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Ken Borland

Technique & mental strength meant to be safe ports in the storm, but weaknesses for Proteas 0

Posted on December 29, 2022 by Ken

Technique and mental strength are meant to be two safe ports in the storm for batsmen reaching the end of a testing tour of India, but Proteas coach Mark Boucher admitted on Tuesday that those were two areas of weakness as South Africa were bundled out for a miserable 99 all out and thrashed by seven wickets with 30.5 overs to spare in the decisive third ODI in Delhi.

On the eve of their departure for Australia and the T20 World Cup, it is perhaps not too surprising that the batting line-up was not fully focused on the task at hand on Tuesday, which was unsurprisingly fatal against an Indian team full of second-stringers desperate to get into the first-choice XI.

“Coming off a long tour of England and some guys were at the Caribbean Premier League as well, with that sort of schedule you can’t expect the players to be up for every single game,” Boucher said after the series loss.

“That’s when you rely on your technique and mentality to pull you through, but unfortunately we were a bit weak in both of those today. There were soft dismissals up front and technical faults.

“Keeping the players mentally and physically fresh is crucial, we need to get that mental side up, along with the technical. But tonight we did not rock up and India bowled very well.

“They showed good aggression and intent. We need to make sure the guys are really up for the World Cup games, that will bring the best results. We are really gearing ourselves up for that big competition. It will be okay,” Boucher said.

The coach acknowledged that the team were looking forward to playing in Australian conditions that are much more like their own.

“Conditions will be very different in Australia and I think they will suit our batsmen, but especially our fast bowlers more. You need to keep your aggression up over there, and we have good pace and bounce.

“Although I thought we did not show that enough in these ODIs, India showed far more aggression. But the way Anrich Nortje ran in tonight was a positive sign for me, especially going into conditions where he will be more effective,” Boucher said.

Heinrich Klaasen showed that he is your banker when it comes to playing spin, top-scoring for the Proteas with his 34.

Opener Janneman Malan made 15 off 27 balls, but that included three fours, which means he scored just three runs off his other 24 deliveries. That failure to rotate the strike puts your batting line-up under pressure.

But credit must go to the Indian bowlers, especially Mohammed Siraj, who removed both Malan and Reeza Hendricks (3), and the spinners as South Africa were 26/3 in the powerplay.

Not the World Cup send-off Proteas wanted as batsmen not able to produce the goods under pressure 0

Posted on December 27, 2022 by Ken

South Africa’s batsmen were not able to produce the goods under pressure, being bundled out for just 99 in the decisive third ODI against India on Tuesday in Delhi, a seven-wicket thrashing with 30.5 overs to spare not being the send-off the Proteas would have wanted as they now head to the T20 World Cup in Australia.

It’s not as if the pitch looked like the surface of the moon and provided extravagant turn or was a green mamba that seamed around, but South Africa’s batsmen still found a way to be bundled out in a miserable 27.1 overs.

Much credit must go to a superb Indian attack that barely erred in terms of line and length, and thoroughly exploited the reasonable assistance on offer from a pitch that provided a good contest between bat and ball.

Wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, as he often has been against the Proteas, was the most successful of the Indian bowlers as he raked in 4/18 in just 4.1 overs. But the left-armer only joined the attack in the 20th over, when South Africa were already deep in the mire on 71/6.

Having been sent in to bat, off-spinner Washington Sundar (4-0-15-2) made the initial strike, bowling wonderfully well around the wicket to the left-hander Quinton de Kock and removing him in the third over for just six.

A double strike by paceman Mohammed Siraj (5-0-17-2), removing Janneman Malan (15) and Reeza Hendricks (3), reduced South Africa to 26/3 in the powerplay.

The introduction of more spin brought even more pain for the Proteas as orthodox left-armer Shahbaz Ahmed claimed two wickets and deciphering Kuldeep was out-of-reach for the bowlers.

Heinrich Klaasen battled on for the Proteas, scoring 34 off 42 balls, before he was undone on the back foot – like many of his colleagues – and bowled by Shahbaz.

Marco Jansen was the last man out for 14 as South Africa were left on their lowest ever ODI score against India, and their second-worst first-innings effort in all ODIs, only their 83 all out against England in 2008 being lower.

The Proteas’ focus is clearly on the T20 World Cup and giving players game time, with Temba Bavuma and Tabraiz Shamsi again sitting out as they continue to recover from illness. Keshav Maharaj has now caught the bug and he sat out Tuesday’s game, David Miller captaining the ODI side for the first time. It is also the first time in ODI history that three different captains have been used in a three-match series.

