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Ken Borland

In the sort of heat that could lead to medical attention, Strydom & Jamieson keep their cool 0

Posted on December 10, 2022 by Ken

On the sort of day when those unaccustomed to Lowveld heat could have ended up needing medical attention, South Africa’s Ockie Strydom stormed up the leaderboard in the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship, his 63 giving him a share of the lead as Scotsman Scott Jamieson stubbornly refused to let first place go.

Strydom ended the second round tied for 21st place on six-under, seven strokes behind Jamieson, but he produced an amazing round, eight birdies and an eagle taking him to 10-under through 15 holes.

He bogeyed the par-three 16th though, three-putting from the far reaches of the green, and then parred his way home to equal the course record set the previous day by Jamieson.

With 15-under now the target, Jamieson got to that mark with three successive birdies from the 11th hole and then ensured he made no mistakes and did not drop any shots coming in.

“I played the same golf as the first two days,” Strydom said as he improved greatly on scores of 68 and 70. “I made a few putts though, I holed a chip, hit my wedges closer and did not take any risks.

“The eagle on two, when I chipped in, was my shot of the day because I was in an impossible spot, short and right of the green, with a steep bunker to clear.

“There were quite tough flags and subtle breaks in the greens, which I saw were running at 13.7 at the start of my round. If they make them any quicker they’re going to kill us, but I managed to hit the ball in the right places.

“I made the right decisions out there and you can’t attack this course, you have to let it come to you, otherwise you’ll be done,” Strydom said.

Jamieson was happy with his performance, as firmer greens made for a tougher day for the 39-year-old. And that’s not mentioning the 35° heat.

“It was a solid day, I’ll take two-under especially after my front nine. As expected it was tougher today, the green speeds were right up. I hit poor shots on four and five that killed my momentum, but to be one-over at the turn was not a disaster,” Jamieson said.

“I knew there would be chances on the back nine and I was able to take three of them in a row. I was really disciplined, there were only two shots I was really not happy about, on four and five. I stuck to my game-plan and eventually got reward. I was proud of myself,” Jamieson said.

Both Strydom and Jamieson believe they have the equipment, both mentally and in terms of ball-striking, to get the job done in Sunday’s final round and claim the biggest victories of their career.

“I will do the same I’ve been doing every day, just play the golf and if it works out then it does, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” the phlegmatic Strydom said.

“We are all the same out there, we are all people, no different to each other. They are just names and we will have to see how good they do it in the final round.

“I’ve been there contending quite a few times and I will just keep doing what I’m doing,” Strydom, who has one Sunshine Tour win and 19 runners-up finishes, said.

“The tournament begins on the back nine tomorrow,” Jamieson said. “So far we’ve all just been jockeying for position, but tomorrow the game-plan could change.

“Tomorrow will be all about who plays the best golf and there are some good names up there on the leaderboard. So it’s going to take a good round to win, if I can get to 20-under I will be happy and hopefully that will be good enough. But you can’t control what others do,” Jamieson added.

One of those prime ‘others’ is Dean Burmester (68), who is tied for third alongside fellow South African Oliver Bekker (68) and in-form Englishman Dale Whitnell (66) on 13-under, two behind.

“I’m happy where I’m at. Leading is harder than chasing and Scott Jamieson won once years ago [2013] and Ockie has won once too. We will just have to wait and see what they do in the final round,” Burmester, who won his second DP World Tour title last year in Tenerife and has eight other Sunshine Tour wins, said.

Having grown up in the humid, subtropical climate of Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe, and with the confidence he has gained playing in America, Burmester is unlikely to wilt in the heat.

Reverse-sweep to get off the mark not the lowest-risk shot, but Ryan says he was comfy 0

Posted on April 28, 2022 by Ken

Debutant Ryan Rickelton admitted that getting off the mark in Test cricket with a reverse-sweep for four was not the lowest-risk shot he could have played, but he felt quite comfortable doing it on the first day of the first Test against Bangladesh at Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday.

Rickelton scored a bright 21, which included four fours, the other highlight being a tremendous off-drive to the boundary off Taskin Ahmed. The 25-year-old fell though half-an-hour after tea as he top-edged a hook to mid-on off fast bowler Ebadot Hossain.

Temba Bavuma (53*) and Kyle Verreynne (27*) then took South Africa through to stumps on 233/4.

“I was a bit nervous before coming out to bat but once I was out there I was more excited about finally getting an opportunity to show what I can offer,” Rickelton said.

“I brought out the reverse-sweep a bit early, but I was a bit tense, just planting my front foot to the off-spinner [Mehidy Hasan Miraz] and patting the ball back.

“If I had still been on nought after 10 or 15 balls then things probably wouldn’t have gone in my favour, so I took a bit of a risk. But it’s not my riskiest option and I felt quite comfortable playing the shot.

“I was just sad not to make it to the end of the day, but Temba has played a great innings and set us up for hopefully a big one tomorrow,” Rickelton said.

