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Ken Borland



Erwee does not get too fazed by much 0

Posted on October 06, 2022 by Ken

Sarel Erwee does not get too fazed by much – not dropping a simple catch in the first over of the day, not the unique conditions at Lord’s nor the tricky pitch he had to bat on on the second day of the first Test against England on Thursday.

Erwee handled all of that and the England attack with a well-controlled, highly-composed innings of 73 that laid the foundation for South Africa’s first innings total of 289/7 at stumps and a lead of 124.

Erwee was at first slip when he juggled and dropped a catch given by England’s top-scorer Ollie Pope off Kagiso Rabada. The spearhead of the attack also bounced back from that disappointment, removing Pope for 73 five overs later.

The left-handed opener, playing just his fifth Test, then had to come in and handle the famous slope at Lord’s, as well as a capacity crowd and the famous pair of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad on a pitch that was giving the new ball plenty of assistance.

“The spilt catch certainly wasn’t planned, but that’s cricket. It can happen, especially in the UK where the ball wobbles a bit,” Erwee said phlegmatically at the end of the second day.

“My primary job is as a batsman and trying to get my team off to a decent start with the skipper.” [He succeeded with an excellent opening stand of 85 with Dean Elgar].

“Visualisation is quite important for me to get used to the environment, especially at a place like Lord’s which can be quite overwhelming. I try and gather what type of energies the crowd will give off and the bowlers I’m going to face.

“So I watch a lot of videos, quiet my mind and take it all in. It’s working nicely but I mustn’t get ahead of myself. The most important thing is to just watch each ball at a time. You can get caught up, but if you stay in the moment then things generally go well,” Erwee said.

The 32-year-old also used his mental strength to handle the bowler-friendly pitch and the notorious Lord’s slope, which sees the gradient drop 2.5 metres from the north end of the ground to the south .

“Conditions got trickier and the pitch became a bit two-paced, plus the scoring was quite slow after the rain on the first day, there was a heavy outfield.

“But I had to take all of that out of my mind and just watch the ball and play as intensely as possible. The slope does play a role at times too, but we were very fortunate to play our warm-up game in Canterbury, where there is a slope as well.

“That worked in our favour and we were able to figure out what would work at Lord’s, where the slope is even more hectic, and what to line up differently,” Erwee said.

Young Marco Jansen (41*) and the more experienced Keshav Maharaj (41) then added a rollicking 72 for the seventh wicket in 12-and-a-half overs, giving the Proteas renewed energy.

“Watching Kesh and Marco bat gave a bit more energy, the changeroom was buzzing even more,” Erwee said. “We’re in a good position and we’re full of confidence.

“We have prepped well and we take a bit of momentum into the third day with that partnership at the back end of the day.

“If we can bring the same energy tomorrow [Friday], then we’ll stay ahead of the game, I’m sure,” Erwee said.

Conradie & From show neither ultra-aggression nor conservatism are an illness in golf 0

Posted on September 22, 2022 by Ken

CENTURION, Gauteng – Estiaan Conradie and Fredrik From proved on Thursday in the first round of the Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship at Blue Valley Golf Estate that neither ultra-aggression nor a conservative approach is an illness when it comes to the game of golf.

Conradie and From combined superbly in the betterball format on the first day of the R1.2 million event to claim a three-stroke lead, 13 birdies and an eagle giving them a score of 15-under-par 57.

They finished three strokes clear of Martin Rohwer and Merrick Bremner on 12-under-par 60, while Jaco Prinsloo and Clinton Grobler, Heinrich Bruiners and Jacquin Hess, and Luca Filippi and Ryan van Velzen all posted 11-under 61s.

“It was a lot of fun, I enjoy betterball. It helps to be an aggressive player like me, with my partner backing me up really well. We worked well together and I’m super-happy,” Conradie said after the first round.

“Our style is a bit of a mix-and-match, but it worked for us with me being more aggressive and Fredrik is more conservative.”

The fact that Conradie and the 33-year-old From dovetailed so well with their different styles of play actually complementing each other, meant they were cruising from the start of their round. Teeing off at the 10th hole of the Gary Player designed course, Conradie and his Swedish partner birdied four of their first six holes, and he said they were in a happy mood as they approached the turn.

“We were in good spirits and then we got five birdies in a row, so we were really happy when we reached the par-five third. I hit the middle of the fairway and then Fredrik was in the middle of the green, 20-25 feet away in two and I put my second 10-12 feet behind the flag. He left his putt just short, which meant I had like a free putt and the perfect line, after we spoke about it for quite a bit. That was a really nice eagle to get,” he said.

Conditions were perfect for low-scoring on Thursday, but the 24-year-old Conradie said he expects the foursomes in the second round to throw up some different challenges.

“Conditions were perfect, there was just a light breeze and the greens were pretty good. You can’t ask for much better conditions to play golf.

“But playing foursomes means things will change a bit. But we’ve worked on our game-plan and our style of play will work quite well, I think.

“Foursomes has been a focus for us because we have not played a lot together and it’s something we’ll need to be good at. We have high hopes,” Conradie said.

The golfers will return to the betterball format for the third and final round on Saturday.

Verreynne does not resemble De Kock, but he proved he belongs at highest level 0

Posted on April 04, 2022 by Ken

Kyle Verreynne is not going to resemble Quinton de Kock nor necessarily fit the perception of what some people believe a Test batsman should look like, but the 24-year-old proved in no uncertain fashion that he belongs at the highest level as his magnificent maiden Proteas century put South Africa in command of the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch on Monday.

