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Ken Borland



Being an SA cricket fan: sugar rush or glucose overload? 0

Posted on April 11, 2022 by Ken

Being a South African cricket fan can certainly be like a sugar rush as they have demonstrated this summer with their sterling deeds against India and in New Zealand. But it can also be like the massive shot of glucose that leads to hypertension and diabetes, especially when one considers all the boardroom shenanigans and our previous World Cup woes.

Which is why the last week has been an especially sweet one – in the healthiest sense possible – thanks to the irrepressible form shown by our Women’s Proteas at the World Cup in New Zealand and the great news that Cricket South Africa have finally found their new, permanent CEO.

And he was there all along, hiding in plain view, if you like, in the form of Pholetsi Moseki, who has been serving as acting CEO anyway for the last 15 months. Choosing the right person, which CSA did when Moseki replaced the disgraced Kugandrie Govender, has borne fruit for the organisation since December 2020. I am confident Moseki will continue to be the glue that is fixing many of the cracks and wounds the organisation suffered in recent years.

As the saying goes, to get the juice out of an orange you need to apply pressure and it has been incredible to see how Marizanne Kapp and the rest of the Proteas have blossomed when their matches have been on a knife-edge at the World Cup. Kapp has enjoyed a phenomenal week and is displaying the sort of all-round stardom that has previously been the preserve of Lance Klusener and Ben Stokes at World Cups.

In the sterilised, rarefied atmosphere of a World Cup, the Proteas are producing the goods and, with Australia, are the only unbeaten team after four matches. It is encouraging though, that with South Africa probably just one win away from the semi-finals, they have not yet produced their best cricket. There are still areas of their game that need cleaning up.

The Proteas will be anxious to sort out the middle-order batting collapses that have made it necessary for Kapp to produce her late heroics with the bat, in the company of, at various times, Chloe Tryon, Trisha Chetty, Shabnim Ismail and Ayabonga Khaka.

Two key batters have not fired at all, with Lizelle Lee scoring just 28 runs in three innings and Mignon du Preez making 27 in four knocks. Plus Tazmin Brits has been uneasy at the crease and her 51 runs in four innings have come at a strike-rate of just 40.

If a couple of those batters can click next week, then South Africa will be hard to stop as they head into the knock-outs.

Magnificent is probably the best description of the Proteas bowlers, who can comfortably claim to be the best attack at the World Cup.

Ismail, Masabata Klaas, Khaka and Kapp apply such consistent pressure on the opposition throughout that the Proteas’ relatively low totals have proven to be enough.

As for the Proteas men’s side, they have their chance to once again enthral us in their series against Bangladesh. The ODIs are all on the highveld and South Africa will be favoured to win comfortably, having seen off the might of India 3-0 in their previous 50-over series.

Victory in the Test series will have to be achieved via their reserve strength, with five regulars deciding not to delay their departure for the IPL.

The fact is the IPL is their chief employer, at least in financial terms, so it is difficult to criticise the players for putting their livelihoods first.

But it is also unavoidable that Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen have both put their shaky Test careers in doubt by not playing against Bangladesh in the two-match series.

One of them was going to fall by the wayside anyway with Keegan Petersen returning, and Ryan Rickelton has been in such good form this summer that, if he finally gets the chance, he might just imitate Sarel Erwee and make an immediate impression.

CSA T20 Challenge: Power batting of KZN or Free State or strong bowling of Northerns or Boland to hold sway? 0

Posted on February 28, 2022 by Ken

The CSA T20 Challenge gets underway in Gqeberha on Monday and whether the St George’s Park pitch, which has often been tricky for batting this summer, will favour the powerhouse batting line-ups of teams like the KZN Dolphins and Free State Knights or the strong bowling attacks of sides like the Northerns Titans or Boland Rocks is the big question.

And if it is a bowler-friendly tournament, will it be pace or spin that holds sway?

