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Ken Borland



Dawson has good reason to feel delighted after day of very bad weather at Fancourt 0

Posted on March 11, 2024 by Ken

GEORGE, Western Cape – After a day of very bad weather at Fancourt, with strong gales and torrential downpours, Ana Dawson was the only golfer to finish under-par after the first round of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am and she had good reason to feel delighted.

Dawson, who hails from the Isle of Man, played the Outeniqua course in one-under-par 71 and so ended the opening day one stroke ahead of another three international golfers who finished on level-par: Germany’s Carolin Kauffmann, Scotland’s Kylie Henry and Englishwoman Lauren Taylor.

If the vile weather did not dampen Dawson’s mood then even a three-putt for bogey at the par-four last hole was not going to do it either.

“It was really hard weather and with all the delays, keeping your round going was probably the trickiest bit. It’s always a shame to three-putt the last, it leaves a bit of a sour taste, but I’m still very happy,” the 22-year-old Dawson said.

“If someone had offered me one-under today at the start of the round I would definitely have taken it. I had a nice draw because Outeniqua is a bit shorter and a bit more forgiving, but you still have to play well. I honestly hit just one bad shot today, but I struggled on the greens.”

Dawson enjoyed a fast start with a birdie on the par-four first hole, but she had to stay very patient thereafter as three pars were followed by a bogey on the par-four fifth. She birdied the sixth and eighth holes, but then dropped a shot at the ninth to turn in one-under.

The back nine was more grind with birdies on the 10th and 14th holes, but another bogey on the par-three 12th.

Dawson said the tough conditions actually suited her because it allowed her to take her time.

“It was quite slow out there, but in a way that was nice because it meant I didn’t have to try and rush, which has happened to me in the past. I felt I didn’t need to hurry at all today and that helped me. I really took my time and made sure everything was ready and right before I played,” Dawson said.

Henry and Taylor both took on the Montague course that is rated as being more difficult.

Henry was excellent on the front nine, going out in two-under, but the back nine bit back as she bogeyed three of the first four holes. A birdie on the par-five 18th was a great way to end though, restoring her to level-par.

Taylor recovered brilliantly from a disastrous front nine. After three pars, a double-bogey seven at the fourth would have knocked the wind out of her sails. She also dropped shots on the sixth and ninth holes, partially offset by a birdie on the par-three eighth, but the 29-year-old was three-over at the turn.

But Taylor stormed to three birdies in the first five holes of the back nine, not dropping any more shots on her way back to the clubhouse.

Kiera Floyd and Lejan Lewthwaite are the leading South Africans, tied in fifth place on one-over-par with Alexandra Swayne of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Too many amorphous deliveries lead to tough times for SA attack 0

Posted on August 21, 2023 by Ken

The second and third days of the second Test against Australia at the MCG have been tough times for the South African attack, a good batting pitch meaning too many of their balls were amorphous, non-shaping deliveries that did not threaten a powerful batting line-up that racked up a massive 575 for eight declared.

That gave Australia a huge first-innings lead of 386 and the Proteas struggled to 15 for one in their second innings at stumps.

Bowling coach Charl Langeveldt said on Wednesday that although the attack could be proud of their effort, they needed better control when the ball was not doing much.

“It’s been a tough three days in general for us, but we did not start well with the ball on Day One. On the second day we put in the effort, Anrich Nortje brought a lot of heat,” Langeveldt said.

“Control is something we need to speak about, that can improve. It’s a young bowling attack, but they need to control the run-rate for longer periods.

“Stringing together 18 consecutive good balls is one of our KPIs and we could not achieve that, which is a bit of a red flag going forward. But this is a good pitch and we have played a lot of Tests lately on more bowler-friendly wickets.

“I’m happy with the enthusiasm, that was brilliant and I cannot fault it. We need to stay patient and I think reward is going to be around the corner,” Langeveldt said.

While Kagiso Rabada is currently the year’s leading wicket-taker in global Test matches with 47 in just nine matches, Langeveldt admitted that their spearhead has been out of sorts in Melbourne and that the other bowlers have not bowled well enough in partnerships.

“KG has not been on song and the others have only been in periods. We haven’t bowled well as a unit, those bowling partnerships are important and they have just not been there,” Langeveldt said.

“So we need to address that, but we have not played much on good cricket wickets lately and this is a good one. Sometimes you just need to bowl a few dot balls and use the bumper as a surprise ball.

“KG always takes wickets, but the challenge for him at the moment is control. Someone like Pat Cummins also leaked runs when he was at the beginning of his career, now he takes wickets and has control.

“That’s the challenge for KG going forward, especially on flatter pitches. We always need to assess the conditions and we always talk about adapting,” Langeveldt said.

But blaming these shortcomings on inexperience does not seem right. Rabada has already been playing Test cricket for seven years and has 267 wickets. Cummins debuted 11 years ago but has played 11 Tests fewer than Rabada due to injuries.

Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi are both playing in their 17th Test match, while Marco Jansen has only just completed his first year of Test cricket.

Spinner Keshav Maharaj, playing his 47th Test, was also not at his best as he conceded 135 runs in 41.5 overs and went wicketless.

Proteas batsmen find new ways to disappoint 0

Posted on July 24, 2023 by Ken

The Proteas batsmen found new ways to disappoint on a good MCG pitch as they were bundled out for just 189 little more than an hour after tea on the first day of the second Test against Australia on Monday.

