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Ken Borland



Bavuma: Proteas bowlers stuck to hard lengths longer than they should have 0

Posted on January 30, 2023 by Ken

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma conceded on Thursday that the Proteas bowlers had stuck to their usual hard lengths for longer than they should have as a resurgent Pakistan team beat them by 33 runs in their T20 World Cup match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

South Africa bowled superbly in the first half of the Pakistan innings, reducing them to 55/4 after nine overs, but brilliant half-centuries by Iftikhar Ahmad (51 off 35) and Shadab Khan (52 off 22) saw the desperate Pakistan team lash 130 runs in the last 11 overs, including 80 in the last six.

There were too many deliveries in the slot for the batsmen, which was in stark contrast to how Pakistan bowled, especially after the rain delay when South Africa needed 73 off 30 balls. Pakistan consistently either found the blockhole or bowled slower balls into the pitch.

“From 50/4, the last thing you expect is for them to get 185. But the problem lay with us,” Bavuma admitted. “Our hard lengths have been very successful previously, using our pace and height.

“We were superb for the first 10 overs, but the conditions changed, the ball started sliding on and the short boundaries were in play, and we should have shown more awareness to adapt. Their batsmen started to exploit it and put us under pressure. The wheels fell off.

“We allowed three or four overs to go by, we allowed them to get momentum into their innings, and the damage had been done by the time we tried to change things.

“Hard lengths was probably not the right plan considering the conditions out there, and they were able to get a formidable score. We know Pakistan are really dangerous whenever they get a sniff,” Bavuma said.

Perhaps the biggest positive to come out of the defeat was how Bavuma, who was been through a really hard time with his batting, was able to score a sparkling 36 off just 19 balls. He was especially severe on anything short, and he and Aiden Markram had the Proteas well-placed on 65/2 after seven overs when leg-spinner Shadab dismissed both of them in his first over, just before the rain delay.

“It’s been a while since I hit the ball in the middle and I felt a lot better today,” Bavuma said. “I was seeing the ball well and making better decisions. I just tried to enjoy it and watch the ball more.”

South Africa now have to beat the Netherlands in their final group game on Sunday to reach the semi-finals.

“Maybe this was the performance we needed to bring us back to earth. There are certainly areas we can learn from, and if you’re going to learn, now is probably the time to do it.

“We have a bit of a lifeline because of the way we’ve played well up till now. We didn’t play our best cricket today and came unstuck. It was probably a bit of a wake-up call,” Bavuma said.

Hendricks and Markram band together, and Maharaj and Shamsi then do their hustle 0

Posted on September 14, 2022 by Ken

Reeza Hendricks has surely now sealed his World Cup spot as he and Aiden Markram banded together in a dominating century stand that allowed South Africa to score 211/5 in the first T20 against Ireland in Bristol, a score that was safe as houses with ace spinners Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi doing their usual hustle in the middle overs.

After the Proteas had elected to bat first and Quinton de Kock (7) ran himself out in the fourth over, Hendricks notched his fourth successive half-century, scoring a beautifully-paced 74 off 53 balls, scoring freely through the off-side in particular as he collected 10 fours and a six.

South Africa were 47/2 in the powerplay, but Hendricks and Markram then combined superbly for a stand of 112 off just 62 balls for the third wicket.

Markram was explosive, blasting a punishing 56 off just 27 deliveries, including five sixes, but he and Hendricks fell in successive deliveries to leg-spinner Gareth Delany in the 16th over.

That left South Africa on 158/4 after 16 overs, but Tristan Stubbs showed he has the priceless finishing gift as he scored a spectacular 24 off just 11 balls, filled with remarkable strokes. Dwaine Pretorius also did his job with a dashing 21 not out off only seven deliveries, the Proteas scoring 53 runs in the last four overs.

Maharaj, deputising as captain because David Miller had a back spasm, and Shamsi were then the two best South African bowlers. Maharaj struck in the eighth and 10th overs to take 2/29 in his four overs, while Shamsi was also excellent at the other end with 1/22 in his first three overs.

They reduced Ireland to 111/5 after 12 overs, but Lorcan Tucker won himself many fans as he did not sit back, lashing a destructive 78 off just 38 balls.

George Dockrell supported him brilliantly with a defiant 43 off 28 as Ireland regrouped to need 71 off the last six overs.

Shamsi had to stand up and bowl the 17th over and he claimed the key wicket of Tucker, top-edging a sweep, and Dockrell fell to Pretorius next ball.

Lungi Ngidi bowled an effective array of slower balls at the death and conceded just 16 runs in his last two overs, while Pretorius went for just five off the 18th over and Wayne Parnell six off the last, restricting Ireland to 190/9 and a 21-run victory.

