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Ken Borland

Many questions surrounding Proteas in 1st ODI in India for 7 years 0

Posted on December 07, 2022 by Ken

With South Africa’s automatic World Cup qualification in doubt and with them not having played an ODI in India for an astonishing seven years, there are many questions surrounding the Proteas as they go into the first ODI against the hosts in Lucknow on Thursday.

But at least they will be going into the series with several in-form batsmen, with confidence high from the T20 series. David Miller, Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram all looked in prime form by the end of that series, while Temba Bavuma returns to 50-over action having missed the series in England due to injury. He will welcome the less frenetic tempo and his form has been decent in this format, averaging 36.75 in his last 10 innings, including a brilliant 110 against India in Paarl in January.

Bavuma is also likely to bat at three given the return of Janneman Malan to continue his successful opening partnership with De Kock. Although his form has dropped a bit of late since his sensational debut in 2020, Malan still averages 52.70 at a strike-rate of 85 in his 20 ODIs.

Heinrich Klaasen is another who did not feature in the T20s but should play tomorrow given that there is no Tristan Stubbs in the squad.

Malan pointed to be there being more time and less pressure for the South African batsmen in the ODIs.

“As an opener, I’ve definitely experienced, a couple of times, not being in form or not having a lot of matches under your belt. There can be a lot of pressure when that happens in T20, because it is quick-moving and you have the pressure of the run-rate,” Malan said on Wednesday.

“You feel like you have to make a move, but ODIs are easier, you can take your time a bit to get in.

“We’re all just showing Temba some love because he’s in a bit of a patch at the moment. But that can change quickly and he has a chance now to find some form before the World Cup.

“We’re all pulling for him because he’s a good leader and very valuable in our space,” Malan said.

The last ODI series South Africa were scheduled to play in India was in March 2020. The first match was washed out without a ball being bowled in Dharamsala, and then the terrible Covid pandemic struck and the next two games were cancelled. Their previous ODI series in India was in October 2015, when they won the series 3-2. They scored 438 for four in the decider in Mumbai, De Kock, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers all scoring centuries, and they then bowled the hosts out for 224.

The Proteas’ record in ODIs in India is far from awful – they have won 13 and lost 15.

Dutch, with Bulldog Roela leading, will come out angry & roaring 0

Posted on December 31, 2021 by Ken

The Netherlands, with former Protea Roelof van der Merwe leading the way in typical Bulldog fashion on his former home ground, and motivated by the anger caused by the scrapping of the Super League for World Cup qualification, will come out roaring in the first ODI against South Africa in Centurion on Friday, but Tabraiz Shamsi promised that the home side will also be sufficiently fired up to be at their best.

South Africa’s motivation will come from a combination of new faces being given precious opportunity at ODI level, and their own rather poor standing in the Super League at present: They are currently in ninth place. The 2023 World Cup will be a 10-team event, with the top teams from the Super League qualifying.

But earlier this week the ICC decided that the 2027 World Cup, of which South Africa will be co-hosts, will be a 14-team event with a separate, one-off qualifying tournament for non Full Members.

“The Netherlands have a few South African players and I’m sure they’ll have a point to prove,” Shamsi said. “And with the Super League being scrapped, the Netherlands could feel this is their last opportunity to make a statement.

“But we definitely won’t be taking it easy either, we have been preparing as hard as we can because we need points for World Cup qualification. The Netherlands also have some quality players, some of them play county cricket.

“It took me two-and-a-half years to play two ODIs in a row and now we have some new guys who will get to play three games in six days, so it’s a massive opportunity to establish yourself.

“So not much changes whether we’re playing England, India or the Netherlands, every game is an international and we’ll be trying to put in a performance that reflects that,” Shamsi said.

South Africa’s attack will be a pale imitation of their usual firepower, with Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje being rested, Lungi Ngidi testing positive for Covid and Lizaad Williams out injured. Although there are experienced seamers still available in Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius and the recalled Wayne Parnell, it is likely that the Proteas will rely heavily on spinners Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj.

The duo have enjoyed a purple patch in ODI cricket of late, taking 26 wickets between them in eight matches at an economy rate of just 4.68 runs per over.

SuperSport Park has a reputation for spinners being mown all over the ground, but the actual figures are not so clearcut. Shamsi brushes off the theory that spinners can’t shine on the Highveld.

