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Ken Borland



‘We are finding it harder to win at home’ – Pace 0

Posted on February 26, 2024 by Ken

FANCOURT (Western Cape), 14 February 2024 – “It’s nice to see the overseas support of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, it has grown a lot, but we are now finding it harder to win at home,” the prolific Lee-Anne Pace said with a chuckle on the eve of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am that kicks off the new season at Fancourt from Thursday.

Played on the great Montague and Outeniqua courses at Fancourt, the tournament has a R2.5 million prize fund which 44 professionals are fighting over. It is the second year in which the ladies will play alongside the men’s event being held at the same time, on the same courses.

Of the 44-strong field, 28 are from overseas, highlighting the strength of the nine-event Sunshine Ladies Tour and the value it offers women professionals.

“There’s a really strong overseas contingent coming to play and the fields on the Sunshine Ladies Tour seem to get stronger every week,” Pace, a 14-tme winner, said.

“It’s a really good field this week and I think the scores are going to be quite a lot lower than last year. The courses are quite a bit softer than usual, and on the shorter side, so we can attack a little bit more. I think there are going to be a lot of birdies and as always, it’s going to come down to putting.”

There is an important pro-am aspect to the event, with 44 amateurs each playing with a pro in the team event. Pace, who won the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge at nearby George Golf Club in 2014, said the format will provide a fun side for the professionals.

“Nowadays we are so used to playing in pro-ams with all the Aramco events on the Ladies European Tour. So it will be quite a lot of fun to get to know some of the top women in business. I’ve made some really good friends from playing in pro-ams.”

Even though it is the start of the South African season, Pace is one of the players to bring some form into the event, having finished in a tie for 11th at last weekend’s Kenya Ladies Open, the first event of the new Ladies European Tour season. The 42-year-old shot a brilliant 68 in the final round to ensure she comes to Fancourt with some confidence.

“I felt really good on the last day and played really nicely. That’s after feeling really sick on the first day. So I feel I do have a bit of form on my side,” Pace said.

Compatriot Cara Gorlei also finished in the tie for 11th, and was leading the tournament before a 77 in the third round pushed her down the leaderboard.

France’s Anne-Lise Caudal, a two-time LET winner, is among the stronger foreign contenders, along with Germany’s Carolin Kauffmann, who finished fifth in last year’s Dimension Data Pro-Am and Englishwoman Lauren Taylor, who has two top-10 finishes in this event.

Former champions from South Africa in Stacey Bregman and Lejan Lewthwaite are also in the field.

Verreynne clobbers new record score, but says it’s nothing new for him 0

Posted on February 02, 2024 by Ken

POWER APLENTY: Kyle Verreynne hits one of his nine sixes for Pretoria Capitals.
Photo: Arjun Singh

Kyle Verreynne made the highest ever SA20 score in the most unlikely of circumstances at SuperSport Park on Thursday night: His magnificent 116 not out off 52 balls was in a losing cause and it came after the Pretoria Capitals had crashed to 42 for six. The wicketkeeper has also not always been rated the most effective T20 player, but he clobbered seven fours and nine sixes and bristled afterwards at suggestions that this was something new in his game for the shortest format.

Verreynne’s astonishing innings miraculously prevented MI Cape Town from pulling off a bonus point win that seemed inevitable after they took six wickets in the powerplay while defending a mammoth total of 248 for four.

And it is a crucial bonus point because it keeps Pretoria Capitals alive in the competition, despite their woeful display in Centurion in their penultimate game. They play MI Cape Town again at Newlands on Saturday and, trailing them by just three points on the log, they know victory will put them in the qualifiers as long as high-flying Durban Super Giants beat Joburg Super Kings on the same day.

Verreynne had a T20 career strike-rate of 127.53 before this match, with three fifties in 48 innings, and the Pretoria Capitals only included him in their XI from their fourth game this season. But however he does it, he gets the runs on the board and is one of those cricketers blessed with tremendous temperament; he seems to lift his game to a new level when the pressure is on.

