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Ken Borland

Back-to-back ducks enough to appal any batsmen, but Rossouw brushes them off 0

Posted on December 07, 2022 by Ken

One would think making back-to-back ducks would be enough to appal any batter, but Rilee Rossouw said he brushed them off before his emphatic unbeaten century in response in the third T20 against India at the Holkar Cricket Stadium.

And while Proteas fans may be greatly dismayed by the poor form of Temba Bavuma, Rossouw says the team are fully behind their captain and they have no doubts about his value to the side.

Rossouw of course has had previous experience of making ducks for South Africa, getting zero in four of his first six ODI innings, and yet he still went on to average 38 at a strike-rate of 94 in the format.

“As a professional sportsman, you’re going to have bad times, so you need to back yourself and believe in your ability,” Rossouw said after his 100 not out off just 48 balls decimated India.

“It doesn’t matter what your form is, you still need confidence. Form and confidence are two different things. And I really believe in my ability, I’ve showcased it around the world.

“It’s never about form for me, I have confidence in my ability and in my game. And I thank the coaches and selectors for backing me.

“If someone has a good day, then they can carry the weight of someone who is struggling for form. It’s the same with Temba, as a team we really, really back him, we will be there for him and every professional goes through what he is at the moment. But with his ability, he could be in the form of his life at the World Cup,” Rossouw said.

Rossouw credited another man who has been struggling for form recently, before notching back-to-back half-centuries, for getting him going in Indore.

“There was one shot that Quinton de Kock played that really got me in the mood – when he stepped across outside off-stump in the third over and whipped Deepak Chahar for six. That got my momentum going and it’s great to see him playing like that before a big tournament.”

The ball was also regularly coming off the sweet spot just below the chevron of Rossouw’s bat-sticker from early on in his innings, as he hit his fourth and fifth deliveries for fours. The left-hander hit sixes in the next two overs, and his third six took him to 30 off 15 balls. Rossouw went to his fifty off 27 deliveries, 30 of those runs coming from shots over the boundary, and he needed just 21 more balls to raise his first T20 International century, which included seven fours and eight sixes.

By focusing on playing the swinging ball and getting all aspects of their game to click together, Rossouw said the Proteas now head to the T20 World Cup with the confidence of a fine victory under their belts.

“With bat and ball, we’ve had things to learn in this series. We were shocked by how India swung the ball and we learnt a lot about our bowling in the second game,” Rossouw said.

“But we put it together today, we were outstanding in our batting, bowling and fielding. We played very well and we’re very proud of how we’ve finished the series. We’ll be going to the World Cup with our heads held high.”

2 days makes a world of difference to pitch … and gives birth to furious response from SA middle-order 0

Posted on September 19, 2022 by Ken

Two days made a world of difference to the Bristol pitch, but a poor start to the South African innings gave birth to a furious response from the middle-order as they posted a matchwinning 182/6 after being sent in to bat and beat Ireland by 44 runs in the second T20 on Friday night.

Wayne Parnell enjoyed one of his best days in Proteas clours as he took a brilliant 5/30 to lead an impressive Proteas bowling display that bowled Ireland out for 138.

On a pitch that had the bowlers celebrating more assistance than usual in a T20, South Africa struggled to 58/2 after 11 overs. Quinton de Kock (7 off 10 balls) and Rassie van der Dussen (4 off 14) again struggled, but opener Reeza Hendricks continued his hot form with a determined 42 off 40 balls.

Aiden Markram came in and provided some much-needed impetus as he slammed 25 runs off spinner Andy McBrine in the 12th over, but both he, for 27 off 10 balls, and Hendricks were dismissed in the next over, bowled by leg-spinner Gareth Delany (4-0-24-2).

South Africa were 93/4 off 14 overs, but thanks to Heinrich Klaasen (39 off 16 balls) and David Miller (32 not out off 20), South Africa were given a crucial late boost. Dwaine Pretorius also chipped in with 17 off 7 balls.

Left-arm paceman Josh Little was the best of the Irish bowlers with 1/20 off four overs.

South Africa’s left-armer, Parnell, then struck twice in successive balls in his first over to rock Ireland’s chase from the start. Paul Stirling (28) and Harry Tector (34) lifted Ireland to 40/2 inside the 6th over, but Lungi Ngidi (3-0-14-1) removed Stirling and Parnell returned to get Tector out.

Pretorius (3.5-0-33-3) then also took two wickets in two balls to all but seal victory.

Second-last man Barry McCarthy walloped 32 off 19 balls at the death to take Ireland over 100 and restore some dignity.

Proteas will have to come up with an adroit response 0

Posted on July 28, 2022 by Ken

As South Africa’s T20 series against India heads to a conclusion, the Proteas are going to have to come up with an adroit response to how the conditions have become more and more typical of the subcontinent.