The Central Gauteng Lions star admitted that the Proteas had greeted Bangladesh’s decision to bowl first with some interest.

“We were quite surprised because you usually bat first in Durban because the pitch starts to turn as it wears,” Rickelton said. “We were going to bat if we won the toss.

“But all our talk about not having seen a pitch of this nature at Kingsmead before maybe pushed them into it. It’s an interesting wicket.

“When the bowlers hit the deck and aimed at the top of off-stump then it did a bit. There was a bit of seam movement and there are some divots there now.

“There’s also a lot of grass on the pitch, but if the sun keeps shining then it should break up a bit,” Rickelton said.

Van Buuren could have been an émigré like his cousin, but instead he was the Lions’ saviour 0

Posted on April 08, 2022 by Ken

Mitchell van Buuren could have followed in the footsteps of his older cousin Graeme and become an émigré to the United Kingdom, but the 24-year-old batsman has decided to stick it out in South Africa and on Friday he was the saviour of the Central Gauteng Lions side in their crucial final round 4-Day Domestic Series fixture against the Northerns Titans in Centurion.

The Lions, frontrunners in the four-day competition for so long, are trying to hold off strong late challenges from Northerns as well as the Eastern Province Warriors, and they were in early trouble at SuperSport Park as they slumped to 79/4.

That was when Van Buuren came to the crease and he showed impressive discipline and composure even as the Lions slid further into the mire on 118/6. Sisanda Magala then joined him and the burly Proteas white-ball player was able to show his value with the bat as he fought hard for nearly two-and-a-half hours, playing some lovely strokes in his 61 and adding a vital 130 for the seventh wicket with Van Buuren.

With off-spinner Simon Harmer (31-7-84-3) wrapping up the tail, the Lions were bowled out for 270 on the stroke of stumps, with Van Buuren finishing unbeaten on a highly-responsible 103, which included 10 fours and three sixes.

Seamer Aya Gqamane was the pick of the Northerns bowlers, taking 3/45 in 16 overs, his victims being the star trio of Josh Richards (33), Ryan Rickelton (24) and Magala. Lizaad Williams was also slippery, taking 2/42 in 22 overs.

The Warriors, meanwhile, were in firm control of their match against the Free State Knights in Bloemfontein until the hosts were lifted to a tolerable 198/7 by a marvellous 107 not out by Patrick Botha.

The EP pacemen, Tiaan van Vuuren (14-4-32-3), Akhona Mnyaka (12-1-49-2) and Mthiwekhaya Nabe (11-1-35-2) quickly ripped through the Knights top-order, with only Raynard van Tonder (34) showing much resistance.

Coming in at 39/4, Botha shared successive partnerships of 54 with Van Tonder and 72 with Migael Pretorious (17). It lifted the mood in a Knights camp that is missing several key players and has been further rocked by the resignation of Allan Donald as coach. The Proteas great is taking up a role as bowling coach of Bangladesh.

Scores in brief for other games

Western Province 332/4 (Jonathan Bird 128, Yaseen Vallie 44, Gavin Kaplan 73, Daniel Smith 46*; Delano Potgieter 2/56) v North-West.

KZN Dolphins 272/5 (Grant Roelofsen 49, Keegan Petersen 115*, Andile Phehlukwayo 69*; Shaun von Berg 3/81) v Boland Rocks.

Cheetahs can surprise everyone with attack variations – Reinach 0

Posted on March 24, 2017 by Ken


Everyone knows that the Cheetahs are an attacking side, but Sharks scrumhalf Cobus Reinach says his team are wary of all the little variations to their game coach Franco Smith could have up his sleeve for their SuperRugby clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

“Franco Smith has brought in a lot of different attacking lines, they don’t just go from wide to wide anymore. So that’s going to keep us on our feet, the Cheetahs have a lot of good attacking players and it’s a good challenge for us to have. The Cheetahs have a lot of exciting players and they can really bring anything to the party,” Reinach said.

The Sharks surprised – in a bad way – in their match last weekend against the Southern Kings, struggling to a two-point victory in which they made far too many errors and showed little fluency. While insisting that the team had moved forward since that setback, Reinach agreed that the performance was no laughing matter.

“We’ve put that match behind us, but it certainly was not the way we want to perform, it was a below-par display. It’s about attitude and we let ourselves down. We need to get our mental preparation right and make sure we’re up for every game. We train in a squad system so making changes to the team should not influence how we play, we all know the calls and when to do things and what not to do,” Reinach said.

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    “Attempting to serve the Lord without the strength of the Holy Spirit results in frustration and ultimate disaster.

    “If your vision of him grows dim, your service will become powerless and ineffective. This will happen if your spiritual reserves are not regularly replenished through prayer and meditation.

    “You must put him first in all your activities. Your service for him must be the result of your intimate knowledge of him. Only when he enjoys priority in all things, can you understand life from his perspective. Putting Christ first in your life and work makes you a more capable servant of God.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

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