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Ken Borland



Faf hopes JSK are over their batting woes after change in the order 0

Posted on February 07, 2024 by Ken

FOCUSED: Joburg Super Kings captain Faf du Plessis returned to form with a quickfire half-century, steering his team’s late charge into the SA20 playoffs at the Wanderers.
Photo: Ron Gaunt.

A change in their batting order has Joburg Super Kings captain Faf du Plessis hopeful that they are over their batting woes as they head into their do-or-die eliminator against the Paarl Royals at the Wanderers on Wednesday.

JSK just snuck into the playoffs courtesy of their rousing victory over then log-leaders Durban Super Giants at the Wanderers last weekend, successfully chasing down a daunting target of 204. Du Plessis himself was man of the match with his 57 off 29 balls, marking a return to form for the former Proteas captain who had averaged just 20.66 in the tournament up till then.

Leus du Plooy opened the batting with Du Plessis and also scored 57, with Wayne Madsen coming in at number three and scoring 44 not out off 29 balls as he partnered big-hitters Moeen Ali and Donovan Ferreira as they took the Super Kings to victory with a ball to spare.

“After we were bowled out for 78 by the Sunrisers here, I felt embarrassed for the sell-out crowd, you’re hurting as a player and as a team. You’re half-expecting them not to turn up for the next game because they think you’re down-and-out, but we are extremely grateful we have such great supporters and we’re really glad we turned things around,” Du Plessis said at the Wanderers on Tuesday.

“I’m really proud of the performance against DSG, we were under a lot of pressure and managed to chase more than 200 against the best team in the tournament so far. So we will take a lot of confidence from that because DSG are a remarkable side with such balance.

“Obviously you need your big players to perform in a competition like this to put you in contention and there’s no doubt me not scoring many runs before that had a huge impact on the confidence of the team.

“You hope a couple of batsmen will have a purple patch and carry the batting line-up, but we were a bit light in that respect. But once we found our rhythm, we had better starts and that flowed through the team. We made a change with Leus moving up front and tactically that was a good change.

“Reeza Hendricks is an unbelievable player, but with the ball gripping in the first six overs like it has here, having two right-handers open the batting made it an uphill battle. To have two different batsmen at the crease [right-hand & left-hand] is important, especially if there’s something in the conditions.

“Wayne Madsen has also been fantastic in the last couple of games. Last season the pitch spun quite a bit here and so we went for Wayne because he’s very experienced and plays spin really well, his game centres around sweeping and reverse-sweeping. He’s been brilliant for us and he’s also one of the reasons our batting is in a better place,” Du Plessis said.

For Paarl Royals captain David Miller, the major change they need is in how they finish innings with the ball, having lost their last four games on the trot.

“It’s not ideal losing the last four, but it would look different if we lost five matches scattered through the tournament and there’s no stress or panic in any way. I was really happy with the way we went about our game at St George’s Park, even though we lost.

“In previous games, the opposition has taken the match away from us in the last four/five overs. You think you’ve restricted them to a good score to chase, but then it becomes a massive total and, as a batsman, chasing 10 or 11 an over from the get-go, you’re under pressure.

“So we’ve been in the game until the 15th or 16th over, playing really good cricket, but we need to stick to our processes, that’s what we’ll look to correct. T20 cricket can switch quickly, we have worked really hard and we still finished third on the log. So we are really positive and we just need to find our mojo again,” Miller said.

Playing at home in the eliminator and also potentially Qualifier 2 should also pump up the tyres of the Joburg Super Kings, but Du Plessis admitted they have struggled to adapt to the vagaries of the Wanderers pitch.

“Being at home will make a difference, it can give you an extra 10%, although we have been a bit frustrated here because we have not been able to produce our best. We’ve been a bit unsure of what the pitch will do. Winning your matches at home means you will generally be near the top at the back end of the tournament.

