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Ken Borland

Proteas have been accessories to their own demise 0

Posted on September 26, 2023 by Ken

The Proteas cricket team have already surrendered the series to Australia, soundly beaten in the first two Tests, and they have certainly been accessories to their own demise, so hopefully they can reverse that trend and spare their blushes in the third and final Test that starts in Sydney in the early hours of Wednesday morning (SA time).

While South Africa’s recent batting performances have been a crime against the decorated legacies of great batsmen that have represented the country before in Australia, like Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla, the line-up for the third Test simply have to dig deep within themselves and supplement whatever technical skill they can muster with tremendous determination and a bloodyminded refusal to give their wickets away.

As impressive as the Australian attack have been, there have been too many soft dismissals; avoiding run outs will help for a start.

The South African batsmen have the talent to be performing much better, they just need to show more mental steel. Which is tough to do when the team has taken a battering and confidence is low.

But there comes a time when a line in the sand has to be drawn and an attitude of “over my dead body” adopted; a New Year’s Test seems a most apt time for this to happen.

Proteas were the owner of a proud record in Australia, now humiliated 0

Posted on September 04, 2023 by Ken

The Proteas were the owner of a proud record in Australia, having won their last three Test series there, but sadly they will leave those shores after the third Test having surrendered the rubber to their great rivals and having raised serious concerns over the well-being of the game in South Africa.

Blown away by an innings and 182 runs in the second Test in Sydney to go 2-0 down in the three-match series, South Africa have been dominated in humiliating fashion. It is not overstating matters to say the Proteas batsmen have been made to look like fools by a potent Australian attack.

But it is not just in the last two games that the batting has failed; it has been a recurring theme for most of the year and Cricket South Africa, as the custodians of the national team, need to respond to what has become a full-blown crisis.

The inexperience of the current Proteas team – they took 309 Test caps on to the MCG, 234 of them belonging to four players, compared to Australia’s 572 – is a factor, but CSA are going to have to take a long and serious look at the domestic system that is feeding players into the national team.

The domestic game needs to hone both the skills and temperament of those players who are elevated to the international stage.

Boland surrender T20 Challenge title in maudlin fashion 0

Posted on January 27, 2023 by Ken

The Boland Rocks surrendered their CSA T20 Challenge title in maudlin fashion on Wednesday night as they bowed out at the semi-final stage, losing by 20 runs to the KZN Dolphins in Potchefstroom.

Having sent the Dolphins in to bat, the excellent Boland bowlers dominated all but the first five overs and the last over of the innings as they bowled KZN out for 146 in the final over.

Openers Grant Roelofsen (26) and Keegan Petersen (25) added 42 off 35 balls up front, but the Dolphins then crashed to 124/8. KZN captain Prenelan Subrayen hit 22 off 11 balls at the death to boost his team to a total that they felt they could defend on a two-paced pitch.

After Eathan Bosch had Leus du Plooy caught behind for a first-ball duck, Janneman Malan gave Boland a good start, scoring 31 off 29 balls to take them to 40/1 in the powerplay. But the arrival of spinners Subrayen and Jon-Jon Smuts began a sorry tale for the Rocks.

Left-arm spinner Smuts struck with his first delivery, beating the dangerous Clyde Fortuin in the flight and bowling him for 7. Malan could only score six runs off the 10 balls he faced from the spinners, before being outdone by off-spinner Subrayen’s arm ball and being neatly stumped by Roelofsen for 37.

Subrayen (4-0-18-3) and Smuts (4-0-17-2) then reduced the Dolphins to 65/6 in the 13th over.

Farhaan Behardien (31*) and Hardus Viljoen (22 off 18) tried valiantly to rescue the sinking ship, but Boland limped to 126/8 in the end.

The Dolphins now meet the Northerns Titans in Saturday’s final, and they will bring a proper all-round bowling attack to the contest.

Bosch’s control set an excellent tone up front as he finished with 1/22 in his four overs and Ottneil Baartman is also a primary weapon, taking 1/29 in four on Wednesday.

Daryn Dupavillon’s pace makes him a proper threat, and he bowled just one poor over, which cost 16 runs, but bowled well at the death with Baartman to ensure the Dolphins’ dominance was reflected in the final result.

Bamanye Xenxe, a real talent unearthed by this tournament, was the best of the Boland bowlers with 4/34, but he did concede 17 off the last over.

Leg-spinner Shaun von Berg took 3/22 in his four overs, but a couple of his wickets were gifted by the Dolphins hitting long-hops to fielders. His dismissal of Andile Simelane for a duck, beautifully stumped by Fortuin, was a masterful piece of cricket, however.

Ferisco Adams once again showed his T20 skills by taking 1/19 in four overs.

‘We need to come up with new plans’ – Maharaj 0

Posted on July 29, 2022 by Ken

Having surrendered a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, Proteas vice-captain Keshav Maharaj admitted that “we need to come up with new plans” when they take on India in the decisive final T20 in Bengaluru on Sunday.

India have won the last two matches by record margins – 48 runs and then 82 runs – as the pitches have become slower. The latter defeat was particularly disappointing because South Africa had control of the match with India on 96 for four after 15 overs, only to bowl poorly at the death and concede 73 runs in the last five overs.

That loss of momentum carried into the batting, which never got going as the Proteas were bundled out for 87 in the 17th over, admittedly on a pitch which featured more and more deliveries taking off from a length.

“We stuck to our lines fairly well in the beginning, with the way the pitch started – variable bounce seeing some balls take off and some keep low,” Maharaj said.

“But in the last five overs we conceded seventy runs, so we needed better plans and execution, maybe we could have held our lines longer. We need to come up with better tactics to combat India’s middle-order.

“We will come up with new plans on Sunday and hopefully it will go better for us. We had the momentum in the series but now India have got it and they are a strong outfit.

“It just makes the series that more exciting going to Bengaluru. The last couple of pitches have been very slow, but our plans are not cast in stone, it depends on how we feel on the day and the conditions,” Maharaj said.

The left-arm spinner was standing in for Temba Bavuma at the post-match press conference because the regular captain suffered an elbow injury while batting that forced him to retire hurt after facing just 11 balls.

Maharaj will only know on Sunday whether he will be captaining the team in the decisive match. The 32-year-old has done the job before in T20 cricket, leading the Proteas to a 3-0 sweep in Sri Lanka last September after Bavuma fractured his thumb. Maharaj showed excellent tactical judgement, handling the attack with aplomb.

Quinton de Kock is back and will be itching to make an impact in the series after being run out for 14 in his first match back from a wrist injury.

If Bavuma cannot partner him at the top of the order, Reeza Hendricks is likely to return. Or will the Proteas be willing to take a step into the unknown and play Tristan Stubbs?

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    John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

    Our Christian experience begins when the Holy Spirit starts working in our imperfect lives. An inexplicable restlessness and a feeling that nothing can give you the satisfaction you yearn for, could be the Spirit working in you.

    Even when God calls you and chooses you to serve him, there may be inner conflict and confusion because you are not always willing to do what God is asking of you.

    But this inner struggle is part of spiritual life … Commit yourself to God and open yourself to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit.

    It is by great grace that you were chosen by God to serve him and to live to the honour and glory of his name. Surrender unconditionally to the Lord and you will discover that your life gains new meaning and purpose.

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