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Ken Borland



Reto starts like a fish out of water, but then all goes swimmingly 0

Posted on April 09, 2024 by Ken

SUN CITY, North-West – United States-based South African Paula Reto may have looked a bit like a fish out of water when she bogeyed the second and third holes on the second day of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International on Thursday, but the rest of her round at the Lost City Golf Club then went swimmingly as she claimed a share of the lead.

Reto went on a run of five birdies in six holes from the fifth hole, and then added back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes, before returning from a lightning break with another gain on the 17th. Her superb six-under-par 66 lifted her to eight-under overall and she will go into the final round tied for the lead with India’s Tvesa Malik, who fired a stunning 65.

The 33-year-old Reto won this tournament in 2022, but it was then played at the Gary Player Country Club. But after a tough 2023 campaign on the LPGA Tour, Reto is in a good frame of mind back in her home country, and it showed in her ability to bounce back from two early setbacks on Thursday.

“I don’t know what happened really, I hit a bad tee-shot on the second and suddenly I’d gone bogey-bogey. I just said to myself that I must give myself opportunities and fortunately I then managed to get the ball close to the hole a few times, and chipped in on the eighth, which is always nice for your momentum,” Reto said.

“Lost City is completely different to the GPCC, you have to strategise more off the tees, it’s a course that requires more thinking. To be able to bounce back after those two bogeys felt really good and I was very happy that I kept to the plan. I was able to stay on plan and not let the bogeys get to me.

“Last year was tough because I struggled with my swing a bit and I couldn’t string four good rounds together. It starts to take a toll on your confidence and you start to try and change so much all at once.

“So at the start of this year I just tried to hone in on a few things, make sure I do those basics well. I’m happy with where my game is heading and I just love coming back here to South Africa, being with my family and feeling a bit like I’m on vacation,” Reto said.

Getting married on December 29 to fellow Indian professional golfer Ajeetesh Sandhu certainly seems to have bear fruit for Malik as she produced an outstanding, bogey-free round with four birdies on the back nine and then three on the front.

First-round leader Lauren Taylor shot a 70 on Thursday to move to six-under-par, two off the lead, while exciting South African youngster Gabrielle Venter shot 68 on Thursday to move to five-under.

Tidy stand between Hamza & Van Buuren ends the day well for Lions 0

Posted on December 21, 2023 by Ken

Zubayr Hamza could afford to be all smiles after the second day at the Wanderers.

A tidy unbeaten partnership of 82 for the fourth wicket between Zubayr Hamza and Mitchell van Buuren ensured the Central Gauteng Lions ended the second day of their CSA 4-Day Domestic Series match against the KZN Inland Tuskers on a much better note at the Wanderers on Thursday.

The slick batting of Hamza and Van Buuren took the Lions to 125 for three at stumps, bringing some stability on what had been a tough, weather-shortened day for the home side.

The Tuskers began the day on 252 for six, and they managed to make it to 345 all out, a useful score at the Wanderers. Number eight Malcom Nofal was the dominant figure in the morning as he stroked 71 off 102 balls, piling on the frustration for the Lions as he added 52 for the seventh wicket with Cameron Shekleton (24) and then 34 for the ninth wicket with Alindile Mhletywa (20).

A two-hour thundershower interrupted the mopping up of the visitors’ innings, spinner Bjorn Fortuin doing the job and finishing with impressive figures of 35-11-65-3. Pacemen Duanne Olivier and Tshepo Moreki also took three wickets apiece.

The Lions then came out to bat with the pitch undoubtedly spruced up by all the moisture and its time under the covers, and they immediately found themselves locked in a tense battle with the fired-up Tuskers new-ball pair of Keith Dudgeon and Thando Ntini.

The hosts were reduced to 16 for two at tea as Josh Richards was caught behind off Ntini for seven and fellow opener Mohamed Manack, on debut, was trapped lbw by Dudgeon for 2.

Ryan Rickelton briefly broke out of his cell with a run-a-ball 20 before he was also trapped in front by Dudgeon, leaving the Lions in danger on 37 for three.

Van Buuren initially batted like a bollard in defying the KZN Inland bowlers, but he then made short work of any loose bowling as he cruised to 37 not out off 71 balls.

Hamza, his strokes thick with class, was able to post his 15th franchise half-century, coming off just 68 deliveries, shortly before the close, which came after the second of two delays for bad light, with seven fours.

