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Ken Borland

Hamza & Van Buuren star as ensemble effort gives Lions pleasing lead 0

Posted on December 22, 2023 by Ken

Mitchell van Buuren celebrating his century for the Lions.

Tremendous centuries by Zubayr Hamza and Mitchell van Buuren, and an ensemble effort in terms of support saw the Central Gauteng Lions grab a 90-run first-innings lead over the KwaZulu-Natal Inland Tuskers on the third day of their CSA 4-Day Domestic Series match at the Wanderers on Friday.

Having posted an impressive 435 all out, the Lions then reduced the Tuskers to 45 for two at stumps, the visitors still trailing by 45 runs and certainly the stage is set for an exciting final day.

The Lions were in some difficulty at the start of their first innings, slipping to 43 for three before Hamza and Van Buuren provided some stability late on the second evening.

The pair of former junior provincial hockey stars resumed their partnership on 125 for three on Friday and that stand grew to considerable proportions as they went on to add 183 for the fourth wicket.

Hamza reached his third first-class century this season off 150 balls when he pounced on a quick single from a misfield at square-leg, and anyone who viewed the four-hour innings would have been thoroughly entertained as he stroked 13 stylish boundaries along the way.

He eventually fell for 101 though when he edged an attempted cut off spinner Michael Erlank to wicketkeeper Cameron Shekleton.

Having removed Hamza, the visitors then found getting rid of Van Buuren to be a whole different challenge. The promising 25-year-old marched on to 132 off 262 deliveries, batting for six hours and 20 minutes as he took the Lions into the lead.

Van Buuren scored all around the wicket, but was particularly strong square, collecting 13 fours and a six in his determined innings, which was his second century of the season.

The lower-order as a group did very well for the Lions, the last six wickets adding 209 runs.

Wandile Makwetu made 34 as he added 60 for the fifth wicket with Van Buuren, and Malusi Siboto scored 34 as he put on 75 for the seventh wicket with the centurion.

Left-arm spinner Malcolm Nofal, the most successful of the Tuskers bowlers with three for 86 in 25 overs, then took a couple of quick wickets to reduce the Lions to 396 for nine. But the visitors’ toil was not over yet as Codi Yusuf smacked 37 off 43 balls and Duanne Olivier made 19 not out as they added 39 for the last wicket, giving the Lions a pleasing lead.

Yusuf was then a successful performer with the new ball as he produced a superb delivery, bouncing and seaming away, to have Inland opener Yaseen Valli caught behind for 3.

Tshepo Moreki then struck in his first over, moving the ball sharply both ways to confuse Thamsanqa Khumalo, who was then bowled shouldering arms for 1.

The other opening batsman, Ben Compton, stood firm as he reached 27 not out at stumps.

Titans gain big lead & bought themselves plenty of time to win 0

Posted on March 13, 2023 by Ken

Sibonelo Makhanya top-scored for Northerns Titans as they gained a formidable lead.

The Northerns Titans gained a 171-run first-innings lead and bought themselves plenty of time to win too with a positive batting display on the second day of their CSA 4-Day Series match against the North-West Dragons at Centurion on Monday.

Having bowled North-West out for just 148 on the first day of the match, Northerns resumed on 18 for one on Monday and batted at 3.91 runs-per-over to post 319 and give themselves a formidable advantage.

They had already claimed a wicket in the North-West second innings by stumps, Matthew Boast having Lesego Senokwane (4) caught in the slips, edging an expansive drive at an away-swinger. The visitors closed on 24 for one as bad light intervened, still trailing by 147 runs.

Left-handed opener Neil Brand set the tone for the Titans up front on Monday, stroking a brisk 54, but it was a fourth-wicket partnership of 89 in 19 overs between Sibonelo Makhanya and Dewald Brevis that gave Northerns control of the game.

Makhanya, given his seniority, played the more responsible role, setting up the innings with his 71 off 134 balls, including 13 fours. But Brevis really took on the North-West bowlers, hammering a dashing 56 off just 64 deliveries, with nine fours and a six.

Brevis had just gone to his maiden first-class half-century with a six, when he sold his wicket to left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy, skying an attempted slog-sweep into the covers.

Muthusamy then capitalised on some more adventurous strokeplay by the lower-order, reducing Northerns from 182 for three to 280 for nine.

Aya Gqamane then produced the most exciting batting of the day as he plundered 40 not out off just 32 deliveries, hitting seven fours and a six.

Muthusamy showed his class though as he wrapped up the innings with six for 62 in 24.4 overs.


The Central Gauteng Lions had to suck up a lot of pressure on a tough second day of their final CSA 4-Day Series match against the KZN Dolphins in Potchefstroom on Monday, with Lutho Sipamla leading a fine fightback with the ball.

The Dolphins began the second day well-placed on 181 for two, but lost their last eight wickets for just 148 runs to be all out for 329. Sipamla, tightening his grip on the batsmen like a python, claimed two early wickets as the visitors slipped to 197 for five.

Angling the ball into the left-handed Sarel Erwee from around the wicket and then just straightening it a touch, Sipamla had the Proteas opener caught behind for 78.

With his next delivery, Sipamla cramped Khaya Zondo, another Protea, with extra bounce just outside off-stump, leading to a catch at first slip.

Marques Ackerman (97) and Eathan Bosch (63) gave KZN some breathing space with their sixth-wicket stand of 111, before Sipamla returned to break the partnership.

The Proteas paceman surprised Ackerman with some extra bounce, having him caught behind, although the catch was such a dolly that the bowler himself was calling for it.

A full and straight delivery then trapped Prenelan Subrayen lbw and Sipamla had Daryn Dupavillon caught in the slips to finish with highly praiseworthy figures of five for 71 in 23 overs.

