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Ken Borland

Henry keeps her round on track to win as crosswinds whizz around Fancourt 0

Posted on March 13, 2024 by Ken

GEORGE, Western Cape – With crosswinds whizzing over the Montagu fairways on the back nine, Kylie Henry was best able to keep her round on track as she sealed a two-stroke victory in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt on Sunday.

Henry was two strokes off the lead at the start of the final round, but the other leading contenders spluttered along on the third day. Even though the Scotswoman went out in one-over-par 37, a string of six successive pars on the back nine saw her claim a share of the lead with Ana Dawson, who had led after both the first and second rounds.

And then, as the pressure mounted and Dawson missed some crucial putts, Henry pounced with key birdies on the par-four 16th and 18th holes. It was her first professional win since 2014, when she won twice on the Ladies European Tour, and the 37-year-old said she was delighted to get back on the winner’s podium after a couple of tough years.

“It means so much to me, I have been playing for a long time, this is my 15th season on tour. But the last couple of seasons have been really tough. I broke my elbow and then last year was just very difficult for me personally and my golf suffered as a result,” Henry said.

“To get my golf game back makes me so happy. It was tricky out there today, there were a lot of crosswinds on the back nine, and I knew I just had to commit to my shots. I managed to keep doing that and I sank some good putts as well.”

Henry was tied for second with Alexandra Swayne going into the final round, and Swayne had a level-par front nine on Sunday, but her back nine was a car-crash with a run of double-bogey, bogey, bogey from the 11th hole. She finished tied for ninth on six-over-par after an 80.

Dawson, despite dropping shots on the 11th and 12th holes, was just one shot behind Henry when she teed off on the final hole. But she drove into the trees, and then ricocheted off another tree trying to come out with her second. Eventually she had to settle for a bogey-six, which left her in a tie for third on level-par with Romy Meekers, who fired an outstanding 67, the best round of the day by four shots.

There were birdie chances available for Dawson in the middle of the back nine, but she had struggles with her putter.

Local stalwart Lee-Anne Pace stepped up on the final day by shooting a level-par 72 and getting herself into contention. She once again eagled the par-five ninth and also birdied the 18th, but Henry did not give her an opening and Pace had to settle for second place on her own, on one-under-par.

Hendricks and Markram band together, and Maharaj and Shamsi then do their hustle 0

Posted on September 14, 2022 by Ken

Reeza Hendricks has surely now sealed his World Cup spot as he and Aiden Markram banded together in a dominating century stand that allowed South Africa to score 211/5 in the first T20 against Ireland in Bristol, a score that was safe as houses with ace spinners Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi doing their usual hustle in the middle overs.

After the Proteas had elected to bat first and Quinton de Kock (7) ran himself out in the fourth over, Hendricks notched his fourth successive half-century, scoring a beautifully-paced 74 off 53 balls, scoring freely through the off-side in particular as he collected 10 fours and a six.

South Africa were 47/2 in the powerplay, but Hendricks and Markram then combined superbly for a stand of 112 off just 62 balls for the third wicket.

Markram was explosive, blasting a punishing 56 off just 27 deliveries, including five sixes, but he and Hendricks fell in successive deliveries to leg-spinner Gareth Delany in the 16th over.

That left South Africa on 158/4 after 16 overs, but Tristan Stubbs showed he has the priceless finishing gift as he scored a spectacular 24 off just 11 balls, filled with remarkable strokes. Dwaine Pretorius also did his job with a dashing 21 not out off only seven deliveries, the Proteas scoring 53 runs in the last four overs.

Maharaj, deputising as captain because David Miller had a back spasm, and Shamsi were then the two best South African bowlers. Maharaj struck in the eighth and 10th overs to take 2/29 in his four overs, while Shamsi was also excellent at the other end with 1/22 in his first three overs.

They reduced Ireland to 111/5 after 12 overs, but Lorcan Tucker won himself many fans as he did not sit back, lashing a destructive 78 off just 38 balls.

George Dockrell supported him brilliantly with a defiant 43 off 28 as Ireland regrouped to need 71 off the last six overs.

Shamsi had to stand up and bowl the 17th over and he claimed the key wicket of Tucker, top-edging a sweep, and Dockrell fell to Pretorius next ball.

Lungi Ngidi bowled an effective array of slower balls at the death and conceded just 16 runs in his last two overs, while Pretorius went for just five off the 18th over and Wayne Parnell six off the last, restricting Ireland to 190/9 and a 21-run victory.

Proteas do the country proud with another gutsy win 0

Posted on February 17, 2022 by Ken

The Proteas once again did the country proud with another gutsy win as they sealed an incredible 3-0 ODI series win over India, following the remarkable triumph in the Tests, by winning the third and final match by four runs at Newlands on Sunday.