If it is spin, then Northerns look well-equipped to prosper with Tabraiz Shamsi, arguably the world’s best T20 spinner, in their squad, along with Aaron Phangiso, a perpetual banker in domestic white-ball cricket. They also have two wicket-taking Proteas fast bowlers in Lizaad Williams, with the new ball, and Junior Dala for the key middle overs.

But above all, the Titans have Quinton de Kock in their ranks and there is no doubting his ability to dominate and spearhead a title challenge. There will also be much excitement if U19 superstar Dewald Brevis makes his senior debut.

There are other Proteas sluggers who will have key roles in the tournament, and David Miller of the KZN Dolphins is someone who could have as large an impact as De Kock.

Janneman Malan will be a key player for Boland, while one feels either Reeza Hendricks, with the bat, or Bjorn Fortuin and Sisanda Magala with the ball, need to have big tournaments if the Central Gauteng Lions are to bring the T20 trophy they won at the end of last season back to the Wanderers.

But T20 cricket is the sort of game where an individual wise old head can put in a matchwinning performance at any time and it is advisable not to underestimate Western Province.

They have included former Proteas Richard Levi and Dane Vilas in their squad and they also have current Proteas squad members, and experienced campaigners to boot, in captain Wayne Parnell, George Linde and Beuran Hendricks.

The Eastern Province Warriors should be watched as well because they will know what is required in home conditions, and they have a good balance between veteran campaigners like Jon-Jon Smuts, Dane Paterson and Rudi Second, and explosive new talents like Matthew Breetzke, Wihan Lubbe and Tristan Stubbs.

The tournament comprises the eight Division One teams in a single round-robin format with 31 matches in total. The top four teams will go through to the semi-finals and the final is set to take place on Sunday, February 27.

With more than a dozen current Proteas involved, this season’s CSA T20 Challenge seems set to be highly competitive and entertaining.

Squads  

Eastern Province Warriors: Sinethemba Qeshile, Matthew Breetzke, Diego Rosier, Wihan Lubbe, Lesiba Ngoepe, Jon-Jon Smuts, Tristan Stubbs, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Tsepo Ndwandwa, Tiaan van Vuuren, Stefan Tait, Kyle Jacobs, Dane Paterson, Lizo Makosi, Rudi Second, Akhona Mnyaka, Alindile Mhletywa.

Boland Rocks:Pieter Malan, Janneman Malan, Cebo Tshiki, Clyde Fortuin, Christiaan Jonker, Ferisco Adams, Michael Copeland, Valentine Kitime, Hardus Viljoen, Shaun von Berg, Ziyaad Abrahams, Siyabonga Mahima, Achille Cloete, Hlomla Hanabe, Zakhele Qwabe, Imraan Manack.

KZN Dolphins:Bryce Parsons, Grant Roelofsen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Khaya Zondo, David Miller, Jason Smith, Eathan Bosch, Prenelan Subrayen, Thando Ntini, Daryn Dupavillon, Ottneil Baartman, Kerwin Mungroo, Ruan de Swardt, Marques Ackerman, Odirile Modimokoane, Keegan Pietersen.

Central Gauteng Lions: Joshua Richards, Kagiso Rapulana, Mitchell van Buuren, Shane Dadswell, Ruan Haasbroek, Dominic Hendricks, Tshepo Ntuli, Malusi Siboto, Tladi Bokako, Aya Myoli, Codi Yusuf, Sisanda Magala, Juan Landsberg, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks.

Free State Knights: Farhaan Behardien, Patrick Botha, Mbulelo Budaza, Gerald Coetzee, CP Klijnhans, Patrick Kruger, Wandile Makwetu, Greg Mohlakoana, Mangaliso Mosehle, Alfred Mothoa, Migael Pretorius, Jason Raubenheimer, Jacques Snyman, Pite van Biljon, Nealan van Heerden, Raynard van Tonder.

Northerns Titans:Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dayyaan Galiem, Heinrich Klaasen, Sibonelo Makhanya, Donovan Ferreira, Aya Gqamane, Dewald Brevis, Aaron Phangiso, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi, Junior Dala, Grant Mokoena, Corbin Bosch, Gihahn Cloete.

