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Ken Borland

Shamsi says he is feeling much better 0

Posted on November 29, 2021 by Ken

Tabraiz Shamsi said he is feeling much better as South Africa enjoyed a rest day on Thursday after their impressive chase to beat Pakistan in their last warm-up match for the T20 World Cup, allowing them to go into their opening game against Australia on Saturday in confident mood.

While Rassie van der Dussen’s brilliant unbeaten 101 off 51 balls led a morale-boosting batting display on Wednesday night, the bowling attack struggled after Shamsi pulled out of the game after bowling just four balls, struggling with what was revealed to be a “tight groin” by Proteas management.

The world’s No.1 T20 bowler did not return to the field, raising alarm bells for Saturday’s World Cup opener, but the word from the camp on Thursday was that the ace spinner was making good progress.

One of the few bowlers to do well against Pakistan was Lungi Ngidi, who last played a competitive match for the Proteas in July in Ireland. But upon his return to the team he says he can feel the mood in the camp is just getting better and better.

The 25-year-old paceman missed the tour to Sri Lanka and has been involved in the IPL since then.

“The team has been successful since the West Indies tour and there’s been a momentum shift in a positive direction. And you can tell it’s still moving in the right direction.

“It’s great to be back with the guys, the language is all positive and there’s a good mindset. We think that we’ve ticked all the boxes we need to heading into the World Cup,” Ngidi said on Thursday.

Van der Dussen’s perfectly-paced innings was further proof that hope never dies for the 32-year-old as he and David Miller scored 22 runs off the last over to win off the final ball.

“We were chasing quite a big score [187], but we knew the pitch was good and we just had to give ourselves a chance,” Van der Dussen said. “We were a bit behind in the powerplay, but we knew we had boundary options at the end.

“We also knew it would be important to have an in-batsman in the last five overs to put them under pressure. The guys played around me very well, we managed the chase well.

“I just tried to stay in fifth gear, the score dictated we had to. We maybe left ourselves with a bit too much to get in the last three overs, 47 runs, but fortunately we managed to get some boundaries.

“I just tried to play the situation of the game as the run-rate dictates, and just stay calm even if it gets to 15 an over, that’s the learning,” Van der Dussen said.

Titans eager to maintain momentum after bruising start 0

Posted on November 12, 2015 by Ken



The Titans took a bruise to their pride in their opening RamSlam T20 Challenge loss to the Dolphins, but successive victories have lifted the mood and left them eager to maintain their momentum as they head into a vital weekend.

The Titans travel to Bloemfontein to take on the Knights on Friday night, before returning home to face the Warriors on Sunday at Centurion in a double-header that also features the Dolphins playing the Cape Cobras.

“We weren’t happy with our performance in that first game against the Dolphins, we just didn’t adapt to conditions, we weren’t smart enough. So we’re very happy with our progression through the last two matches, but we’re still playing at only 70% of our capability. We’re executing better game plans and we’re very happy that the workload is being shared in terms of both batting and bowling,” senior batsman Farhaan Behardien said at SuperSport Park on Wednesday.

The inclusion of players like Graeme van Buuren and Lungi Ngidi has helped the change in fortunes, but there is likely to be another shake-up of the team this weekend with the return of all-rounder David Wiese after recovering from a hand injury.

While other captains are stumbling around in the fog when the pressure is on, Albie Morkel can chuckle and consider the luxury of fielding eight batsmen and nine bowlers – five pacemen, a dibbly-dobbler in Behardien, wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, a slow left-armer in Van Buuren and offie Henry Davids.

“We’re seeing in T20 now that you need eight batsmen, you need that depth if you go five or six down. The last two games, we’ve had enough batting to win and that takes the pressure off Albie and myself, everyone is chipping in. It’s where the game is going and we’ve taken a leaf out of Australia’s book – they have guys like James Faulkner, Mitchell Marsh and Mitchell Johnson; Chris Morris, Albie and David are a wonderful addition to our team. We have three frontline bowlers and three all-rounders with a wealth of experience internationally,” Behardien said.

“There are so many different combinations and it’s a quality 15-man squad. Anyone on their day can perform, we probably have more variety with our bowling than any other team and a lot of guys who love batting under pressure,” Van Buuren said.


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