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Ken Borland

Rickelton collecting centuries like accessories as Lions win again 0

Posted on December 14, 2022 by Ken

Ryan Rickelton is collecting centuries these days like the rich and famous buying accessories, and Wednesday’s hundred to lead the Central Gauteng Lions to victory over the North-West Dragons at the Wanderers was arguably the most dazzling of the lot.

Rickelton blazed 110 off 75 balls, a great innings in terms of quality, beautiful strokeplay and the class of a different level that oozed from each of his 12 fours and four sixes.

After a morning that called for flippers and masks rather than cricket bats and leather balls, play at the Wanderers was delayed from the scheduled 1pm start to 3.45pm and the CSA One-Day Cup match was reduced to 31 overs a side.

Considering the weather, North-West won the toss and sent the Lions in to bat, but openers Josh Richards and Rickelton were superb in getting on top of the bowlers pretty much from the outset.

They cruised to fifty at a run-a-ball and their hundred stand came off just 80 deliveries. Richards was also classy and easy on the eye as he scored 44 off 51 balls before being caught on the boundary off left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy.

That ended the first-wicket stand on 132, off just 109 balls, but Reeza Hendricks then came in and ensured there was no loss of momentum with a brisk 37 off 24 deliveries.

Rickelton went to his century, his fourth in six innings to go with a 99 in his previous visit to the crease, off just 71 balls. It was a ferocious pace, but the left-hander barely seemed to be breaking a sweat and was never anything less than elegant.

It eventually took an outstanding catch by Dwaine Pretorius, running along the long-on boundary and then diving, to dismiss Rickelton. The bowler was Eldred Hawken, the best of the Dragons attack and a former Lions player, who married excellent control with some handy variations to finish with two for 31 in his seven overs, which included two maidens.

The Lions were then 201 for two in the 25th over and would have been targeting beyond 270.

But North-West, led by Hawken, did fight back with the ball, restricting the Lions to 260 for five. Evan Jones made the other significant contribution with 29 not out off 21 balls.

Even that was way too much of an ask for the North-West batting line-up though as they were bundled out for just 127 in 22.1 overs.

Sisanda Magala, almost as prolific a matchwinner as Rickelton, was the destroyer-in-chief with outstanding figures of five for 31 in five overs. One wonders how much more they need to do to become Proteas regulars.

Magala delivered the opening wicket when he deceived the dangerous Wesley Marshall (9) and had him caught at mid-off.

Lesego Senokwane (41) and Grant Mokoena (16) then stabilised with a second-wicket stand of 53, but they scored at no better than a run-a-ball, needing to provide more acceleration if they were to keep up with the ever-ballooning asking rate.

Wiaan Mulder (6-1-39-1) and Malusi Siboto (4-0-17-2) did tidy jobs in the middle overs, as the Dragons began to lose regular wickets under the pressure.

Spinner Bjorn Fortuin (3.1-0-12-2) removed the last bit of resistance in dismissing Chris Britz (28), and Magala then ran through the tail as North-West lost their last seven wickets for 22 runs in a handful of overs.

As tight and disciplined as the Lions bowling was, they were also outstanding in the field, with Mitchell van Buuren and Richards both taking magnificent catches.

Victory by 133 runs brought with it a bonus point, allowing the Lions to overtake North-West and move into second place on the log, with a couple of games in hand.

Coach Wandile Gwavu could not have asked for much more than the superbly-polished all-round display his team produced.

‘Kings players being evicted, unable to buy food & marriages ending’ 0

Posted on December 12, 2015 by Ken


“Our players are being evicted, collecting food vouchers and there have been marriages ending in divorce.”

“Many of our staff and players, especially those from out of town, have no money for food and some have children. They cannot pay their rent, they cannot buy fuel – the situation is now beyond desperate.”

These are just two of the forlorn pleas made by people involved in the Eastern Province rugby team in response to the shameful fiasco that has seen them not being paid for the last three months.

The intervention of the South African Rugby Union, that has taken over control of the Southern Kings franchise which is set to return to Super Rugby next year, also seems to have merely fanned the flames of the crisis.

The national body has been accused by one anonymous player of being “corrupt” and “colluding with the South African Rugby Players’ Association” in effectively creating a new team that will exclude Eastern Province players and avoid the debts owed to them.Saru, however, have said around half the 42-man squad will come from the existing Eastern Province team.

“We have been working as hard as we can to put a workable plan into place, but we are unable to go into all the player details right now as we still have to confirm some contracts and tie up loan arrangements. But, considering when we started and from what base, I am very pleased with where we have come.

“I believe we are putting together a more-than-competent squad that will not only be representative of the region, but coincidentally meets the targets of our Strategic Transformation Plan four years ahead of schedule. The squad we have identified will have around 50% black players, while the management team is more than 50% black. Our rugby department has picked the best available talent,” Saru CEO Jurie Roux said when he announced the rescue plan to ensure the Southern Kings are operational come Super Rugby time.

But the EP players have rejected Saru’s plan as it will not deal with money owed to them, will force them to take a pay-cut and leaves half their number high and dry. They are also extremely unhappy that controversial president Cheeky Watson is rumoured to still be involved in the running of the Super Rugby squad.

In the meantime, Watson has reportedly closed the Eastern Province Rugby Union offices a week earlier than expected, sending all the staff away on their Christmas holidays with no money and no idea when they will be paid.

Supporters of the Kings have started raising money for the beleaguered players via the Red&Black Army Facebook page.




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