for quality writing

Ken Borland

Elgar – with help of Rassie & Temba – tames wretch of a Wanderers pitch for remarkable win 0

Posted on February 07, 2022 by Ken

Captain Dean Elgar, with the help of Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma, tamed a wretch of a Wanderers pitch as he led South Africa to a remarkable seven-wicket win in the second Test against India on Thursday.

Chasing a daunting target of 240 on a deteriorating pitch, opening batsman Elgar shepherded his team to victory with 96 not out, a magnificent display of patience, composure and ability to absorb pressure.

South Africa had to not only deal with a top-class attack on a pitch offering variable bounce and movement off the surface, but also the agony of having to wait until 3.45pm before they could resume their innings on 118/2. It had rained for most of the day at the Wanderers, sprucing up the pitch and also ensuring that the Proteas had to bat under completely overcast skies.

But the lengthy delay seemed to affect India’s focus more than South Africa’s. The Indian bowlers were poor on the fourth afternoon and they just could not bowl the number of deliveries in the right areas in order to create the wicket-taking opportunities that were undoubtedly there.

Elgar and Van der Dussen showed tremendous judgement and positivity as they added 57 runs in 14 overs on Thursday afternoon. Van der Dussen, considering the worries over his form, showed great temperament as he made a vital 40 off 92 balls in just over two hours at the crease.

Van der Dussen eventually fell to the sort of delivery everyone was warning about on this wearing pitch – back-of-a-length, rising sharply and jagging away – and try as he might to keep it down he could not help but send a low catch to second slip.

He left the scene with 65 more runs needed and vice-captain Bavuma then joined his skipper, a partnership that was always going to provide much grit and plenty of composure.

Failure has no parents, but perhaps the pivotal moment in South Africa’s highest ever fourth-innings run-chase at the Wanderers, and their sixth best in Test history, came when Bavuma, yet to get off the mark, drove firmly at Shardul Thakur, popping up a return catch. The bowler had it in his right hand, briefly juggled, and then the ball popped out.

Victory then came with astonishing ease and Elgar and Bavuma (23*) added 68 in little more than an hour, needing just 85 deliveries to finish a job most expected to be beyond this Proteas batting line-up.

The South African team can be immensely proud of how they stayed in the contest and, when conditions were at their toughest, they prevailed.

Viljoen tames prestigious ERPM for 2nd day in a row 0

Posted on September 25, 2020 by Ken

ERPM Golf Club is one of the most prestigious courses in Gauteng but MJ Viljoen tamed it for the second day in succession on Thursday as he fired a five-under-par 67 to go to 13-under overall, enjoying a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Vodacom Championship Unlocked.

ERPM has been home for such famous golfers as Denis Hutchinson, Neville Sundelson, Neville Clarke, Dean van Staden, John Bland and Brett Liddle, but the 25-year-old Viljoen, who played much of his junior golf here, is seemingly the new darling of the Boksburg club judging by the warm reception he received when he arrived at the clubhouse in late afternoon with a handy lead over Jake Redman, who also shot a 67 on Thursday.

Viljoen’s round was built around a blazing run around the turn, which includes some of ERPM’s most notorious holes, as he collected five birdies in six holes from the water-lined eighth. It was a fabulous addition to the superb 64 he shot in the opening round.

“The whole front nine was actually very nice, I played brilliant golf but the putts just didn’t go in. And then I was a bit scruffy on the last five holes when I lost focus a bit, this is a little course but it takes it out of you. I felt I could have birdied every hole on the front nine, that’s how close I was hitting it, even though it was quite windy and gusty as well today, and the greens are starting to get firm.

“So I started playing five metres short because the greens are getting bouncy, tougher and tougher. I had a couple of good lines with the putter but my stroke did not feel as good as yesterday, I was pulling or pushing a couple of putts. It’s not easy backing up a 64, but I told myself to play like I was two-over-par, so I was in the mental state to do something good,” Viljoen said.

Apart from Redman, who eagled the par-five second, Viljoen will also have the evergreen order of merit leader Darren Fichardt, three shots behind after a brilliant 66, and the experienced duo of Danie van Tonder and Neil Schietekat, who both shot 70s to lie five shots back, to worry about in the final round.

Viljoen’s previous Sunshine Tour title came when he came from behind with a 65 to win the Sun Fish River Challenge three years ago, so now he is going to have to lead from the front if he is to become a multi-winner on tour.

“I’m just going to go out and enjoy myself. I feel I’m on the right track so I’m not going to be hassled if I’m having a bad round. I haven’t been in this position before, I like to think that I’m well-controlled under pressure, but that’s something I’ll think about when I go to bed this evening,” Viljoen said on Thursday afternoon.

“Hopefully they’ll put some water on the greens overnight and I’m going to come half-an-hour earlier to try and get my putting stroke again, that sort of thing you need to fix as soon as possible but I know exactly what I’m doing wrong. I’m not going to chase a good round, but just try and hit greens and get the putts in.”

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.


↑ Top