for quality writing

Ken Borland

Surprise as Elgar does not lean more heavily on Nortje; to batsmen’s delight 0

Posted on October 14, 2022 by Ken

One of the big surprises of the second afternoon when England put themselves in a wonderful position to win the second Test against South Africa through centuries by Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes was that Proteas captain Dean Elgar did not lean more heavily on fast bowler Anrich Nortje at Old Trafford on Friday.

The explosive paceman had claimed three of the wickets to fall as Stokes and Foakes came together on a difficult 147/5, but Nortje had only eight balls against the pair at the start of their partnership before understandably having a break. But much to the batsmen’s delight, he did not reappear for 30 overs, by which time their partnership was already worth 92. The failure to use Nortje in the first 35 minutes after lunch was particularly baffling.

But the 28-year-old said after the second day’s play that he was happy with captain Dean Elgar’s plans and it was simply a great pitch to bat on. South Africa will certainly hope so as they go into the third day 241 runs behind.

“It was a really good wicket to bat on and I don’t think one should look too deeply into who bowled when and from which end,” Nortje said. “It was obviously a much drier pitch compared to Lord’s.

“So we had to go 100% according to the conditions and Dean had a plan according to what the situation told him. I had a decent stint from both sides.

“We had to go according to conditions and sometimes utilise the spinners at both ends. And as the ball got older, it became even harder to bowl. But we bowled our best balls and they batted very well,” Nortje said.

While many onlookers felt Elgar had given Stokes and Foakes early birthday presents by keeping Nortje or even Kagiso Rabada away from them straight after lunch, Nortje praised the duo for their discipline and determination at the crease as they added a match-turning 173 for the sixth wicket.

“When they first came in, that was definitely the key period for the day, that was the major time after we got wickets in the morning. We tried to keep that pressure on, it was the ideal period to try and get some more sticks.

“At the start of the day it felt like there was plenty of opportunity, balls were missing the bat here and there, and we really felt in it. But they absorbed pressure really well, a few things went their way and they turned the momentum,” Nortje said.

Proteas fritter away a commanding position 0

Posted on October 05, 2022 by Ken

South Africa frittered away a commanding position with the bat as they closed the second day of the first Test against England at Lord’s on Thursday on 289 for seven, a lead of 124.

While that is a very handy lead, the Proteas will have to bat last and their advantage should have been so much more as they reached tea on 158 for two, replying to England’s small first innings of 165.

Kagiso Rabada wrapped up the England innings, after they began the day on 116 for six, finishing with five for 52 in 19 overs, getting his name on the Lord’s honours board and just reward for his masterful bowling.

Dean Elgar and Sarel Erwee set forth on the South African reply an hour before lunch, initially just trying to survive the first 12 overs of swing bowling from James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

They blossomed after lunch, taking their first-wicket partnership to an excellent 85. England were fortunate to break the stand when Elgar (47) was unable to knock the ball away from his stumps when it rebounded off his back arm, via thigh-pad. Anderson was the lucky bowler, but Elgar had earlier survived a couple of unplayable deliveries from the veteran seamer.

Keegan Petersen (24) helped Erwee add another 53 for the second wicket, and the left-handed opener ploughed on in impressive, tenacious fashion.

South Africa were just seven runs behind with eight wickets in hand at the tea break, and with Erwee well-set and Aiden Markram looking dangerous, they would have fancied being far ahead at stumps.

But Markram did not add to his tea-time score of 16, edging his first ball after the break, via a poor stroke, to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes off Jack Leach.

With the left-arm spinner controlling matters at one end, captain Ben Stokes then produced one of his trademark momentum-changing spells. In a five-over burst in which he gave his absolute everything, England’s lion-hearted Golden Arm bounced out Erwee for a fighting 73 that had put the Proteas in a strong position.

Stokes then cleverly switched to a fuller length and a scrambled seam to jag the ball back into Rassie van der Dussen and trap him lbw for 19.

Kyle Verreynne did not look comfortable and was caught behind off Stuart Broad for 11, leaving South Africa on 210 for six, a collapse of four for 50.

But Marco Jansen (41*) showed both astute defence and the ability to hit the ball a long way, as he and Keshav Maharaj added a much-needed 72 for the seventh wicket. Maharaj scored a pugnacious 41 off 49 balls before Stokes (12-3-53-3) had him caught on the hook.

Their crucial runs in the last half-hour showed that South Africa’s batting line-up can indeed go deep.

De Bruyn decides today was the day to return to form 0

Posted on April 08, 2022 by Ken

Theunis de Bruyn decided today was the day to return to form as his commanding, unbeaten innings of 92 put the Northerns Titans in a strong position after the second day of their crucial CSA 4-Day Series match against the Central Gauteng Lions at SuperSport Park on Saturday.