Lungi Ngidi, Jansen and Andile Phehlukwayo were brought in for the decisive third ODI.

India’s top-order made the same pitch look like a road as they raced to their meagre target in 19.1 overs.

Shubnam Gill led the way with 49 off 57 balls, while Shreyas Iyer finished with 28 not out from 23 deliveries.

Markram admits Proteas missed out on extra 15-20 runs 0

Posted on December 23, 2022 by Ken

As well as he batted, Aiden Markram has admitted that the Proteas missed out on an extra 15-20 runs they should have scored as they went down to India by seven wickets in the second ODI at the weekend, and executing their skills in the crucial moments will be their focus going into the decisive third match in Delhi on Tuesday.

Markram scored 79 off 89 balls, an innings filled with plenty of great strokes, but he was just beginning to really dominate after a tough start when he got out, lashing a short delivery from off-spinner Washington Sundar to extra cover. What made his dismissal even worse was that it came just two balls after Heinrich Klaasen got out for a brisk 30 off 26 deliveries.

Markram had set up the innings superbly with Reeza Hendricks (74 off 76) in a run-a-ball third-wicket stand of 129, and he and Klaasen then added 46 off 40 balls to leave the Proteas poised for a score of over 300 as they reached 215 for three in the 38th over.

They subsided to 278 for seven, which India chased down with 25 balls to spare and Markram put his hand up for what happened.

“The pitch was drier than in Lucknow and we thought we had a decent score, even if it was 15-20 runs less than ideal,” Markram said.

“It would have been nice to bat through the last 10 overs and cash in, that’s where the runs left out there are on me. Whenever two wickets fall bang-bang, then the fielding team gets all the momentum back.

“When I got out, maybe that’s where we left the 15-20 runs short. I haven’t played in Delhi before, but lots of the team have, so we’ll have knowledge of the conditions. We will just try and execute our skills on the day, ultimately that’s what matters,” Markram said.

India’s successful chase was also built around a third-wicket stand, although Ishan Kishan (93 off 84) and Shreyas Iyer (113* off 111) took theirs to 161. Although he has been out-of-form lately, South Africa possibly missed the ability of wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi to take wickets in the middle overs. Both he and captain Temba Bavuma missed the second ODI due to illness.

“They were very good, they played excellent knocks and deserve a lot of credit for such a big partnership that killed the game,” Markram said.

“The ball was quite wet, we definitely saw the impact of the dew. I don’t think we bowled badly, they hit some good balls for boundaries and then it becomes tough to slow them down.”

Markram said he was greatly helped by having Hendricks in such good form at the other end, and hopefully the prolific 33-year-old keeps his place for Tuesday’s decider.

“Batting first, the ball did not skid on so much and India bowled into the pitch and the ball just died. David Miller struggling to hit the ball shows you how tough conditions were and how well India bowled.

“I found it tough, it was frustrating. But lots of credit must go to Reeza, he kept the runs flowing at the other end and so the partnership was still doing well,” Markram said.

England and South Africa Test resumes on Saturday and will still end on Monday 0

Posted on October 24, 2022 by Ken

The decisive third Test between England and South Africa at The Oval will resume on Saturday and will still end on Monday, making it just a three-day match.

The first day of action was completely washed out after England had won the toss and sent the Proteas in to bat, and the second day’s play was cancelled on Friday in a mark of respect for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

With the series locked at 1-1, there had been hopes that the Test could be extended until Tuesday, but it is believed the Proteas turned that down because they are scheduled to fly home on Tuesday. The extra day is therefore not being added and the deciding Test becomes a de facto three-day match. Although both of the previous Tests at Lord’s and Old Trafford were completed inside three days, the Oval has been a much friendlier batting venue in the past.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Friday afternoon the decision to resume all cricket activities on Saturday, saying it is in line with the Official National Mourning guidelines and the advice they have received from the UK government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

There does seem to be a certain amount of discomfort over the match continuing during the United Kingdom’s period of mourning for the loss of their longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II having reigned for 70 years.

Over and above cricket paying its respects with a minute’s silence being observed and then the national anthem being played before the start of play. all players and coaches wearing black armbands and branded inventory being replaced with messaging paying respects to the queen, the Surrey County Cricket Club sent out a series of tweets on Friday evening noting some differences to their usual hosting arrangements.

There will be a special on-field celebration of the queen’s life half-an-hour before the scheduled start of play and no alcohol will be served before the conclusion of that observance. Fancy dress – a staple of English Test matches – will not be permitted on any of the three remaining days. They urged people to show respect for others and the occasion.

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    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.


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