“But the last game here had a really good cricket wicket and it did not make that much difference whether you batted or bowled first. In the first few matches here, the pitch was very dry in the first innings and that played a bit into the oppositions’ strengths.

“But against DSG it was about playing your best cricket and then the best team would end up on top. It was all about how well you do your skills,” Du Plessis said.

As Miller pointed out though, Paarl Royals have won both their matches on the Highveld this season. Lungi Ngidi took four wickets as they won a thriller against the Pretoria Capitals in Centurion, and then they took advantage of a messy display in the field by the Super Kings to chase down 169 at the Wanderers and beat them by five wickets with an over to spare.

But back-to-back defeats to both the Durban Super Giants and Sunrisers Eastern Cape has punctured the confidence of the Royals; just how deflated they are will be seen on Wednesday evening.

Former Protea’s outstanding catch, off Joburg-born bowler, breaks millions of South African hearts 0

Posted on February 06, 2023 by Ken

When former Protea Roelof van der Merwe let out a fervent roar of celebration after his outstanding catch, off the bowling of Johannesburg-born Brandon Glover, to take the key wicket of David Miller, it was unlikely he felt much regret for the millions of hearts that were breaking back in South Africa as the Proteas made a shock exit from the T20 World Cup, losing to qualifiers the Netherlands by 13 runs.

Chasing 159 for victory, South Africa had slipped to 111/4 after 15 overs and their hopes rested on Miller, their finisher supreme. The experienced left-hander had gone to 17 when he top-edged a pull at Glover and Van der Merwe scrambled backwards from short fine leg, and dived to take a superb catch.

Glover, who took 3/9 in his two overs, then had Wayne Parnell caught behind three balls later for a duck and, when Heinrich Klaasen (21) was caught at cow-corner off medium-pacer Bas de Leede in the 18th over, South Africa were all but buried. They limped to 145/8 in the end.

The Netherlands deserve full credit for their amazing victory, bowling and fielding with tremendous tenacity.

South Africa began their chase tentatively as Quinton de Kock (13) and Temba Bavuma (20) both just scored at a run-a-ball and the Proteas could only score 39/2 in the powerplay.

Rilee Rossouw (25 off 19) looked threatening before he pulled Glover straight to deep square-leg and Aiden Markram (17) sent a leading edge, well taken by a diving Stephan Myburgh, to cover off the excellent Fred Klaassen (4-0-20-2).

The dismissal encapsulated what the Netherlands did so well – taking pace off the ball and using variations, which caused the Proteas to really struggle to score freely.

It was something the Proteas attack failed to do and there can be no sympathy for their lack of awareness and adaptability to the conditions, which allowed the Netherlands to post a competitive 158/4 after they had been sent in to bat.

The outstanding Anrich Nortje (4-0-10-1) and Keshav Maharaj (4-0-27-2) apart, the Proteas attack simply lacked intensity and it was the Netherlands who seized the initiative from the start.

Pretoria-born Stephan Myburgh belted 37 off 30 balls, with fellow opener Max O’Dowd providing valuable support with 29 in an opening stand of 58 in eight-and-a-half overs.

Tom Cooper blasted 35 off 19 deliveries and another South African expat, Colin Ackermann, provided the finishing touches to the winning total with his brilliant 41 not out off 26 balls. The former Eastern Cape star also bowled three overs of probing off-spin for just 16 runs, keeping the left-handers quiet.

This time the Proteas could not blame anything outside of their own control – there was no rain, no freakish misfortune – for failing to make the semi-finals.

They defied history by choosing to bat first on a pitch that was only going to slow down and their whole mindset seemed incredibly soft when so much was on the line.

Miller knows Pakistan at most dangerous, but says Proteas have learned how to win under pressure 0

Posted on January 27, 2023 by Ken

David Miller knows that Pakistan will be at their most dangerous in South Africa’s crunch T20 World Cup game against them in Sydney on Thursday, but he feels he and the Proteas team have learned how to win in various pressure situations.

