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Ken Borland

Signing of Delport & Jones loans formidable look to white-ball Lions 0

Posted on May 26, 2022 by Ken

The Central Gauteng Lions may have just won the One-Day Cup, but the signing of explosive batsmen Cameron Delport and Evan Jones, both of whom are also part-time seamers, loans an even more formidable look to their white-ball squads for 2022/23.

Despite their incredible, Reeza Hendricks inspired victory in the One-Day Cup final against the Northerns Titans, the Lions have taken a pragmatic view in their recruiting for next season. Losing most of their side to national call-ups, they struggled in the CSA T20 Challenge, finishing second-last, and they were certainly the underdogs in the 50-over final.

Although their four-day campaign ended in disappointment, finishing third after holding top spot for most of the competition, the fact that there are 30 promotion/relegation points on offer for limited-overs cricket and just 15 for the first-class game, has convinced the Lions to concentrate on the white-ball game.

They were in danger of being dragged into next season’s relegation battle before winning the One-Day Cup, but after 2021/22 they are now second, 12 points behind the Titans.

The 32-year-old Delport has been signed from the KZN Inland Tuskers and is a global T20 nomad who has scored more runs in the format than any other batsman who has not played for their country. The left-handed opener scores at a strike-rate of 139 in T20s and 105 in 50-over cricket.

The 25-year-old, Pretoria-born Jones averages 71 in first-class cricket and has a strike-rate of 95 in one-dayers and 153 in T20s. A dominant presence at the crease, he led the Northern Cape charge to the top of the Division II standings with his destructive batting.

“There were a couple of spots open and certain players we wanted to attract,” CGL chief executive Jono Leaf-Wright told The Citizen. “Evan and Cameron are both really strong white-ball batsmen.

“Our T20 campaign was not great and we decided to push the reset button and make strategic signings.

“Winning the One-Day Cup was a relief because we were in the middle of the promotion/relegation pool after the bitter pill of our four-day finish and the T20 Challenge. Now we are second.

“Seven players left us to play for South Africa, that’s our role, to keep providing players for the national team, but to lose them meant we were victims of our own success. We have to make sure the depth of the talent pool is there,” Leaf-Wright said.

Bjorn Fortuin, who played a crucial role in getting the Lions across the finish line in the One-Day Cup final, has been rewarded with a two-year contract, joining Sisanda Magala, Ryan Rickelton, Dominic Hendricks and Lutho Sipamla in that category.

Duanne Olivier, Mitchell van Buuren and Codi Yusuf have signed new contracts with the Lions, while wicketkeeper/batsman Ruan Haasbroek and spinner Tshepo Ntuli have been released.

Former SA U19 captain Wandile Makwetu has decided to cross the Vaal River and join Central Gauteng from the Free State Knights, but he has not been contracted.

SA have a stiff lead in the kitty & Bangladesh will find no shelter from the pitch 0

Posted on May 03, 2022 by Ken

South Africa may have collapsed to just 204 all out in their second innings, but the 69-run lead they had in the kitty has left Bangladesh with a stiff target to chase and the tourists’ batsmen will find no shelter from the Kingsmead pitch either as there is sharp turn on offer and the seamers are also posing challenges in the first Test in Durban.

Needing 274 for victory, Bangladesh had crashed to 11/3 at stumps on the fourth day on Sunday, as Proteas spinners Keshav Maharaj (3-0-7-2) and Simon Harmer (3-1-4-1) caused devastation to the top-order.

South Africa’s batting coach Justin Sammons unpacked the challenges their batsmen faced on Sunday, with conditions likely to only get tougher on Monday’s final day.

“The ball is gripping and it has turned more as the game as gone on. Against seam, the scoring rate is tough to get up if the bowlers hit those probing lengths, hitting straight is not going to give you much reward,” Sammons said.

“And there’s a bit of reverse swing on offer as well, which makes it really tricky. Bangladesh, with the lengths they hit, showed their skill and their ability to make the ball tail towards the end as well.

“Spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz bowled with great discipline and control as well. So we had to bat really well to get to 204.

“But if you dig in then it’s not the sort of pitch you will get blasted out on,” Sammons said.

