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Ken Borland

Boland surrender T20 Challenge title in maudlin fashion 0

Posted on January 27, 2023 by Ken

The Boland Rocks surrendered their CSA T20 Challenge title in maudlin fashion on Wednesday night as they bowed out at the semi-final stage, losing by 20 runs to the KZN Dolphins in Potchefstroom.

Having sent the Dolphins in to bat, the excellent Boland bowlers dominated all but the first five overs and the last over of the innings as they bowled KZN out for 146 in the final over.

Openers Grant Roelofsen (26) and Keegan Petersen (25) added 42 off 35 balls up front, but the Dolphins then crashed to 124/8. KZN captain Prenelan Subrayen hit 22 off 11 balls at the death to boost his team to a total that they felt they could defend on a two-paced pitch.

After Eathan Bosch had Leus du Plooy caught behind for a first-ball duck, Janneman Malan gave Boland a good start, scoring 31 off 29 balls to take them to 40/1 in the powerplay. But the arrival of spinners Subrayen and Jon-Jon Smuts began a sorry tale for the Rocks.

Left-arm spinner Smuts struck with his first delivery, beating the dangerous Clyde Fortuin in the flight and bowling him for 7. Malan could only score six runs off the 10 balls he faced from the spinners, before being outdone by off-spinner Subrayen’s arm ball and being neatly stumped by Roelofsen for 37.

Subrayen (4-0-18-3) and Smuts (4-0-17-2) then reduced the Dolphins to 65/6 in the 13th over.

Farhaan Behardien (31*) and Hardus Viljoen (22 off 18) tried valiantly to rescue the sinking ship, but Boland limped to 126/8 in the end.

The Dolphins now meet the Northerns Titans in Saturday’s final, and they will bring a proper all-round bowling attack to the contest.

Bosch’s control set an excellent tone up front as he finished with 1/22 in his four overs and Ottneil Baartman is also a primary weapon, taking 1/29 in four on Wednesday.

Daryn Dupavillon’s pace makes him a proper threat, and he bowled just one poor over, which cost 16 runs, but bowled well at the death with Baartman to ensure the Dolphins’ dominance was reflected in the final result.

Bamanye Xenxe, a real talent unearthed by this tournament, was the best of the Boland bowlers with 4/34, but he did concede 17 off the last over.

Leg-spinner Shaun von Berg took 3/22 in his four overs, but a couple of his wickets were gifted by the Dolphins hitting long-hops to fielders. His dismissal of Andile Simelane for a duck, beautifully stumped by Fortuin, was a masterful piece of cricket, however.

Ferisco Adams once again showed his T20 skills by taking 1/19 in four overs.

Strydom does the business with ‘most solid’ nine holes of his career 0

Posted on December 11, 2022 by Ken

Ockie Strydom with the Alfred Dunhill Championship trophy after he did the business in highly impressive fashion on the back nine at Leopard Creek.
Photo: Ken Borland

Ockie Strydom had been runner-up 19 times and won just once on the Sunshine Tour, but the 37-year-old did the business in highly impressive fashion on the back nine in the final round to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship by two strokes at Leopard Creek on Sunday.

Remarkably, it was a double-bogey on the par-four ninth that sparked Strydom, as he responded immediately to losing the outright lead with two brilliant approach shots, after crunching drives, to set up back-to-back birdies on the 10th and 11th holes.

Strydom short-sided himself on the ninth with his approach to the left of the flag, the ball spinning back into the water.

But he recovered to produce an impeccably solid back nine, with further birdies on the 13th and 14th holes and seldom looking in any danger of dropping a shot.

“It was probably the most solid nine holes I have played,” Strydom said. “After the double, I said to my caddy Jaris [Kruger, his brother-in-law], that it’s fine, we are still in there and we can pull it back.

“And then we did it in the first two holes of the back nine and just kept the foot on the pedal after that. I’ve been in this situation a lot and I know how to manage it. I was just able to go back to the game I know.

“I’ve put in a lot of hard work on my mental toughness and Jaris is a legend who really helped me. We discussed everything and I didn’t play any silly shots,” Strydom said.

Strydom closed with a three-under 69 to finish on 18-under-par, and while the victory was relatively easy in the end – “having a three-shot lead tends to take the nerves away,” Strydom admitted – the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate representative had numerous challengers to worry about through his round.

Scott Jamieson was tied for the lead with Strydom overnight and it was only after eight holes that the experienced Scotsman slipped behind never to return. Jamieson bogeyed the last three holes to post a 76 and finish in a tie for 11th on 11-under, on a final day in which he just never loosened up.

Dean Burmester, two behind at the start of the day, cut the gap to one when he curled in a 27-foot birdie putt on the 10th, but he immediately dropped a shot on the 11th and could only post a level-par 72 to finish on 13-under, tied for seventh with Louis Oosthuizen, who eagled the 11th and also picked up birdies on the 13th and 15th holes to get to 14-under and provide a brief threat. But the 2005 runner-up finished par-par-bogey.

Spaniard Adrian Otaegui, a four-time European Tour winner, produced the only bogey-free round of the day to put Strydom under the most pressure.