Replying to the Lions’ first innings of 270, Northerns had reached 261/3 when bad light brought the day’s action to a close with just over an hour still scheduled to be played.

De Bruyn, who had scored just 67 runs in four previous innings in the competition this season, came to the crease in the second hour of the day following opener Grant Mokoena’s dismissal for 25, bowled by arguably the ball of the day from Cody Yousuf. The former Proteas batsman played himself in solidly, reaching 16 not out by lunch.

The Titans’ other opener, Neil Brand, had reached a composed half-century by then and the pair of lanky batsmen rammed home their advantage after lunch as they took their second-wicket partnership to 95 before Brand was caught at a deepish square-leg off Malusi Siboto for 81. The left-hander played an excellent innings, but greater things beckoned.

De Bruyn batted on and was left on the brink of his first century since May 2021 when he lashed 113 not out off just 64 balls for SA A against Zimbabwe A. He has faced 168 deliveries and struck eight fours and four imperious sixes.

Heinrich Klaasen (35) helped him in a third-wicket stand of 55 and Sibonelo Makhanya (20*) has so far added 41 with De Bruyn for the fourth wicket.

The Eastern Province Warriors, who are also trying to overtake the Lions at the top of the log, were also frustrated by the weather in Bloemfontein as they reached 166/3 in reply to the Free State Knights’ 227 all out.

Rudi Second (59*) and Diego Rosier (50*) had both scored half-centuries and shared an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 99 as EP also put themselves in a powerful position. If they win their last match and the Lions lose to the Titans, then the Warriors will claim the four-day title.

Earlier, Free State had resumed on 198/7 and once Patrick Botha was caught behind off Tiaan van Vuuren for a defiant and dazzling 123, the rest of the innings folded quickly.

The same bowlers did the damage for Eastern Province as on the first day, with Van Vuuren taking 4/46 in 19 overs and Akhona Mnyaka (15-1-54-3) and Mthiwekhaya Nabe (16-3-45-3) sharing the other six wickets.

Scores in brief for other matches

KZN Dolphins 422 (Grant Roelofsen 49, Keegan Petersen 123, Andile Phehlukwayo 107, Prenelan Subrayen 51; Achille Cloete 3/58, Shaun von Berg 3/134) v Boland 129/1 (Pieter Malan 74*, Stiaan van Zyl 40*).

Western Province 576 (Jonathan Bird 128, Yaseen Vallie 44, Gavin Kaplan 73, Daniel Smith 153, George Linde 70; Delano Potgieter 6/87) v North-West 124/3 (Lesego Senokwane 57*; George Linde 2/33).

Jake praises Bulls’ determination, but admits they’re in a very difficult position 0

Posted on March 24, 2022 by Ken

Bulls coach Jake White praised his team for their determination to not just lie down and die after Morne Steyn’s red card against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld, even though he admitted their lack of finishing and ultimate defeat leaves them in a very difficult position in the United Rugby Championship.

The Bulls had to play for 70 minutes without their talismanic flyhalf after he was permanently sent off for a late, high tackle that struck the neck of Lukhanyo Am. But a tremendous effort and some superb rugby saw them come back from 26-12 down, eventually losing 22-29 with several scoring chances left on the table.

“I’m really proud of the way the team fought back,” White said, “because some teams just lay down and die after a red card. Your flyhalf runs everything, and Morne is the best kicker in the competition and we missed three conversions. Kick those and we would have won.

“It’s never nice to lose, we don’t feel good, but there’s a lot to be positive about. You lose your flyhalf for 70 minutes and still score four tries against probably the best team on paper in South Africa.

“It was not the result we wanted, but you can’t question the players’ commitment. We just needed to be more clinical in their 22, we managed to pin them there for long periods of time.

“We had enough opportunities in the 22, but things went wrong with our maul and some of our ball-carries. But I’m very confident with where we are going with this team,” White said.

The former Springbok coach expressed his surprise that the Bulls did not see more reward from referee AJ Jacobs either for their rolling maul or their concerted pressure on the Sharks’ tryline.

“We ran 40 metres with our maul and got no reward, which I can’t understand,” White said. “We also had a half-a-dozen penalties on their tryline.

“Our forward pack did not take a step backwards and we showed that we can dominate against a team that is like the Springboks side.

“I thought Robert Hunt and Jacques van Rooyen did well today against the incumbent Springbok front row and we are much better off in terms of scrummaging than we were seven weeks ago.

“But this loss puts us in a very difficult position. Our backs are against the wall for the first time for this group. But good teams find a way of making the playoffs and our challenge now is to find the low road,” White said.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • 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.


↑ Top