North-West Dragons: Nicky van den Bergh, Lesego Senokwane, Wesley Marshall, Dwaine Pretorius, Senuran Muthusamy, Heino Kuhn, Delano Potgieter, Nono Pongolo, Duan Jansen, Johannes Diseko, Chad Classen, Lwandiswa Zuma, Eldred Hawken, Taheer Isaacs, Caleb Seleka, Ndumiso Mvelase.

Western Province Blitz:Jonathan Bird, Junaid Dawood, Tony de Zorzi, Beuran Hendricks, Gavin Kaplan, George Linde, Richard Levi, Aviwe Mgijima, Tshepo Moreki, Mihlali Mpongwana, Wayne Parnell, Kyle Simmonds, Daniel Smith, Yaseen Vallie, Dane Vilas, Basheer Walters.

Kuhn has hope and inspiration from Cook’s selection 0

Posted on April 04, 2016 by Ken

 

The fact that the national selectors were willing to choose a 33-year-old new cap for Test cricket in Stephen Cook this summer has provided hope and no little inspiration to Heino Kuhn, who is the leading run-scorer in the Sunfoil Series this season.

The 31-year-old Titans batsman also averaged 60 in the Momentum One-Day Cup and a golden summer has pushed Kuhn right back into the picture for national honours after playing five T20 internationals for South Africa as a wicketkeeper/batsman between 2009 and 2011.

Kuhn is now strictly an opening batsman (and a quality fielder too) and regularly goes big, with six centuries in the last two seasons. His tally of 18 first-class hundreds includes three doubles and a 191 for South Africa A against Bangladesh A.

“It was nice to see Stephen Cook get an opportunity with the Proteas, I was happy for him because for years he’s been flippen good for the Lions. It was great that he took his chance and it’s great to see that South African cricket is now like Australian cricket where, if you’re a good enough batsman, you’re never too old.

“As long as my body holds, I’ll always believe that I can play for South Africa again and my fiancé Trudie probably believes even more than me! But I’m playing the best cricket of my career and luckily enough I have another two years on my contract with the Titans, so I hope I can continue this run because it’s the best I’ve ever batted,” Kuhn says.

The Titans stalwart – he has been granted a benefit season by the franchise – says his purple patch is not down to anything new in his technique but rather a better focus on the basics of top-order batting.

“I just try to bat time and play straight. I know I have the square shots, but if I just try and play straight and face a lot of balls then I know I’ll get runs. I know that if I face 200 balls then I’ll be close to a hundred. It’s about sticking to the basics and Rob Walter [Titans coach] is big on us just worrying about our own things and not the opposition,” Kuhn says.

It’s amazing to think of all the different jobs Kuhn has fulfilled on a cricket field since his days at Affies in the early 2000s, playing alongside AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis. He was actually a middle-order batsman who dabbled in leg-spin.

“I batted four at Coke Week for Northerns, behind AB and Faf, and I batted twice, scoring 40 not out and four not out, the winning runs. And at club level, Roelof van der Merwe kept wicket and I bowled leg-spin, and then one day I said we should swop. I made a stumping off Roela and our ways were set!

“I was very fortunate to keep to guys like Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Alfonso Thomas, Paul Harris and Imran Tahir in my early days at the Titans. But if opening the batting is the only way I can play in a team, I’ll definitely take it. Not many people enjoy opening, but I put up my hand, I like the challenge. It’s like I prefer a green pitch because then you have to work for your runs and you know you deserve them. It’s lovely to get runs in those tough conditions,” Kuhn says.

The likeable man from Piet Retief certainly deserves a successful benefit and another look-in at international cricket, and there have been few more loyal servants of the Titans.

“At the beginning of my career I was fortunate to have traditional team-mates like Martin van Jaarsveld and Pierre de Bruyn, so that was the way I grew up. My family are all here in Pretoria and the Titans are the best franchise in the land. I can’t see myself playing in another country and, if I don’t play any more cricket for South Africa, then I won’t play international cricket for anybody else,” Kuhn says.

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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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