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Ken Borland

Powerhouse Lions field top-class outfit for T20 opener 0

Posted on May 10, 2024 by Ken

A “powerhouse” DP World Lions men’s team are determined to claim a second trophy this season as they start their CSA T20 Challenge campaign against the GBets Rocks in Johannesburg on Friday night, and they will be fielding a top-class outfit.

The #PrideOfJozi boast a couple of players named in the Betway SA20 Team of the Tournament in Ryan Rickelton and Wiaan Mulder, there is a thrilling prospect of Kagiso Rabada and his protégé Kwena Maphaka sharing the new ball, and a wonderful batting line-up with other Proteas stars in Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma.

Apart from Rickelton and Mulder blazing a trail in the SA20, the DP World Lions are guided by a coach in Russell Domingo who has played a key role in the Sunrisers Eastern Cape winning back-to-back titles as their batting coach. The experienced Domingo will know exactly how to play winning T20 cricket in South Africa.

Rickelton, who was the leading run-scorer in the SA20 with 530 runs at an average of 58.89 and a strike-rate of 173.77, is setting a confident tone right up front.

“We will have a full squad, barring KG when he goes to the IPL, so we have a powerhouse team, obviously we’re going to put our names up for the overall win. We would be upset if we don’t get that far and we’re really looking forward to it after winning the four-day title, which was a big incentive for us because we haven’t won that in a while,” Rickelton said.

“While the tournament was obviously a major let-down for us at MI Cape Town, I have clarity about my batting. Coach Robbie [Peterson] was quite decisive about what he wanted us to do and we really strived to win the powerplay. So I had to execute my role as well as I can with Rassie, because of the power we had to come behind.

“The opportunity was there to really take the game on there up front, to really maximise the powerplay. I had the freedom to fail and I just tried to keep it simple, while training specifics. Now I want to make sure I make an impact for the Lions, that is hugely important for me,” Rickelton said.

All-rounder Mulder earned a spot in the SA20 Team of the Tournament mostly for his batting, where he averaged a healthy 37.13 and scored at a dynamic 157.14, continuing what has been a top-class summer with the bat. Mulder shone as a finisher, but also as a safeguard who could come in during the powerplay and lay a platform for the spectacular hitting of Heinrich Klaasen.

Mulder said he went into the competition with confidence, thanks to, again, the freedom given him by the DP World Lions coaches, and a clear job description from Durban Super Giants coach Lance Klusener.

“Russell Domingo and Hashim Amla have been incredible for my game, they have really motivated me and allowed me to just go and play, to break the shackles. Because of them I took a lot of confidence into the SA20.

“I discovered a couple of new things about my game during the tournament. I worked really hard on playing spin and finishing, which is a part of the game Mark Boucher told me he didn’t think I had when he was Proteas coach. I spent quite a lot of time working with Heinrich and Dwaine Pretorius, but I’m never going to be that type of batter, having a perfect swing and getting carried away hitting sixes.

“But I can hit space and I can score different sorts of boundaries, I can still score 50 off 25 balls. Lance backs me quite a lot, my technique gave me the opportunity to bat in the top five and my role was to face quite a lot of balls and protect Heinrich. You can get some real jaffas in the powerplay, but you can play with a lot of freedom afterwards,” Mulder said.

With the players that the Lions have, playing at a fast-action venue like the DP World Wanderers Stadium, and with so many of them knowing exactly what to do to win T20 games, there is no reason why our Pride should not back themselves to bring home another trophy.

Proteas broth just never comes to the boil in 3rd T20 0

Posted on July 25, 2022 by Ken

South Africa’s broth just failed to ever come to the boil in the third T20 against India as a mixture of poor fielding and slow batting at the start of their chase saw them let slip a chance to wrap up the series as they lost by 48 runs in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday evening.

Having again won the toss and sent India in to bat, the Proteas made a lacklustre start to their effort in the field as Ruturaj Gaikwad (57 off 35) and Ishan Kishan (54) raced the hosts to 120 for one in 12 overs.

Although the South African bowlers fought back well with the ball, three straightforward catches were dropped in the field and, one of those beneficiaries, Hardik Pandya, scored 31 not out off 21 balls to lift India to 179 for five.

Batting became progressively more difficult as the ball became softer, and it was clear the Proteas would need a quick start in pursuit of 180, a productive powerplay being crucial if they were to score the bulk of their runs in the first half of their innings, as India did.

But Temba Bavuma (8 off 10) and Reeza Hendricks (23 off 20) struggled to get going in the face of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (one for 21) hooping the ball around and South Africa were 40 for three after seven overs.