Rain brings premature end to 2nd day; one supposes SA were not too unhappy 0

Posted on October 26, 2023 by Ken

Rain brought a premature end to the second day of the third Test between South Africa and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday, which one supposes the Proteas won’t be too unhappy about because the home side had piled up a massive 475/4 in their first innings.

There can surely only be one winner of the match now, following Usman Khawaja’s epic 195 not out and Steven Smith’s impressive 104, and so losing 49 overs across the first two days takes time out of the game and plays into the Proteas’ hands.

Khawaja and Smith feasted on the South African bowling as they added 209 for the third wicket, continuing their phenomenal record of major partnerships. That laid the table, with Australia on 356/3, for Travis Head who came to the crease and added the spices with a punishing 70 off just 59 balls, ensuring a tired bowling attack had no respite.

Khawaja will no doubt be asking for just a few more overs in which to post his maiden Test double-century before Australia declare, and then another wretched battle for survival will begin for the Proteas batsmen.

Their bowling has been put to the sword on the first two days, albeit on a tough pitch for bowling: there is little pace, no sideways movement to speak of and the turn is slow, allowing the batsmen, especially Khawaja, the time to play off the back foot to great effect.

Smith did eventually fall after collecting 11 fours and two sixes in 192 balls, giving Keshav Maharaj a return catch when the left-arm spinner produced a bit more flight.

Maharaj has otherwise been poor, conceding 108 runs in 25 overs, while off-spinner Harmer has been putting more revs on the ball and asking more questions, but without reward. He has borne the heaviest burden on a dry pitch, bowling 31 overs and conceding 109 runs.

Fast bowler Anrich Nortje did not add to his two wickets on the first day, but he was again South Africa’s most impressive bowler. Unfortunately, his fellow pacemen could not follow his lead. Young left-armer Marco Jansen was not quite at his best, but continues to market himself as one of the brightest talents in international cricket, bowling a fine spell with the second new ball. Kagiso Rabada is out-of-sorts and has conceded 119 runs in his 28 overs. He did get the wicket of Head, albeit with a short ball that required a sharp catch by 12th man Rassie van der Dussen at deep square-leg.

Khawaja’s 368-ball innings, with 19 fours and a six, has been a super display of the craft of an opening batsman; he has shown great precision in both the selection and execution of his strokes and has put away the loose deliveries in elegant fashion.

Pair of effortless centuries lifts Australia to huge score 0

Posted on October 23, 2023 by Ken

A pair of effortless centuries by Usman Khawaja and Steven Smith lifted Australia to a huge 394 for three at tea on the second day of the third Test against South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

While left-handed opener Khawaja was still there at the break on a tremendously classy 172 not out, the Proteas were at least relieved to get rid of the prolific Smith for 104 just as he was really beginning to accelerate.

Khawaja scored his third successive century at the SCG, joining English legend Wally Hammond and Australian hero Doug Walters as the only other batsmen to do that. He and Smith added 209 for the third wicket after the home side began the day on 147 for two. The partnership not only thoroughly blunted the South African attack on a placid pitch but also continued the duo’s history of great stands together.

Smith did eventually fall after collecting 11 fours and two sixes in 192 balls, giving Keshav Maharaj a return catch when the left-arm spinner produced a bit more flight.

The in-form Travis Head then came to the crease and reached 17 not out at tea.

Spinners Maharaj and Simon Harmer have borne the heaviest burden on a dry pitch, both bowling 25 overs. But Maharaj has been poor, conceding 108 runs, while Harmer has been putting more revs on the ball and asking more questions, but so far without reward. He has at least conceded less than three runs an over (73).

Fast bowler Anrich Nortje did not add to his two wickets on the first day, but he was again South Africa’s most impressive bowler. Unfortunately, his fellow pacemen could not follow his lead. Young left-armer Marco Jansen was not quite at his best, but continues to market himself as one of the brightest talents in international cricket, bowling a fine spell with the second new ball. Kagiso Rabada is out-of-sorts and has conceded 94 runs in his 24 overs.

Khawaja’s 335-ball innings, with 17 fours and a six, has been a super display of the craft of an opening batsman; he has shown great precision in both the selection and execution of his strokes and has put away the loose deliveries in elegant fashion.

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    Every day offers the opportunity for doing a kind deed or speaking an encouraging word to someone who feels overwhelmed.

    Our exuberant joy about God’s goodness to us should cause us to throw ourselves enthusiastically into serving others.

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