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Ken Borland

Markram admits Proteas missed out on extra 15-20 runs 0

Posted on December 23, 2022 by Ken

As well as he batted, Aiden Markram has admitted that the Proteas missed out on an extra 15-20 runs they should have scored as they went down to India by seven wickets in the second ODI at the weekend, and executing their skills in the crucial moments will be their focus going into the decisive third match in Delhi on Tuesday.

Markram scored 79 off 89 balls, an innings filled with plenty of great strokes, but he was just beginning to really dominate after a tough start when he got out, lashing a short delivery from off-spinner Washington Sundar to extra cover. What made his dismissal even worse was that it came just two balls after Heinrich Klaasen got out for a brisk 30 off 26 deliveries.

Markram had set up the innings superbly with Reeza Hendricks (74 off 76) in a run-a-ball third-wicket stand of 129, and he and Klaasen then added 46 off 40 balls to leave the Proteas poised for a score of over 300 as they reached 215 for three in the 38th over.

They subsided to 278 for seven, which India chased down with 25 balls to spare and Markram put his hand up for what happened.

“The pitch was drier than in Lucknow and we thought we had a decent score, even if it was 15-20 runs less than ideal,” Markram said.

“It would have been nice to bat through the last 10 overs and cash in, that’s where the runs left out there are on me. Whenever two wickets fall bang-bang, then the fielding team gets all the momentum back.

“When I got out, maybe that’s where we left the 15-20 runs short. I haven’t played in Delhi before, but lots of the team have, so we’ll have knowledge of the conditions. We will just try and execute our skills on the day, ultimately that’s what matters,” Markram said.

India’s successful chase was also built around a third-wicket stand, although Ishan Kishan (93 off 84) and Shreyas Iyer (113* off 111) took theirs to 161. Although he has been out-of-form lately, South Africa possibly missed the ability of wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi to take wickets in the middle overs. Both he and captain Temba Bavuma missed the second ODI due to illness.

“They were very good, they played excellent knocks and deserve a lot of credit for such a big partnership that killed the game,” Markram said.

“The ball was quite wet, we definitely saw the impact of the dew. I don’t think we bowled badly, they hit some good balls for boundaries and then it becomes tough to slow them down.”

Markram said he was greatly helped by having Hendricks in such good form at the other end, and hopefully the prolific 33-year-old keeps his place for Tuesday’s decider.

“Batting first, the ball did not skid on so much and India bowled into the pitch and the ball just died. David Miller struggling to hit the ball shows you how tough conditions were and how well India bowled.

“I found it tough, it was frustrating. But lots of credit must go to Reeza, he kept the runs flowing at the other end and so the partnership was still doing well,” Markram said.

Hendricks once again announces himself as ready & able 0

Posted on December 21, 2022 by Ken

Reeza Hendricks was able to once again announce himself as ready and able for a regular place in South Africa’s white-ball teams as his brisk half-century provided the impetus for a Proteas innings that was cruising for 300 but fell away badly at the death in the second ODI against India in Ranchi on Sunday.

Hendricks, brought into the team for the first time on the Indian tour because regular captain Temba Bavuma was ill, stroked a classy 74 off 76 balls, with nine fours and a six, looking totally at ease on a tricky, low and slow pitch as he injected valuable momentum into the Proteas innings.

South Africa, having won the toss and elected to bat, were able to post 278/7 thanks largely to Hendricks and his run-a-ball partnership of 129 for the third wicket with Aiden Markram.

Markram took time to settle when he came to the crease at 40/2 in the 10th over, especially against the wrist-spin of Kuldeep Yadav, which has troubled him in the past. But Kuldeep was surprisingly taken off after just three overs, and Markram then began to dominate as he struck 79 off 89 balls.

The former opener was able to find the boundary seven times and clear it once as he played some powerful strokes, off both front and back foot. But Markram’s dismissal, two balls after Heinrich Klaasen was out for a quickfire 30 off 26 balls, began a superb Indian comeback with the ball.

South Africa were 215/3 in the 38th over when Klaasen was brilliantly, and surprisingly given how poor a fielder he generally is, caught by Mohammed Siraj, running in from long-on off Kuldeep. Klaasen, who had hit a couple of sixes already, played for turn as he tried to hit over extra cover, but the ball went straight on.

India conceded just 63 runs in the last 12 overs, their bowlers hitting the pitch hard with slower balls. The tactic even kept the in-form David Miller relatively quiet as he finished on 35 not out off 34 deliveries.

Siraj was the pick of the bowlers, claiming the wickets of both Quinton de Kock (5) and Hendricks, who picked out deep square-leg with a short-arm pull, and he finished with 3/38 in his 10 overs. Siraj bowled four overs on the trot at the death, conceding just 12 runs, an astonishing effort.

The pitch is starting to dust up though, and the slower ball is working more and more effectively, but the effect of dew and the floodlights may counteract that in the Indian chase.