Despite Quinton de Kock’s thrilling century, South Africa were left defending a moderate total of 287 and there were times when India looked well on track for victory. But the Proteas attack, without Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, kept fighting back and ultimately clinched the game in the final over. Defending just six runs, Dwaine Pretorius conceded a single and then dismissed last man Yuzvendra Chahal (2), skying a cutter into the covers.

Although Lungi Ngidi removed Indian captain Lokesh Rahul for 9 in the fifth over, Shikhar Dhawan, with a free-scoring, uncomplicated 61 off 73 balls, and Virat Kohli, with a typically feisty 65 off 84 deliveries, provided a great platform for the chase with their second-wicket partnership of 98 off 112 balls.

Andile Phehlukwayo’s golden arm turned the game, however, when he removed both Dhawan and Rishabh Pant, who charged down the pitch to his first ball and sliced it to deep cover, in the same over.

Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj bowled a superb spell of 10 overs for 39 runs in the middle overs and, in his last over, he gained reward with the massive wicket of Kohli, who was undone by sharp turn and bounce.

Shreyas Iyer (26) and Suryakumar Yadav (39 off 32) threatened, but the admirable Proteas attack kept chipping away. Iyer was very well caught by Phehlukwayo at deep backward square-leg as Sisanda Magala dug the ball hard into the pitch, and Yadav was fooled by a cutter from Dwaine Pretorius.

But Deepak Chahar blasted 54 off just 34 deliveries and South Africa really had to show their mettle at the death.

Some calamitous late overs left India needing just 21 off the last four overs. The explosive Chahar eventually fell when an Ngidi (10-0-58-3) slower ball saw him skying a catch into the covers, Pretorius taking the tester very well. Phehlukwayo (7-0-40-3) removed Jasprit Bumrah (12) in the next over and the experienced Pretorius then ensured South Africa kept their cool in the final over.

De Kock, returning to international action after missing the Test series, was scratchy in the first ODI and batted fluently in the second game, but he was sublime on Sunday. Continuing his wonderful record both at Newlands and against India, he stroked 124 off 130 balls and there were plenty of gorgeous shots to drool over. Today was the day the true genius of the left-hander came out and he was supreme in both the straight-bat and the cross-batted strokes.

India had won the toss and a bit of early moisture provided them with some swing and South Africa slipped to 70/3 in the 13th over. But De Kock found the perfect partner in the unflustered and in-form Rassie van der Dussen (52).

The pair added 144 at just about a run-a-ball as Van der Dussen notched another determined half-century, marked by excellent shot-selection and composure under pressure.

But both in batsman fell in successive overs and the Proteas needed a solid partnership of 40 between David Miller (39) and Pretorius (20) to get them a total which they were able to defend thanks to a never-say-die attitude they showed in the field.

Proteas passed the test of character & fighting spirit – Boucher 0

Posted on February 11, 2022 by Ken

The Proteas have passed the test of their character and fighting spirit when put under pressure, especially after losing the first Test, coach Mark Boucher said after South Africa sealed an epic 2-1 series win over India in the third Test at Newlands on Friday.

Chasing a testing target of 212, South Africa won by seven wickets thanks to three successive half-century partnerships between Dean Elgar (30), man of the series Keegan Petersen (82), Rassie van der Dussen (41*) and Temba Bavuma (32*).

Having been beaten so thoroughly by the world’s No.1-ranked side in the first Test at Centurion, it was a remarkable comeback by a team that is still in transition.

“The team showed great character and fight, but that did not surprise me because Dean Elgar is a captain that leads from the front and Temba Bavuma too,” Boucher said after his biggest triumph as coach.

“That fight showed in Dean and Temba’s batting as well, so the guys will certainly follow that. When you have real fighters like that as leaders, then that will probably be the character of the team as well.

“This is a team that is on its own mission and it is a special, driven changeroom to be in. It’s fantastic that the results are starting to come in now. There were lots of ebbs and flows in the last two Tests.

“But we played those pressure moments pretty well and if we lost a session, we didn’t lose it too badly so we were still in the game. We are playing good pressure-cricket at the moment,” Boucher said.

As the new-look Test side’s most notable triumph, the players are going to take away enormous confidence and belief from what is one of the best results for South African cricket sine the return from isolation.

“It was a really hard-fought series, and certainly one of the best, top-five, we’ve ever had in South Africa,” Boucher said. “We lost all three tosses and lots of people wrote us off after the first day of the first Test.

“But we need to see this result through the perspective of where this team is and where India, probably the best team in the world, are. Our youngsters will take a lot of confidence from this.

“There’s nothing like winning games when you know you’ve had to play very, very hard Test cricket. But our feet are firmly on the ground and we know we are not the finished product.

“But from where this team has come from, in terms of the on and off-field stuff, they have been through a lot as a unit. But we have had solid chats and we are a close-knit group that has worked very hard,” Boucher said.

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