There were some squawks of defiance from Dwaine Pretorius (20 off 16), Heinrich Klaasen (29 off 24) and Wayne Parnell (22* off 18) but South Africa were never really in with a shout as spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (three for 20) and seamer Harshal Patel (four for 25 in 3.1 overs) revelled in slowing conditions that allowed India to feel much more at home.

The Proteas were all out in the final over for 131, producing none of their fireworks of the first two matches.

South Africa’s bowling comeback had been led by Pretorius (two for 29), Kagiso Rabada (one for 31) and Parnell, who conceded 32 runs in his four overs.

SA aren’t fielding their usual sort of attack with Williams on debut, but he has adapted well 0

Posted on May 03, 2022 by Ken

South Africa aren’t fielding their usual sort of bowling attack against Bangladesh in the first Test at Kingsmead in Durban, with debutant Lizaad Williams one of just two frontline pacemen alongside Duanne Olivier.

Even at domestic level, one would very seldom see a team fielding just two specialist pace bowlers.

So it’s all a bit of a strange experience for Williams, the 28-year-old playing in his first Test after a journeyman career that has taken off spectacularly since his move to the Titans in 2020.

But he has adapted well and he finished his first innings as a Test bowler with impressive figures of 3/54 in 18.5 overs as Bangladesh were bowled out for 298 on the third day. That gave the Proteas a 69-run first-innings lead, which they extended to 75 by reaching 6/0 in the four overs possible before bad light and rain stopped play.

“We’re two different kinds of bowlers, Duanne gets more bounce while I just try and hit the pitch six-to-seven metres out and the ball squats a bit,” Williams said on Saturday.

“That combination worked well for us but we could have bowled even better. I must say, it is a bit of a weird pitch, both new balls seemed to do a bit less, which is not normal and I don’t know why.

“But in Test cricket not everything is going to be in your favour, but I do still think this is a result pitch.

“I was very delighted to get my first wicket. It was always my dream to play Test cricket, growing up, it was always what I was working towards. It’s your most difficult format and to be able to contribute to my team was great,” Williams said.

Lithe and athletic, with a straight-lines action and the ability to zip the ball around at good pace, the 5’10 Williams certainly has the fast bowling gene. He is slippery, consistently touching the 140km/h mark, and he has the confidence of fine form in domestic cricket to bolster him.

A graduate of the University of the Western Cape, having been schooled at Weston Secondary School and Hugenote Hoerskool, he was born in Vredenburg on October 1, 1993. Having played for Boland Schools for three years, his talent was obvious and he was capped for SA Schools in 2010, from where he made the SA U19 team in 2011 and 2012, also playing in the Junior World Cup.

Northerns latest team to be stung by irrepressible Boland 0

Posted on April 04, 2022 by Ken

The Northerns Titans became the latest team to be stung by the irrepressible bowling and fielding of the Boland Rocks as the Paarl-based side shocked the tournament favourites by beating them by 15 runs in the CSA T20 Challenge final at St George’s Park on Sunday.

Chasing a modest 139 for victory, Northerns slumped to 29/3 inside the powerplay, but put themselves back into position to win with two handy middle-order partnerships.

Heinrich Klaasen (17) and Sibonelo Makhanya (37) added 35 for the fourth wicket as Northerns recovered to 64/3 at the halfway stage.

Klaasen was then beaten in the flight and bowled by left-arm spinner Siyabonga Mahima, but Makhanya and Donovan Ferreira made them favourites as they added 35 in 4.1 overs, needing just 40 more off 34 balls to win.

A run out changed everything though as Ferreira was caught short by Ferisco Adams after confusion with Makhanya, and Hardus Viljoen then took a stinging return catch next ball to dismiss Aya Gqamane (0), the last of the recognised batsmen.

Boland were sharp at the death and the Titans closed on 123/9.

The spin of Mahima (4-0-22-2) and Imraan Manack (4-0-14-2) obtained bite out of the St George’s Park pitch and fatally undermined the Northerns’ chase, while fast bowler Viljoen took 2/14 in three overs.

Having elected to bat first, Boland lost wickets at regular intervals, but the fact they got to 138/6 loans credibility to the importance of having an anchoring batsman in T20 cricket.

Captain Pieter Malan, the leading run-scorer in the tournament, scored 71 of those runs off just 56 balls, batting through to the penultimate over in a matchwinning effort.

Viljoen provided a late boost to the innings by blasting 32 not out off just 16 deliveries.

Spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, helped by the tremendous frugality of Aaron Phangiso, who conceded just 13 runs in his four overs, once again ruled the middle overs with 3/20, while seamer Lizaad Williams was also good with 2/30.

But the Boland Rocks, the new franchise in the blossoming cricket area of Paarl, were worthy and popular champions.

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