“It’s pretty sick that I’ve got the highest score and to score my maiden hundred is really special. I feel like my red-ball game is sorted, but T20 has been a bit of a monkey on my back,” Verreynne said after the Pretoria Capitals lost by 34 runs.

“But scoring 72 not out in my first game of the season against JSK and now a century has given me lots of confidence. But all the coaches I have ever had have never questioned my technique or boundary-hitting ability. Those who question it don’t know cricket.

“I went to Wynberg Boys High and that school instils in you that you must keep fighting even when the chips are down. Nothing comes easy at that school. Pressure is a mother going to work at 5am and coming home at 9pm to provide for her kids, playing cricket is not really pressure and that’s why I stay calm,” Verreynne said.

If you had offered Verreynne and the Pretoria Capitals an eventual total of 214 for eight, especially after he had watched Nuwan Thushara bowl Rilee Rossouw, Colin Ackermann and Shane Dadswell for ducks in the space of nine deliveries, it would have been one of those deals that was too good to refuse.

Even though Wayne Parnell (23) helped him add 78 off 49 deliveries for the seventh wicket, an SA20 record, the home side were still languishing on 129 for eight after 15 overs, needing 70 more runs off 30 balls just to prevent conceding the bonus point.

With Adil Rashid providing great support with 21 not out off 14 deliveries, Verreynne got them there with four balls to spare! Fifteen runs were taken off debutant Nealan van Heerden’s last over, Verreynne then hit the previously-terrifying Thushara for 23 in the 18th over, Rabada went for 18 in the penultimate over and Verreynne finished in style with 22 off the final over bowled by Sam Curran.

“Obviously we wanted to win, but we realised pretty quickly that realistically we weren’t going to do that, but giving them a bonus point would mean we were basically out of the competition,” Verreynne said.

“So we just kept 199 in mind and getting more than 200 will give us a lot of confidence as a batting unit. And it’s crazy to think that we lost but we still go to Cape Town with a genuine chance of making the playoffs.

“So it felt like a win afterwards, we knew getting 200 keeps us in the competition even if it was a really daunting target. So the mood in the changeroom was that it was a small victory we will take and the positivity is definitely there. We are still in with a chance of winning the competition, so we can’t be too down,” Verreynne said with typical tenacity.

Excellent build-up for SA20 league kicking off next week 0

Posted on October 31, 2023 by Ken

The excellent build-up for the new SA20 tournament continued this week with the news that Sky Sports in the UK have signed a five-year deal to also show the tournament, expanding the global reach of the new T20 league and also bringing in some much-needed hard currency.

With the tournament kicking off in Cape Town next Tuesday evening in Cape Town, everything would seem to be in place for the SA20 to explode into the consciousness of cricket fans.

While co-owners SuperSport will obviously have the African broadcast rights for the league, the all-important Indian market was sown up by the 10-year deal signed with Viacom 18, the dynamic new entertainment network that is growing rapidly on the subcontinent. They are believed to be paying at least $240 000 per game, so this year’s 33 matches will bring in nearly $8 million (R135 million).

Contracts are also being finalised to ensure the tournament is broadcast in other major cricket markets like Australia/New Zealand and the Caribbean.

There is a title sponsor in BetWay, who have signed a “multi-year” deal, and CSA are intimating that the league will make a profit in its first year, having earlier predicted a five-year wait before the SA20 would be in the black.

One does still wonder, however, about a few finer details.

Is a run of five successive fixtures between February 3-7 on the Highveld – with matches at both the Wanderers and SuperSport Park on February 4 – going to enjoy good crowds? The semi-finals follow from February 8 and there is a good chance either the Joburg Super Kings or Pretoria Capitals will be involved in those too.

And is the tournament loadshedding-proof and, if so, are those emergency back-up measures not going to significantly decrease profits?

But here’s hoping for some magnificent action to take our minds off all the troubles currently surrounding South African cricket, never mind the country as a whole.