SA aren’t fielding their usual sort of attack with Williams on debut, but he has adapted well 0

Posted on May 03, 2022 by Ken

South Africa aren’t fielding their usual sort of bowling attack against Bangladesh in the first Test at Kingsmead in Durban, with debutant Lizaad Williams one of just two frontline pacemen alongside Duanne Olivier.

Even at domestic level, one would very seldom see a team fielding just two specialist pace bowlers.

So it’s all a bit of a strange experience for Williams, the 28-year-old playing in his first Test after a journeyman career that has taken off spectacularly since his move to the Titans in 2020.

But he has adapted well and he finished his first innings as a Test bowler with impressive figures of 3/54 in 18.5 overs as Bangladesh were bowled out for 298 on the third day. That gave the Proteas a 69-run first-innings lead, which they extended to 75 by reaching 6/0 in the four overs possible before bad light and rain stopped play.

“We’re two different kinds of bowlers, Duanne gets more bounce while I just try and hit the pitch six-to-seven metres out and the ball squats a bit,” Williams said on Saturday.

“That combination worked well for us but we could have bowled even better. I must say, it is a bit of a weird pitch, both new balls seemed to do a bit less, which is not normal and I don’t know why.

“But in Test cricket not everything is going to be in your favour, but I do still think this is a result pitch.

“I was very delighted to get my first wicket. It was always my dream to play Test cricket, growing up, it was always what I was working towards. It’s your most difficult format and to be able to contribute to my team was great,” Williams said.

Lithe and athletic, with a straight-lines action and the ability to zip the ball around at good pace, the 5’10 Williams certainly has the fast bowling gene. He is slippery, consistently touching the 140km/h mark, and he has the confidence of fine form in domestic cricket to bolster him.

A graduate of the University of the Western Cape, having been schooled at Weston Secondary School and Hugenote Hoerskool, he was born in Vredenburg on October 1, 1993. Having played for Boland Schools for three years, his talent was obvious and he was capped for SA Schools in 2010, from where he made the SA U19 team in 2011 and 2012, also playing in the Junior World Cup.

As usual, home team adjusts best to tricky conditions at the Wanderers 0

Posted on December 15, 2021 by Ken

As usual, it was the home team who adjusted best to tricky conditions at the Wanderers as the Central Gauteng Lions ended the first day of their CSA Four-Day Domestic Series match against the North-West Dragons in a commanding position.

Having bowled North-West out for just 159, they had reached 127 for two at stumps.

On a pitch that offered late movement, the Lions won a good toss and sent North-West in to bat under overcast skies.

Former Lions franchise player Wesley Marshall put them under early pressure though, blazing his way to 52 off just 36 balls, including three fours and two sixes off Lutho Sipamla’s third over.

But the Lions pacemen adapted to the onslaught and quickly found the right length to bowl.

Duanne Olivier probed intelligently and marked his return to domestic cricket with four for 50, while Sipamla rebounded to take three for 68. Sisanda Magala also kept the batsmen thinking with two for 24.

Nicky van den Bergh, a real stalwart of the former Lions franchise, was the only other North-West batsman to prosper, scoring 41.

The North-West bowlers were too inconsistent to apply the same amount of pressure and the Lions top-order played with composure and good judgement.

Josh Richards was going through the gears before he was trapped lbw by Lwandiswa Zuma for 56, sharing an opening stand of 73 with skipper Dominic Hendricks (26).

Ryan Rickelton (33*) will be the batsman to lead the charge on Saturday morning.

At Centurion, the Eastern Province Warriors are in charge against the Northerns Titans, with a first-innings lead of 62 already with six wickets in hand.

Sent in to bat first, Northerns were bundled out for a paltry 134, new-ball bowlers Glenton Stuurman (13-4-34-5) and Marco Jansen (11.2-2-31-3) taking command.

Jordan Hermann, playing his first senior game for the Titans, was their top-scorer with a brave 50 not out.

Eastern Province were in early trouble as Corbin Bosch reduced them to 25 for three, but opener Ed Moore batted through to stumps with a defiant 85 not out, while Diego Rosier scored an aggressive 85 off just 104 balls as the Warriors took control at 196 for four.

Cape Town’s weather was still moulting from winter to summer on Friday morning, the start of play being delayed in the match between KZN Dolphins and Western Province.

Eventually 72 overs were able to be bowled, with KZN reaching 186 for four. Bryce Parsons (45), Keegan Petersen (56) and Jason Smith (44*) all looked at ease after the visitors were sent in to bat.

No play at all was possible in the match between the Free State Knights and the Boland Rocks in Bloemfontein.

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