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Ken Borland



Green Gabba pitch has bowlers lining up like delivery vans 0

Posted on May 31, 2023 by Ken

A greener Gabba pitch than anyone could remember seeing before at Test level had the bowlers lining up like delivery vans outside an online store on Saturday, but Proteas top-scorer Kyle Verreynne said it was actually a good batting wicket in Brisbane on the first day of the first Test against Australia.

Sadly his colleagues did not enjoy the conditions as much as Verreynne, who scored a counter-attacking 64 off 96 balls, as only Temba Bavuma (38) made more than 10 as South Africa were bundled out for just 152.

Australia’s batsmen had problems too as they slipped to 27 for three, but Travis Head, with a tremendous run-a-ball 78 not out, and Steven Smith (36) took them to 145 for five at stumps.

While the pitch has provided seam movement, it has not been excessive and not even particularly consistent. But batsmen were also troubled by some inconsistent bounce and the sharp turn and bounce obtained by Australian spinner Nathan Lyon, who took three for 14 in eight overs.

“I think it’s a really good batting pitch to be honest,” Verreynne said, “and your normal game-plans are good on it. When you see it being so green, you expect the pitch to do so much.

“But it did a lot less than we thought it would. It’s not so soft even with such a thick grass layer, it’s quite firm and there is good pace and bounce.

“The aggressive approach worked for Travis Head and myself, but Steven Smith took his time and batted very nicely too,” Verreynne said.

It was the sort of pitch where being able to land the ball on the proverbial handkerchief on a good length would bring reward. The Proteas pacemen were initially able to do that, inspired by David Warner being dismissed on the first ball of the innings as Kagiso Rabada fired in a pinpoint short ball and Khaya Zondo took a phenomenal catch at short-leg. But as soon as the left-handed Head began shifting the momentum and putting the bowlers under pressure, the visitors’ attack turned ragged for a vital hour late in the day.

“After you’re bowled out for just 152, it’s difficult to get the energies up. So getting a wicket first ball was a massive moment, especially a big player like Warner,” wicketkeeper Verreynne said.

“That got the adrenaline going and our energy was really up for the next 10 overs or so. But unfortunately we fell away a bit after that.

“We’re probably still a bit behind in the game, but two late wickets did bring us back in a bit, they’ve given us a bit of a window. But it would have been nice to get a couple more wickets when we had them 27/3.

“After lunch, the pitch picked up a bit more pace and Anrich Nortje was getting it through nicely. Our fast bowlers definitely have a bit left in the tank and hopefully they can make an impact in the morning,” Verreynne said.

Sipamla at the start of the chain, slick & consistent deliveries what he brings 0

Posted on August 25, 2022 by Ken

The Central Gauteng Lions did their bit for Mandela Day this week by packing boxes of food and hygiene products to be distributed by humanitarian aid organisations. A chain of players then relayed them from the field to the stands by throwing the boxes to each other. At the start of this chain was Lutho Sipamla, showing the sort of slick, consistent delivery that is demanded of Springbok scrumhalves.

Consistency is also what the 24-year-old paceman brings in his bowling; in his three Test appearances so far he has taken 11 wickets at an average of just 22.27. But he has also impressed with his ability to bowl regularly in a channel, which Sipamla believes is going to be important re the upcoming Test series against England, who have revitalised their fortunes with an aggressive approach to batting.

“Watching their past few games, whoever the bowlers, England have really come after them,” Sipamla told The Citizen. “Their brand of cricket has been a lot more attacking.

“So line-and-length is going to be really important and controlling your channel for as long as possible. It’s going to be about patience and sticking to simple plans.

“I think if we can do that, with our attack, then we can come out on top. Either way, I know I would have really learnt a lot by the end of the tour,” Sipamla said.

Given his inexperience at international level, there is little doubt England’s aggressive batsmen will target Sipamla, but the Port Elizabeth product says he is happy to carry the fight to the batsmen if they do go after him.

“If the batsmen do show a lot of intent, then you have your zone as a bowler and if the batsman makes a mistake then he gets out; that’s my game-plan,” Sipamla said.

“I like the challenge of it being you against the batsman, that contest in the moment, I want to own and win the battle.”

The other thing Sipamla wants is to enjoy a proper cricket tour to one of the great homes of the game.

“Grey High School went on a tour of England in 2016, my matric year, but this will be my first proper international experience and I’m really looking forward to it,” Sipamla said.

“Just to see England and explore it and the touring side of life, I’m just going to enjoy it because it’s going to be great to be back. There’s a lot to do in England.

“And the Tests are at such historic grounds [Lord’s, Old Trafford and the Oval] and to be at Lord’s is going to be unbelievable. I know our pace attack and what they have in the bag, and what better place to show it,” Sipamla said.

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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

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