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Ken Borland

Poor batting saw the Proteas sell themselves short – Bavuma 0

Posted on September 04, 2023 by Ken

Vice-captain Temba Bavuma has said it was poor batting that saw the Proteas sell themselves short after plenty of hard work in preparation for the Test series against Australia.

After the horrors of the two-day Test in Brisbane, South Africa could only manage to score 189 and 204 on a good batting pitch in Melbourne to lose the second Test, and with it the series, by a massive innings and 182 runs.

“This is not what we prepared for, we haven’t done justice to all the work put in, which is quite disappointing, and it’s obviously disappointing the way we have got out in the two Tests,” Bavuma said after the conclusion of the second Test.

“To be brutally honest, the batting group has just not been good enough and our inexperience has really been shown up. We needed big partnerships and it’s not a matter of blaming the conditions.

“There have been a lot of conversations about all our disciplines, and the skill and execution we have shown has simply not been good enough. We now need action to get to where we need to be.

“The same questions will be asked in the third Test and we have to find answers to those questions that are continually being asked,” Bavuma said.

As impressive as the Australian attack were, South Africa did help them out in the second innings with two runouts. Bavuma was at the crease for both of them, but while he did not accept blame for the dismissals of Khaya Zondo and Keshav Maharaj, he was willing to point the finger at himself for not going on further than the 65 he did score.

“I was involved with both run outs, I was the common denominator, but I don’t want to assign fault to anyone,” Bavuma said. “But it does show a lack of clarity in the decision-making, when there had been a bit of pressure and it was a key period.

“I then probably had a brainfart when I got out today, if I had been with another proper batsman I probably wouldn’t have played that shot. Sixties are good for the moment, but they won’t change the outcome of the game.

“I’m obviously guilty of that in my career and I’m trying to change that. To carry on batting through tough periods and sessions is probably my biggest challenge, to just keep batting and see how far I can go,” Bavuma admitted.

Bulls’ attacking seeds bear fruit as they thump Cardiff 0

Posted on April 04, 2023 by Ken

The Bulls planted plenty of attacking seeds and the important ones bore fruit as they showed they remain one of the best sides in the United Rugby Championship at home, thumping Cardiff 45-9 at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night.

Cardiff were certainly more competitive than the scoreline suggests, but they lacked the same ability to convert chances in the 22, while the Bulls also deserve credit for a stout defensive effort.

But it was the Bulls attack that will be the focus as they scored six tries to stay fourth on the URC log. Not every pass stuck for the Bulls though, there were plenty of handling errors, but they won comfortably just through the sheer number of chances the combination of strong forward carries and a dashing, inventive backline creates.

The Bulls took a while to find their flow and Cardiff were leading 6-3 as the half-hour approached through two Jarrod Evans penalties. But when the home side finally managed to hang on to possession for several phases, fullback Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie combined superbly to send the wing over for the opening try. Their work in tandem was beautiful to watch right through the match.

Another Evans penalty meant the Bulls were only 10-9 ahead as halftime approached, but the home side made a crucial strike on the hooter as they won a scrum penalty, set the lineout and flyhalf Johan Goosen put Arendse over for the try.

The Bulls, leading 17-9 at the break, continued to gain great dividends from their combination of power and pace and flair in the second half.

Goosen split the defence and scored three minutes after halftime as the Bulls took firm control with a 24-9 lead. They were on the back foot for the next 15 minutes, but dug in in defence, with Cardiff’s maul a threat, but a weapon they failed to capitalise on through their own errors.

The Bulls then buried Cardiff in the final quarter with three more tries. Penetrative eighthman Elrigh Louw made big inroads off the back of a lineout, lock Ruan Nortje then crashing over for the try.

Arendse then produced a lovely little dink-kick over the top of the defensive line for Moodie to score his second try, while Louw scored a deserved try with three minutes remaining as he went over from a brilliantly-deceptive splinter-maul.


Bulls: Tries – Canan Moodie (2), Kurt-Lee Arendse, Johan Goosen, Ruan Nortje, Elrigh Louw. Conversions – Goosen (5), Chris Smith. Penalty – Goosen.

Cardiff: Penalties – Jarrod Evans (3).

Titans gain big lead & bought themselves plenty of time to win 0

Posted on March 13, 2023 by Ken

Sibonelo Makhanya top-scored for Northerns Titans as they gained a formidable lead.

The Northerns Titans gained a 171-run first-innings lead and bought themselves plenty of time to win too with a positive batting display on the second day of their CSA 4-Day Series match against the North-West Dragons at Centurion on Monday.

Having bowled North-West out for just 148 on the first day of the match, Northerns resumed on 18 for one on Monday and batted at 3.91 runs-per-over to post 319 and give themselves a formidable advantage.

They had already claimed a wicket in the North-West second innings by stumps, Matthew Boast having Lesego Senokwane (4) caught in the slips, edging an expansive drive at an away-swinger. The visitors closed on 24 for one as bad light intervened, still trailing by 147 runs.

Left-handed opener Neil Brand set the tone for the Titans up front on Monday, stroking a brisk 54, but it was a fourth-wicket partnership of 89 in 19 overs between Sibonelo Makhanya and Dewald Brevis that gave Northerns control of the game.

Makhanya, given his seniority, played the more responsible role, setting up the innings with his 71 off 134 balls, including 13 fours. But Brevis really took on the North-West bowlers, hammering a dashing 56 off just 64 deliveries, with nine fours and a six.

Brevis had just gone to his maiden first-class half-century with a six, when he sold his wicket to left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy, skying an attempted slog-sweep into the covers.

