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Ken Borland

Elgar has a reputation for being a bit gabby, but he’s not afraid to talk about his own shortcomings 0

Posted on February 28, 2023 by Ken

Dean Elgar has a reputation amongst opposition teams for being a bit gabby, but the Proteas captain is not afraid to talk about his own shortcomings and on Sunday he revealed the hard work he has been doing to get his batting back on track ahead of the Test series in Australia.

Opener Elgar is one of the senior statesmen in the South African batting line-up, usually setting a solid tone up front, but he was disappointed with his output on the England tour, scoring just 107 runs in five innings.

The left-hander revealed that he has done a technical overhaul, that seems to be working judging by his form for the Northerns Titans in domestic four-day cricket. Elgar scored 55 and 25 not out to help steer the Titans to a 10-wicket win over the Central Gauteng Lions at the Wanderers on Sunday. With his 137 against the Free State Knights, he is averaging 72.33 this season.

“It feels good to get runs under the belt, obviously to influence the team and to get my game in order with something big coming up [the Australia Tests]. I’ve had a nice three weeks prep.

“I’ve been able to get my confidence back up high and sort out some technical stuff. Knowing where your off-stump is is important, one of the basic fundamentals, but there are a lot of other basics I’ve worked on too.

“I was doing stuff in England which I never used to do, so I broke down my technique and tried to make what I thought were weaknesses less so.

“Having experience really helps because I know when something is wrong, although it is easier said than done to fix it. But it’s nice to be able to do it at domestic level where there is less pressure,” Elgar said.

Visiting captains always feel the heat in Australia, so Elgar has been well-advised to make sure his own game is shipshape. The straight-talking skipper did not hide his disappointment that his vice-captain, Temba Bavuma, and senior fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who are both sure to feel the warmth Down Under too after underwhelming T20 World Cup campaigns there, have not played any four-day cricket before the tour.

“KG is maybe one exception because his workload is quite high and I can maybe understand him having the time off with fast bowling being extremely demanding,” Elgar said.

“But batsmen should ideally be trying to utilise time in the middle, although I have no control over the medical rules. But playing domestically is the best place to get form and confidence.

“Getting runs here can really change your thought patterns. So it has been nice to see a lot of the squad playing and working on technical flaws. A guy like Kyle Verreynne has obviously worked hard and scored a lot of runs.

“I’m a bit concerned with our seam bowling though. There has been a lot of emphasis on T20 cricket and the bowlers are not conditioned enough for long spells or bowling all day,” Elgar warned.

Superb fightback means it’s tempting to give Proteas amnesty, but areas still need attention 0

Posted on July 12, 2021 by Ken

It would be tempting, given their superb fightback to level the series against the West Indies at 1-1 over the weekend, to give the Proteas a general amnesty for the shortcomings in their T20 game, but with the third match looming on Tuesday night, there are a couple of areas that still need attention.

Despite not having a recognised sixth bowler, the Proteas did exceptionally well with the ball to limit the deep and explosive West Indian batting line-up to just 150 for nine on the small St George’s ground on Grenada.

Spinners George Linde and Tabraiz Shamsi were absolutely outstanding. Coming on straight after the powerplay, they bowled six overs in tandem and squeezed the home side so effectively that they collapsed from 53 for two after six overs to 76 for five at the end of the 12th over. The combined figures of man of the match Linde (4-0-19-2) and Shamsi (4-0-16-1) were a remarkable three for 35 in eight overs.

Kagiso Rabada and the excellent Anrich Nortje, the pick of the pacemen in both matches so far, learnt quickly from the mauling in the first T20 that if you are going to bowl fast on this more typical Caribbean pitch then you have to bowl full. But Lungi Ngidi, bowling like he’s in a Test match, has really struggled, conceding 95 runs in his seven overs thus far.

A change needs to be made and white-ball specialist Sisanda Magala, who has the skills to do well on these pitches, would be a good pick. Swing bowler Beuran Hendricks and Lizaad Williams, who has shown an ability to adapt to different conditions, could also be in the running.

