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Ken Borland

Pretorius injury robs Proteas of reliable death bowler 0

Posted on December 14, 2022 by Ken

All-rounder Dwaine Pretorius, whose clever bowling has been reliable for the Proteas at the death, has been ruled out of the T20 World Cup due to a fractured thumb, Cricket South Africa announced on Thursday.

Pretorius is believed to have suffered the injury when he dropped a relatively straightforward catch at midwicket in the final T20 against India earlier this week. CSA chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra has confirmed that the fracture, in his left thumb, will require surgery, and the 33-year-old has returned to South Africa for the operation.

Marco Jansen, the young all-rounder who has produced inspired performances at Test level, will replace Pretorius in the Proteas ODI squad that began a three-match series against India in Lucknow on Thursday, but the selectors are still mulling who will be the replacement in the actual World Cup squad.

The tall left-armer Jansen would add some menace and variety to the attack in Australia, but there are the death-bowling skills to consider as well, and Andile Phehlukwayo could get the nod as a more like-for-like replacement.

Both Phehlukwayo and Jansen were named as travelling reserves for the T20 World Cup.

The absence of Pretorius will rob the Proteas of another experienced campaigner, following Rassie van der Dussen’s withdrawal after breaking a finger in England.

Left-arm paceman Wayne Parnell is the other bowling all-rounder in the squad and, if there is swing about, he can be a dangerous wicket-taker, as well as usually having good skills at the death.

SA20 a ray of hope for cricket coffers & a great platform for these players 0

Posted on November 01, 2022 by Ken

The SA20 is meant to be a ray of hope for the embattled coffers of South African cricket, but it is also going to provide a global platform for local players to display their talents and hopefully further their careers.

The good news for the country’s best T20 players is that the competition for their signatures is expected to be most fierce in Monday’s auction in Cape Town, which should drive up prices. It has been noticeable how, due to the weakness of the rand, overseas players’ reserve prices are much higher, meaning in many cases, South African players represent better value.

“You play half your matches at home, so that has a big impact,” Sunrisers Eastern Cape coach Adrian Birrell said. “You need to get the right players for the right venue, and we’ll be trying the best we can to buy for St George’s Park, players who have done well there. I’m sure the Wanderers and SuperSport Park will do the same thing.

“The opportunity to go for one or two big South African players we would like to have is why we did not spend up front and have only pre-signed Aiden Markram and Ottneil Baartman.

“I think us and the Pretoria franchise [who have just pre-signed Anrich Nortje and Migael Pretorius] have the most money. You can strategise well with that extra money and we have a good chance of getting the players we want,” Birrell said.

So what good-value buys should the six franchises be targeting as they look to spend what is remaining of their R34 million budget to fill all 17 spots on their playing rosters? Ten of those places must go to South Africans.

Daryn Dupavillon

All six franchises will have their eyes on people who can bowl flat-out fast. While Nortje and Kagiso Rabada have been pre-signed, and competition will be intense for Marco Jansen, KZN Dolphins star Dupavillon represents good value. Arguably the fastest bowler in South Africa, his sheer pace will bring plenty of heat to opposition batsmen and test their ability to choose and execute the correct stroke in a split-second.

Dwaine Pretorius

The 33-year-old provides an ideal T20 package as an experienced all-rounder. As a bowler, he can bowl up front with swing, in the middle overs with cutters or at the death with his wide yorkers. And as a batsman, he is a power-hitter and can hit boundaries from ball one, which is crucial for that role.

Lungi Ngidi

Unburdened by injury, Ngidi has been in superb form for the Proteas, having the batsmen in chains in the opening overs. He will be even more dangerous in South Africa, where his steepling bounce from a good length comes into play, while his clever slower balls will still be effective.

Tabraiz Shamsi

Shamsi’s brilliance as a white-ball bowler, one of the best in the world, should be recognised and Sunrisers Eastern Cape could make a big move for him, thanks to his excellent record at St George’s Park – in 14 T20s there he has taken 19 wickets and concedes just 6.74 runs-per-over. Pretoria Capitals could get involved in a bidding war though to get him back to his current home ground.

