for quality writing

Ken Borland



JSK overwhelm Paarl, need 1 more win to book place in SA20 final 0

Posted on February 08, 2024 by Ken

Sam Cook of Joburg Super Kings celebrates one of his four wickets at the Wanderers during his record spell for an SA20 debutant.
Photo: Shaun Roy (Sportzpics)

The Joburg Super Kings just need to win one more game to book their place in the SA20 final after they threw everything at the deflated Paarl Royals and hammered them by nine wickets with 40 balls to spare in their Eliminator at the Wanderers on Wednesday evening.

Having just scraped into the playoffs with victory in their last round-robin game, the Super Kings will now face the Durban Super Giants in Qualifier 2 at the Wanderers on Thursday, the winner going on to play defending champions Sunrisers Eastern Cape in the final at Newlands on Saturday.

Before their almost complete victory over the Royals, Joburg’s best showing in the tournament had been in the previous game when they registered a rousing win in the final over against the selfsame Super Giants last weekend.

Wednesday was a night when just about everything went according to plan for the Super Kings, starting with winning the toss and sending Paarl in to bat first, which has generally been tougher this season at the Wanderers.

And then Sam Cook, making his SA20 debut because strike bowler Lizaad Williams picked up an injury, struck twice in his second over, removing Paarl’s two leading run-scorers going into the game, Jos Buttler (10) and Mitchell van Buuren (0).

Van Buuren’s dismissal was courtesy of a sensational catch by Imran Tahir, who showed that age is just a number by racing back from short fine-leg and diving to take a catch over his shoulder. At 44 years old, Tahir has been “poor in the field” this season, JSK coach Stephen Fleming admitted, but he took a second fantastic catch when he intercepted Dane Vilas’s sweep that was looking like being a low, flat six, at fine leg off Nandre Burger.

Burger also dismissed Jason Roy (24) and Wihan Lubbe (4), finally getting the wickets his excellent bowling this season has deserved.

While fast bowlers Cook, whose four for 24 in 3.5 overs were the best ever figures by an SA20 debutant, and Burger (4-0-26-3) shared most of the wickets, spinners Moeen Ali (4-0-26-1) and Tahir (4-0-33-2) were able to tie the batsmen down and strike, while seamer Dayyaan Galiem bowled two tidy overs for 11 runs.

From 43 for four, Vilas (21) and David Miller were able to double the total with their stand of 44 off 34 deliveries, and the Royals were relying on captain Miller for a big finish to give them a competitive score. But Miller was caught behind off a Tahir googly at the end of the 17th over with the total on 126.

Eventually Paarl finished on 138, bowled out in 19 overs, setting them on track for their fifth successive defeat.

Joburg Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming.
Photo: Shaun Roy (Sportzpics)

“We weren’t 100% with the ball, but we were on the right areas for long enough and we had a bit of luck,” a smiling Fleming said after the triumph. “It’s a very fine line, on certain days you can do everything right but it just doesn’t work.

“The word momentum is over-used, sometimes it’s just slightly different training or words beforehand that can turn things around, and we were nicely in the moment this evening.

“Imran has been poor in the field for us this season, and then he takes a couple of catches like that! That’s when you know it’s your day,” Fleming said.

Faced with a potentially tricky target if they lost early wickets, the Super Kings were on fire from the start of their chase.

In the briefing before their innings, the importance of a good start would have been emphasised, and once Leus du Plooy had lashed 68 off 43 balls, JSK were always going to make short work of the chase.

Du Plooy’s innings, laced with seven fours and two sixes, was a fine example of dominant strokeplay and clever shot options.

With Faf du Plessis giving perfect, sensible support at the other end, they raised their century partnership for the first wicket in the 10th over, Du Plooy falling soon after, stumped off Tabraiz Shamsi.

But by then Du Plessis was giving the Royals bowlers a battering as well, and he finished with 55 not out off 34 deliveries.

When your best performance of the season comes at the start of the knockout rounds, your coach is going to be well-pleased, and Fleming was certainly chuffed.

“That was right up there as one of our most complete performances, and also with the status of the game. It’s a great time to have the sort of performance we aim for.

“The start of the chase was so good, it just killed the game, we polished off that target. It was a really good win,” Fleming said.

