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Ken Borland



‘We are finding it harder to win at home’ – Pace 0

Posted on February 26, 2024 by Ken

FANCOURT (Western Cape), 14 February 2024 – “It’s nice to see the overseas support of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, it has grown a lot, but we are now finding it harder to win at home,” the prolific Lee-Anne Pace said with a chuckle on the eve of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am that kicks off the new season at Fancourt from Thursday.

Played on the great Montague and Outeniqua courses at Fancourt, the tournament has a R2.5 million prize fund which 44 professionals are fighting over. It is the second year in which the ladies will play alongside the men’s event being held at the same time, on the same courses.

Of the 44-strong field, 28 are from overseas, highlighting the strength of the nine-event Sunshine Ladies Tour and the value it offers women professionals.

“There’s a really strong overseas contingent coming to play and the fields on the Sunshine Ladies Tour seem to get stronger every week,” Pace, a 14-tme winner, said.

“It’s a really good field this week and I think the scores are going to be quite a lot lower than last year. The courses are quite a bit softer than usual, and on the shorter side, so we can attack a little bit more. I think there are going to be a lot of birdies and as always, it’s going to come down to putting.”

There is an important pro-am aspect to the event, with 44 amateurs each playing with a pro in the team event. Pace, who won the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge at nearby George Golf Club in 2014, said the format will provide a fun side for the professionals.

“Nowadays we are so used to playing in pro-ams with all the Aramco events on the Ladies European Tour. So it will be quite a lot of fun to get to know some of the top women in business. I’ve made some really good friends from playing in pro-ams.”

Even though it is the start of the South African season, Pace is one of the players to bring some form into the event, having finished in a tie for 11th at last weekend’s Kenya Ladies Open, the first event of the new Ladies European Tour season. The 42-year-old shot a brilliant 68 in the final round to ensure she comes to Fancourt with some confidence.

“I felt really good on the last day and played really nicely. That’s after feeling really sick on the first day. So I feel I do have a bit of form on my side,” Pace said.

Compatriot Cara Gorlei also finished in the tie for 11th, and was leading the tournament before a 77 in the third round pushed her down the leaderboard.

France’s Anne-Lise Caudal, a two-time LET winner, is among the stronger foreign contenders, along with Germany’s Carolin Kauffmann, who finished fifth in last year’s Dimension Data Pro-Am and Englishwoman Lauren Taylor, who has two top-10 finishes in this event.

Former champions from South Africa in Stacey Bregman and Lejan Lewthwaite are also in the field.

‘All about finding a way’ – Markram 0

Posted on January 23, 2023 by Ken

Aiden Markram said it was “all about finding a way” on a spicy Perth Stadium pitch as he and David Miller scored top-class half-centuries to take South Africa to victory by five wickets with two balls to spare in a thrilling T20 World Cup clash with India on Sunday.

India had chosen to bat first and struggled to 133/9 against a bombardment from a ferocious Proteas attack led by Lungi Ngidi (4-0-29-4) and Wayne Parnell (4-1-15-3). But India then swung the ball superbly up front to reduce South Africa to 24/3. Markram and Miller then battled to 40/3 after 10 overs, at which point they had to make a brave push for victory. They had to shift the momentum and then ran with it.

Markram attacked first, his 52 off 41 balls, swinging hard for six fours and a six, serving to loosen the grip of the Indian attack. Miller then completed the task with typical class and composure, scoring 59 not out off 46 balls.

“Conditions were incredibly tricky for batting, we expected the extra bounce, but the ball was also nipping around quite a bit,” Markram said. “In T20, you have to take risks and play a positive brand of cricket.

“But the ball gets big on you from just short of a good length and makes you look silly at times. I felt far from being in form, but it was about finding a way.

“It’s tough when there’s that extra bounce, but you need to make a play, you’ve got to take the short ball on or you won’t be scoring quickly enough. After 10 overs, we had to pick someone to target, who we felt most comfortable against in the conditions.

“We discussed it at the drinks break and we knew that if it comes off then it would give us a chance,” Markram said.

While batting was something of a daunting adventure on a pitch with so much pace and bounce, Markram also praised the bowlers for not getting carried away when conditions were so much in their favour.

“It was important for us to set the tone up front and Wayne Parnell has been doing that for us in a lot of games. He’s got the experience and the calmness because he knows his skillsets with the ball.

