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Ken Borland



Law of averages suggests Proteas are due a draw … 0

Posted on October 31, 2023 by Ken

The law of averages suggests South Africa are due a draw in Test match cricket, and that likelihood became stronger on Friday as the entire third day’s play in the third Test against Australia in Sydney was washed out.

The last time the Proteas were involved in a Test that did not have a winner and loser was way back in March 2017, 47 matches ago, when rain washed out the final day’s play against New Zealand in Hamilton with South Africa five wickets down in their second innings and still trailing by 95 runs.

The weather is predicted to improve over the last two days in Sydney though, and the Proteas are going to have to bat the better part of 196 overs to save the game, with Australia having already posted 475 for four. That means, if the home side declare overnight, South Africa’s initial target will be 276 to avoid being forced to follow-on, which is surely Australia’s best chance of victory. The Proteas have failed to reach that mark in their last eight innings.

The fact that Australian opener Usman Khawaja is on 195 not out may buy the Proteas some more time if Australian skipper Pat Cummins is feeling sentimental and delays the declaration in order for the 36-year-old batsman to get his maiden Test double-century.

Cummins will also be mindful that he has unusually under-strength attack at his disposal, with just four frontline bowlers, only two of which are pacemen.

West Indies opt for a more ferocious & less dignified response with Gabriel return 0

Posted on July 02, 2021 by Ken

The return of fiery fast bowler Shannon Gabriel to the West Indies squad suggests the home side’s response to their thrashing in the first Test at St Lucia will be less of a dignified one and more ferocious in nature when the second Test begins at the same venue on Friday, and Proteas captain Dean Elgar said he is expecting nothing less.

South Africa’s only selection issue is whether batsman Temba Bavuma has recovered from his hip problem, in which case he will come in for Kyle Verreynne.

While their dismal batting was the West Indies’ biggest problem, and they have recalled the experienced Darren Bravo to try help, their bowling attack can certainly do with the venom of Gabriel, who took 13 wickets at Gros Islet against Sri Lanka in June 2018, the best ever figures at the ground.

“I know how a team tends to bounce back at home and we definitely expect that from the West Indies. We’re definitely not taking anything for granted and the West Indies will be coming back with a plan. We have one win in the bag so far, but we can’t stop now, we want another win and to make it 2-0 would be great. Just one win has already taken us so far, so imagine what two will do?” Elgar said on Thursday.

South Africa have themselves always relied on their pace bowlers to spearhead their efforts and, with tropical showers around the island of St Lucia this week, Elgar believes the Proteas attack could once again be their trumpcard.

“The bowlers led the pack in the first Test, the words clinical and ruthless spring to mind, and the pitch looks similar to that one. There’s also been a bit of rain around, so maybe the wicket will be a bit softer and it seems to have the same grass cover. That means in the third and fourth innings there could be indentations and when our big fast bowlers hit those, that’s when the ball reacts from an up-and-down point of view.

“We have a well-spoken-about plan, but we have one of the best spinners in world cricket too, Keshav Maharaj plus three fast bowlers and an all-rounder, that’s my idea of the old South African way. It was great to see them stick to the plan so well in the first Test, when maybe we’ve been searching a bit lately. We’re happy to have the same sort of pitch again and if any bowling unit is going to get something out of it, it would be ours,” Elgar said.

Stats & personal experience show new quotas are a mixed success 0

Posted on February 29, 2016 by Ken

 

Hopefully this year Cricket South Africa (CSA) will call in the consultants and the experts before making any decisions about transformation quotas in franchise cricket, but something that happened in the lift at the Wanderers suggests this season’s increased targets have been a mixed success.

It was after the T20 international against England and a group of youngish Black African fans, three guys and a woman, walked into the lift in animated, festive mood, having obviously had a good evening.

They were raving about the whole Wanderers stadium experience and one of them said “I’ve actually been to the Wanderers more times this season than I ever have before!”

Now, considering that there have only been three international matches in Johannesburg this summer, that tells you that the demographic most sought after by CSA is coming to franchise matches, which is surely a good thing.

I had a more scientific look at the situation via the averages and they show that there are several Black African bowlers of quality. The Knights are challenging for the Sunfoil Series title thanks to the efforts of Mbulelo Budaza, Tumi Masekela and Malusi Siboto, who have taken 39 wickets between them at an average of 15.25 at the halfway mark, providing superb support for Duanne Olivier (19 wkts @ 14.84).

Ethy Mbhalati is top of the Titans averages with 18 wickets at an average of 17, while, in the Momentum One-Day Cup, Siboto is the leading wicket-taker with 19, Junior Dala is third with 16, Tshepo Moreki has 15 scalps and Sisanda Magala 14. Eddie Leie and Andile Phehlukwayo have both taken 11 wickets, while Pumelela Matshikwe and Aaron Phangiso have been amongst the most economical bowlers in the competition, helping the Highveld Lions to the final.

Some of the same names featured prominently in the RamSlam T20 Challenge, with Magala finishing with the second-most wickets, Phangiso and Siboto having outstanding campaigns in terms of both wickets and economy, while Leie and Phehlukwayo were both among the leading wicket-takers. Lungi Ngidi showed promise in seven matches for the Titans.

