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Ken Borland



De Kock puts on grand display, before umpires play parents 0

Posted on January 13, 2023 by Ken

Quinton de Kock put on the most grand display of boundary hitting, but not even his brilliance could beat the rain as South Africa’s opening T20 World Cup match against Zimbabwe ended in No Result at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Monday.

The rain was always going to be a threat in Tasmania, with the start of play delayed by more than two-and-a-half hours after Zimbabwe had won the toss and elected to bat first.

The match was reduced to nine overs a side and Zimbabwe posted 79/5.

Thanks to De Kock blazing Tendai Chatara’s first five balls for 4-4-4-6-4, South Africa made a rollicking start. Rain then forced the players from the field, but fortunately only two overs were lost and the Proteas were set a revised target of 64 in seven overs.

De Kock was unstoppable, plundering 47 not out off 18 balls, with eight fours and a six, as South Africa reached 51/0 after three overs.

But the umpires then, like concerned parents looking after their children, decided to take the players off the field. Having tried their utmost to get a game in, one could sympathise with their decision because the Zimbabwe players were slipping all over the place in the steady drizzle and bowler Richard Ngarava had already left the field after slipping and probably twisting his ankle.

Zimbabwe had manfully got on with the job, but to be fair to all the teams, the umpires had little choice but to go off the field.

Zimbabwe had begun their innings in pell-mell fashion, and very quickly found themselves 19/4, as Wayne Parnell bowled well up front and Lungi Ngidi effected a double strike in the third over, removing Regis Chakabva (8) and Sikandar Raza (0).

There was also a run out amidst the chaotic start, David Miller scoring a fine direct hit from cover to remove the experienced Sean Williams (1).

For Zimbabwe to have any chance, someone had to show more composure and Wessley Madhevere proved the man for the occasion. Dropped on 11 by Ngidi off Keshav Maharaj, he provided a late boost as he belted 35 not out off just 18 deliveries.

Parnell was the pick of the bowlers, with brilliant figures of 1/6 in two overs, while Anrich Nortje (1/10 in 2 overs) bowled very well at the death.

There was a little bit of pain though for Kagiso Rabada and Ngidi, as they went for 20 runs in their two overs.

Grand batting of Miller & Klaasen puts SA in control, but India provide big scare with mother of late charges 0

Posted on December 14, 2022 by Ken

The grand batting of David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen, and excellent bowling up front, gave South Africa control of the first ODI against India, before the home team produced the mother of all late charges to give the Proteas a big scare in Lucknow on Thursday.

Miller and Klaasen came together with South Africa struggling on 110 for four in the 23rd over. But the skill and composure of the duo was exceptional as they stopped the rot and then cut loose, scoring 85 runs in the last 10 overs.

The in-form Miller struck a fiery 75 not out off 63 balls, with five fours and three sixes, while Klaasen was unbeaten on 74 off 65 deliveries, a fine supporting act that saw him hit six fours and a couple of sixes.

Their outstanding unbeaten partnership of 139 in 17.4 overs lifted South Africa to 249 for four in 40 overs, the match being reduced after the start of play had been delayed for an hour-and-45-minutes. They lost the toss and were sent in to bat on a tricky pitch offering seam and turn, and Quinton de Kock kept the top-order together with 48 off 54.

Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell then produced superb tight lines with the new ball, forcing both openers to play on.

Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj then turned the screw, conceding just 23 runs in his eight overs and getting the wicket of Ishan Kishan, caught at leg-slip for 20.

That left India 51 for four in the 18th over and their required run-rate soon grew to more than 9.5 runs per over.

But Shreyas Iyer showed what a dangerous hitter he is, lashing 50 off 37 balls, and Sanju Samson and Shardul Thakur (33 off 31) added 93 in 11 overs.

The brilliant Rabada (8-2-36-2) and Lungi Ngidi (8-0-52-3) took key wickets at the death and Tabraiz Shamsi, who was badly out of sorts, had 29 runs to defend in the last over.

Samson set up an incredible finish as he scored 15 off the first three balls (including a wide), but Shamsi finally managed to get the ball on a fuller length and a slog-sweep failed to find the boundary, no run being taken, and India’s thrilling chase came to an end, the Proteas winning by nine runs.

Samson finished with a superb 86 not out off 63 balls, tempering his usually aggressive game at the start, but then scoring with astonishing freedom at the death.

Pass The Buck – A sporting area Mbalula excels in 0

Posted on April 30, 2016 by Ken

 

If there’s one area of sport that Fikile Mbalula, the Minister of Razzmatazz and Grand Gestures Without Any Substance, is probably an expert in it would be the art of passing, even if his distribution skills are rather one-dimensional.

Mbalula produced one of the most dramatic Passing The Buck moves ever seen in South African sport this week; sadly his distribution skills are strictly limited to dishing out blame rather than what he should be providing, which is governmental impetus to efforts to provide greater opportunities for the disadvantaged.

We must never forget that Mbalula is at heart a politician, not a sports lover, but even by those low standards his actions this week have been extremely cynical. If Richie McCaw had done something as cynical in the All Blacks’ 22, even a New Zealand referee would have yellow-carded him.

I want to make it clear that I fully support transformation and a sport like rugby clearly still has a long way to go if the Springboks are to field a team that is even close to being fully representative of the nation. Cricket have tried exceptionally hard in terms of transformation but have also made some blunders.

I also agree that just continually warning slow-moving sports administered by dinosaurs is not the way to go.

But the kind of mass social engineering that Mbalula is wanting – teams that are just 9% White – can only be achieved by government.

Last year, when the Springboks and Proteas were involved in world cups, Mbalula was right behind those teams, quite happy to gloss over their obvious failings when it came to transformation, even after their failed campaigns. Perhaps he didn’t want to appear rude for all the VIP treatment rugby and cricket have lavished upon the notorious party animal.

But now the ANC is set to lose many votes in the elections later this year so a grand gesture is needed, something to distract, something to shift the pressure elsewhere, and Mbalula is the master of that.

After Mbalula agreed to become the sports minister, allegedly at the behest of the Guptas, in 2010, he said all the right things about how he was going to make sure transformation was focused at grassroots level and how national teams were the wrong place to intervene.

I liked and supported Mbalula for the first couple of years, until I started wondering “When is he actually going to do any of this great stuff he’s promising?” however entertaining his often baffling press conferences were.

As some of my Black colleagues in the media have pointed out, Mbalula has failed to produce one meaningful transformation project in the six years he’s been in office. His tenure will be remembered for grandiose speeches, his fawning over Floyd Mayweather and Beyonce, and the millions he has spent on dismal awards banquets. By one calculation, he spent four times the Olympics budget for the South African team.

The current situation in which our predominantly White sports only choose their Black African players from a few select schools is not going to change unless government is willing to commit the millions of rands that sports bodies don’t have into building facilities in the townships, never mind rural areas.

If you are going to bring a sport to the masses, then the facilities have to be there to match the opportunity.

But that would involve actual work and, heaven forbid, Mbalula might have to skip the odd glitzy party with all its selfie opportunities.

Sure, many South African sports deserve censure for their maladministration and slowness to transform, but when is Mbalula going to take responsibility for his utter failure to produce anything worthwhile in his capacity as Minister of Sport?

 

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