Otaegui, beginning the day on 12-under, moved to within a shot of the lead with birdies on the second and third holes, and picked up another shot on the par-four 11th. But crucially, he could not gather any other birdies coming in, until he scored a four at the par-five closing hole.

His 68 left him on 16-under and alone in second place, one shot ahead of Englishman Laurie Canter, whose 64 was the low round of the day. He started with a bogey, but then fired seven birdies and an eagle at the par-four sixth to claim third place.

South Africans Oliver Bekker (71) and Branden Grace (70) at times applied pressure, but both had crucial misses on the back nine as they finished on 14-under, sharing fourth place with Canadian Aaron Cockerill (69).

South African MJ Daffue and Frenchman David Ravetto rounded out the top-10 on 12-under-par, both closing with 69s.

Strydom, the man of the day, however, now has a DP World Tour exemption for two years, when his goals for 2023 were a bit lower – the Challenge Tour.

“It means everything to me, all the South Africans on the Sunshine Tour dream of winning a co-sanctioned event and I always wanted to do it here,” Strydom said.

“I had planned to play a bit on the Challenge Tour, but it has all just changed in the space of a week. I probably need to do some fresh planning.

“My Dad said he would be satisfied if I win one of these co-sanctioned events, I’ve finally done it and to do it at Leopard Creek feels extra good.

“‘Winner of a co-sanctioned event’ has a nice ring to it, but I’m not sure I’m ready for it,” the perennial bridegroom laughed.

Judging by his performance on Sunday afternoon, Strydom looks ready for anything.

Batting baron Miller looks forward to influential role in India 0

Posted on July 15, 2022 by Ken

Batting baron David Miller is looking forward to playing an influential role for the Proteas both on and off the field in their five-match T20 series against India which starts on Thursday, having done the business in spectacular fashion for the champion Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League.

The 32-year-old Miller will become the first South African to play 100 T20 Internationals if he plays in all five matches of the series. Given his red-hot form of late – he scored 481 runs at an average of 68.71 and a strike-rate of 142 in the IPL – that would seem sensible.

“Scoring the runs that I did and closing out games for my team was what I was looking forward to doing, so it was nice to tick that box,” Miller said on Tuesday. “My objective is now the same for the Proteas.

“I’ve been around a long time and you develop, grow and mature in your role. I understand my game a lot better now. I still get nervous and the odd negative thought, but experience allows you to deal with that much better.

“So I also want to have that calming effect in the changeroom, clarify with the younger guys what they need to do, build those relationships. I enjoy giving advice and sharing my experience.

“But it’s important to learn from the youngsters too, how they approach the game, their mindsets. It’s a cool responsibility to have and I don’t feel any extra pressure because of it,” Miller said.

While Miller is mindful of the positive energy and good vibes they can engender back home by beating India, he warned that their hosts, despite resting stars like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, have experience and matchwinners spread through their squad. And again, the IPL has played a key role in their success, which has seen them win 12 T20 internationals in a row.

“India have a lot of depth because of the IPL, and a lot of experienced players from there who are used to dealing with pressure,” Miller said. “They have serious matchwinners and it’s going to be a challenging series for us.

“We have had no games since the last World Cup but we now understand our roles much better and we just want to get that blueprint back to where we were and iron out a few things leading up to the World Cup,” Miller said.

Adams’ loss of nerve an unfortunate development 0

Posted on June 10, 2022 by Ken

Paul Adams’ refusal to testify in Mark Boucher’s disciplinary hearing is an unfortunate development that will not only considerably weaken Cricket South Africa’s case, but also reflects badly on the former spin bowler and makes it harder for the current Proteas coach to clear his name in an unambiguous fashion.

Having showed an admirable level of courage in testifying at the Social Justice and Nation-Building hearings about an offensive team song the Proteas used in fines meetings in the late 1990s, Adams now seems to have lost his nerve when it comes to presenting and justifying the same evidence, but this time with Boucher’s representatives being able to cross-examine and test his claims.

It shows again that for SJN Ombudsman Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza to err so badly in allowing inflammatory allegations to be publicly aired without being properly subjected to legal processes has only created more headaches for Cricket South Africa.

Adams was also disingenuous in his weekend statement announcing his decision when he claimed he never meant to single out Boucher in his SJN testimony. While Boucher’s name was admittedly brought into the conversation by one of Ntsebeza’s legal assistants, Adams went on to say that Boucher “should come and say sorry, if that’s enough, but we can’t brush this under the carpet”.

Adams also went on to target Boucher’s appointment as Titans coach in 2016.

No amount of “sorry”s can fully cleanse the stain of being unjustifiably called a racist and Adams’ refusal to further discuss his allegations has denied Boucher the chance of properly exonerating himself if he is innocent of the offences his former team-mate accuses him of doing.

With Enoch Nkwe also not expected to testify, CSA’s entire case could quickly disintegrate. But the public may not be as quick to forget the allegations that were made against Boucher but which have never actually been disproven.

That could only have happened if Adams had availed himself to answer such probing questions as what other songs were sung, what songs did he participate in and who actually wrote the offensive lyrics?

Having provided the matches to those who are looking to burn down Boucher’s career, Adams has now slipped out of being held accountable for what he 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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