for quality writing

Ken Borland



JSK in tatters, bowled out in 15.2 overs, SEC in qualifiers 0

Posted on January 31, 2024 by Ken

Daniel Worrall was the chief destroyer for the Sunrisers Eastern Cape at the Wanderers.
Photo: Arjun Singh

The Joburg Super Kings were bundled out in just 15.2 overs for 78 – the second-lowest total in SA20 history – as they were thrashed by the Sunrisers Eastern Cape at the Wanderers on Wednesday evening, coach Stephen Fleming once again expressing his disappointment over the pitch.

Sent in to bat, the Super Kings lost both Faf du Plessis and Reeza Hendricks to the outstanding Daniel Worrall (4-0-20-3) for ducks in the second over. Moeen Ali also made a duck and Leus du Plooy (18), Wayne Madsen (32 off 23) and new Kiwi recruit Doug Bracewell (12) were the only batsmen to reach double figures against an attack that was not necessarily inspired, but certainly very disciplined and controlled.

The Sunrisers then knocked off their target in just 11 overs to earn a bonus point win, Dawid Malan scoring 40 not out off 32 balls and Tom Abell an undefeated 26 off 20 deliveries, assuring the defending champions of a place in the qualifiers.

“I love this competition, it is outstanding. Short and intense, although that does make the travel tough, and the support is tremendous. But the pitches have dropped off a bit from last year. We are in the entertainment business, I don’t mind the ball dominating every now and then, but we have to make sure there is a balance,” Fleming said after the Super Kings’ third loss in four matches at home.

“Today in particular was not great for the product, which is a pity because this is a great place to play. We’re struggling to read the pitch and there is an advantage to bowling first. The ball sits up and creates problems.

“Each surface here we have struggled to understand. The pitch seems to be transforming, it was slowish last year but now it is somewhere in between that and the traditional Wanderers wicket that flies through.

“We bought tall fast bowlers in the auction and it’s been disappointing because the real character of this pitch is being lost. We need to pivot quickly, but today was one of those days we nicked everything, on both sides of the wicket. And then you see how many times we go past the bat and you just have to shake your head,” Fleming said.

The Joburg Super Kings are in the fourth and final qualification place on 13 points at the moment and have one match remaining – against the high-flying Durban Super Giants at the Wanderers on Saturday. With the Pretoria Capitals and MI Cape Town three and four points in arrears respectively, and playing each other twice before the end of the round-robin, JSK have to beat the top-of-the-log KwaZulu-Natalians on Saturday to have any chance of progressing.

“It’s thanks to the nature of this year’s tournament that we are still alive and the scenarios are right in front of us, but unfortunately our fate is out of our control. We will be doing lots of mental work over the next few days.

“Luck wasn’t with us today, but some people will say maybe we should have been more defensive, but then you can become too cautious. Sometimes you just have to bluff confidence and step forward. You can’t over-analyse days like this,” the highly-lauded former New Zealand captain said.

Madsen, Moeen and Donovan Ferreira (8) were all caught down the leg-side, the sort of thing that happens to a batting line-up low on confidence and perhaps wishing they didn’t have to play at home.

Ill-discipline in Bulls team an evil, but Jake full of praise for inspired defensive display 0

Posted on December 05, 2022 by Ken

Ill-discipline in a rugby team is a great evil for coaches and Jake White was firm on the Bulls team’s failings in that regard in their 28-14 victory over Connacht in their United Rugby Championship match in Pretoria at the weekend.

The Bulls were incredible in defence and at times inspired in attack as they surged into a 28-0 lead after 46 minutes, but they felt the wrath of referee Andrea Piardi in the second half as Connacht finished strongly with two converted tries. In the end the home side conceded 20 penalties, and Connacht 15, while the Bulls were also given three yellow cards.

“I’m not going to justify the discipline,” coach White said afterwards. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it, we shot ourselves in the foot doing some stupid things.

“Johan Goosen was a bit unlucky, but head-to-head contact is a yellow card these days. I just hope the referees make sure they blow it that way for the whole competition.

“We play against Glasgow Warriors in Scotland next weekend and you’re not going to win too many games when you’re playing 14 against 15 men for 30 minutes, especially on tour. We spoke about the discipline after the match, but it’s no use just talking about it, there needs to be action.

“That should be driven by the players, not the coaches, and they will do that, Marcell Coetzee already told the team in the changeroom now that they have to sharpen up their discipline,” White said.

White was full of praise, however, for a top-class defensive display that held at bay a Connacht side that showed a willingness to play expansive, ball-in-hand rugby. The Bulls did not concede a single point until the 68th minute, and that was after they had been sapped by three yellow cards and were playing with 13 men due to replacement hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels being in the sin-bin, necessitating uncontested scrums and the loss of another player.

“The defence was outstanding, considering we played eight minutes with 13 men and 30 minutes with 14,” White said. “Last week it was poor, but we spoke honestly about it and had a better shape today.

“We stopped them carrying around us and then we stopped them carrying through us. It shows me that we can defend, which is a massive bonus.