Muthusamy then capitalised on some more adventurous strokeplay by the lower-order, reducing Northerns from 182 for three to 280 for nine.

Aya Gqamane then produced the most exciting batting of the day as he plundered 40 not out off just 32 deliveries, hitting seven fours and a six.

Muthusamy showed his class though as he wrapped up the innings with six for 62 in 24.4 overs.


The Central Gauteng Lions had to suck up a lot of pressure on a tough second day of their final CSA 4-Day Series match against the KZN Dolphins in Potchefstroom on Monday, with Lutho Sipamla leading a fine fightback with the ball.

The Dolphins began the second day well-placed on 181 for two, but lost their last eight wickets for just 148 runs to be all out for 329. Sipamla, tightening his grip on the batsmen like a python, claimed two early wickets as the visitors slipped to 197 for five.

Angling the ball into the left-handed Sarel Erwee from around the wicket and then just straightening it a touch, Sipamla had the Proteas opener caught behind for 78.

With his next delivery, Sipamla cramped Khaya Zondo, another Protea, with extra bounce just outside off-stump, leading to a catch at first slip.

Marques Ackerman (97) and Eathan Bosch (63) gave KZN some breathing space with their sixth-wicket stand of 111, before Sipamla returned to break the partnership.

The Proteas paceman surprised Ackerman with some extra bounce, having him caught behind, although the catch was such a dolly that the bowler himself was calling for it.

A full and straight delivery then trapped Prenelan Subrayen lbw and Sipamla had Daryn Dupavillon caught in the slips to finish with highly praiseworthy figures of five for 71 in 23 overs.

In reply, openers Josh Richards (47) and Dominic Hendricks (17) provided yet another solid start for the Lions, adding 55 before Thando Ntini shattered the top-order with a destructive three-wicket burst.

Mitchell van Buuren (22) and Connor Esterhuizen (36) steadied the ship as they batted for more than 20 overs in adding 46 for the fifth wicket.

Tailenders Malusi Siboto (18*) and Sipamla (12) also dug in as the Lions reached 171 for eight at stumps.


At Newlands, Wynberg Boys High product Siya Plaatjie demolished the Western Province lower-order, his sensational five for 19 in 11 overs sending them crashing from 195 for four to 198 all out, giving the Eastern Province Warriors a 154-run first-innings lead.

Zubayr Hamza (54) and George Linde (63) seemed to have matters under control before paceman Plaatjie ran amok.

The Warriors, having scored 352 in their first innings, were 53 for one at stumps, leading by 207.

In Paarl, Matthew Kleinveldt suffered the distress of being stranded on a career-best, great effort of 199 not out when the Free State Knights were bowled out for 493 by the Boland Rocks.

Opener Kleinveldt carried his bat with a monumental 389-ball effort, while Gihahn Cloete also played plenty of fine strokes as he struck a breezy 122 and Migael Pretorius contributed a hard-hit 56.

Leg-spinner Shaun von Berg took five for 101 in 29 overs, but could not prevent his Rocks team from conceding a massive first innings deficit of 281.

Fox shows his class after Presidents Cup omission gave birth to plenty of controversy 0

Posted on February 10, 2023 by Ken

Ryan Fox’s omission from the International Presidents Cup team gave birth to plenty of controversy, and the New Zealander showed his class on the opening day of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City as he soared to the top of the leaderboard with an amazing eight-under-par 64.

At the time of South African – and 2007 Nedbank Golf Challenge winner – Trevor Immelman choosing his International team, Fox was ranked 47th in the world. But half-a-dozen players ranked below him were chosen, Immelman going as far down the rankings as No.114 Taylor Pendrith.

Fox is now up to 26th in the world rankings, the second-highest in the field behind No.25 and defending champion Tommy Fleetwood. The son of former All Blacks great Grant Fox was hurt by the fact he does not play on the U.S. PGA Tour and his major showings were poor in an otherwise stellar 2022.

But Thursday was a dream day on the Gary Player Country Club course for Fox, who leads veteran Luke Donald (65) by one thanks to five birdies and an eagle on the back nine.

“I don’t know what happened to be honest,” Fox said. “I couldn’t believe Louis Oosthuizen shot 64 on this course when Tommy won in 2019. I played okay on the front nine [-1] but from the 11th hole I felt that I pretty much couldn’t miss any shot.

“I’ve become better with the Driver, I have more confidence with it now and I wasn’t as intimidated off the tee as I used to be here. I kept the ball in play better and I had a lot of good numbers in, which makes a massive difference.

“You’re not between clubs and you don’t feel like you’re guessing. It was also easier to pick the wind today, it didn’t swirl so much.

“On the back nine I was in one of those zones you don’t get very often, and in that state you just need to get out of your own way,” Fox said.

Fox made just one mistake with a bogey on the par-four third, and being that error-free was an unattainable wish for most of the 66-strong field, even though it was a mild day at Sun City.

Only three golfers were bogey-free. Incoming European Ryder Cup captain Donald was one of them with an outstanding 65, where he also burnt up the back nine with five birdies.

Italian youngster Guido Migliozzi also had four of his five birdies on the back-nine, as he signed for a bogey-free 67 and third place.

Min-Woo Lee, Fabrizio Zanotti and Richard Bland finished on four-under, while the other bogey-free round came from another Italian, Edoardo Molinari, who shot 69. He is in a tie for seventh with Richie Ramsay, Lucas Herbert, Rasmus Hojgaard and Adrian Otaegui.

The leading South Africans were Branden Grace and Justin Walters, a shot further back on two-under-par 70.

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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

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