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Ken Borland

Shamsi puts the disappointments of last season behind him 0

Posted on May 01, 2018 by Ken


Tabraiz Shamsi put the disappointments of the 2016/17 season behind him and was one of the star players for the Multiply Titans as they won two of the three domestic trophies on offer this season, so much so that he was named the Players’ Player of the Year at the franchise’s awards evening.

The left-arm wrist-spinner’s phenomenal form in limited-overs cricket – he was the leading wicket-taker in both the Momentum One-Day Cup (26 @ 14.84, economy 4.50) and Ram Slam T20 Challenge (16 wickets, economy 7.00) – was obviously the major reason he won the prestigious award, but he also made a valuable contribution in the triumphant Sunfoil Series campaign, taking 13 wickets in three matches.

His Momentum One-Day Cup display included one of the greatest wicket-taking runs in South African day/night cricket history as he took 20 wickets in six games.

“It was a very, very successful season and to be the top wicket-taker in two competitions was really amazing for me. Last season there were quite a few disappointments, so it was important I had a good mindset this season because I was a bit disheartened. The best way to do that is to keep performing. To play just the one Test in 2016 was one of the disappointments, although Keshav Maharaj has done an exceptional job since then,” Shamsi said.

At the age of 28, Shamsi is still developing his game and is still a few years away from the age a spinner is usually considered to be hitting his peak.

“I feel in a good space and I’m still very young for a spinner and I still have a lot to learn. But I feel comfortable now at international level. Even against India, who are great players of spin bowling, I felt relatively comfortable. So it was a massive boost doing well against them in unfavourable conditions for a spinner,” Shamsi said.

Shamsi played two of the ODIs and all three of the T20 internationals against India and, added to his experience of playing in both the Caribbean Premier League and the Indian Premier League, it means he is settling in nicely at international level.

“I went to the Caribbean Premier League as an uncapped player and it changed my life to get noticed there and then be signed up for the IPL. There’s a very negative perception of these T20 tournaments in general, which is a bit unfair. They brought me recognition and playing against world-class opposition in those leagues means I felt a lot calmer when I played for South Africa.

“I’ve been selected more for white-ball cricket for South Africa and I’ve bowled to all those international batsmen before. If I’ve made mistakes then I’ve learnt from them and if I can dominate them in the T20 league then I will be able to take that edge into international cricket. I’m a big believer in having the mental edge,” Shamsi said.

Part of the Titans’ success this season has been deploying both Shamsi and leg-spinner Shaun von Berg in matches, and Shamsi believes they dovetail well.

“We’re very spoilt to have Shaun, who is a great spinner, too and it’s quite exciting for a team to have two quality wrist-spinners. Generally I’m more attacking and he does the holding role more, but I also only went for 3.3 runs-per-over in the Sunfoil Series, so we complement each other, I feel comfortable doing both jobs.

“I still dream of playing more Test cricket and there is a sub-continent tour coming up, so I haven’t given up on that. I didn’t play a lot of four-day cricket last season, so this year was about finding my groove again. I’m confident I have a lot to offer with the red ball as well,” Shamsi said.

Having risen from a low ebb, Shamsi will continue to bring the sort of positive attitude to his game that usually brings results.


No silver lining for Bulls as emotions run high at Loftus Versfeld 0

Posted on June 01, 2016 by Ken


The emotions were running high at Loftus Versfeld after the Bulls were mauled by the Lions last weekend, so much so that coach Nollis Marais could not see the silver lining which their conquerors’ own recent experiences provides them.

The Lions suffered a similarly dispiriting defeat at home a month ago when they were hammered 50-17 by the Hurricanes; they rebounded spectacularly though and now top the South Africa Conference and are second on the overall log.

All is not lost either for the Bulls, who are four points behind the faltering Stormers and three behind the Sharks in the hunt for the other two local qualification places.

“It’s best not to say anything to the players straight after the game because emotions are still running high and there’s no silver lining. There was a good crowd behind us but we did not put in a good performance, so now we have to bounce back.

“We’re now working on permutations, which is always bad, but we have to get back on the right track. There’s still a lot to play for, we are down but not out … The Hurricanes also gave the Lions a beating a few weeks ago,” the dejected Marais said.

In a way, the fortnight’s break that the Bulls will now have has come at a good time, preventing them from harping on about one of their worst displays of the season and a humiliating defeat at their home fortress.

The Bulls have to hop on a plane to Argentina when the competition resumes at the beginning of July to take on the Jaguares, before hosting the Sunwolves and then finishing their campaign with a potentially tricky visit to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

“We were short against the Lions, but sometimes it’s good to have setbacks, you learn from them. Not getting it too easy maybe makes the players work harder,” Marais said.

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    Don’t be so busy – even working for God – that you don’t have regular quiet time. Don’t let your activities become more important than your time with the Father. You can be alive ‘for’ God without experiencing the presence and power of the living Christ.

    “Attempting to serve the Lord without the strength of the Holy Spirit results in frustration and ultimate disaster.

    “If your vision of him grows dim, your service will become powerless and ineffective. This will happen if your spiritual reserves are not regularly replenished through prayer and meditation.

    “You must put him first in all your activities. Your service for him must be the result of your intimate knowledge of him. Only when he enjoys priority in all things, can you understand life from his perspective. Putting Christ first in your life and work makes you a more capable servant of God.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

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