In reply, openers Josh Richards (47) and Dominic Hendricks (17) provided yet another solid start for the Lions, adding 55 before Thando Ntini shattered the top-order with a destructive three-wicket burst.

Mitchell van Buuren (22) and Connor Esterhuizen (36) steadied the ship as they batted for more than 20 overs in adding 46 for the fifth wicket.

Tailenders Malusi Siboto (18*) and Sipamla (12) also dug in as the Lions reached 171 for eight at stumps.


At Newlands, Wynberg Boys High product Siya Plaatjie demolished the Western Province lower-order, his sensational five for 19 in 11 overs sending them crashing from 195 for four to 198 all out, giving the Eastern Province Warriors a 154-run first-innings lead.

Zubayr Hamza (54) and George Linde (63) seemed to have matters under control before paceman Plaatjie ran amok.

The Warriors, having scored 352 in their first innings, were 53 for one at stumps, leading by 207.

In Paarl, Matthew Kleinveldt suffered the distress of being stranded on a career-best, great effort of 199 not out when the Free State Knights were bowled out for 493 by the Boland Rocks.

Opener Kleinveldt carried his bat with a monumental 389-ball effort, while Gihahn Cloete also played plenty of fine strokes as he struck a breezy 122 and Migael Pretorius contributed a hard-hit 56.

Leg-spinner Shaun von Berg took five for 101 in 29 overs, but could not prevent his Rocks team from conceding a massive first innings deficit of 281.

Behardien produces inspired century at SuperSport Park in dark blue & orange of the Knights 0

Posted on March 11, 2021 by Ken

Farhaan Behardien, now playing in the dark blue and orange of the Knights, made just his second 4-Day Domestic Series century at SuperSport Park on Monday, an inspirational effort that put the visitors into a first-innings lead against the Titans in the match-up between the two pool leaders.

Behardien, who starred for the Titans with nine centuries in 98 four-day matches before joining the Bloemfontein side this season, came through a tough morning session in which the Knights had slipped to 49 for three in the first hour. The 37-year-old showed all his experience, determination and skill as he reached stumps on 126 not out, his 233-ball effort leading the Knights to 307 for six at stumps on the second day, already a handy 44 runs in front.

Raynard van Tonder began the fightback for the Knights with his controlled 52, adding 106 for the fourth wicket with Behardien, before Patrick Kruger took control in the afternoon with an aggressive innings of 69 off 99 balls.

Kruger and Behardien added 113 for the fifth wicket and the key partnership was only broken in the third over with the second new ball when Lizaad Williams was fortunate to win an lbw decision against Kruger.

Williams was the best of the Titans bowlers, sharp and consistently asking questions of the batsmen, as he finished the day with three for 63 in 19 overs.

He will need to be as good on the third morning as he was in Monday’s first session if the size of the Knights lead is going to be kept to manageable proportions by the home side.

Van Wyk enters & steers Dolphins through tricky times to handy lead 0

Posted on December 17, 2015 by Ken


Captain Morne van Wyk made his entrance at a tricky time for the Dolphins and steered them to a handy first-innings lead on the second day of their Sunfoil Series match against the Unlimited Titans at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.

Van Wyk came to the crease midway through the second session with the Dolphins on 149 for four replying to the Titans’ first innings of 267. The veteran wicketkeeper/batsman batted through to the close of a day shortened by a thunderstorm, reaching 76 not out and taking the visitors to 314 for six, a lead of 47.

Van Wyk and his younger brother Divan were the two Dolphins batsmen who really played like adults, getting in and making it count, and their partnership of 70 for the fifth wicket was key.

Opener Divan van Wyk, blossoming this season after only sporadic previous Sunfoil Series appearances, batted for just over five hours in scoring 87, while Morne has been at the crease for three-and-a-quarter hours.

Having leaked 51 runs in nine overs at the end of the first day, the Titans bowlers came roaring back on the second morning through Ethy Mbhalati.

Imraan Khan had looked in superb touch as he raced to 32 not out overnight, but to the visitors’ frustration he then chased a delivery outside off stump from Mbhalati and was caught behind in the second over of the day for 36.

Mbhalati then bowled Khaya Zondo for one and a fired-up Marchant de Lange cleaned up Cody Chetty for 16.

The lanky Mbhalati added a third wicket after lunch when he had Daryn Smit caught behind for 16, while left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe bowled both Divan van Wyk and Andile Phehlukwayo (10). But the Titans could not dissimulate their frustrations at the end of the day as Morne van Wyk and Calvin Savage (36*) then added an unbeaten 81 for the seventh wicket against the second new ball.

*An excellent batting display by the bizhub Highveld Lions has put them in control of their match against the Chevrolet Knights in Bloemfontein, with the visitors scoring 320 for four to already lead by 72 runs.

Neil McKenzie was on 72 not out, playing a wonderful innings and having stroked 12 gorgeous fours, while Dominic Hendricks belied his tender years with 71, Rassie van der Dussen raced to 70 and Temba Bavuma just added to the Knights’ frustration with 57.

*At Newlands, Richard Levi and Justin Ontong roared to half-centuries as the Nashua Cape Cobras took control of their match against the Chevrolet Warriors, reaching 316 for three at stumps, in reply to the visitors’ 288 all out.

While Levi belted 79 with 14 fours and Ontong had raced to 75 not out off 98 balls at stumps, Omphile Ramela was the baking powder that allowed the Cobras to produce such a good cake, batting for four-and-a-half hours and reaching 81 not out at stumps.

The Warriors had started the second day on 274 for eight, but Rory Kleinveldt reduced them to 288 all out by blowing away the last two wickets and finishing with four for 59, the same figures as Dane Paterson.


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