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Ken Borland



SA20 is about adapting to different types of pitches; Pretoria Capitals show how 0

Posted on January 18, 2024 by Ken

POWERHOUSE: Will Jacks of Pretoria Capitals celebrates the fastest century in SA20 history.
Photo by Sportzpics

One of the joys of the SA20 is that there are different types of pitches that are used in the tournament and teams are often forced to think on their feet and adapt at short notice. The Pretoria Capitals were quicker and better in adapting to the SuperSport Park wicket on Thursday night and duly notched their first win of the season, beating the Durban Super Giants by 17 runs.

When returning captain Wayne Parnell won the toss and elected to bat first, eyebrows were raised because Centurion is traditionally a venue full of runs, where defending any sort of total can be tough at altitude on a pitch full of runs and a smallish, very quick outfield.

But this pitch behaved slightly differently. The best time to bat was up front and batting second was just that little bit harder as the ball gripped on a dry surface once the new-ball shine had gone.

Will Jacks was the man who seized the moment as he plundered the fastest century in SA20 history, needing just 41 balls to get there, and his onslaught up front gave the Pretoria Capitals such a good platform that their deceleration in the second half of their innings and a collapse of five wickets for seven runs at the death did not cost them the match.

A total of 204 for nine was certainly competitive and the Durban Super Giants were unable to replicate Jacks’ aggression up front and finished on 187 for seven.

Junior Dala, the Durban Super Giants strike bowler but usually based at SuperSport Park, said “It was a game that was probably won and lost in the powerplays. We showed fight with both bat and ball at the end, but we probably conceded 15 to 20 runs too many in our bowling powerplay as Will came hard at us.”

With Jacks hammering eight fours and nine sixes, including a straight hit into the media centre that I have never seen before at SuperSport Park, and fellow Englishman Phil Salt also scoring freely with 23 off 13 balls, the Capitals were off to a blazing start.

The opening pair lashed 75 runs off the first five-and-a-half overs, but then crucially, the Super Giants began taking wickets. As the ball became older, so the cutters came out and the visitors kept chipping away at the Pretoria batting line-up.

“With the newer ball, your cutters and slower balls just skidded on more, but by the eighth or ninth over they were beginning to grip more. But you still had to be smart and understand your match-ups,” Dala later explained.

Jacks reached his hundred two balls quicker than Durban’s Heinrich Klaasen had done in his landmark effort in this same fixture last season, the ball whizzing off his bat in a sparkling innings that should attract many, many views on SA20’s various digital platforms.

But when Jacks (101 off 42 balls) cut his next ball after reaching his second T20 century straight to point, Dwaine Pretorius making the breakthrough, the Pretoria Capitals innings rather lost its fizz. The wicket left them 151 for four after 13 overs, and although Colin Ingram scored a busy 43 off 23 deliveries, their momentum petered out.

Marcus Stoinis (4-0-37-1), playing his first SA20 match having just arrived from the Big Bash in Australia, lit the fuse for the bowling comeback as he dismissed Jimmy Neesham and conceded just two runs in the 18th over; Reece Topley (4-1-34-3) then bowled an astonishing double-wicket maiden and Dala (4-0-32-2) also took two wickets in the final over while conceding just seven runs.

Jacks then toyed with the Super Giants with the ball as well. He opened the bowling and conceded just seven runs in the first over, before returning and claiming two wickets – Kyle Mayers bowled for 1 and the massive scalp of Klaasen for just a single. The off-spinner finished with two for 18 in his three overs.

Opener Matthew Breetzke ought to have batted deeper after scoring 33 off 24 balls but he steered Parnell straight to deep cover and the Capitals just kept chipping away with regular wickets.

Quinton de Kock made 25 off 20 before he sent a mistimed pull off Hardus Viljoen straight to deep midwicket, Stoinis hit a couple of big sixes before holing out to Neesham, and Jacks then took a boundary catch to dismiss Keemo Paul (18) off Parnell.

