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Ken Borland

SA batsmen yet again fail to do the business 0

Posted on August 31, 2023 by Ken

South Africa’s batsmen yet again failed to do the business as they were bowled out for just 204 to lose the second Test against Australia by a massive innings and 182 runs and with it the series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday.

The Proteas barely survived to the final session as a depleted Australian attack wrapped up their second innings in 68.5 overs, one ball longer than their dismal first innings, left-arm quick Mitchell Starc setting the tone as he bowled through the pain of a dislocated finger. It was only some lusty blows at the end of the innings by Lungi Ngidi (19) and a last-wicket stand of 27 with Anrich Nortje (8*) that ended the desperate run of seven successive totals of less than 200.

Temba Bavuma was the one South African batsman to build an innings, scoring 65 in 201 minutes off 144 balls, but he was also complicit in two disastrous run outs which epitomised the slapdash nature of their performances in Australia.

Having lost overnight batsmen Sarel Erwee, trapped lbw for 21 by a searing Starc yorker, and Theunis de Bruyn (28), who was well-taken by Steve Smith at first slip after Scott Boland found the shoulder of his bat with some steepling bounce, South Africa plunged to 65 for four before lunch with the run out of Khaya Zondo for just a single.

Bavuma pushed Pat Cummins straight to cover and ran, with Zondo ball-watching at the non-striker’s end and well-beaten by Travis Head’s direct hit.

The second run out was just as farcical as Bavuma left Keshav Maharaj (13) stranded halfway down the pitch on a third run, Starc collecting the boundary throw from Marnus Labuschagne and throwing down the stumps at the wicketkeeper’s end.

Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne were the brokers of some respite for the Proteas as they added 63 for the fifth wicket. But Boland broke the stand in the third over after lunch as Verreynne (33) erred in playing across the line of an in-ducker and was trapped lbw.

Bavuma eventually lost concentration and was caught off a wild slog-sweep against off-spinner Nathan Lyon, so his wait for a second Test century continues, but he had batted with great determination and played some fine strokes mixed with solid defence.

Elgar wonders if Proteas should arrange to lose 1st match every time 0

Posted on February 11, 2022 by Ken

Given the Proteas’ history of being slow starters in series, there are those who would be tempted to arrange that they always lose the first match of a rubber like they did against India, before rebounding superbly to claim the spoils 2-1.

Even captain Dean Elgar admitted in the wake of the epic seven-wicket win in the decisive third Test at Newlands that he was aware, and rather bemused by, the trend. South Africa were well-beaten in the first Test against India at Centurion, going down by 113 runs. But they then staged a remarkable comeback, winning by seven wickets at both the Wanderers and in Cape Town, chasing down daunting targets of more than 200 on pitches with plenty of movement on both occasions.

“There were so many lows in that first game and losing first-up is never ideal at home,” Elgar said. “But it’s almost a trait of the Proteas that we need to be 1-0 down to realise that our backs are against the wall.

“So after losing the first Test we really knew we were up against it, but the guys really stood up from a character point of view. It worked to bring the best out of the players.

“I’m very relieved the guys responded the way they did and it was a proper squad effort, and a few individuals did exceptional things as well.

“Those were the highlights – the individual performances of players like Keegan Petersen, Marco Jansen, KG Rabada, Temba Bavuma and Lungi Ngidi. It boils down to the mutual respect we have in the squad,” Elgar said.

After all the turmoil over the last couple of years, the sensational victory over the world’s No.1-ranked side is evidence that things are stabilising in South African cricket. Under-fire coach Mark Boucher is comfortable that his national team are doing okay whatever his strident critics might be saying.

“I believe we turned the corner quite a while ago, actually. We’ve had pretty solid results for the last six months to a year,” Boucher said. “We’ve tried out a few players and they are coming good now.

“So we are getting some depth, but we are keeping our feet firmly on the ground because we know we are not the finished product. But I liked the intensity we showed, especially in the run-chases when we were looking to score,” Boucher said.