Proteas eager to improve batting against Indian pacemen, but unlikely to face tougher spin test 0

Posted on December 19, 2022 by Ken

The Proteas will be eager to improve their batting against the Indian fast bowlers in the second ODI in Ranchi on Sunday, but at least they know they are unlikely to be put to a tougher test against spin than they were in the first match.

Despite the Lucknow pitch turning square in the first ODI, Heinrich Klaasen (74* off 65) and David Miller (75* off 63) added 139 in 17.4 overs to take South Africa to a matchwinning total of 249/4 in a game reduced to 40 overs a side by rain.

But the top-order once again struggled, with seamer Shardul Thakur removing Janneman Malan and Temba Bavuma cheaply. The amount of swing and movement up front has been a standout feature of the white-ball games in India so far, but thankfully Quinton de Kock has batted beautifully in the last three matches to counter that.

“Obviously the ball spun a lot, but we’ve been working hard over the last couple of years to play in these conditions,” Klaasen said. “Our game-plan is to sweep both ways and it worked well.

“We definitely picked the right game-plan for the conditions, we just wanted to take the danger-ball, which was on a good length and turning a lot, out of play and rotate the strike.

“It has not been easy up front for both sides, and we also bowled very well at the start of India’s innings, but Quinny played an exceptional innings. A lot of people might look past his 48, but it was very vital.

“It meant we were still in a good position when Davo and I came in. It’s fantastic batting with him, his tempo makes it so easy, and we just said we must keep going and not let the tail come in in these conditions,” Klaasen said.

The nine-run victory in the first ODI gained precious 50-over World Cup qualification points for the Proteas, but Klaasen said their focus is just as much on not wasting the opportunity to get time in the middle ahead of the T20 World Cup later this month.

“We need to win nine out of nine games to maybe have a chance of automatic qualification, so that is very hard, but we will definitely try,” Klaasen said.

“But the World Cup coming up now is our goal. Next year’s World Cup is important too, but this series is also useful building up to the T20 World Cup.

“Of course we want to win every game in a South African jersey and we will just take it game for game,” Klaasen said.

The 31-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman also bemoaned the departure of all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius from the squad with a fractured thumb. They are both gutsy characters, showing the sort of temperament Test captain Dean Elgar always rates highly, never mind their white-ball worth.

“Dwaine is a big loss and it was a sad moment when we found out on the morning of the game,” Klaasen said. “I thought it was just a little thumb injury. I’m quite close to Dwaine, we have been through a lot to get here, and he is a massive loss.”

Klaasen deeply annoyed the English gingers 0

Posted on September 01, 2022 by Ken

The Proteas’ resident ginger, Heinrich Klaasen, deeply annoyed the English team, especially his fellow red-haired opponents, with his gamesmanship in the second ODI at Old Trafford on Friday night, but the 30-year-old batsman afterwards brushed off the incident as “fun and games on the field”.

South Africa had plummeted to 39 for five after 10 of their 29 overs when Klaasen stopped play to complain about his vision of the ball being disturbed by white sheeting at the bottom of the black sightscreen. Initially the umpires battled to understand what he was complaining about, with England getting more and more frantic for play to resume as the drizzle that was falling was only getting heavier.

By this stage, the Proteas were already badly behind in the contest, needing 164 runs in 19 overs with the last recognised pair of batsmen together at the crease. Their best hope seemed to be for the match to be rained off before they had faced 20 overs, in which case there would be no result.

It took a few minutes for the penny to drop that the ground staff had shifted the boundary boards aside in order to allow them to bring the covers on quickly if necessary, thereby exposing the white sheeting which Klaasen alleged made the white ball difficult to see.

The wicketkeeper/batsman afterwards admitted that he actually had no problems sighting the ball but he was just trying to delay play. England were boiling over with frustration and Klaasen sparked something of a Ginger War as Jonny Bairstow fumed at the batsman and the umpires, and captain Jos Buttler, who has a hint of reddish-brown hair himself, stomped around.

“It was zero percent about the ball disappearing,” Klaasen admitted. “It was starting to rain harder and I was just trying to delay matters. I hoped the umpires would take us off the field before the 20 overs, but unfortunately they didn’t.

“It was just some old-school tricks. The England boys didn’t like it and I knew the abuse would come. I was just trying to upset their game a bit, I thought it couldn’t do us any harm.

“It frustrated a lot of them, but we didn’t come off in the end. What they said to me didn’t bother me at all, it was just fun and games on the field, and off the field hopefully we can still have a beer after the next game. It’s easy for me to keep that sort of thing on the field,” Klaasen said.

England had the last laugh though as South Africa were skittled for a dismal 83 all out and left to mourn a massive 118-run defeat, with paceman David Willey saying “I’m thinking Mother Cricket came around”.

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