A day to test your patience at Leopard Creek 0

Posted on December 10, 2023 by Ken

MISERABLE: Louis Oosthuizen and his caddy trying to keep dry on the fourth day of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.
(Photo by Tyrone Winfield/Sunshine Tour)

It was a day to test your patience at Leopard Creek on Sunday as thundershowers limited play to just over two hours of action, restricting the great title showdown between Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel to just seven holes which failed to break the deadlock between the two longtime friends.

Leaders Oosthuizen and Schwartzel, together with Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who began the final round five shots behind, teed off at 10am and were able to play four holes before the first storms moved over Malelane.

In that time, both Oosthuizen (2nd hole) and Schwartzel (3rd) managed to collect a birdie, while Bezuidenhout made his presence felt with birdies on the par-five second and par-four third holes to cut the gap to four strokes.

The lingering threat of lightning meant play was only able to resume at 4pm, and even then it only lasted 43 rather miserably wet minutes before thunder rumbled again and play was called off for the day.

Not much had changed in that time, although Oosthuizen must have had his heart in his mouth after he hit his tee-shot on the par-three seventh into the water. He showed his mettle, however, as he stroked in a 25ft putt to limit the damage to just a bogey.

Having just birdied the short par-four sixth after a lovely approach shot to six feet, it meant Oosthuizen dropped back to join Schwartzel on 16-under.

All three members of the final group began the final round smoothly, finding the fairways off the tee and hitting precision iron-shots. Bezuidenhout, however, had more success with the putter and he further cut the lead to three strokes as, straight after the lengthy weather delay, he rolled in a 20ft birdie putt on the par-three fifth hole.

Andy Sullivan was also cruising with two birdies in his first six holes, but he then bogeyed the par-four eighth to slip back to 11-under, five behind, alongside Germany’s Matti Schmid, who was three-under for his round.

Of the other South Africans besides the top three, Thriston Lawrence is accelerating up the leaderboard and is currently tied for eighth on eight-under, four-under for his round with three holes to play.

Jayden Schaper made a fast birdie-birdie start, but then went bogey-bogey and is level-par at the turn, also on eight-under overall.

Casey Jarvis sandwiched birdies at the first and third holes with a bogey at the par-five second, and then had a bit of a car crash on the ninth, with a double-bogey that dropped him to seven-under for the tournament, alongside Wynand Dingle.

The final round will only resume at 9am on Monday to allow the greenkeepers to ready the waterladen course.

Rapid recycles & direct rugby sees Sharks motor into early lead, before splutter & then running rampant again 0

Posted on July 17, 2023 by Ken

The Sharks motored into a 12-0 lead after just 16 minutes, thanks to rapid recycles of the ball and tremendous direct rugby, but they then spluttered and allowed the Lions back into the game before eventually running rampant from the hour mark to win 37-10 in their United Rugby Championship match at Kings Park on Friday evening.

It was all smooth sailing for the Sharks at the start of the derby and, in the ninth minute, they kept possession through nine phases, after a strong carry by eighthman Phepsi Buthelezi, going right and then left before inside centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg broke the defensive line and passed inside for wing Makazole Mapimpi to score.

With 67% possession in the first half, the Sharks were soon back on attack and, after bashing away on the line against the stout Lions defence, they went wide, two short loop passes being followed by fullback Boeta Chamberlain knifing through for the try.

But the shift in momentum perhaps came straight afterwards as flank Jeandre Labuschagne misjudged the restart, dropping the ball, and Lions wing Edwill van der Merwe was on hand to kick through and score the try.

The Lions gained belief to go with their tireless efforts on defence, and despite making just 35 tackles to the visitors’ 105 in the first half, the Sharks went into halftime just 12-7 up.

Flyhalves Curwin Bosch and Jordan Hendrikse traded scrum penalties in the first six minutes of the second half, but the Sharks eventually showed why they were top of the log in southern hemisphere competition when SuperRugby was killed by Covid and remain one of the most highly-rated teams in Europe.

The turnaround came out of the blue as Chamberlain charged down a clearance by Lions fullback Andries Coetzee, centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg gathered and his pop pass found just the right player in scrumhalf Grant Williams, whose sheer speed from just outside the 22 made his try impossible to stop.

