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Ken Borland



Proteas will need to bounce back from disaster to previous triumphs again 0

Posted on September 01, 2022 by Ken

One of the triumphs of this current Proteas team has been the way they have been able to bounce back from disastrous performances relatively quickly and they will need to do that again on Sunday as they play the English side that tore their batting apart to level the series in Manchester, in the decisive third ODI at Headingley.

South Africa, having impressed with the ball to bowl England out for 201 inside their 29 overs at Old Trafford, were bundled out for just 83 in reply. Having made their highest ever score [333/5] in England in the first ODI, the Proteas then slumped to their joint-worst total against the hosts. Their 83 all out in Nottingham in 2008 and Manchester on Friday night are their second-lowest totals in all ODIs, behind their 69 against Australia in Sydney in 1993.

But South Africa’s two highest run-scorers, Heinrich Klaasen (33) and Dwaine Pretorius (17), were both exuding positive vibes after wasting a good chance to win the series.

“We don’t need to change anything, our blueprints are good and we bowled extremely well. With the bat, if our risks come off on Sunday then it will be a different ball-game,” Klaasen said.

“We are playing good cricket, they just bowled extremely well up front, put us on the back foot and we never recovered. We still believe in our plan.”

Pretorius, who led an outstanding bowling display with career-best figures of four for 36, echoed Klaasen’s view.

“All our options to take a risk with the bat just did not come off, but I’m sure we’ll bounce back. It was our first innings here under lights and that definitely had an impact.

“The next game is a day game and it will be interesting to see if that swing England found is still there. The batting unit has really been on fire and it was just one of those days.

“They mustn’t let it go to their heads, they must stay confident. England put the performance in in this match, and we did in the previous game. So it’s going to be a great game on Sunday.

“What happened is not a massive issue, teams are allowed to play well against you and England did, they outskilled us. But the rub of the green did not go our way and cricket does not always work out perfectly,” Pretorius said.

Alarmingly, both Pretorius and Klaasen said the Proteas had practised hard at the swinging ball, which was their undoing as they crashed to 6 for four, their worst ever start in an ODI, in terms of their total when the fourth wicket fell.

“We have been preparing exactly for that swing, we’ve done a lot of work against the swinging ball,” Pretorius said.

“We trained hard for the left-armers and the ball coming in,” Klaasen assured. “But credit to them, they bowled extremely well, kept their lengths and swung the ball nicely.”

The third ODI starts at 12pm SA time.

Bulls need to overcome strong Ospreys kicking game and pack, and the weather 0

Posted on June 20, 2022 by Ken

The Bulls will be targeting a bonus point win in Swansea on Friday night to give themselves the best chance of a home quarterfinal in the United Rugby Championship, but they will have to overcome an Ospreys side that has a strong territorial kicking game and a powerful pack of forwards to do that, and potentially rainy weather as well.

Ospreys will also be just as desperate to win as the Bulls, because defeat could cost them a place in the lucrative European Champions Cup as the winners of the Welsh Shield.

But while people tend to think of blazing counter-attacking backs as the ones to win a bonus point, White said it will take a complete team effort to secure the spoils in Swansea, starting up front.

“We’ve got to give everything to try and get a bonus point because even if we win, we could still finish sixth or seventh with just four log points,” White said on Thursday.

“People always look at players like Canan Moodie and Madosh Tambwe when it comes to x-factor and bonus points, but guys like Elrigh Louw and Cyle Brink, if someone puts them away in space or there is interplay between them, can also win the game for you.

“Jan-Hendrik Wessels or Embrose Papier coming off the bench can also do it. We need to find the ability to win in different ways.

“X-factor does not necessarily mean a sidestep and running 50 metres to score, it means finding a way to win. It’s about your combination as a group.

“Ospreys kick a lot, close to the most in URC, a lot of high balls and up-and-unders from the lineout. But David Kriel is a good high-ball catcher and he played very well against the Lions in the Currie Cup last weekend,” White said of the player he has brought in at wing to support Moodie at fullback.

But teams who win with a bonus point almost always start with dominance up front, and White warned the Bulls were coming up against a formidable pack.

“Eleven of the 33 players who will be touring South Africa in July come from Ospreys and seven of the forwards are playing for Wales. So we’re under no illusions that it’s going to be easy.

“Ospreys could have had more players picked too because there’s an outcry that eighthman Jac Morgan wasn’t chosen and people in Wales are saying Rhys Webb is the form scrumhalf.

“It’s easy to say ‘get a bonus point’, but both Ospreys locks are British Lions, Alun-Wyn Jones is one of the greatest Wales locks ever. It’s going to be a challenge for the whole pack.

“Then there’s the experience of George North at outside centre and Justin Tipuric. And Ospreys have a lot on the game as well. They may be ninth but they’ve won their last couple of games to come from nowhere,” White warned.

Bulls team: Canan Moodie, David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Zak Burger; Elrigh Louw, Cyle Brink, Marcell Coetzee (CAPT), Ruan Nortje, Walt Steenkamp, Mornay Smith, Johan Grobbelaar, Gerhard Steenekamp. IMPACT– Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Simphiwe Matanzima, Robert Hunt, Janko Swanepoel, Arno Botha; Embrose Papier, Juan Mostert, Stedman Gans.

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