Having been sent in to bat, openers Dean Elgar and Sarel Erwee weathered the early movement and, although Erwee, reaching for a drive and edging Scott Boland into the slips, had fallen for 18, South Africa looked solid on 56 for one as lunch approached.

But Theunis de Bruyn (12), the new face in the batting line-up as he replaced Rassie van der Dussen, then tried a wild pull stroke from off-stump against Cameron Green, top-edging a catch to the wicketkeeper. Having seen the previous delivery climb steeply from a similar line and length, it was poor shot-selection.

An even bigger Christmas present for the Aussies was to follow though as captain Elgar ran himself out for 26, moments after becoming the eighth South African to score 5000 Test runs. He had led a charmed life up till then, being dropped on seven and 19 and also surviving when an inside-edge trickled back on to his stumps. But Elgar failed to capitalise on getting in, and there was a hint of him trying to escape strike against Mitchell Starc when he pushed the left-hander into the covers and ran, Marnus Labuschagne producing a brilliant piece of fielding and a direct hit at the bowler’s end to run him out, the first time the skipper has suffered that dismissal in Test cricket.

The next delivery saw Temba Bavuma (1) caught behind off Starc and, after a promising start, the Proteas had slumped to 58 for four at lunch.

That became 67 for five in the fifth over after lunch when Khaya Zondo, flatfooted and throwing his hands at a drive at a wide delivery form Starc, was superbly caught by Labuschagne at extra over, moving sharply and then diving to his right.

Wicketkeeper/batsman Kyle Verreynne and bowling all-rounder Marco Jansen then steered the Proteas innings back on to the road as they added a much-needed 112 for the sixth wicket.

Verreynne, fresh off his half-century in Brisbane, was smoothly underway and went to another fifty, off 80 balls. Jansen took a little longer to get going, but his maiden Test half-century was just reward for how sensibly he batted.

Starc’s accident in the outfield while trying to catch Jansen saw him dislocate his finger, resulting in Green having a prolonged third spell.

And the all-rounder took full advantage as he ripped through the rest of the South African batting to finish with a career-best five for 27 in 10.4 overs.

Verreynne (52) and Jansen (59) were both caught behind the wicket to probing deliveries just outside off-stump in successive overs, and Keshav Maharaj (2), Kagiso Rabada (4) and Lungi Ngidi (2) then meekly surrendered as the last five wickets fell for just 10 runs.

This batting display, on a good surface, was even more of a reckless car-crash than the Brisbane fiasco.

South Africa’s bowling was then as loose as profligate shoppers at the Black Friday sales as Australia reached 45 for one at stumps. David Warner had cruised to 32 not out.

The Proteas did at least claim one wicket when Usman Khawaja, defending well out side off-stump, was caught behind off Kagiso Rabada for 1.

Green Gabba pitch has bowlers lining up like delivery vans 0

Posted on May 31, 2023 by Ken

A greener Gabba pitch than anyone could remember seeing before at Test level had the bowlers lining up like delivery vans outside an online store on Saturday, but Proteas top-scorer Kyle Verreynne said it was actually a good batting wicket in Brisbane on the first day of the first Test against Australia.

Sadly his colleagues did not enjoy the conditions as much as Verreynne, who scored a counter-attacking 64 off 96 balls, as only Temba Bavuma (38) made more than 10 as South Africa were bundled out for just 152.

Australia’s batsmen had problems too as they slipped to 27 for three, but Travis Head, with a tremendous run-a-ball 78 not out, and Steven Smith (36) took them to 145 for five at stumps.

While the pitch has provided seam movement, it has not been excessive and not even particularly consistent. But batsmen were also troubled by some inconsistent bounce and the sharp turn and bounce obtained by Australian spinner Nathan Lyon, who took three for 14 in eight overs.

“I think it’s a really good batting pitch to be honest,” Verreynne said, “and your normal game-plans are good on it. When you see it being so green, you expect the pitch to do so much.

“But it did a lot less than we thought it would. It’s not so soft even with such a thick grass layer, it’s quite firm and there is good pace and bounce.

“The aggressive approach worked for Travis Head and myself, but Steven Smith took his time and batted very nicely too,” Verreynne said.

It was the sort of pitch where being able to land the ball on the proverbial handkerchief on a good length would bring reward. The Proteas pacemen were initially able to do that, inspired by David Warner being dismissed on the first ball of the innings as Kagiso Rabada fired in a pinpoint short ball and Khaya Zondo took a phenomenal catch at short-leg. But as soon as the left-handed Head began shifting the momentum and putting the bowlers under pressure, the visitors’ attack turned ragged for a vital hour late in the day.

“After you’re bowled out for just 152, it’s difficult to get the energies up. So getting a wicket first ball was a massive moment, especially a big player like Warner,” wicketkeeper Verreynne said.

“That got the adrenaline going and our energy was really up for the next 10 overs or so. But unfortunately we fell away a bit after that.

“We’re probably still a bit behind in the game, but two late wickets did bring us back in a bit, they’ve given us a bit of a window. But it would have been nice to get a couple more wickets when we had them 27/3.

“After lunch, the pitch picked up a bit more pace and Anrich Nortje was getting it through nicely. Our fast bowlers definitely have a bit left in the tank and hopefully they can make an impact in the morning,” Verreynne said.

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