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Ken Borland

Verreynne does not hide away from fact Proteas suffered soft dismissals 0

Posted on July 27, 2023 by Ken

Kyle Verreynne, South Africa’s leading run-scorer in the series so far, did not hide away from the fact that the Proteas suffered soft dismissals on the opening day of the second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but he said the tourists’ batsmen were still in a positive frame of mind.

South Africa were bundled out for just 189 on Monday, with Verreynne (52) and Marco Jansen (59) scoring the bulk of those runs in a sixth-wicket stand of 112. Although both of them were caught behind the wicket in successive overs from Cameron Green, edging deliveries outside off-stump, their dismissals were far from soft in comparison to some of their colleagues.

After being sent in to bat, South Africa’s initial collapse from 56 for one to 67 for five had been triggered by Theunis de Bruyn’s wild pull shot and captain Dean Elgar’s crazy run out. Sarel Erwee and Khaya Zondo were both caught off drives that were over-ambitious and poorly executed, while Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada, who have scored valuable runs for the Proteas in the past, were both out to poor strokes.

“In our last few innings, we’ve been getting out to a lot of good balls and the bowlers have really stuck to their plans, but today there were more soft dismissals, which was the disappointing thing,” Verreynne said after passing fifty for the third time in his 13 Tests.

“But behind closed doors, our batsmen are in a good space and we’ve been having really positive conversations. We know we have to make sure the top six puts the runs on the board and we can’t rely on our lower-order to do it.

“We put pressure on Australia with the ball in the last innings in Brisbane, so we have a lot of confidence that our bowlers can do the job. But it’s a pity that we rely so much on them.

“It would be nice for the batsmen to put a good target on the board for them for a change. But you have to give credit to the Australian bowlers, we had a big partnership and put pressure on them, but they stuck at it,” Verreynne said.

With far less conventional movement on offer than in Brisbane, cross-seam deliveries were one of the vehicles the home attack used to great effect on Monday. None more so than Green, who claimed a career-best five for 27 in 10.4 overs.

“A couple of overs before myself and Marco were dismissed, they started to go cross-seam in order to rough up one side of the ball and it felt like it was just tailing in a bit,” Verreynne said. “Not too much was happening for them, so credit to them for trying something.

“Green is a bit different to the other bowlers because he is so tall, so he gets bounce and he has the ability to shape the ball, as does Mitchell Starc.

“But Green has that bit extra and they use him in short bursts so he brings a lot of energy. It’s a luxury Australia have, so the batsmen have to make sure they’re switched on against him,” Verreynne said.

Bavuma admits notorious chokers tag will now be hung around his Proteas’ necks 0

Posted on February 06, 2023 by Ken

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma did not explicitly say it was another case of South Africa choking at a cricket world cup after their shock loss to the Netherlands saw them eliminated from the T20 showpiece on Sunday, but he did admit that notorious tag would now be hung around their necks, like so many of their predecessors.

Needing to just beat qualifiers the Netherlands to make the semi-finals, the Proteas instead came out flat and uninspired, allowing the Dutch to post a challenging 158/4, and then batting limply to only manage 145/8 in reply.

“That tag will always be there until we get to a final and come out on the right side of it,” Bavuma said in the aftermath. “We have nothing else to blame, everything was in our own hands.

“We had the confidence, the belief and the form behind us, but when it mattered we just couldn’t do the business. There needs to be an element of learning to make sure young guys like Tristan Stubbs and Marco Jansen don’t make the same mistakes in future.

“But we are still going to carry that monkey on our backs, that tag. We knew we had to win the game, but I didn’t feel any different type of pressure personally.

“It’s very hard to say it was different because we knew we had to beat India and we won that game. We had the opportunity to make the semi-finals and we just did not take it,” Bavuma said.

Of his own future in the shortest format, Bavuma said he will park any decision on the captaincy until a new fulltime coach is appointed. The skipper admitted that all the speculation over his own poor batting form had also been unsettling.

“It’s been a tricky time and to consider the captaincy now, a lot of my thinking would be emotional. I probably will think about it and speak to the relevant people.