South Africa raced into a 2-0 lead in the five-match series with victories on a batting paradise in Delhi and on a pitch that assisted the seamers in Cuttack. But they were hammered by 48 runs by India in the third T20 earlier this week in Visakhapatnam, where the pitch was helpful to the spinners and much slower than the surfaces used in the first two games.

Fast bowler Anrich Nortje was one of the Proteas who struggled to adjust, bowling two overs for 23 runs, and he admitted on Thursday that the tourists were desperate to wrap up the series win in Friday’s fourth T20 in Rajkot. Nortje does at least have the excuse that he is still making his way back from a long-term hip/back injury that kept him out of just about the whole of last summer.

“The nets here have been a bit two-paced and up-and-down, they’re on the slower side. Our understanding is that it’s going to be a bit low and slow on Friday,” Nortje said.

“The game will be like a final for us. In the last match we didn’t get anywhere close towards what we are capable of playing, so for us this is a second chance and we need to seal the series as soon as possible.

“I’m still working on my bowling, I’m trying to find one or two things and my body is not 100% yet. It’s about slowly building up and I’m still trying to get back to where I was before last year’s T20 World Cup.

“It’s been a long time, but it’s about small, minor adjustments. Generally I try to keep things simple and stick to the basics, so there are small margins for me. But I think I’m on the right track,” Nortje said.

India have been able to clamber back into contention in the series thanks to their spinners coming more into play, but they have also been helped by Quinton de Kock’s injury and Aiden Markram’s illness, which have robbed South Africa of much-needed explosiveness up front, especially on pitches that get lower and slower.

The good news is that De Kock’s injured wrist has apparently made a “marked improvement” and he is practising again. Both he and Markram were in superb form in the recent IPL, but with the latter heading home after his Covid quarantine, the Proteas are eager for their regular wicketkeeper to return to the top of the order.

Having a left-hander in the top three would also make life more difficult for the Indian bowlers, who began to come into their own in the third T20.

Play starts at 3.30pm on Friday.

‘This reaffirms what I’ve been saying’ – Jake after Pumas hiding 0

Posted on January 19, 2021 by Ken

“This just reaffirms what I’ve been saying about having a team together for a long time and being able to prepare properly – then you have a chance to win,” was coach Jake White’s response to his makeshift Bulls side being hammered 44-14 by the Pumas in their Currie Cup match in Nelspruit at the weekend.

Given the thoroughly unusual week they had, it was always going to be an uphill task for the youthful Bulls outfit to beat a fired-up Pumas side. Having emerged from their Covid outbreak, the Bulls had to play the Lions in a crucial clash in midweek with a weakened team. But they managed to sneak a win over their Gauteng neighbours, thereby ensuring they would finish top of the log.

They then had to wait 48 hours before they could do Covid testing again, leaving precious little time before Sunday’s match with the Pumas. White was always going to wrap his first-choice players in cotton-wool before their semi-final against the Lions on January 23, but he would have liked more time to prepare the largely U21 side he threw into action at the Mbombela Stadium.

“It was always going to be tough having just one training session together with this team, a guy like replacement flank Divan Venter only trained with us for 20 minutes because Nizaam Carr pulled out on the Friday. We’ve brought much better teams to Nelspruit and struggled, and this was a very new squad. But it’s never nice losing and I did hope for a better performance.

“I was pleased with the 7-10 score in the second half, but it was not ideal to go 31-0 down after the first 25 minutes. But all credit to the Pumas, we wanted to get those early points but they did it to us instead. They’ve been in Lockdown for a long time and made huge sacrifices, so it’s nice for them to get some reward. They should have won against some much better teams than what we brought here this time,” White admitted.

White said the best thing to come out of the game was that here were no injuries and now his team have the better part of two weeks to prepare for the knockout stages. The halfback pairing of Morne Steyn and Ivan van Zyl were probably the only two players who started against the Pumas and are likely to feature in the semi-final, and they were pulled off the field at halftime.

“The most important thing is that we didn’t get any injuries, which is quite nice. I was worried that we would lose one or two players, which is why Elrigh Louw and Johan Grobbelaar didn’t get on and Lizo Gqoboka only had limited time. I wanted to give Morne Steyn some game time and confidence, but two weeks out from a semi-final, you just don’t want the guys to get injured.

“I didn’t want to risk anyone and fortunately there were no injuries. I had still hoped we would be more competitive, like we were in the second half, but you’ve got to pay your school fees and a guy like Jan-Hendrik Wessels maybe lost just one game in his whole Grey College school career. But now we need to win our last two games, we’ve worked hard for a home semi-final and we have not lost at home yet,” White said.

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