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Ken Borland



‘All about finding a way’ – Markram 0

Posted on January 23, 2023 by Ken

Aiden Markram said it was “all about finding a way” on a spicy Perth Stadium pitch as he and David Miller scored top-class half-centuries to take South Africa to victory by five wickets with two balls to spare in a thrilling T20 World Cup clash with India on Sunday.

India had chosen to bat first and struggled to 133/9 against a bombardment from a ferocious Proteas attack led by Lungi Ngidi (4-0-29-4) and Wayne Parnell (4-1-15-3). But India then swung the ball superbly up front to reduce South Africa to 24/3. Markram and Miller then battled to 40/3 after 10 overs, at which point they had to make a brave push for victory. They had to shift the momentum and then ran with it.

Markram attacked first, his 52 off 41 balls, swinging hard for six fours and a six, serving to loosen the grip of the Indian attack. Miller then completed the task with typical class and composure, scoring 59 not out off 46 balls.

“Conditions were incredibly tricky for batting, we expected the extra bounce, but the ball was also nipping around quite a bit,” Markram said. “In T20, you have to take risks and play a positive brand of cricket.

“But the ball gets big on you from just short of a good length and makes you look silly at times. I felt far from being in form, but it was about finding a way.

“It’s tough when there’s that extra bounce, but you need to make a play, you’ve got to take the short ball on or you won’t be scoring quickly enough. After 10 overs, we had to pick someone to target, who we felt most comfortable against in the conditions.

“We discussed it at the drinks break and we knew that if it comes off then it would give us a chance,” Markram said.

While batting was something of a daunting adventure on a pitch with so much pace and bounce, Markram also praised the bowlers for not getting carried away when conditions were so much in their favour.

“It was important for us to set the tone up front and Wayne Parnell has been doing that for us in a lot of games. He’s got the experience and the calmness because he knows his skillsets with the ball.

“In conditions like this, Lungi is also a massive weapon for us and he executed extremely well to get the early breakthroughs for us.

“It was important to hit the right hard lengths to extract that extra bounce. Both bowling attacks bowled very well and made it difficult to score.

“You can get carried away in terms of your lengths and then start giving freebies, but neither attack did that. They made life very difficult for the batsmen,” Markram said.

SA top-order dying slow deaths before Markram & Miller switch gears 0

Posted on January 20, 2023 by Ken

South Africa’s top-order were dying slow deaths as they went in pursuit of a mediocre target of 134, before Aiden Markram and David Miller switched gears in the second half of the innings to carry the Proteas to a thrilling five-wicket victory with two balls to spare in their T20 World Cup match against India at the Perth Stadium on Sunday.

After a superb bowling display led by Lungi Ngidi and Wayne Parnell had restricted India to just 133/9, South Africa’s top-order was blown away by brilliant swing bowling up front. Whereas the Proteas had used pace and bounce to unsettle the batsmen, India showed tremendous skill up front with the new ball.

Outstanding young left-arm paceman Arshdeep Singh swung the ball away from Quinton de Kock (1), to have him well-caught by Lokesh Rahul at second slip, and two balls later he swung the ball into another left-hander, Rilee Rossouw, to trap him lbw for a duck.

Temba Bavuma’s lack of form meant he was unable to get a bat on many of the magnificent deliveries bowled to him by Arshdeep and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and then attempted an ambitious scoop shot against Mohammed Shami and was neatly caught behind by Dinesh Karthik for 10.

South Africa were teetering on 24/3 and Markram and Miller almost looked like condemned men as they tried to weather the storm. They did well to stay in, but after 10 overs the score was just 40/3, meaning another 94 needed to be scored off the last 60 balls.

Markram decided to go for broke and, in a brave innings of 52 off 41 balls, he swung hard and shifted the momentum of the game, beating back the Indian bowlers. He should have been caught twice and Rohit Sharma also missed an easy run out chance, as he and Miller added 76 for the fourth wicket in 10 overs.

Miller was then left with the last 34 runs to score off 26 balls, and he once again showed his sheer class and skill at the death, steering the Proteas home with 59 not out off 46 balls.

India had chosen to bat first, and on a pitch offering steep bounce and plenty of pace, Ngidi set the cats amongst the pigeons as he reduced them to 49/5 in eight-and-a-half overs. The tall paceman used the bounce superbly, taking 4/29 in his four overs, and all four wickets came off shortish deliveries. But his line, just outside off stump with the occasional straighter delivery, was also outstanding.

