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Ken Borland

Malik keeps ball on the fairways & putts well for 1st win on foreign soil 0

Posted on April 15, 2024 by Ken

SUN CITY, North-West – India’s Tvesa Malik claimed her first professional title on foreign soil as she kept the ball on the fairways and putted well to win the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International by three strokes at the Lost City Golf Club on Friday.

Malik began the final round as co-leader with 2022 SuperSport Ladies Challenge champion Paula Reto, and the 28-year-old produced the sort of controlled golf required on the last day to clinch titles. Malik made just two bogeys, one on each nine, but collected three birdies to post a one-under-par 71 and finish on nine-under overall.

It was a round that none of the other contenders could better.

“I was very consistent off the tee which was vital because the fairways are tight and really firm. The greens are big so hitting from good positions on the fairways is fine and my putting is what I was most pleased with. I gave myself several opportunities and I hit so many good putts that just did not go in. But then 10-foot birdies on the 11th and 16th holes were really important,” Malik said.

“I just wanted to focus today and not get too wrapped up in every shot being do-or-die. I just tried to stay stable mentally and not stress too much about making birdies. I am thrilled and relieved to have my first pro win outside India.”

First-round leader Lauren Taylor drew level with Malik as she collected two birdies on a faultless front nine, but the Englishwoman saw her chances go up in smoke when she came home in 41 shots with three bogeys and a double drop on the par-four 16th.

Reto found herself on a sinking ship on the front nine, as she double-bogeyed both the second and sixth holes to go out in 40. The South African fought back on the back nine to come home in 35 shots and finished third on five-under-par.

Young Gabrielle Venter once again showed that her game has the equipment to be a title contender on the Sunshine Ladies Tour as she claimed second place on six-under-par with a 71, moving up to third on the official order of merit.

Lee-Anne Pace is second in the overall standings after charging up the leaderboard in the last two rounds of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, finishing in a tie for fourth at Lost City on four-under after a 71 on Friday. England’s Amy Taylor vaulted up to four-under as well after posting a 68, the joint best round of the day. Germany’s Helen Kreuzer (71) was the other golfer tied for fourth.

Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am winner Kylie Henry is still top of the order of merit, despite finishing tied for 32nd, on six-over-par, at Lost City.

Fans’ cellphones were previously full of images of sandpaper & changeroom confrontations, but Elgar hopes for less spiciness in Oz 0

Posted on April 13, 2023 by Ken

The last time South Africa and Australia met in a Test series, cricket fans’ cellphones were full of images of sandpaper and changeroom confrontations with the captain only wearing a towel, but Proteas skipper Dean Elgar is hoping that this time the spiciness stays on the field and does not cross the line into illegality.

The infamous “Sandpapergate” tour of 2017/18 was the last Test series between the two great rivals, with South Africa winning 3-1 as Australian captain Steven Smith and batsmen David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for their ball-tampering shenanigans in the third Test.

“I have no animosity at all for any of the players or Australian cricket,” Elgar said in Brisbane on Monday. “It was a tough time for all of us and obviously they were sad events, it was unfortunate.

“We have moved forward as a group, although we wish things could have happened differently because there is a rich history of cricket between us and we have a similarly competitive nature.

“It was extremely juicy out in the middle, they were interesting times, but hopefully that has all been put to bed. There’s always a bit of spice on the field when we play Australia, but hopefully none of those antics.

“We love playing against Australia, we have heaps of respect for them, and hopefully this series will be a good spectacle,” Elgar said.

With Australia having plenty of depth when it comes to pacemen, the series should be a fast bowling extravaganza. Although he can be a bit of an enigma, notably in the T20 World Cup in Australia a month ago, Kagiso Rabada is still South Africa’s leading Test bowler. And Elgar is excited by the quick bowlers he has to support him – Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee and Lizaad Williams.

“KG’s career and repertoire speaks for itself in terms of what he can bring to the table,” Elgar said. “But it’s good to have options and all our bowlers bring something unique.

“It’s exciting to have raw pace in the changeroom and, facing them in the nets, I’m happy that they are part of our squad. Their skillsets are up there and they can bring the heat as well.

“In Australian conditions, you want a balance of skill and raw pace. You get a lot of value on these pitches if you can execute and hit the right areas,” Elgar said.

South Africa begin their tour with a warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI at Allan Border Field in Brisbane from Friday to next Monday.

The first Test starts at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 17.