South Africa’s other big problem is the lack of animation shown by the batsmen in the second half of the innings. Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock have done well up front, with powerplay scores of 53 for one and then 69 without loss (the Proteas’ fourth highest score ever in the first six overs), but then the innings have fizzled out.

In the first T20, South Africa were 95 for two after 11 overs but instead of doubling their total as could reasonably have been expected, they limped to 160 for six. In the second match, their finishing was dire as they scored only 28 runs in the last five overs and lost four wickets (138-3 to 166-7).

It has not helped that the dynamic De Kock has been dismissed in the seventh over, straight after the powerplay, in both matches.

Heinrich Klaasen has really struggled for boundaries, not getting a single one in the 23 balls he has faced. Given that the Proteas need a sixth bowler, Aiden Markram could be pressed into duty in a new T20 role in the middle-order.

Wiaan Mulder and Andile Phehlukwayo are both established bowlers but choosing them would weaken the batting.

No super over calls integrity of entire RamSlam T20 Challenge into question 0

Posted on January 01, 2015 by Ken


The integrity of the entire RamSlam T20 Challenge competition was called into question at SuperSport Park yesterday when the Unlimited Titans and the Chevrolet Warriors tied their rain-affected match, but were denied the chance to play for full points in a super over due to the shortcomings of the playing conditions.

The fact that both teams have to settle for two points is obviously unsatisfactory when one considers their precarious positions at the bottom of the log and the fact that all other tied matches in the competition have had super overs in order for one team to get the four win points. Neither team were aware that there would not be a tie-breaker.

Match referee Barry Lambson confirmed that the playing conditions did not allow for a super over to be played “due to time constraints” as the start of the match was delayed by two-and-a-half hours because of rain. This time, the all-pervasive influence of television was not to blame as they found time for a televised presentation after a string of advertisements.

The chances of playing at all looked remote at the scheduled starting time of 12pm, but by the end of the match the weather had totally cleared up, although metaphorically a cloud will remain over the game.

The eight-overs-a-side match featured perfect final overs by both Rusty Theron and David Wiese.

Wiese’s was the more impressive because it secured the tie for the Titans after they had unravelled in the field in the sixth and seventh overs, leaving the Warriors with just six runs to win off the last six balls.

Wiese made the perfect start by removing Simon Harmer (24 off 13) off the first ball and Jon-Jon Smuts, who had anchored the chase with 37 off 22 balls, was then run out off the second ball after confusion with Yaseen Vallie and a pinpoint throw from the outfield by Eden Links.

Vallie and Theron could only manage three singles, plus there was a wide, leaving the Warriors to score one run off the last ball to win. But with wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen standing up and making a fine take, Wiese beat Theron outside off stump to snatch a share of the spoils for the Titans.

The Titans had posted 79 for five in their eight overs after being sent in to bat, and looked well on course to defend that when they restricted the Warriors to 39 for three after five overs. But a host of errors in the sixth and seventh overs, including Harmer being dropped as Shaun von Berg and Theunis de Bruyn collided in the covers, changed the course of the match.

Captain Darren Sammy also contributed a fine over, conceding eight that included an edged boundary, Ethy Mbhalati again bowled skilfully and Junior Dala delivered a brilliant first over, that cost just one run and included the wicket of Warriors captain Colin Ingram (4).

Henry Davids had given the Titans innings a positive start as he scored 23 off 11 balls, hammering three fours and a six off Basheer Walters in the second over before the bowler had the last say, having him caught in the covers.

But the Titans run-rate then nose-dived as Aya Gqamane, brought on to bowl the fifth over, removed Wiese (1) and De Bruyn (16) with his first two balls and spinner Smuts was bang on target as well.

Theron conceded just four runs in the last over and trapped Sammy lbw for 16 as he showed the sort of skills that suggest he perhaps should be performing again on a higher stage.


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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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