Jon-Jon Smuts scored a defiant 27, but not even a late flurry from Pretorius (19* off 10) and Keshav Maharaj (25* off 12) was enough to take the Super Giants to a win.

Eathan Bosch was the other Pretoria bowler to excel, showing what a top-class talent he is as he adapted beautifully to the pitch, bowling effective cutters and conceding just 18 runs in his three overs.

The Gary Kirsten Foundation: Providing simple joys to savour 0

Posted on October 07, 2020 by Ken

After all the disappointment, pain and sadness the Proteas have put their supporters in England through, there was at least one wonderful moment of happiness that brought back the simple joys of the game to savour for those who had made their way to Weybridge, some 25km southwest of central London.
Former South African top-order batsman Gary Kirsten, who played in three World Cups between 1996 and 2003 and then coached India to their first triumph in 28 years in 2011, has turned his attention to grassroots development and the Gary Kirsten Foundation team that toured England is a shining light in terms of what can be achieved.
It all started about five years ago when Chris Hani High School principal Madoda Mahlutshana was giving Kirsten a tour of the non-existent sporting facilities in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats. A shocked Kirsten immediately committed himself to building two concrete nets and supplying a full-time coach.
From there, the Gary Kirsten Foundation’s involvement has just kept expanding, reflecting the hunger in the area for proper cricket facilities and opportunities. The foundation has now built five artificial net facilities around the township and there are seven full-time academy coaches working there.
“These kids get the chance to play and have coaching every day after school in an area where there is no formalised school sport. Our main push is to create a proper hub for cricket, as well as teaching the kids life skills and building their personal skills. And we also want to build up the number of township coaches,” Tim Human, the business development manager of the Gary Kirsten Foundation said.
Typical of the man of action Kirsten is, he then set a new goal – to take a team from Khayalitsha to England during the World Cup and for them to play a few matches against English schools.
After five months of sourcing sponsors, organising passports and travel arrangements for 10-to-13-year-olds who have never been out of Cape Town let alone overseas, that team completed their UK tour by beating the Weybridge Cricket Club U13s, coming from one of the most wealthy areas of England (Cliff Richard lives here) and a Premier League club. It was their second win on tour, the other results being a tie and a loss, and it was completed in comfortable fashion in front of a large crowd as former Springbok captain Bob Skinstad organised a function that pleased the masses no end.
“This tour was a dream from five months ago. A lot of school teams tour England because mom and dad fork out the money, but you never see a township team doing it because who pays for it? I’m very proud that we managed to raise the money because our friends and supporters came to the party. We are all about rolling out opportunity.
“I told the parents in February that we would be taking their kids to England to watch the World Cup and they said I was mad in the head. But we are stakeholders in that community and it’s taken us a long time to do this, but they trust us now. It is their programme and we are just enablers, this programme is township focused,” Kirsten said.
While there have been other “development programmes” that have enjoyed time in the limelight, what sets Kirsten’s efforts apart is that they are all about the community.
While he accepts that the absolute stellar talents he unearths will more than likely be snapped up by rich schools elsewhere to complete their education and earn SA Schools caps for their benefactors, Kirsten’s efforts are all about uplifting the entire community of Khayalitsha and not mining the talent from there for export to better-off schools.
“I would never try and stop a kid from getting a scholarship if they were offered one, but to put a kid through a year at an ex-Model C school probably costs R50 000 plus boarding. So that’s R250 000 per child for their whole education, so it gets steep. Of the 19 Black Africans who have gone on to represent the Proteas, only Mfuneko Ngam was fully educated in a township.
“If your chances of making the national cricket side from a township are non-existent then I have a fundamental issue with that. Has our country not moved forward enough that we don’t say that you can’t make it from the townships, that you have to go to a Hilton College to make the Proteas? Sure, they can cherry-pick the best talent, but I don’t think we should be dumping any talent. I would rather see them stay in their schools and community and make sure the system works, that’s our focus,” Kirsten 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

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