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Ken Borland

Proteas left a few runs out on the park – Tryon 0

Posted on August 17, 2022 by Ken

Vice-captain Chloe Tryon admitted that the Proteas Women left a few runs out on the park when both batting and bowling in their 15-run defeat at the hands of England A in a T20 warm-up match in Cardiff on Monday night.

England A won the toss and batted first, and managed to recover from 23/2 after four overs to post a highly-competitive 155/5 in their 20 overs. Alice Capsey (32 off 19) and Maia Bouchier (49 off 42) added 52 for the second wicket off 36 balls to put the home side back on track. Bouchier and Bess Heath (43 off 36) then finished the innings superbly, adding 79 in 9.2 overs to give England A a total they could be well-pleased with.

Seamers Nadine de Klerk (4-0-20-1) and Tumi Sekhukhune (4-0-26-1) were the most impressive of the South African bowlers.

The Proteas batting took a while to get going and they were 32/3 in the seventh over. Laura Wolvaardt (32 off 34) and Sune Luus (45 off 34) provided some much-needed acceleration, but Tryon was still left with too much to do at the back end, finishing with 21 not out off 18 balls as South Africa closed on 140/6.

“It was disappointing to fall 15 runs short,” Tryon said. “We bowled well in patches, but we could have pulled them back more, we let them get away at the end because we did not bowl well in stages.

“But we should have been able to find those extra runs somewhere, on that pitch we could have scored 20 runs more.” Tryon conceded.

The Proteas batting up front got clogged up like the aorta of a diabetic, obese smoker, and they will be eager to find a way to free themselves up in another warm-up game against England A, this time over 50 overs, in Cheltenham on Thursday.

It is their last chance to get fit and firing ahead of the ODI series against the powerhouse England side that starts in Northampton next Monday.

Bekker doesn’t want the expectation & private anguish of not winning more 0

Posted on January 11, 2022 by Ken

Oliver Bekker has always seemed to be one of those cheerful, almost happy-go-lucky characters out on the golf course, but in private he was probably anguishing over winning more tournaments.

But the 36-year-old is now experienced enough to know that too much expectation can be as damaging as a lack of confidence.

Bekker still looks so comfortable and under control on the course and his maturity is reflected in how his career is progressing. Having won seven times on the Sunshine Tour, he competed on the European Challenge Tour this year and finished seventh on the order of merit, earning his card for the 2022 DP World Tour.

Now he leads the South African Open by three strokes midway through the tournament at the Gary Player Country Club, adding a 67 on Friday to his brilliant 65 on the opening day.

But proving that he is now at a different level by winning the SA Open is not on his mind.

“I don’t want to put myself under a lot of pressure,” Bekker said on Friday. “Every round I just want to try shoot under par and I’ve learnt that one or two under par every day is generally good enough.

“So I just try to grind it out every day, keep chipping away, and if you do keep under par then you will be there or thereabouts at the end of the day.”

That pragmatic approach combined with a razor-sharp short game saw Bekker collect six birdies in the second round, with his bogey on the par-four second hole his only dropped shot. He chipped in from just off the green for birdies on both the 14th and 16th holes, while he sunk a 40-foot birdie putt on the par-four eighth. And then there were also the up-and-downs when he managed to salvage par.

“It was really tough today, especially at the start when judging the wind was so tricky. You had about a five-second window to play your shot otherwise the wind would come from a different direction.

“But it settled down a bit, it was more consistent on the back nine and I got a bit closer to the pins and chipped in twice. I also scrambled really well and made my up-and-downs.

“Having the halfway lead means I’ve done half the job pretty well, now to finish the job. I haven’t made many mistakes and it helps when you’re so sharp around the greens. If I can keep sharp then there should be lots of opportunities over the weekend,” Bekker said.

Neil Schietekat, who shared the first-round lead with Bekker, did not manage quite as good a demolition job on the course on Friday, but still fired a two-under-par 70 to stay in touch on nine-under-par, three shots back.

“I was searching for my swing a bit and if that’s my bad round then I’m chuffed,” Schietekat said.

Justin Harding shot a wonderful 67 on Friday to join Schietekat on nine-under, while Danie van Tonder (68), Lyle Rowe (71) and Hennie du Plessis (70) are on seven-under.

Decision-making normally brilliant in the Titans offices but not so much on the field as they exit T20 Challenge 0

Posted on March 10, 2021 by Ken

Decision-making is normally brilliant in the offices of SuperSport Park but out on the field at Kingsmead on Friday the Titans made a number of wrong decisions that saw them lose their crucial T20 Challenge match against the Dolphins by seven runs and be eliminated from the playoffs.

Their mistakes started in selection as ace spinner Simon Harmer was left out of the side for seam-bowling all-rounder Grant Thomson. It left the Titans with just one specialist spinner, while the Dolphins’ pairing of Prenelan Subrayen and Keshav Maharaj thoroughly dominated the first half of the Titans innings, conceding just 35 runs in their first seven overs combined.

