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Ken Borland

Nortje a cricketer of tremendous heart – but even he needs a little help from his friends 0

Posted on December 28, 2020 by Ken

Anrich Nortje has marked himself out as being a cricketer of tremendous heart ever since he made his Test debut in India last year, but the 27-year-old knows a lot of his success in the Test series against Sri Lanka will depend on him getting a little help from his friends.

Nortje has played just six Tests and taken 19 wickets at an average of 35, but those figures are skewed by his analysis of one for 179 in the two Tests on flat pitches in India. In South Africa, he has taken 18 scalps in four matches at 27.11.

Lungi Ngidi, although he made his Test debut 18 months earlier, has only played five Tests, with 15 wickets at 25.06, and with the third paceman almost certainly a debutant (Glenton Stuurman most likely), it is anyone’s guess who is going to be the so-called ‘leader of the attack’, but Nortje and Ngidi are favourites to share the new ball against Sri Lanka in the first Test at Centurion from Boxing Day.

“We actually had a meeting on Wednesday about bowling in partnerships, we have a very inexperienced attack and it’s important for us to stick together. Against England I felt like I was quite good at that, especially when Dwaine Pretorius was bowling at the other end. One of us would control things and the other would focus on taking wickets. It’s about understanding what you have to do in that moment and not thinking ahead too much.

“Generally you’re trying to bring the run-rate down so you frustrate the batsmen and force them to play a shot they should not have played. Conditions also play a role but it’s mostly about the run-rate. I’ll be trying to keep to the basics and keep things as simple as possible. There’s definitely going to be a bit more bounce and pace at SuperSport Park, but we must not get carried away,” Nortje said on Thursday.

Nortje said he has been impressed by the uncapped Stuurman and would enjoy bowling in partnership with his fellow Warriors star.

“Glenton is a very good bowler with lots of control and skill. We actually haven’t played a lot together but having seen him in the nets, it’s clear he has a lot of talent and he can really trouble guys, especially at Centurion. He asks lots of questions and, without labelling the guy, he can sort of fulfil the Vernon Philander role.”

Having taken the Sri Lankans away from the lower and slower coastal pitches on which they won 2-0 in 2019, the use of the short ball is obviously going to be a key weapon of the Proteas. But Nortje said it is important that they do not overdo the delivery.

“We try and see from every angle what we can do against certain batsmen and conditions are going to be different for them this time around. If someone is uncomfortable against the short ball then he will definitely get it  a lot, but if they are comfortable then we won’t bowl it as much,  although they will still get some. So much depends on the conditions and where the batsman is scoring well.

“We definitely want to use the extra bounce and pace to our advantage, but we mustn’t get carried away and go into the Test thinking we are just going to bomb them out. At SuperSport Park there’s obviously that extra bounce, but you also get cracks later on and that’s obviously exciting from a bowling perspective. We have had a good couple of days of training and we have tuned our game,” Nortje sad.

Lions battling against victims of own success sporting law 0

Posted on June 07, 2017 by Ken


It is almost a law of sport that teams can become victims of their own success in terms of competitors trying to lure a franchise’s star performers away, and the Highveld Lions are currently going through an unsettled period marked by the departures of key internationals Temba Bavuma and Eddie Leie, as well as their general manager, Heinrich Strydom.

But it could have been a lot worse because CEO Greg Fredericks reportedly tendered his resignation as well, but the board did not accept it and managed to convince the popular former MP to continue in his role, thus avoiding another major blow to a union that also lost several experienced players to matchfixing bans at the start of last season.

Fredericks did not want to comment on his alleged resignation, but told The Citizen, “I had an offer which I turned down. My job here is not done.”

Strydom, who was also the CEO of North-West Cricket, has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Dolphins franchise and the Lions have been forced into a time of change, which they are trying to manage as best they can.

There has also been speculation that Cricket South Africa want to groom Lions coach Geoff Toyana for greater things by appointing him as one of the Proteas’ assistant coaches, which would be another blow to the franchise.

“Geoff has just renewed his contract with us for another three years. But if anything happens, we obviously do have succession plans and one or two individuals in mind. We are also advertising for a batting coach at the moment,” Fredericks said.

“The board has expressed concern, however, over the performances of the Highveld Lions and the Gauteng Strikers over the last season, and a committee led by David Terbrugge will investigate and come up with proposals. But the team lost Alviro Petersen and Neil McKenzie, and that experience you can’t replace overnight. People might not also know the important roles of players like Kagiso Rabada, Thami Tsolekile, Pumi Matshikwe and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

“Heinrich was also a huge asset for us, but we are very happy for him. He’s a very hard-working person and we will miss him. But if our pipeline is strong, then we should be able to replicate our previous successes, it’s about ensuring our character and culture stay strong,” Fredericks said.

Sun City ends era with increased crowds & enthusiastic sponsors 0

Posted on December 09, 2015 by Ken


Increased crowd figures and an enthusiastic response from the sponsors marked the end of an era at Sun City as the final 30-man Nedbank Golf Challenge was completed at the weekend.

Next year the tournament will shift away from the first weekend in December for the first time since its inception in 1981, moving to mid-November as it becomes the penultimate event in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai Finals Series and will be played with a 72-man field and an increase in prizemoney to reflect its more elite status.

But the traditional Nedbank Golf Challenge went out with a bang at Sun City over the weekend, Australian Marc Leishman’s comfortable victory being watched by hordes of people.

According to tournament director Alastair Roper, crowds steadily improved through the week. Thursday’s opening day was watched by a few hundred people less than usual, but then there was a 1.5% increase on Friday and the improvement over the weekend was apparent as 12.8% more people came through the gates on Saturday compared to last year, and 4.7% more on Sunday.

“Overall the crowd figures were better and I think that was largely related to the field, people felt it was very good and provided a diversity of golfers,” Roper told The Citizen on Monday.

“What also bodes well for the event as it heads into a new format is that there was even more enthusiasm from the sponsors, with a number of them saying they are going to have to double the size of their facilities for next year.”

The Nedbank Golf Challenge has always been a marker for the beginning of the Christmas holidays and an end-of-year bash for corporate South Africa, but that might change with the tournament starting on November 10.

“It is one of my fears that the crowds might not come, but we will only find out the impact on that once we experience the new date. Universities and schools will also be in the middle of exams. Already the European Tour are talking to the guys in Dubai to maybe have the Tour Championship a bit later, possibly moving into our old spot in the first week of December. There are problems with Thanksgiving, when a lot of Americans in the United Arab Emirates won’t be around to watch golf, and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but the dates will hopefully be massaged a bit,” Roper said.

“A lot of things will have to change because of the impact of having 72 players, there will have to be bigger facilities for them. Even the media centre needs to be looked at because there will be greater demands with it being the penultimate event on the Race to Dubai. I think we may have to use some properties close by for specific facilities like caddies’ accommodation,” Roper said.


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    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

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