“We have to see who comes in as coach, generally the new person coming in might want a different leader to execute their vision. But I think I carried myself with dignity through the good and bad times.

“Mentally all the talk does affect you. You try to manage your mental space as much as you can, unfortunately social media and whatever is said about you, always seems to get to you no matter how you try to control it.

“I’ve tried to keep a level head through the good and bad times and stay as close to myself as possible. Not just for myself but for the group, who will now take a lot of flak, and rightfully so,” Bavuma said.

Finishing with two bogeys normally against the grain, but worth the risk for Ferreira 0

Posted on December 29, 2022 by Ken

SUN CITY, North-West – Finishing with two bogeys in the last three holes normally goes against the grain for golfers, but the nature of the modified Stableford scoring system means it was worth the risk for Stephen Ferreira and did not cost him the lead at the end of the second round of the Blue Label Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club on Thursday.

Ferreira still posted an excellent 13 points on Thursday, via a five-under-par 67, and he is two points clear of Jbe’ Kruger.

Up until his dropped shots on the par-three 16th and the par-five 18th, the 30-year-old Zimbabwe resident, who plays under the Portuguese flag, was unstoppable with five birdies and an eagle-three, worth five points, on the fifth hole.

“I’m very happy, I felt good today and played really solid golf and sank a few putts,” Ferreira said. “I was aggressive and smart.”

“My first bogey was because I took the wrong club on the par-three and was in the wrong place in the bunker and couldn’t get up-and-down. On the last hole, I had 230 to the flag and had a go because a bogey is only minus-one. It was a risky shot and I didn’t quite pull it off, but in this format, every now and then you have to take a risk.

“But on five I hit a good tee-shot in the middle of the fairway, had 237 to the flag and knew exactly which club to use, a nice floating five-wood to 10 feet and then I made the putt,” Ferreira said.

The runner-up three weeks ago in the SunBet Challenge Wild Coast event said he was grateful for Zambian golfer Madalitso Muthiya bailing him out of a putting problem he had.

“I’ve felt I’ve been playing really good golf but I just haven’t been getting a score, and that’s down to not making putts. We’re all good golfers out here, we all hit the ball well, all hit good irons, so putting is what makes the difference,” Ferreira said.

“My friend Madalitso helped me tweak something small with my putting and now I’m putting nicely.”

Kruger also notched 13 points, via seven birdies, on Thursday, only once landing in trouble when he bogeyed the par-four fourth hole.

First-round leader Brooklin Bailey dropped out of the leadership race as he scored minus-nine on Thursday, with three double-bogeys and just two birdies on his card.

Proteas bowlers do not tax England, but Rabada gets some reward for effort he put in 0

Posted on October 25, 2022 by Ken

South Africa did not tax the England batting in their second innings as they raced to a nine-wicket victory in the third Test at The Oval on Monday, although Kagiso Rabada did finally get some reward for his efforts as he took the wicket of Alex Lees.

England were chasing just 130 to win the Test and the series 2-1, and they resumed on Monday morning just 33 runs short of that target. They rattled off those runs in just 27 minutes off 33 deliveries, with Zak Crawley finishing on a high as he scored a morale-boosting 69 not out off 57 balls, finally showing his true ability.

Rabada once again had Lees dropped early on, wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne this time reacting late and snatching at a regulation chance in the first over of the day, but the great fast bowler did eventually get his man when he trapped him lbw for 39. He needed a review to do it, and even that was rather half-heartedly requested by the Proteas.

Rabada was named as South Africa’s Player of the Series by England coach Brendan McCullum for his 14 wickets at 23.35, and Proteas captain Dean Elgar made a point of thanking his bowlers for their effort, while highlighting that their batting had been rank bad.

“We need to give our bowlers a lot of credit, but it boils down to our batting. We need to be point-blank about it, we just did not execute, we failed in that department,” Elgar said.

“First-innings runs are so crucial in England and with the overhead conditions and the Duke ball, the pitches were always doing something. But if you apply yourself and get in, then it will get easier,” Elgar said.

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