Having looked into my crystal ball, I would, if forced to, put money on a MI Cape Town versus Paarl Royals final.

MI Cape Town, in particular, have a marvellous attack – Jofra Archer, Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada and Rashid Khan could bowl 16 of their 20 overs, which leaves opposition batsmen with plenty of thinking to do when it comes to taking them on.

Proteas batsmen find new ways to disappoint 0

Posted on July 24, 2023 by Ken

The Proteas batsmen found new ways to disappoint on a good MCG pitch as they were bundled out for just 189 little more than an hour after tea on the first day of the second Test against Australia on Monday.

Having been sent in to bat, openers Dean Elgar and Sarel Erwee weathered the early movement and, although Erwee, reaching for a drive and edging Scott Boland into the slips, had fallen for 18, South Africa looked solid on 56 for one as lunch approached.

But Theunis de Bruyn (12), the new face in the batting line-up as he replaced Rassie van der Dussen, then tried a wild pull stroke from off-stump against Cameron Green, top-edging a catch to the wicketkeeper. Having seen the previous delivery climb steeply from a similar line and length, it was poor shot-selection.

An even bigger Christmas present for the Aussies was to follow though as captain Elgar ran himself out for 26, moments after becoming the eighth South African to score 5000 Test runs. He had led a charmed life up till then, being dropped on seven and 19 and also surviving when an inside-edge trickled back on to his stumps. But Elgar failed to capitalise on getting in, and there was a hint of him trying to escape strike against Mitchell Starc when he pushed the left-hander into the covers and ran, Marnus Labuschagne producing a brilliant piece of fielding and a direct hit at the bowler’s end to run him out, the first time the skipper has suffered that dismissal in Test cricket.

The next delivery saw Temba Bavuma (1) caught behind off Starc and, after a promising start, the Proteas had slumped to 58 for four at lunch.

That became 67 for five in the fifth over after lunch when Khaya Zondo, flatfooted and throwing his hands at a drive at a wide delivery form Starc, was superbly caught by Labuschagne at extra over, moving sharply and then diving to his right.

Wicketkeeper/batsman Kyle Verreynne and bowling all-rounder Marco Jansen then steered the Proteas innings back on to the road as they added a much-needed 112 for the sixth wicket.

Verreynne, fresh off his half-century in Brisbane, was smoothly underway and went to another fifty, off 80 balls. Jansen took a little longer to get going, but his maiden Test half-century was just reward for how sensibly he batted.

Starc’s accident in the outfield while trying to catch Jansen saw him dislocate his finger, resulting in Green having a prolonged third spell.

And the all-rounder took full advantage as he ripped through the rest of the South African batting to finish with a career-best five for 27 in 10.4 overs.

Verreynne (52) and Jansen (59) were both caught behind the wicket to probing deliveries just outside off-stump in successive overs, and Keshav Maharaj (2), Kagiso Rabada (4) and Lungi Ngidi (2) then meekly surrendered as the last five wickets fell for just 10 runs.

This batting display, on a good surface, was even more of a reckless car-crash than the Brisbane fiasco.

South Africa’s bowling was then as loose as profligate shoppers at the Black Friday sales as Australia reached 45 for one at stumps. David Warner had cruised to 32 not out.

The Proteas did at least claim one wicket when Usman Khawaja, defending well out side off-stump, was caught behind off Kagiso Rabada for 1.

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    John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

    Our Christian experience begins when the Holy Spirit starts working in our imperfect lives. An inexplicable restlessness and a feeling that nothing can give you the satisfaction you yearn for, could be the Spirit working in you.

    Even when God calls you and chooses you to serve him, there may be inner conflict and confusion because you are not always willing to do what God is asking of you.

    But this inner struggle is part of spiritual life … Commit yourself to God and open yourself to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit.

    It is by great grace that you were chosen by God to serve him and to live to the honour and glory of his name. Surrender unconditionally to the Lord and you will discover that your life gains new meaning and purpose.



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