Tristan Stubbs

This 22-year-old is so exciting, people are now going to matches just to watch him bat. Sunrisers Eastern Cape no doubt want him to play at his home ground, but every single franchise is going to be after his services. He has taken to international cricket with aplomb, showing his ability to clear the boundary and also keep his run-rate high with ones and twos.

Reeza Hendricks

In magnificent form at the moment and marvellous to watch when in full flight, Hendricks scored back-to-back centuries in the 2018 Mzansi Super League. He’s probably a better batsman now and most of the franchises will be thinking long and hard about getting him in at the top of the order.

Clever seam of Pretorius and guile of Maharaj and Shamsi dominates England 0

Posted on August 29, 2022 by Ken

The clever seam bowling of Dwaine Pretorius and the guile of spinners Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi dominated England in the shortened second ODI at Old Trafford on Friday, the hosts being bowled out for 201 in the last of their 29 overs.

Heavy morning showers meant the start of the match was delayed from 1pm local time to 5.45pm, and South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first.

Openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow made a bright start in the first couple of overs, with Roy greeting fast bowler Anrich Nortje with a couple of boundaries when he pitched too short. But Nortje rebounded by making the first breakthrough, Roy (14 off 11) skewing a catch to a shortish, straightish midwicket.

And then Pretorius ripped through the top-order with three for 26 in five overs. The medium-pacer removed Phil Salt (17), brilliantly caught by David 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.

Pretorius 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.

Sam Curran (35 off 18) ensured the momentum began to lean England’s way, however, attacking both spinners and hitting three brilliant straight sixes. That sparked Liam Livingstone, who delighted in the extra pace provided by Nortje to hit him for 6-6-6-4 in the 21st over.

Nortje bounced back, however, with a clever slower-ball bouncer which Livingstone (38 off 26) flapped to a widish mid-on.

David Willey scored a useful 21 before Pretorius returned to have him caught at deep midwicket and finish with brilliant career-best figures of four for 36 in his six overs.

Lungi Ngidi was outstanding with his changes of pace and most unfortunate not to take any wickets.

Experience of those past their 32nd birthdays key for Proteas’ record chase 0

Posted on July 20, 2022 by Ken

Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller and Dwaine Pretorius are all past their 32nd birthdays and it was that experience that gave them the clarity of knowing exactly what they had to do as South Africa chased down a record score in the first T20 against India in Delhi on Thursday night.

South Africa’s previous highest chase was 208 for two against the West Indies at the Wanderers in 2007/8, in the first World T20 tournament. So when India piled on 211 for four, their highest ever score against the Proteas, the pressure was on.

But Pretorius, born March 29 1989, was promoted to No.3 and dominated the powerplay by lashing 29 off 13 balls, before India fought back with a couple of wickets and South Africa needed 120 to win off the last nine overs. Miller, born June 10 1989, then took over, taking the pressure off a struggling Van der Dussen, with the in-form IPL winner blasting 64 not out off 31 deliveries.

Van der Dussen, who was born on February 7 1989, exploded in the latter stages to finish with a fabulous 75 not out off just 46 balls as the Proteas won with five balls to spare.

“Dwaine was brilliant, he had clear instructions to put India under pressure and he did that superbly. He’s an intimidating figure and we know how far he can hit the ball,” Van der Dussen said.

“But it took a while for me to get the pace of the pitch, I was a bit slow with 30 off 31 balls. But David batted really well to get me through that tough patch in the middle.

“I knew if I could just get one or two shots away then the momentum would shift. We had clear plans and communicated well, the lesson is to trust the game-plan and have a clear mind regardless of your score and how many balls faced.

“We trusted each other too and we knew that if David and I were there at the end then we would be close and would probably get over the line. I’m glad we managed to do it in the end,” Van der Dussen said.

The Central Gauteng Lions star, who now averages 42 in T20 internationals with a strike-rate of 132, recognised however that what happened in the first match of the series probably won’t work every time. It was just as well Van der Dussen was dropped on 29 in the 16th over because that would have brought Tristan Stubbs, exciting but a real baby at this level, in to try and get 63 runs from 28 balls.

“I would like to adapt a little quicker to conditions, you can’t always put yourself under pressure and catch up. It also puts the team under pressure,” Van der Dussen acknowledged.

“I will be looking at my first 15-20 balls to try and get away quicker.”

The second T20 is in Cuttack on Sunday from 3.30pm.

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