Sluggish Bulls on back foot from outset & torn to shreds by Glasgow 0

Posted on December 19, 2022 by Ken

Sluggish and on the back foot from the outset, the Bulls were torn to shreds by the Glasgow Warriors on the 4G pitch at Scotstoun, being hammered 35-21 in their United Rugby Championship match on Saturday night.

On a rainy night in Glasgow, the Warriors were on fire from the start, backing their expansive intentions and showing they had the skills to pull it off. But a Bulls side that relies so much on their physicality was strangely passive and they were outworked and outmuscled at the rucks and on the gainline. The fact that they were passive on defence was probably the biggest indictment of their effort.

Glasgow scored two tries in the first 11 minutes to give themselves a healthy lead, especially with the rain, but the Bulls did fight back with a Kurt-Lee Arendse try after Cornal Hendrikse capitalised on a loose ball thanks to pressure by Elrigh Louw.

But the second quarter saw both lock Scott Cummings and scrumhalf George Horne take advantage of lacklustre defending and Glasgow were 28-7 up at halftime.

When the Warriors scored again eight minutes into the second half, wing Sebastian Cancelliere combining slickly with fullback Josh McKay, the Bulls were 35-7 down and on a hiding to nothing.

The second half did not have the spark of the first, but the Bulls were totally lacking the attacking accuracy to claw their way back into the match. The attacking breakdown was the biggest issue for them and penalties there, as well as a few handling errors, accounted for the ball being turned over nine times in promising positions inside the Glasgow 22.

The fire that was so lacking in the Bulls side finally made an appearance when eighthman Louw tussled with Horne on the ground, both of the players being sent to the sin bin for their troubles.

The Bulls did have a chance of earning a couple of points on the log after Bismarck du Plessis burrowed over for their second try on the hour mark. But the Janko Swanepoel try in the final minute was the only addition to their score.

The territory that set up both second-half tries came from scrum penalties, probably the only area of the game where the Bulls were better than the opposition.


Glasgow WarriorsTries: Matt Fagerson, Sebastian Cancelliere, Scott Cummings, George Horne, Josh McKay. Conversions: Horne (5).

BullsTries: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Bismarck du Plessis, Janko Swanepoel. Conversions: Chris Smith (2), Morne Steyn.

Focus on Bavuma & his pedigree; all his focus on fulfilling his role 0

Posted on November 16, 2022 by Ken

While almost all the focus in the build-up to South Africa’s first T20 against India in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday has been on Proteas captain Temba Bavuma and his pedigree in the shortest format of the game, the skipper himself said on Tuesday that all his focus is on fulfilling his role for the team.

Bavuma returns to international action for the first time since June when he retired hurt for eight off 11 balls in the fourth T20 against India in Rajkot; South Africa going on to be skittled for just 87 and losing by 82 runs as the hosts levelled the series. The fifth and decisive match was then washed out.

Bavuma tore a tendon in his elbow when diving to make his ground on a quick single. But questions had already been raised in India over his place in the side as he ended the series with 61 runs in four innings, at a strike-rate of only 103.38, the lowest of any frontline batsman in the series.

When he last week failed to attract a single bid for the SA20 league from any of the IPL-associated franchises, it created a fresh storm over his head.

“My focus is on the team and my role as captain is to lead and serve as best I can,” Bavuma said on Tuesday when asked whether he will be going all-out with the bat to prove the naysayers wrong.

“My job is to make sure the team is in the best space possible going into the World Cup. Anything else I try not to give energy to, they’re all distractions and sideshows.

“I’m trying to put what happened at the auction behind me and my biggest focus is on my role as captain,” Bavuma said.

The Indian team are resting the swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who gave the Proteas, and especially Bavuma, a torrid time in the previous series. Jasprit Bumrah is back to lead the attack. The home side’s most experienced batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, are also back in the fray, having rested in the earlier rubber.

“We were tested and challenged in all departments last time here and I think we responded quite well,” Bavuma said. “They have some big names back with pedigree behind them, and they will lead from the front.

“They will boost the confidence of the Indian team and add some x-factor. But it’s good for us to be coming up against their best players.

“It’s quite challenging against their opening bowlers in the powerplay, they get the ball to swing and move quite a bit, more than we are accustomed to at home.

“The key is to limit the damage, manoeuvre around them and try and get some momentum later on,” Bavuma said.

Play starts at 3.30pm SA time.

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