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Ken Borland



Lions hunting intensity like a dieter trying to increase metabolism 0

Posted on July 08, 2024 by Ken

Like a dieter trying to increase their metabolism, our DP World Lions men’s team have been hunting increased intensity in the field in the CSA T20 Challenge and the Pride certainly reached their goal in the Western Cape over the last week.

An impressive and commanding nine-wicket win over the Boland Rocks last weekend in Paarl was followed on Wednesday night by an even more tremendous, record-breaking triumph over Western Province at Newlands.

On a memorable evening for the #PrideOfJozi, they hammered WP by 132 runs, the biggest ever victory margin in the history of the competition. Having scored 213 for two, their highest ever T20 total against their traditional rivals, the DP World Lions then bundled the home side out for just 81. The record-breaking effort erases the Lions’ own previous mark for the heaviest defeat, having been beaten by 130 runs by the Eagles in Potchefstroom in 2004/5.

Having now secured second place with a five-point lead over Western Province, it all sets the DP World Lions up beautifully for their clash with the HollywoodBets Dolphins in Johannesburg on Friday night.

While there were superb individual performances from Ryan Rickelton (73 off 46), Reeza Hendricks (90 off 49), Lutho Sipamla (3-1-14-3) and Nqaba Peter (2.3-1-7-4 – the third-best figures ever for the Lions) in Cape Town, coach Russell Domingo was delighted by the lift in intensity by the team as a whole.

“We’ve been wanting to play to our standards and intensity. We have a lot of internationals in our team and with small crowds it can be challenging for them because they’re used to thousands of spectators. So we’ve tried to match our intensity to our own standards and we were crazy good with both bat and ball at Newlands and the fielding was really superb,” Domingo said.

“But the Dolphins have a formidable side with in-form batsmen, pace bowlers and spinners. They beat us in Durban and we’re going to have to be on top of our game, focusing on how we control the game.”

Rickelton and Hendricks, who put on an outstanding 151 for the first wicket – a record for Newlands, have now both climbed into the top six of the batting averages with over 250 runs to their names; only Rubin Hermann of the Dragons has scored more.

Rassie van der Dussen (29* off 18) and Delano Potgieter (14* off 7) then provided the finishing touches to the record total.

“It was good to see the batting fire after what has been a strange campaign with us not batting first a lot and having to chase several low scores. Reeza and Ryan batted superbly and they are both quality batsmen. They are finding a way to get substantial scores now that we’re in the crucial stages of the competition,” Domingo said.

Lutho Sipamla and Tshepo Moreki then backed up the batting effort by bowling superbly with the new ball, reducing WP to 38 for four in the powerplay, Sipamla being rewarded with career-best figures.

“Lutho and Tshepo were fantastic and they bowled really good Test lengths, they were aggressive and the pitch did a bit at night. I anticipate the DP World Wanderers wicket also doing a bit against the Dolphins, there’s a bit of rain around, it’s late in the season and there’s a chill in the air. We’ll have to assess and adapt to that as well,” Domingo said.

With the increased pressure, Peter ripped through the remaining batsmen, baffling them with his flat leg-spin and changes of pace. Following on from his three for 14 against the Rocks, the 22-year-old has now taken seven wickets for 38 runs in eight-and-a-half overs and is top of the bowling averages.

“Nqaba bowled brilliantly, his discipline and control was really good,” Domingo said. “He only took up leg-spin a couple of years ago, so it is still a new art for him and he has a long way to go, but he is a really promising talent. He has coaches around him who have learnt from the very best leg-spinners, they give Nqaba feedback in terms of how they were set up as batsmen and he is understanding the nuances of the skill,” Domingo said.

Having kept Western Province in third place on the log, the DP World Lions will now be out to ensure the Dolphins stay fourth, currently 11 points behind them. A third victory in a row for our Pride will also close the gap on the log-leading Warriors to just a handful of points.

Proteas have been accessories to their own demise 0

Posted on September 26, 2023 by Ken

The Proteas cricket team have already surrendered the series to Australia, soundly beaten in the first two Tests, and they have certainly been accessories to their own demise, so hopefully they can reverse that trend and spare their blushes in the third and final Test that starts in Sydney in the early hours of Wednesday morning (SA time).

While South Africa’s recent batting performances have been a crime against the decorated legacies of great batsmen that have represented the country before in Australia, like Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla, the line-up for the third Test simply have to dig deep within themselves and supplement whatever technical skill they can muster with tremendous determination and a bloodyminded refusal to give their wickets away.

As impressive as the Australian attack have been, there have been too many soft dismissals; avoiding run outs will help for a start.

The South African batsmen have the talent to be performing much better, they just need to show more mental steel. Which is tough to do when the team has taken a battering and confidence is low.