“In conditions like this, Lungi is also a massive weapon for us and he executed extremely well to get the early breakthroughs for us.

“It was important to hit the right hard lengths to extract that extra bounce. Both bowling attacks bowled very well and made it difficult to score.

“You can get carried away in terms of your lengths and then start giving freebies, but neither attack did that. They made life very difficult for the batsmen,” Markram said.

Boucher admits insipid batting, but batsmen on tour were the best 0

Posted on October 27, 2022 by Ken

Proteas coach Mark Boucher admitted that their batting had been insipid in the Test series in England, but said the natural remedy of just finding other batsmen to take the incumbents’ places in the Big Time was not applicable because the batters on tour were the best available.

“The batsmen here have consistently been the best in the country,” Boucher said after the series loss but before the shock announcement that he would be standing down from his post after the T20 World Cup next month. “We always knew we would be under pressure if the conditions made the ball go around a bit against a good English bowling attack.

“You have to be able to trust your defence, but our issue was that we weren’t able to keep out the good balls. Quite a few technical flaws were exposed.

“But it’s a fine line between wanting the batsmen to play the way that got them here and changing too much. And this is not an academy of learning, this is Test cricket.

“We were forced into positions where we had to give opportunities to others, you can’t just keep playing with the same guys who keep failing. There’s a mental side to it too, and it can become like quicksand – the harder you try, the deeper you sink.

“Hopefully these batsmen will get it right next time they come here. We played some very good cricket, but we just couldn’t put the runs on the board,” Boucher said at The Oval.

Although Boucher is now likely to become a franchise T20 coach, he made a plea to cricket’s global administrators for more Tests per annum to be played.

“The only way to get experience is by going out and playing, and losing sight of Test cricket would not be great. I’m a purist, I love it and for me it is the truest form of the game. We need to take care of it.

“The heads of the game need to get together and decide how best we can play more Test cricket, we need to find a way.

“Test cricket is exciting, you very seldom see draws anymore, it’s attacking and nice to watch. The more we see of it the better,” Boucher said.

Bavuma, not Minister of Finance, says SA need to find an extra 5% 0

Posted on December 24, 2021 by Ken

When a South African leader talks about finding an extra 5% it’s normally the Minister of Finance trying to balance the books in a time of constrained fiscus, but Proteas captain Temba Bavuma admitted on Friday that this is what his team will need to do to beat England in Sharjah and maintain their hopes of qualifying for the T20 World Cup semi-finals.

Depending on Australia’s margin of victory or defeat against the West Indies in Saturday’s earlier game in Abu Dhabi, South Africa could advance to the semi-finals even if they lose narrowly to England or could still be knocked out even if they beat the favourites.

Bavuma said the Proteas’ focus was simply on winning, and to do that they needed to be at their best on Saturday.

“We need to play our best cricket tomorrow and our first port of call is the win. Although our cricket has been good so far, we need to find a way to add an extra 5% in all departments,” Bavuma said.

“England have had the better of us lately, so we have to be at our best against them. We can’t leave it to individuals, we can’t rely on individual brilliance, it’s all about us as a team.

“We want to show the same character we have done and fight to the end. Every game we have tailored our strategy according to the opposition and England are obviously a very good team.

“So we will come up with plans that speak to England’s strengths and weaknesses, but mentally our approach should not be any different. The players and management have been through a lot and we have grown as a team,” Bavuma said.

Bavuma may be a playful character out of the spotlight, but he is clearly taking the responsibility of leading the national team at a World Cup most seriously. He is also extremely diligent about fulfilling his batting role, over which there has been much chatter recently. His strike-rate of 108.33 has been a particular focus, as was his run-a-ball innings of 46 against Sri Lanka the last time they played in Sharjah.

“If you look at conditions, they have not been freeflowing and you can’t just come in and hit the first ball out of the middle of the bat. We’ve really had to graft as a batting unit.

“I feel I can do a role up front or in the middle to hold the game and allow the big-hitters to get into the game. We’ve seen that’s worked in this World Cup, we feel it’s what’s best and we back it.

“We really do know now after the Sri Lanka game that the pitch in Sharjah will be on the low side. In terms of our batting, we took the game quite deep and what we have learnt is that we should have pulled the trigger a bit earlier,” Bavuma 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

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.

     



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