Although the fading light prevented South Africa from using their pace bowlers with the new ball at the start of the Bangladesh innings, it will be interesting to see if the Proteas go with the successful Maharaj/Harmer combination first thing on Monday morning, or give Lizaad Williams and Duanne Olivier a burst with the shiny ball.

Sammons said there had been some talk about starting with one seamer and one spinner on Sunday afternoon.

Maharaj’s two wickets saw him go past fellow left-hander Paul Adams as the leading wicket-taker among South African spinners post-isolation, with 136 in 41 Tests at an average of 32.93.

Captain Dean Elgar again anchored South Africa’s batting effort as he completed half-centuries in both innings, with his 64 providing a great platform for the innings.

He and Keegan Petersen (36) combined for a 68-run second-wicket partnership, the biggest of the innings, while debutant Ryan Rickelton showed good composure under pressure as he scored 39 not out while wickets tumbled at the other end.

Offie Mehidy (35-6-85-3) and fast bowler Ebadot Hossain (13-1-40-3) combined most effectively with the ball for Bangladesh. Taskin Ahmed, who had to periodically go off the field to have a shoulder injury treated, chipped in manfully with 2/24 in 11 overs.

‘You never know how a pitch will play,’ says Rabada, before bowling brilliantly 0

Posted on December 21, 2021 by Ken

“You never really know how a pitch is going to play,” Kagiso Rabada said, “but we had an idea from the warm-up that it would favour the seamers and bowled accordingly.”

And brilliantly.

South Africa bundled Bangladesh out for just 84 in their T20 World Cup match in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, a total they then chased down with six wickets in hand and 39 balls to spare to significantly boost their nett run-rate.

Rabada led the way with an outstanding display that brought him career-best figures of 3/20. On a pitch that almost demanded Test-style bowling, he was bang on the mark with both his lengths and skills from the outset.

“There was a lot of grass on the pitch and a bit of zip, as well as being a bit two-paced. We learnt from the Australia game here and we also noticed a bit of swing in the warm-up,” Rabada said after the win.

“You never really know how a pitch is going to play, but we had an idea that it would favour the seamers and we bowled accordingly. In my three overs up front there was a bit of bounce, seam movement and swing.

“So conditions were in my favour and you just try to get the ball in the right places. Anrich Nortje [3.2-0-8-3] is also bowling pretty rapidly at the moment and every bowler that came on stuck to the game-plan and got us into an even stronger position,” Rabada said.

South Africa also know full well that their semi-finals qualification could come down to nett run-rate and they used the small target as an opportunity to boost that figure to more than one run per over better than rivals Australia: 0.742 to -0.627.

After a rocky start, they won in the 14th over largely thanks to Temba Bavuma’s quickfire 31 not out off 28 balls. Rabada said criticism of the captain has been ill-informed.

“There’s nothing more to say about Temba, the results are there. You are always going to have critics and we make peace with that, we take the good with the bad.

“You can’t control what is said outside the game, but we probably put more pressure on ourselves than the public do.

“Obviously we chatted at halfway about nett run-rate and we wanted to try and finish the chase as early as possible. There was a clear instruction to finish before 15 overs, we did that and we are happy,” Rabada said.

SA bowl in all the wrong places as Smith scores great series-winning ton 0

Posted on December 23, 2014 by Ken

Steven Smith produced a great century as South Africa bowled in all the wrong areas at the death, leading Australia to a three-wicket victory with an over to spare to clinch the series in the fourth one-day international at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.

Chasing 268, some bizarre field placings and the poor execution of the South African bowlers saw Australia plunder 86 runs in the last 10 overs, Smith and Matthew Wade having lifted them from 98 for five midway through their chase with a stand of 121 in 20 overs.

Smith eventually fell with the scores tied after scoring 104 off 112 balls – an innings of great composure and skill. James Faulkner came in after Wade’s dismissal and took advantage of South Africa feeding his strengths as he belted 34 not out off 19 balls.

Smith and Wade brought Australia back into contention after Dale Steyn took two wickets in two overs to put South Africa in control.

But Smith produced a fine innings and Wade played an invaluable hand of 52 off 59 deliveries.

Wayne Parnell eventually removed Wade thanks to a great catch by Ryan McLaren running in from deep backward square-leg, but Australia went into the last five overs needing just 40 runs with the big-hitting Faulkner joining Smith at the crease.