But there comes a time when a line in the sand has to be drawn and an attitude of “over my dead body” adopted; a New Year’s Test seems a most apt time for this to happen.

Results, and team-mates, kind to Bavuma 0

Posted on January 24, 2023 by Ken

Despite his own lack of form, results on the field have been kind to Proteas captain Temba Bavuma, and his team-mates have certainly shown their compassion for their skipper’s current struggles.

While Bavuma has scored just 17 runs in his last five innings, South Africa are now top of Group II in the T20 World Cup, and victory over Pakistan in Sydney on Thursday will almost certainly seal their semi-final place. They also have a match against the winless Netherlands, who are already eliminated, in which to qualify for the knockout round.

So the only likely change to the Proteas team for that Pakistan clash will be whether the second frontline spinner, Tabraiz Shamsi, returns to the starting XI.

“Every player goes through slumps and it seems worse when the games are so close together,” Aiden Markram said in support of Bavuma. “We’ve all been there and we all support Temba.

“We all know his important role in the team is not just about his batting. I think his leadership has been very good and he’s made some excellent on-field decisions.

“No one doubts his ability at all, we know he will come right. I’ve been there myself, more than once,” Markram said.

Although the door to the semi-finals has now leaned ajar for the Proteas after their delightful victory over India, Markram said they have learned to not get ahead of themselves.

“Being top of the log is a good thing, but we certainly don’t think we have one foot in the door. It’s going to be a massive game against Pakistan and then the Netherlands.

“We’ve seen in this Super 12 that any side can beat any team on their day. We just have to make sure we get better in each game, and that will give us the best chance of qualifying,” Markram said.

Bavuma is not the only captain under pressure at this World Cup, but his strike-rate this year is 77.22, compared to the 119.90 of Australian skipper Aaron Finch and the 115.59 of Kane Williamson of the Black Caps.

Tristan Stubbs has only scored 7 and 6 in his two innings at this World Cup, but the young man is coming in late in the innings and trying to hit boundaries. Considering his role and inexperience, it would be unfair to expect too much consistency from him at this stage, but if he does come off, then the results could be spectacular.

Proud Munster embarrass the Bulls 0

Posted on January 03, 2023 by Ken

Jake White has been talking all week about how proud a club Munster are and they certainly embarrassed his Bulls team on Saturday night, thumping them 31-17 in their United Rugby Championship match at Thomond Park.

It was a wonderful effort by the home side, led by a superb pack that stood up to be counted and never gave an inch to a side renowned for their physicality. Munster were also highly efficient when it came to controlling the game, their halfbacks, the livewire Craig Casey and man of the match, flyhalf Joey Carbery, both being outstanding.

A scrappy opening quarter saw the Bulls leading 3-0 through a Johan Goosen penalty, but once Munster began to execute better, the visitors had no answer and were dominated and well and truly beaten. The Irish side were clearly determined to improve their record after three losses in four games, and lifted by a passionate Thomond Park crowd.

And it all started up front as Munster bossed the gainline, using relentless pick-and-goes to batter the Bulls into submission. Eighthman Gavin Coombes scored twice from close range in the first half as the home side went into the break 17-3 up.

The Bulls needed to find something special in the second half, but they continued to kick poorly and so lost the territory battle, they were inaccurate at the rucks and Munster put their lineout under pressure.

Flyhalf Goosen did not come out for the second half as he had to have a head impact assessment, but his replacement Chris Smith made a horror start to hand Munster the initiative again straight away after the break.

A poor chip ahead by Smith was gathered by Carbery, who countered and then placed a clever kick infield, which Smith made a total hash of gathering, prop Jeremy Loughman getting a boot to the ball and then following up to score.

Munster were now well-clear, 24-3 up, and to make matters worse for the Bulls, prop Mornay Smith was yellow-carded in the 47th minute for a cheap shot into the back of an opponent.

The Bulls made too many mistakes in the first half to get any attacking play going, but they did score twice in the second half, either side of Munster’s fourth try, to make the scoreboard look a little less humiliating.

Replacement back David Kriel managed to make a big impact, first brilliantly claiming an up-and-under and then getting on the outside of his defender and passing inside for flank WJ Steenkamp to score. Kriel then picked up a ball that had bobbled loose after some big Bulls defence and dashed away for their second try.

The relentless carrying of the Munster forwards had meanwhile seen excellent flank Tadhg Beirne plunge over for their bonus point try.

The Bulls battered away in the closing stages to try and get a losing bonus point, but lacked the accuracy and sheer bloody mindedness to get past a Munster defence that put everything on the line.

Scorers

MunsterTries: Gavin Coombes (2), Jeremy Loughman, Tadhg Beirne. Conversions: Joey Carbery (4). Penalty: Carberry.

BullsTries: WJ Steenkamp, David Kriel. Conversions: Chris Smith (2). Penalty: Johan Goosen.

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    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.



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