Pakistan have only won one of their three matches so far in the tournament, and if they lose on Thursday they are officially out of contention for semi-final qualification.

If South Africa win, they are guaranteed a semifinal place following Zimbabwe’s defeat on Wednesday. Either India or Bangladesh will join them in the last four.

“Pakistan are definitely more dangerous because it is a must-win game for them. They have some serious matchwinners and they are going to come in charging against us,” Miller said on Wednesday.

“So we’ll have to make sure we’re on our A-game, we stick to our processes and what has worked in the past. We are finding lots of different ways to win and have been doing that for the last year.

“In tricky situations we’ve managed to get over the line, thanks to the continuity of the squad. We’ve all found our roles and if one player doesn’t do well then others pick up the slack.

“For me personally it’s been a good ride over the last couple of years and being able to draw on past experience has been really valuable. I’ve been in a lot of different situations and I understand what’s required,” Miller, who averages 55.46 at a strike-rate of 158.81 since the start of 2021, said.

The Sydney Cricket Ground usually offers some purchase for the spinners and, as always when South Africa take on a subcontinental side, questions over their playing of spin have been asked. Miller feels it is an examination they have passed several times in recent history.

“We’ve played quite a lot in Indian conditions, we went to Pakistan not that long ago, and we have competed very well. Our focus in the last couple of years has been on playing spin.

“We have prepared well and we have lots of options against the turning ball now. We’ve definitely got the skills to perform against the Pakistan spin team.

“Then again, the conditions might not provide spin. Especially in Australian conditions, our pace attack has come into its own, they’ve brought a lot of energy and pace.

“We’re in a good space, we’re definitely in a good position in the tournament, but we know there is still lots to do. Playing as a team has allowed us to do well,” Miller said.

‘All about finding a way’ – Markram 0

Posted on January 23, 2023 by Ken

Aiden Markram said it was “all about finding a way” on a spicy Perth Stadium pitch as he and David Miller scored top-class half-centuries to take South Africa to victory by five wickets with two balls to spare in a thrilling T20 World Cup clash with India on Sunday.

India had chosen to bat first and struggled to 133/9 against a bombardment from a ferocious Proteas attack led by Lungi Ngidi (4-0-29-4) and Wayne Parnell (4-1-15-3). But India then swung the ball superbly up front to reduce South Africa to 24/3. Markram and Miller then battled to 40/3 after 10 overs, at which point they had to make a brave push for victory. They had to shift the momentum and then ran with it.

Markram attacked first, his 52 off 41 balls, swinging hard for six fours and a six, serving to loosen the grip of the Indian attack. Miller then completed the task with typical class and composure, scoring 59 not out off 46 balls.

“Conditions were incredibly tricky for batting, we expected the extra bounce, but the ball was also nipping around quite a bit,” Markram said. “In T20, you have to take risks and play a positive brand of cricket.

“But the ball gets big on you from just short of a good length and makes you look silly at times. I felt far from being in form, but it was about finding a way.

“It’s tough when there’s that extra bounce, but you need to make a play, you’ve got to take the short ball on or you won’t be scoring quickly enough. After 10 overs, we had to pick someone to target, who we felt most comfortable against in the conditions.

“We discussed it at the drinks break and we knew that if it comes off then it would give us a chance,” Markram said.

While batting was something of a daunting adventure on a pitch with so much pace and bounce, Markram also praised the bowlers for not getting carried away when conditions were so much in their favour.

“It was important for us to set the tone up front and Wayne Parnell has been doing that for us in a lot of games. He’s got the experience and the calmness because he knows his skillsets with the ball.

“In conditions like this, Lungi is also a massive weapon for us and he executed extremely well to get the early breakthroughs for us.

“It was important to hit the right hard lengths to extract that extra bounce. Both bowling attacks bowled very well and made it difficult to score.

“You can get carried away in terms of your lengths and then start giving freebies, but neither attack did that. They made life very difficult for the batsmen,” Markram said.

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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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