a python, claimed two early wickets as the visitors slipped to 197 for five.

Angling the ball into the left-handed Sarel Erwee from around the wicket and then just straightening it a touch, Sipamla had the Proteas opener caught behind for 78.

With his next delivery, Sipamla cramped Khaya Zondo, another Protea, with extra bounce just outside off-stump, leading to a catch at first slip.

Marques Ackerman (97) and Eathan Bosch (63) gave KZN some breathing space with their sixth-wicket stand of 111, before Sipamla returned to break the partnership.

The Proteas paceman surprised Ackerman with some extra bounce, having him caught behind, although the catch was such a dolly that the bowler himself was calling for it.

A full and straight delivery then trapped Prenelan Subrayen lbw and Sipamla had Daryn Dupavillon caught in the slips to finish with highly praiseworthy figures of five for 71 in 23 overs.

In reply, openers Josh Richards (47) and Dominic Hendricks (17) provided yet another solid start for the Lions, adding 55 before Thando Ntini shattered the top-order with a destructive three-wicket burst.

Mitchell van Buuren (22) and Connor Esterhuizen (36) steadied the ship as they batted for more than 20 overs in adding 46 for the fifth wicket.

Tailenders Malusi Siboto (18*) and Sipamla (12) also dug in as the Lions reached 171 for eight at stumps.

WP v EP

At Newlands, Wynberg Boys High product Siya Plaatjie demolished the Western Province lower-order, his sensational five for 19 in 11 overs sending them crashing from 195 for four to 198 all out, giving the Eastern Province Warriors a 154-run first-innings lead.

Zubayr Hamza (54) and George Linde (63) seemed to have matters under control before paceman Plaatjie ran amok.

The Warriors, having scored 352 in their first innings, were 53 for one at stumps, leading by 207.

In Paarl, Matthew Kleinveldt suffered the distress of being stranded on a career-best, great effort of 199 not out when the Free State Knights were bowled out for 493 by the Boland Rocks.

Opener Kleinveldt carried his bat with a monumental 389-ball effort, while Gihahn Cloete also played plenty of fine strokes as he struck a breezy 122 and Migael Pretorius contributed a hard-hit 56.

Leg-spinner Shaun von Berg took five for 101 in 29 overs, but could not prevent his Rocks team from conceding a massive first innings deficit of 281.

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  • Thought of the Day

    John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

    Our Christian experience begins when the Holy Spirit starts working in our imperfect lives. An inexplicable restlessness and a feeling that nothing can give you the satisfaction you yearn for, could be the Spirit working in you.

    Even when God calls you and chooses you to serve him, there may be inner conflict and confusion because you are not always willing to do what God is asking of you.

    But this inner struggle is part of spiritual life … Commit yourself to God and open yourself to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit.

    It is by great grace that you were chosen by God to serve him and to live to the honour and glory of his name. Surrender unconditionally to the Lord and you will discover that your life gains new meaning and purpose.



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