Verreynne has had a tough time at Test level, scoring just 112 runs in his first eight innings, but he more than doubled that with his brilliant 136 not out in the second innings at Hagley Oval. Going back to the batsman he was before his elevation to Test level provided the breakthrough for the Western Province wicketkeeper/batsman.

“It’s been challenging mentally and Test cricket is the toughest format,” Verreynne said. “My first three series have been on challenging pitches, the wickets for the India series were the toughest I’ve ever batted on and the first Test here was difficult too.

“So you have a lot of doubts and you read what people write about your technique and it’s a challenge. It’s important to keep your self-belief and back your preparation and what you have done in the past.

“In the build-up to this game I did quite a lot of work on my technique and I felt in a really good space, it was just about getting mentally right. I’ve gone back to what I was doing for the last couple of years.

“Footwork has never been a strong point of mine, for me it’s more about my contact points and playing the ball late. Fortunately it worked out and hopefully I’m through that tough phase in my career now,” Verreynne said.

Verreynne praised Kagiso Rabada for his ferocious innings of 47 off 34 balls after lunch on the fourth day that saw the rampant duo hammer 69 runs in eight overs. Not only did their efforts allow South Africa to declare at tea with a lead of 425, but the momentum was carried through into the field, Rabada roaring in with the ball and dismissing both New Zealand openers in his first two overs.

“The third evening was a tricky period for myself and Wiaan Mulder, the stage of the game was such that we just had to get through, and the first 30 minutes this morning were the same, and then we could show more intent.

“KG said he felt pretty good and he would stick around for me to get my hundred. But then it looked like he just couldn’t miss the ball and his innings was a big factor in the energy we took into our bowling,” Verreynne said.

Sharks looking to outlast Bulls, but neither team expect a gentle introduction 0

Posted on September 29, 2021 by Ken

Neither the Bulls nor the Sharks are expecting a gentle introduction into the Currie Cup final at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, with the defending champions looking to settle the outcome early on, while the visitors are aiming to exert consistent pressure for the whole game.

In the semi-finals last weekend, the Bulls blew Western Province away in the opening 16 minutes by racing into a 24-5 lead; the Sharks had to go the distance in seeing off Griquas 28-24.

“We basically beat Western Province in the first quarter and I expect to start the same way as we did last week, why not? We’ve only made two changes to the team and the Sharks lost two weeks ago at home to the same Western Province team that was on the ropes against us. Last year’s extra-time final is irrelevant, all the Springboks played and now the Sharks are missing seven guys in Australia.

“If it’s going to be a dogfight, finals rugby, whatever; we must just play at our best. Western Province were desperate when they beat the Sharks and so if we are more desperate than them tomorrow then we will be okay. if you look at the trophy and the history, if it’s just another game for us then we’ve lost perspective. We have a massive opportunity to be the first team to win the Currie Cup twice in one year,” fired-up Bulls coach Jake White said on Friday.

The Sharks are expecting to have to weather an early storm and will then be hoping to outlast the Bulls.

“Both teams are going to have to handle the intensity. The Bulls were sublime in the first 20 minutes against Western Province and that will pose a challenge. There will be nerves and the team that settles down first will make a better start, which is really important in a game of this magnitude. You can’t underestimate the influence of scoreboard pressure.

“So we can’t afford to give away early penalties. We want a consistent performance and it has built character for us to play under pressure to qualify for the final, that helps. We have also played quite a few games at altitude and coped very well, we don’t see it as a factor and two weeks ago we beat the Lions by fifty points. We will play what’s in front of us and a full defensive line means there’s space behind,” Sharks coach Sean Everitt said.

Both teams have had halfback issues.

Johan Goosen, who was instrumental in the Bulls’ semifinal win with his skill and vision, has tested positive for Covid and has been replaced at flyhalf by Chris Smith, who came off the bench and kicked the 79th-minute penalty to level the scores in last season’s final between the same two teams at the same venue. There is no specialist flyhalf cover on the bench with wing Ruan Combrinck or rookie utility back David Coetzer bracketed amongst the reserves.

The Sharks have SA A scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba starting, but with Jaden Hendrikse, Grant Williams and Cameron Wright all injured, U20 player Lucky Dlepu, uncapped at senior level, is on the bench.

Teams

Bulls: David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Zak Burger, Elrigh Louw, Arno Botha, Marcell Coetzee, Ruan Nortje, Janko Swanepoel, Mornay Smith, Joe van Zyl, Gerhard Steenekamp. Bench – Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Simphiwe Matanzima, Jacques van Rooyen, Jacques du Plessis, WJ Steenkamp, Keagan Johannes, Ruan Combrinck/David Coetzer, Stravino Jacobs.

Sharks: Curwin Bosch, Yaw Penxe, Werner Kok, Marius Louw, Thaakir Abrahams, Lionel Cronje, Sanele Nohamba, Phepsi Buthelezi (c), Henco Venter, Dylan Richardson, Gerbrandt Grobler, Le Roux Roets, Thomas du Toit, Kerron van Vuuren, Khwezi Mona. Bench – Dan Jooste, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Khutha Mchunu, Thembelani Bholi, Reniel Hugo, Lucky Dlepu, Jeremy Ward, Anthony Volmink.

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  • Thought of the Day

    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.

     



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