Ngidi struck with just his second ball as Rohit (15) spliced a pull shot and the bowler took a return catch; Ngidi then ended his first over with the wicket of the other opener, Rahul (9) trying to steer the ball to third man but being caught at slip as the delivery got too big for him. Markram was practically standing on the fielding circle when he took the catch.

Virat Kohli counterpunched in scoring 12, but Ngidi then dismissed him, top-edging a hook to fine leg, where Kagiso Rabada took a good catch running around the boundary.

Rabada then took an absolute screamer, sprinting in from the fine leg boundary and diving forward to catch Hardik Pandya (2) off Ngidi.

With Anrich Nortje blasting out Deepak Hooda for a duck, India were crashing, but Suryakumar Yadav pulled the blue aeroplane out of its dive with a great innings, his 68 off 40 balls piloting them to a total that kept them in the match because of the strength of their own pace attack.

Left-arm seamer Parnell had done a fine job for the Proteas up front with the new ball, and he soared in the closing stages, taking 3/15 in his four overs, which included a maiden in the first over of the match.

Nortje (4-0-23-1) and Rabada (4-0-26-0) maintained the relentless pace pressure.

Gentle giant Ngidi a ferocious beast with the ball 0

Posted on January 20, 2023 by Ken

Gentle giant Lungi Ngidi was a ferocious beast with the ball on Sunday as he ripped India’s top-order apart, the Proteas restricting their opponents to a mediocre 133/9 in their T20 World Cup match at the Perth Stadium.

India had chosen to bat first, but on a pitch offering steep bounce and plenty of pace, Ngidi reduced them to 49/5 in eight-and-a-half overs. The tall paceman used the bounce superbly, taking 4/29 in his four overs, and all four wickets came off shortish deliveries. But his line, just outside off stump with the occasional straighter delivery, was also outstanding.

Ngidi struck with just his second ball as Rohit Sharma (15) spliced a pull shot and the bowler took a return catch; Ngidi then ended his first over with the wicket of the other opener, Lokesh Rahul (9) trying to steer the ball to third man but being caught at slip as the delivery got too big for him. Aiden Markram was practically standing on the fielding circle when he took the catch.

Virat Kohli counterpunched in scoring 12, but Ngidi then dismissed him, top-edging a hook to fine leg, where Kagiso Rabada took a good catch running around the boundary.

Rabada then took an absolute screamer, sprinting in from the fine leg boundary and diving forward to catch Hardik Pandya (2) off Ngidi.

With Anrich Nortje blasting out Deepak Hooda for a duck, India were crashing, but Suryakumar Yadav pulled the blue aeroplane out of its dive with a great innings, his 68 off 40 balls piloting them to a total that keeps them in the match because of the strength of their own pace attack.

Left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell had done a fine job for the Proteas up front with the new ball, and he soared in the closing stages, taking 3/15 in his four overs, which included a maiden in the first over of the match.

Nortje (4-0-23-1) and Rabada (4-0-26-0) maintained the relentless pace pressure.

Perth Stadium one of the nicest ‘offices’ for fast bowlers, so SA & India pacemen should enjoy themselves 0

Posted on January 18, 2023 by Ken

The Perth Stadium is one of the nicest ‘offices’ for fast bowlers to work in and the pacemen of both the South African and Indian teams should enjoy themselves in their T20 World Cup match there on Sunday.

The pitch at the Perth Stadium is meant to be similar to the famous WACA, the previous prime cricket venue in Western Australia, having used soil from that historic stadium. The WACA was famous as the quickest and bounciest pitch in world cricket up until about 10 years ago, and the venue has shown encouraging signs so far in the T20 World Cup, with 24 of the 40 wickets to fall there going to the pacemen.

South Africa and India have two of the best pace attacks in world cricket, so it is going to be hard work for batsmen. In fact, the winner of the match could come down to which batting line-up copes best with the barrage.

Due to the big boundaries, spinners have also been able to display their wares with some success at the Perth Stadium.

India are currently at the top of Group II with four points from two wins in two games, while South Africa and Zimbabwe are behind them on three points.

The Proteas’ remaining games are against India on Sunday and then Pakistan and the Netherlands next week. If they can beat either India or Pakistan, as well as the Netherlands, then they would finish on seven points and only Zimbabwe could catch them, provided their neighbours beat Bangladesh and the Netherlands.

While South Africa would ordinarily be considered almost certain to beat the Netherlands, one probably should not bet one’s house on it given the spectacular upsets that have been seen in this T20 World Cup so far.

Zimbabwe beating Pakistan by one run is a match that will remain in the memory banks for a long time, and beating Bangladesh and the Netherlands is certainly a possibility for them. Their other remaining match is against India, and it might be stretching optimism a bit too far for them to win that outing.

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