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Ken Borland

Proteas were the owner of a proud record in Australia, now humiliated 0

Posted on September 04, 2023 by Ken

The Proteas were the owner of a proud record in Australia, having won their last three Test series there, but sadly they will leave those shores after the third Test having surrendered the rubber to their great rivals and having raised serious concerns over the well-being of the game in South Africa.

Blown away by an innings and 182 runs in the second Test in Sydney to go 2-0 down in the three-match series, South Africa have been dominated in humiliating fashion. It is not overstating matters to say the Proteas batsmen have been made to look like fools by a potent Australian attack.

But it is not just in the last two games that the batting has failed; it has been a recurring theme for most of the year and Cricket South Africa, as the custodians of the national team, need to respond to what has become a full-blown crisis.

The inexperience of the current Proteas team – they took 309 Test caps on to the MCG, 234 of them belonging to four players, compared to Australia’s 572 – is a factor, but CSA are going to have to take a long and serious look at the domestic system that is feeding players into the national team.

The domestic game needs to hone both the skills and temperament of those players who are elevated to the international stage.

SA obviously favoured v qualifier, but threat of the weather raises the stakes 0

Posted on January 05, 2023 by Ken

South Africa would obviously back themselves to beat any of the qualifiers in the T20 World Cup, but the stakes are going to be raised even higher on Monday with their opening match in Hobart under threat of the weather.

The Proteas will play the team that tops Group B in the qualifying tournament that ends on Friday, with Scotland, Zimbabwe, the West Indies and Ireland all on two points after playing two of their matches.

But there is an 80% chance of rain on the island of Tasmania on Monday, so South Africa will be anxious not to drop points in their opening match, considering their opponents in the rest of Group II are Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

Unfortunately, the flood rains that are sweeping over the east coast of Australia are showing no signs of abating, and South Africa’s last warm-up match, against Bangladesh in Brisbane on Wednesday, was abandoned, the seventh preparation game to be lost to the rain.

That washout meant Proteas captain Temba Bavuma has not played a match since October 6 and his return to Proteas action since an elbow injury kept him out for two-and-a-half months has seen him score just 11 runs in four innings. That form will also be a cause of anxiety for the squad.

Bavuma is undoubtedly a top-class batsman in the longer formats, but a snub in the SA20 Auction has cast a harsh light on his T20 record, especially a strike-rate of just 116 at international level.

With Reeza Hendricks a wonderfully in-form and ready-made replacement for Bavuma, and a couple of able captaincy options in Keshav Maharaj and David Miller, it is a dilemma for coach Mark Boucher and the selectors.

Does one leave out the appointed captain, a respected man who enjoys a great standing amongst the Black community, but is going through a slump, backing the batsmen who are in form right now? Or does one give Bavuma a vote of confidence in the hope that he will find a way to score runs, and briskly?

A decision to drop the captain can often have a destructive effect on team dynamics, but what would a World Cup be without South Africa supplying a healthy dose of drama?

Eyebrows raised when Subrayen said ‘we know our score is par’, but he was right 0

Posted on March 28, 2022 by Ken

Eyebrows would have been raised when KZN captain Prenelan Subrayen said “we know our score is on par, very competitive”, after the Dolphins posted just 148/5 against Western Province in their crucial CSA T20 Challenge match at St George’s Park on Wednesday.

He was dead right though as WP were bundled out for just 83 as KZN stormed to victory by 65 runs and a place in Friday’s semi-finals.

Bryce Parsons, mixing left-arm orthodox with wrist-spin, took 3/22, but Subrayen (4-0-17-2), Andile Phehlukwayo (3-0-16-2) and Ottneil Baartman (2-0-16-2) were also all amongst the wickets.

Sent in to bat, KZN had to recover from  a disastrous start as they slumped to 13/3 against the spin of George Linde (4-0-24-2) and Aviwe Mgijima (4-0-25-2). WP’s other spinner, Junaid Dawood, took 1/15 in his four overs.

But KZN recovered superbly thanks to Khaya Zondo’s defiant 59 not out off 51 balls, Ruan de Swardt (22) and Parsons (28 off 22) batting well around him.

Phehlukwayo then provided the boost at the end as he blasted 25 not out off 10 deliveries.

The Eastern Province Warriors have become a team to love but they fell short of winning their last game, going down by 10 runs to the North-West Dragons.

North-West batted first and Heino Kuhn enjoyed himself in a punishing 78 off 57 balls, and with lovely cameos from Delano Potgieter (29 off 22) and Senuran Muthusamy (24* off 11), they posted 169/5.

For EP, Lesiba Ngoepe scored a sparkling 43 off 28 deliveries and captain Sinethemba Qeshile (24 off 13) and experienced Rudi Second (29 off 14) launched a daring late onslaught which ended when both were dismissed by Duan Jansen in the penultimate over.

Lwandiswa Zuma took 3/25 for NW, while Muthusamy’s wonderful tournament continued with 1/15 in his four overs.

St George’s Park measurements good, but is the pitch T20-friendly? 0

Posted on January 17, 2022 by Ken

The measurements of the St George’s Park ground are perhaps conducive to spectacular run-scoring, but the bowling-friendly nature of the pitch has raised concerns that Cricket South Africa’s imminent announcement that the entire Mzansi Super League will be played in a bio-bubble in Gqeberha may be misguided.

CSA are set to announce that both remaining domestic white-ball competitions this summer – the Momentum One-Day Cup and the MSL T20 competition – will be played in bubbles, which are on course to be a staple part of the South African game for a while yet.

In fact, the International Cricket Council have apparently decided that all international cricket for the next two years will be held in bio-bubbles.

The MSL is set to be played between February 7-28. In the two four-day matches played at St George’s Park this summer, scores of 170, 54, 96, 173, 366 and 79 have been recorded. If conditions stay the same, batting is not going to be easy, which many fans believe will detract from what is meant to be the T20 showpiece of the season.

Batsmen and spinners are going to be happier to hear that the 50-over Momentum One-Day Cup will be staged in two bubbles, one in Durban and the other in Potchefstroom.

Given how spin-friendly Kingsmead has been in recent years, and how flat the Potchefstroom pitch generally is, the pacemen are going to be disappointed.

The Momentum One-Day Cup is set to start in early January and will be completed before the MSL. Last season’s competition ended in disappointment in Potchefstroom as the Imperial Lions and Dolphins were forced to share the title after rain washed out play after 55.2 overs on the reserve day.

Meanwhile, the final round of fixtures in the first stage of the 4-Day Franchise Series, due to start on December 19, is set to be postponed because several teams have large numbers of Covid-positive cases within their squads.

The four-day competition is due to resume on March 4.

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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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