Having defended so much, perhaps fatigue set in for the Lions in the final quarter and they began to make basic errors. Centre Marius Louw strayed in front of the kicker, Jaden Hendrikse took a quick tap for the Sharks, Sikhumbuzo Notshe burst clear and Siya Kolisi rounded off the try.

The ever-busy Mapimpi then kicked through a dropped ball in the Lions backline, his second kick being a touch of Messi-like class, as he grabbed his second try at the death.

Scorers

SharksTries: Makazole Mapimpi (2), Boeta Chamberlain, Grant Williams, Siya Kolisi. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2), Jaden Hendrikse. Penalties: Bosch, Lionel Cronje.

LionsTry: Edwill van der Merwe. Conversion: Jordan Hendrikse. Penalty: Hendrikse.

SA heading for a painful defeat, Aussies get set to go 1-0 up 0

Posted on June 05, 2023 by Ken

South Africa were heading for a painful defeat on the second day of the first Test against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane on Sunday as they were bundled out for just 99 in their second innings, leaving the home team with just 34 runs to get to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

Having done well with the ball to bowl Australia out for 218 and restrict their lead to 66, the Proteas folded again with the bat as they staggered to 66 for seven at tea, all square but with just three wickets left in a second innings that started five overs before lunch.

And South Africa were already in trouble by lunch as they crashed to 3 for two, Dean Elgar being trapped lbw for 2 by Pat Cummins and Rassie van der Dussen being bowled for a duck by a snorter from Mitchell Starc, angling across the right-hander and then seaming back through the gate.

Sarel Erwee (3) was heading back to the changeroom three overs after lunch as Cameron Green took another superb catch in the gully, the left-handed Erwee not being able to withdraw his bat in time from a Cummins lifter.

From a parlous 5 for three, Temba Bavuma and Khaya Zondo did their best to rescue the South African innings as they added 42 for the fourth wicket. Despite the desperate situation, the pair tried to be positive and took whatever scoring chances they could.

The introduction of Nathan Lyon brought the breakthrough though as the off-spinner trapped Bavuma lbw, a big-turning delivery also keeping low to catch the batsman on the back foot. Bavuma had again batted stoutly, scoring 29.

Scott Boland’s accurate seam bowling, targeting the top of off-stump, then removed Kyle Verreynne and Marco Jansen for ducks in the next over as South Africa crashed to 49 for six.

Keshav Maharaj scored 16 before he was caught behind off another superb delivery from Starc in the penultimate over before tea.

Zondo stuck around to the end of the innings, scoring a defiant 36 not out, while Cummins ended with five for 42 in 12.4 overs.

South Africa had appeared to have bowled themselves back into the match when they reduced Australia from 181 for five to 218 all out.

The Proteas had actually started the day poorly with the ball, Australia resuming on 145 for five and adding 36 runs in the first six overs.

But left-armer Marco Jansen then entered the attack and had Green (18) caught in the slips, Erwee snaffling a rebound, and, two balls later, had Travis Head caught behind.

Head had moved smoothly to 92 off 96 balls and his brilliant innings was as much of a hammer blow to the Proteas as the Australian bowling.

Kagiso Rabada (17.3-1-76-4) then wrapped up the tail with the help of Lungi Ngidi, who took a superb return catch to dismiss Starc for 14.

South Africa would have been optimistic about fighting their way back into the match with the bat, but sports’ wonderful ability to provide drama once again came to the fore, helped by some soft moments by the Proteas batsmen.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Even if I’m just a signpost on the road, it would be a source of great joy to know that my service for Christ is effective. It may just be something you say; a kind deed; support in times of need; a sympathetic ear.

    Because you bear his holy name, God expects you to be his witnesses, to proclaim the gospel, and to win souls for God. But Christ inspires you through his Holy Spirit to do this.

    Persevere in your service as Christ did – through obstacles, disappointment and adversity, and never give up hope.

    “Seek the Lord in prayer and open your heart to the Holy Spirit so that Christ can become an essential part of your life. As he leads you along his path, you will experience unparalleled fulfillment that can only be found in serving Jesus Christ.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech



↑ Top