SA batsmen no match for potent India bowlers on boobytrap-laden pitch 0

Posted on February 01, 2022 by Ken

South Africa’s blundering batsmen were no match for India’s potent bowling attack on a boobytrap-laden SuperSport Park pitch as they were bowled out for 191 in their second innings on Thursday to lose the first Test at Centurion by 113 runs.

Only Dean Elgar, with 77 in more than four hours at the crease, and Temba Bavuma, who scored 35 not out off 80 balls, were able to keep abreast of the demands of batting on the final day, as South Africa were set 305 to win, which would have been a record chase at Centurion.

Despite the best efforts of Elgar and Bavuma, India were closing in on victory at lunch as they reduced South Africa to 182/7.

The end came ridiculously quickly after the break as Marco Jansen was caught behind for 13 in Mohammad Shami’s first over and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin then took the last two wickets with successive balls in the following over.

Kagiso Rabada boobed by playing an expansive drive without getting anywhere near the pitch of the ball and looping a catch to backward point, with Lungi Ngidi then turning his first ball straight to leg slip.

South Africa had resumed on the final morning on 94/4. Elgar, who had survived for more than three hours on the fourth afternoon, battled on for another 45 minutes on Thursday before the outstanding Jasprit Bumrah eventually got the better of the Proteas captain.

Having recently switched to around the wicket to the left-hander, Bumrah zipped a delivery back into the batsman, trapping him lbw for a tenacious 77, made in 243 minutes off 156 balls.

Bavuma and Elgar had added 36 for the fifth wicket and the vice-captain continued to show great composure through the entire morning session, going to lunch on 34 not out.

None of the other South African batsmen have put such hefty prices on their wickets, which is why the home side once again failed to reach 200, never mind 300.

Quinton de Kock scored a carefree 21 but was not playing the situation, which required really tight, disciplined batting, and his third loose waft outside off stump brought his downfall, edging Mohammed Siraj into his stumps.

Shami then returned to the attack and his second delivery was bang on the money, a fraction outside off stump and straightening, with extra bounce, and Wiaan Mulder could only get a thin edge to a fine ball, being caught behind for a single.

Bumrah was the best of the bowlers with 3/50 in 19 overs, while Siraj took 2/47 in 18 overs and Shami 3/63 in 17.

Everitt blaring out lessons from last game v Griquas as Sharks host them again in semi 0

Posted on September 17, 2021 by Ken

The last time the Sharks hosted Griquas at Kings Park was at the end of July when their own indifferent finishing saw them lose an extraordinary match 37-27, and coach Sean Everitt has blared out the lessons from that upset all week ahead of their Currie Cup semifinal against the same opposition in Durban on Saturday.

Griquas received five yellow cards in that match and the Sharks were almost always playing with extra men. But they wasted numerous scoring opportunities, rather aimlessly bashing away at close quarters when varying the point of attack would have surely seen the incredibly brave Griquas defence crack open.

Maybe it was because they had just come back from Covid-enforced inactivity and the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, but all in all, it was probably the Sharks’ most bleh performance of the season.

“A lot of lessons were learnt that day, especially how to deal with the opposition getting yellow cards and how to break down defences on the tryline. And we have built some momentum since then, I think we are a better team now and that result has had a lot to do with it.

“Everyone wants to be in a Currie Cup final, so motivation won’t be an issue and there’ll be no questions over energy. Our lineouts and scrums have also improved since we played Griquas the last time,” Everitt said this week.

In order to get the better of Griquas this time, Everitt said his team are going to have to bring a mixture of their ruthless counter-attacking ability and forward grunt that ensures the Sharks can get some fluency with ball-in-hand.

“Griquas have kicked the most in the competition, mostly through Stefan Ungerer, who is an accomplished scrumhalf, and George Whitehead, an experienced flyhalf. They manage the game well, they strangle and squeeze you and I’m sure they will come here and try and disrupt our style of play. I hope we can match their physicality and the breakdown is a massive area we have worked hard on.

“Our flyhalf [Lionel Cronje] and fullback [Curwin Bosch] need to function well, they complement each other, they’ve produced some really good kicking and they can attack too, especially when we split the flyhalf channel on either side. Hopefully we can get the phases going to be able to do that,” Everitt said.

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    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

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