“The defence also really understood the breakdown, we were a lot smarter there, we didn’t just go in.

“Defence is not always just about line-speed, sometimes we had to be patient because they had the numbers. There was a recognition of when you need to buy time,” White said.

The smart, physical and untiring defence of the Bulls made it an uphill struggle for Connacht as they were already 14-0 down after 10 minutes and captain Jarrad Butler credited the home side for the pressure they exerted.

“It was a really good job by the Bulls defence, they forced us back inside and we had to keep resetting. Credit to them for forcing the individual errors that would keep creeping in, that meant we just could not finish off, we kept just giving them the ball,” Butler said.

Blaauw in inspired form to go into 2-stroke lead 0

Posted on November 07, 2022 by Ken

PORT EDWARD, KwaZulu-Natal – Jacques Blaauw was in inspired form on the opening day of the SunBet Challenge hosted by the Wild Coast Sun at the Wild Coast Country Club on Wednesday, his eight-under-par 62 putting him in a two-stroke lead.

Two eagles and eight birdies, meaning successive bogeys on the ninth and 10th holes barely mattered, saw Blaauw go to the 18th tee with the legendary 59 in his sights. But after a good drive, he misjudged the wind and his second shot was on-target but way short.

So Blaauw ended with a double-bogey six, but he was still two ahead of four golfers who shot excellent 64s – Jordan Duminy, Neil Schietekat, Keenan Davidse and Madalitso Muthiya.

“On the last hole, I knew walking up the fairway that a birdie would give me a 59. But I didn’t feel under any pressure and I hit a good second shot  but it was just way short,” Blaauw said.

“I played for nine metres past the hole but I was about 20 yards short, so we must have misjudged the wind. But it was good fun and I obviously played some unbelievable golf.

“It all started with me holing out for eagle on the second hole from 46 yards, and then a nice birdie at three meant I went on a roll, I just didn’t miss a shot.

“I played some unbelievable irons into the greens, birdieing three of the par-threes, and my tee-shot on the eighth was my shot of the day – the flag was on the left by the water and I hit an eight-iron 174 yards to three feet,” Blaauw said.

The 36-year-old, who has won four times on the Sunshine Tour, missed his last two cuts, so Wednesday’s phenomenal round marked a spectacular return to form.

“It’s very weird, I actually felt before my round that my luck was going to turn. I feel I’ve been playing good golf, but I just couldn’t get it all together in a round,” Blaauw said.

“With my coach Eugene Schwartz, we’ve been working on getting my body moving better. It’s also about getting sharp around the greens, you need those up-and-downs and I did not miss many today.”

Schietekat was in the same three-ball as Blaauw and was also on fire on Wednesday and was seven-under through 15 holes, but then he double-bogeyed the par-five 16th. He did well to bounce back from that shock, his first dropped shots of the day, and birdied the par-three 17th to ensure he joined the four-way tie for second.

And there are another nine golfers tied for sixth after shooting five-under-par 65s, including veteran Jaco van Zyl, who won two weeks ago up the coast at Selborne.

2nd day cancelled in mark of respect, but Test may be robbed of another day 0

Posted on October 24, 2022 by Ken

Following the cancellation of Friday’s second day of play in a mark of respect for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the decisive third Test between England and South Africa at The Oval will resume on Saturday, but there is no confirmation yet over whether the match will be robbed of another day’s play.

The first day of action was completely washed out after England had won the toss and sent the Proteas in to bat, meaning Saturday would be the third day’s play unless the Test is extended until Tuesday. If the extra day is not added then the deciding Test, with the series locked at 1-1, becomes a de facto three-day match. Although both of the previous Tests at Lord’s and Old Trafford were completed inside three days, the Oval has been a much friendlier batting venue in the past.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Friday afternoon the decision to resume all cricket activities on Saturday, saying it is in line with the Official National Mourning guidelines and the advice they have received from the UK government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

With the United Kingdom suffering the loss of their longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II having reigned for 70 years, cricket will be paying its respects with a minute’s silence being observed and then the national anthem being played before the start of play.

All players and coaches will wear black armbands and branded inventory will be replaced with messaging paying respects to the Queen, according to the ECB statement.

A Cricket South Africa spokesperson told The Citizen on Friday that whether the Test will be extended through to Tuesday is “still to be determined with discussions ongoing between the ECB and CSA”.

A further update is expected later on Friday.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Don’t be so busy – even working for God – that you don’t have regular quiet time. Don’t let your activities become more important than your time with the Father. You can be alive ‘for’ God without experiencing the presence and power of the living Christ.

    “Attempting to serve the Lord without the strength of the Holy Spirit results in frustration and ultimate disaster.

    “If your vision of him grows dim, your service will become powerless and ineffective. This will happen if your spiritual reserves are not regularly replenished through prayer and meditation.

    “You must put him first in all your activities. Your service for him must be the result of your intimate knowledge of him. Only when he enjoys priority in all things, can you understand life from his perspective. Putting Christ first in your life and work makes you a more capable servant of God.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech



↑ Top