Thomson did not bowl and batted number seven, and although he hit the first ball of the final over for six, he had little impact on the game. Off-spinner Harmer, who has an economy rate of just 5.13 in his 83 T20 games, may well have been able to deal with left-hander David Miller, who was the key batsman in the Dolphins innings, his 49 not out off 35 balls lifting them to 151 for six.

Sending all-rounder Dayyaan Galiem in at number three did pay off for the Titans as he scored a plucky, unselfish 45 off 39 balls to lift a flagging run-rate that saw only 26 runs scored in the powerplay of six overs.

But when Dean Elgar was dismissed by the impressive Kerwin Mungroo (4-0-29-2), the Titans needed 101 from 60 balls but sent in Sibonelo Makhanya instead of Heinrich Klaasen and Chris Morris, who have shown their finishing ability at international level.

By the time Makhanya was also dismissed by Mungroo, for 15 off 13 balls, the Titans needed 55 from 26 deliveries, the required run-rate having increased to 13.09.

Morris came in next but failed, before Klaasen gave the Titans hope with a courageous 29 not out off 14 balls.

But with 14 runs needed off three balls, the Titans were thrown a lifeline as Ottneil Baartman bowled a head-high delivery way down leg which was called no-ball and went for four byes.

That left the Titans needing nine off three balls, but Klaasen could only hammer the free hit straight to Miller at extra cover. Inexplicably he took the single, leaving tailender Lizaad Williams to score eight off the last two balls.

Williams failed to score as Baartman found the blockhole with the last two deliveries.

The Dolphins had won the toss and batted, and went on the attack from the outset as Sarel Erwee (33 from 20) led them to 62 for one after seven overs.

The Titans attack fought back well, Lungi Ngidi leading the way with an outstanding three for 20, but their batting has not been at its best in this tournament and their demise sees the Warriors play the Imperial Lions in Saturday’s playoff, which will decide who plays the Dolphins in Sunday’s final.

More activity in Loftus offices than on the field at present … 2

Posted on March 08, 2021 by Ken

There has been probably more activity in the offices of Loftus Versfeld than out on the field recently as director of rugby and head coach Jake White decides who gets one of the 45 Bulls contracts he is limited to and he admitted that some of the players in the squad named on Monday to play the Pumas in Mbombela on Tuesday have already been told they are going to be released.

So while the Prep Series warm-up match will not give some players the opportunity to sway White’s mind, he did say he still wanted to be fair to them by giving them game time that could get them noticed by other franchises. The former Springbok coach is intent on creating a super-squad at Loftus, full of internationals, to challenge the powerhouses of the North.

“There are some players that I want to see if I should re-sign them or not as we are planning for the Rainbow Cup and there are some juniors I have not seen as much as I’d like. Combinations are on trial too and of course some of these players could start in the Rainbow Cup, where I have to make sure our squad is good enough and our combinations are tried and tested.

“But I’d like to be fair to every player so I don’t wait right to the end before they know they need to make other plans. I’m trying to create a really talented group, a squad that can beat teams in Europe that have Test players on the bench. They don’t have average players filling in places in the squad. So my mind may be made up about someone, but I still want to give them game time so they can prick up the ears of other franchises,” White said on Monday.

One of those unfortunate players who is in the squad to play the Pumas but will be released is utility back Clinton Swart, who White signed in July 2020 and clearly rated very highly after coaching him in Japan. But the inspirational fashion in which Cornal Hendricks has fitted in at inside centre and the promise shown by Chris Smith as the back-up flyhalf have meant Swart’s opportunities have been limited. And with Springboks Johan Goosen and Damian Willemse probably arriving in Pretoria later this year, White said he could see no space for the 27-year-old.

“I know Clinton very well and I have a bit of a soft spot for him because he’s a great, tough guy who trained hard. He added value, but has been unfortunate that other players have developed so much in a short space of time. Cornal was named the best back in the Currie Cup and with Chris going so well, it was impossible to play Clinton and we’re struggling to commit to him long-term.

“So my mind is made up, I’m glad we helped him and I hope he can find something else. It’s no secret we’re looking at Damian and Johan could be coming, so we will have several permutations for an explosive backline. If a player has to leave a champion franchise like the Bulls, I like to think their market value will be much higher because they’re playing in a province where the best are playing,” White said.

Bulls: David Kriel, Madosh Tambwe, Marnus Potgieter, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Stravino Jacobs, Chris Smith, Embrose Papier, WJ Steenkamp, Tim Agaba, Nizaam Carr (C), Janko Swanepoel, Jan Uys, Mornay Smith, Joe van Zyl, Gerhard Steenekamp. Bench – Janco Uys, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Nolan Pienaar, Reinhardt Ludwig, Werner Gouws, Bernard van der Linde, Clinton Swart, Richard Kriel, Henco Beukes, Willie Potgieter, Dawid Kellerman.

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    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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