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Ken Borland

Miller the darling of Indian crowds keeps SA competitive 0

Posted on December 05, 2022 by Ken

David Miller has become something of a darling of Indian crowds due to his exploits in the IPL, and his phenomenal century in the second T20 in Guwahati at the weekend at least ensured the Proteas were competitive.

But in order to actually win the third and final T20 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Tuesday, he says South Africa need to find a way for their bowling and batting to click at the same time.

In the second T20, their bowling was dreadful, serving up numerous full tosses and short, wide deliveries for a rampant Indian top-order to feast on, as they pummelled 237/3 in their 20 overs.

South Africa again lost wickets up front, before Miller, with a career-best 106 not out off only 47 balls, and Quinton de Kock, whose 69* off 48 was a welcome return to form, lifted them to 221/3.

Miller also became South Africa’s leading run-scorer in T20 Internationals with 2050 in 92 innings, going past JP Duminy (1934 in 75 innings).

“It’s always a great feeling to score an international hundred and I’m really chuffed to get the record too, but I have also played the most T20 games for South Africa,” Miller said.

“It was a really loud crowd, they feel right on top of you here, but you just try and enjoy the atmosphere, which you won’t get anywhere else in the world, they are so passionate.

“It’s tough to play in Indian conditions, but it was a good effort and a great game in the end. Quinny and I had a really good partnership that made it a competitive game, we got close.

“The bowling department was extremely good in the last game, but just slightly off tonight, there was a bit of a lack of execution. But if we can combine both, align the batting and the bowling in the same game, then we will be formidable,” Miller said.

The attack were given the mother of all hidings with Kagiso Rabada (14.25), Anrich Nortje (13.66), Wayne Parnell (13.50) and Lungi Ngidi (12.25) all having economy rates that aptly indicated the massacre.

“India got off to a flyer on a good pitch and then kept their momentum all the way through. When we see a team start to get going like that, we need to change the plan and adapt,” Miller said.

“But they batted extremely well and assessed the wicket really quickly. Suryakumar Yadav [61 off 22] is hitting the ball really nicely and you can’t afford to give a top-class batsman like that a couple of freebies.

“It comes down to execution, we need to be hard on ourselves and tighten up. He absolutely annihilated us and gave India a really good injection of momentum. He’s a class player,” Miller said.

England rediscover the form that made them the darlings of ODI cricket 0

Posted on August 30, 2022 by Ken

England rediscovered the form that made them the darlings of limited-overs cricket as they skittled South Africa for just 83 to win the second ODI by 118 runs and level the series at Old Trafford on Friday.

After rain had delayed the start for three hours and 45 minutes, the match was reduced to 29 overs a side and England’s batting line-up also had problems against some excellent Proteas bowling.

Having been sent in to bat, England had slumped to 101 for six after Dwaine Pretorius destroyed the top-order with his canny seamers, taking three wickets.

But the highly-rated Liam Livingstone (38 off 26) and the exciting talent that is Sam Curran (35 off 18) lifted England to 201 all out.

Swing bowling has often been the weakness of South African batting line-ups and left-arm pacemen Reece Topley (4-0-17-2) and David Willey (4-1-9-1) were superb with the new ball, with Janneman Malan and Rassie van der Dussen both making ducks.

When Aiden Markram idiotically ran himself out without facing a ball, trying to steal a leg-bye to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, who scored a slick direct hit, the Proteas had slumped to 6 for four, their worst ever start in an ODI, in terms of their total when the fourth wicket fell.

England’s other left-arm seamer, Curran, then sent a cutter crashing low into the off-stump of David Miller (12) to leave South Africa on 27 for five.

Despite the efforts of Heinrich Klaasen (33) and Dwaine Pretorius (17), the Proteas were never going to recover from such a parlous start and, with the rain returning, England turned to their spinners, Adil Rashid (6-1-29-3) and Moeen Ali (4.4-1-22-2) in order to get to 20 overs and ensure a result as quickly as possible.

South Africa had produced some grand bowling through the clever seamers of Pretorius, who bagged a career-best four for 36 in his six overs, and the guile of spinners Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi.

Pretorius removed Phil Salt (17), brilliantly caught by Miller, and Joe Root (1), who both targeted the leg-side to the inswinger but were deceived by the length and pace of the ball, and then bowled a superb inducker to castle the dangerous Bairstow (28 off 27), and England were 62 for four in the ninth over.

Maharaj (6-0-29-1) and Shamsi (6-0-39-2) then bowled superbly to further reduce England to 101 for six in the 18th over. Shamsi’s set-up of captain Jos Buttler (19) was a beauty to behold as the left-arm wrist-spinner dismissed him for the second match in succession.

But then Curran and Livingstone ensured the momentum began to lean England’s way. Curran hit three brilliant straight sixes off the spinners, which sparked Livingstone, who delighted in the extra pace provided by Nortje to hit him for 6-6-6-4 in the 21st over.

When the ball then began swinging at the start of their innings, the Proteas batsmen reacted like scared children.

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