But in terms of the bowlers, we already knew that was where the Black African talent is concentrated. Where are the batsmen looking to follow Temba Bavuma?

An average of 39 for Omphile Ramela is a bit disappointing for him considering he averaged 48 for the Cape Cobras last season, while there have been brief flashes of brilliance from Mangaliso Mosehle with his spectacular match-winning innings in the T20 final, Khaya Zondo in the One-Day Cup and Letlotlo Sesele, Thami Tsolekile and Somila Seyibokwe here and there.

To be fair though, the batting averages are dominated in general by the old guard – Vilas, Petersen, Cook, Kuhn, Ontong, Smit and Ingram.

As predicted in this column before the season started, coloured players are the ones losing out most in terms of opportunity and CSA are going to have to undergo a thorough review with the franchise coaches, players’ association and Corrie van Zyl’s cricket department to properly unpick the effects of a new system that was implemented on the whim of an individual.

There is currently a lot of negativity around South African domestic cricket, but to some extent the quality of local competition has always ebbed and flowed.

What is clear is that some of the sternest critics are sourcing their information from the sort of people who thought Geoff Toyana fielding for the Lions last week was due to quotas. What nonsense, especially since it was a White student who eventually replaced the coach as an emergency 12th man, forced into duty due to two injuries, one in the warm-up and one in the first half-hour.

These are the same sort of people who think protesters interrupting a rugby match is racist. How on earth does that make sense unless they believe rugby actually belongs to white people?

Fortunately cricket is further down the road away from that attitude. If the majority of the population love cricket, it can only be good for the game.

How Dolphins adapt to volatile Willowmoore Park pitch the key 0

Posted on January 02, 2015 by Ken

 

The improvement shown by the Unlimited Titans bowlers and the recent struggles of the Sunfoil Dolphins batsmen suggests that how the visitors cope with batting on the often volatile Willowmoore Park pitch will be key to the outcome of their RamSlam T20 Challenge match in Benoni tonight.

By securing a comfortable 27-run win over the table-topping Highveld Lions in their last match at Willowmoore Park, the Titans attack showed that they are able to put the best batsmen under pressure.

Ethy Mbhalati ensured that the Lions were always on the back foot by removing openers Alviro Petersen and Chris Gayle in his first two overs and he was also excellent in his two overs at the death.

Junior Dala, David Wiese and Darren Sammy have each brought their own special strengths to the attack over the last couple of games and the Dolphins batsmen should find the going a lot tougher than when they plundered 194 for five in Durban two weeks ago.

“Junior has come in and bowled really well, and he’s quick too. He’s worked relentlessly on his skills and I’m very happy he’s had the opportunity and he’s taken it. Ethy was outstanding at Willowmoore Park. He has very clear plans now, specifically at the death, and his skill level is very good now after plenty of work in the off-season. When skill and strategy meet, that’s when you get success.

“David Wiese is our banker, he puts it together most games. I think we’ve bowled pretty well in the competition, barring just a couple of games,” Titans coach Rob Walter told The Citizen yesterday.

While the Titans have tightened up considerably in the field, their batting is still a work in progress. The decision to relieve Henry Davids of the captaincy has paid off, with the opener the leading run-scorer in the competition with 280 at an average of 40 and a strike-rate of 142.

Dean Elgar, who has scored 213 runs but is more of a worker than a blaster of the ball, has been rested and Davids will be looking for more support from fellow top-order batsmen Theunis de Bruyn and Qaasim Adams, before the big hitters like Wiese and Sammy, who is yet to show his prowess with the bat, are unleashed down the order.

Walter mentioned in the interview that while the Dolphins will be equally desperate in Benoni, they may lack confidence after a horror run that has seen them lose two in a row, while a third match was rained off after they had been bundled out for just 82 by the Knights.

The Dolphins can look forward to the return of Cody Chetty, their best batsman in this campaign, from a hamstring injury but whether they can give their attack enough runs to defend remains to be seen.

Cameron Delport, their quickest-scoring batsman, has been dropped and captain Morne van Wyk will be acutely aware that he needs to step up now after scoring just 79 runs in seven innings.

Fast bowler Craig Alexander will be the chief attacking threat for the Dolphins, while seamers Robbie Frylinck and Dwayne Bravo and spinner Prenelan Subrayen will be their other key bowlers.

Squads

Titans: Henry Davids, Theunis de Bruyn, Qaasim Adams, Graeme van Buuren, David Wiese, Darren Sammy, Heinrich Klaasen, Shaun von Berg, Eden Links, Junior Dala, Ethy Mbhalati, Cobus Pienaar.

Dolphins: Morné van Wyk, Jonathan Vandiar, Cody Chetty, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Dwayne Bravo, Khaya Zondo, Robbie Frylinck, Andile Phehlukwayo, Prenelan Subrayen, Keshav Maharaj, Craig Alexander, Chad Bowes, Brandon Scullard, Mbasa Gqadushe.

 

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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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