“It’s weird that the chat is that the Wanderers and SuperSport Park are not spin-friendly, but I made my international career playing at Centurion and I don’t see any stigma for spinners there.

“Yes the ball flies, there are smaller boundaries and not as much assistance from the pitch, but we have developed different game-plans that take the pitch out of the equation if it doesn’t turn,” Shamsi said.

Maharaj admits Proteas will be restless sleepers when it comes to ODI World Cup qualifying 0

Posted on September 22, 2021 by Ken

Keshav Maharaj has been one of the consistently brilliant performers for the Proteas this year and also took to the stand-in captaincy with aplomb, but he admitted that he and his fellow leaders in the squad will be restless sleepers when it comes to automatic qualification for the next ODI World Cup following their series loss in Sri Lanka.

South Africa were beaten by 78 runs in the third and decisive ODI on Tuesday night, meaning they took just 10 points out of a possible 30 from the series. That leaves them languishing in ninth place in the standings, with the top eight qualifying automatically for the World Cup in India in 2023. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have leapfrogged the Proteas into fifth place, eight points ahead of them.

“It is a bit concerning, we have to start winning series and taking care of those points. The first two games were very good in terms of how the batting approached playing spin-bowling, we scored a lot of runs. But tonight was disappointing and we need to reassess how we bat when the ball is turning a bit more. There was more turn and bounce today, but Sri Lanka bowled really well though.

“Maybe we need to change our mental strategy and approach, but I’m sure it’s not a lack of skills because the batsmen have worked very hard on that. But also maybe we focused a bit too much on spin tonight and were caught a bit unawares by their pace bowler [Dushmantha Chameera]. Not many teams lose four wickets in the powerplay and still win, even though I thought 203 was a fair score to chase,” Maharaj said after the Proteas were bundled out in only 30 overs for just 125.

Coach Mark Boucher admitted to struggling to get the right team balance on the night, with the two seam-bowling all-rounders, Wiaan Mulder and Andile Phehlukwayo, bowling just two overs between them and scoring a combined tally of only 19 runs. But a fair arbitrator would surely also point to the difficulties caused by quotas when it comes to balancing a team, especially with two Black African stars not available in Temba Bavuma and Lungi Ngidi.

And the first question Boucher was asked in the post-match press conference was whether he was happy with the balance of the side from a transformation perspective. To which he simply answered “Yes”.

“We needed to play an extra spinner and that threw us a bit. But with the rain, Anrich Nortje would have been a handful on that pitch as well. We wanted three seamers too and the batting is full of guys who have been in good form too. In hindsight, an extra batsman today would have been nice, but losing four wickets in the first 10 overs means we were always going to be under pressure no matter how deep our batting,” Boucher later explained.

Journeyman Ahlers guaranteed more than a million at Sun City 0

Posted on January 08, 2015 by Ken

Jaco Ahlers has earned an average of R445000 in each of the nine years he has been a professional on the Sunshine Tour, but now the 32-year-old from Centurion is guaranteed to earn at least R1.1 million from a single event following his qualification for the Nedbank Golf Challenge starting at Sun City on Wednesday.

Ahlers will fill the 30th and final place in the elite field following his thrilling weekend playoff victory in the Cape Town Open. Even if he finishes last at the Gary Player Country Club, he will earn $100 000, a massive windfall for someone whose career earnings on the Sunshine Tour are just over R4 million.

Ahlers’ triumph – he beat compatriot Hennie Otto and Englishman Ross McGowan in the playoff – takes the number of South Africans in the Sun City field to seven, with Charl Schwartzel, Dawie van der Walt, Danie van Tonder, Louis Oosthuizen, George Coetzee and Tim Clark also teeing it up.

Fans will be able to enjoy the presence of three former champions in the field: Thomas Bjorn, Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood, the winners of the last four tournaments dating back to 2010.

Five of the triumphant European Ryder Cup team will be present – the three former champions plus Jamie Donaldson and Stephen Gallacher.

“This is obviously life-changing for me. I turned 32 last week, but right now, I feel about 40 years old. But it’s a happy 40 years because now I’m going to Sun City. What a birthday present! That is a lifelong dream come true,” Ahlers said after his victory at Royal Cape Golf Club.

There would have been eight South Africans in the Nedbank Golf Challenge field but for Ernie Els suffering from a troublesome right hip niggle, which he has decided to rest over the festive season.


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    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.

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