Spearhead Steyn was brought back into the attack in the 21st over after Smith and George Bailey had added 30 for the fourth wicket and he struck in his second over as captain Bailey edged a slash outside the off stump to be caught behind for 16.

That brought the dangerous Glenn Maxwell in, but he could only score two before his flatfooted drive at an away-swinger in Steyn’s next over saw him caught at slip by Hashim Amla. Credit to captain AB de Villiers for having the slip in.

Smith and Bailey made bright starts to their innings after pace bowlers McLaren and Parnell took a wicket apiece to reduce Australia to 48 for three in the 14th over.

South Africa’s back-up seamers were under pressure as Australia reached 39 for one after 10 overs, but both settled after wayward starts.

Shane Watson will be furious with himself as he once again made a start, getting to 19 off 25 balls, before he reached out to try and drive a wide, full away-swinger from McLaren and edged a catch to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

Opener Aaron Finch was looking dangerous on 22 when he pulled Parnell straight to Faf du Plessis at deep square-leg.

Opening bowlers Kyle Abbott and Steyn were spot on from the outset to have the Australian openers under pressure, with Abbott making the breakthrough in the fourth over when he trapped David Warner lbw for four, the left-hander being hit on the back pad as he was late on a delivery that straightened back into him.

South Africa’s batsmen fell away in the later overs as they faded to 267 for eight after winning the toss and electing to bat first in the day/night game.

AB de Villiers once again dazzled and David Miller can book his ticket to the World Cup, but the rest of the South African batting once again disappointed.

The Proteas are fortunate that they can call on De Villiers, already established as one of the all-time greats, as he was once again the mainstay of the innings, scoring 91 off 88 balls in another great display of skill and exquisite placement of the ball.

Miller was the one batsman to provide sturdy support to De Villiers, playing a fine knock of 45 off 61 balls as they set up the innings with a fourth-wicket stand of 122 in 20 overs.

But unlike South Africa, whose problems extend from the batting relying too heavily on De Villiers to dodgy death bowling, Australia can rely on their bowlers in the last 10 overs to really turn the screw. Once they removed Miller, caught in the covers in an attempt to hit over the top in the powerplay, they restricted the Proteas to a meagre 51 runs in the last 10 overs, while claiming four more wickets.

Fast bowler Mitchell Starc was outstanding with his mix of yorkers and slower balls as he finished with one for 40 in 10 overs – figures that don’t do justice to his performance. Fellow paceman Pat Cummins also bowled better than his figures of two for 61, being a threat throughout, while James Faulkner was also brilliant at the death with his back-of-the-hand deliveries, finishing with two for 45.

South Africa will be concerned that Quinton de Kock continues to struggle at the top of the order, scratching his way to 17 off 38 balls before popping a lame return catch to off-spinner Glenn Maxwell, who had had him dropped at slip in his first over.

Fellow opener Hashim Amla was looking good, however, as he cruised to 18 off 20 balls. He had identified the balls to go after well, collecting three fours, and was quite within his rights to pull the shortish delivery Nathan Coulter-Nile bowled to him in the sixth over, but unfortunately he hit it straight to midwicket, where Cummins hung on to a sharp, dipping catch.

Faf du Plessis also looked in good touch as he scored 28 off 37 balls as South Africa reached 70 for one in the 16th over. But Cummins, returning after Du Plessis had hit him for two fours in his previous over in the first powerplay, got some extra bounce outside off stump and found the edge of an attempted steer, the ball nestling safely in wicketkeeper Matthew Wade’s gloves.

De Kock had fallen in the previous over and South Africa were in some strife on 79 for three.

But De Villiers once again showed that he is in a different league, improvising brilliantly, while still playing off the basis of a sound technique, and hardly ever seeming to take a risk. He only collected six boundaries, but scored at better than a run-a-ball on a slowish pitch without breaking a sweat.

With the bowlers at their mercy – Australia’s attack were also one short when Coulter-Nile limped off with a hamstring strain – both found ways to get out. Miller was trying to hit over the top in the powerplay, but could only skew Faulkner high into the covers, while De Villiers charged down the pitch to Cummins and was reaching for a slower-ball bouncer, a tennis-like shot going to deep midwicket.

After that, the remaining batsmen could not find ways to dominate the impressive Australian attack, with Farhaan Behardien managing just 22 off 23 balls.


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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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