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Ken Borland



WP call into service 2 bright talents to secure strong advantage 0

Posted on February 29, 2024 by Ken

Daniel Smith & Gavin Kaplan forged the key partnership for Western Province on the second day of the CSA 4-Day Series final against the Central Gauteng Lions at the Wanderers.

Western Province called into service the talents of two of their brighter prospects on Thursday as they claimed a strong advantage after the first innings of the CSA 4-Day Series final against the Central Gauteng Lions at the Wanderers.

With 26-year-old Gavin Kaplan and 21-year-old Daniel Smith both scoring 60, Western Province made 312 all out, to lead by 87 runs, and by stumps on the second day they had already reduced the Lions to 10 for two in their second innings.

Having sent the Lions crashing to 35 for five and eventually dismissing them for 225 on the first day, Western Province resumed on Thursday on 49 without loss. And even though they lost the wicket of Eddie Moore, the previous evening’s aggressor falling to Tshepo Moreki’s short-ball assault for 45, the first hour certainly belonged to the visitors as they reached 118 for one.

But the Lions fought back valiantly, with Moreki adding the wickets of Proteas batsmen Tony de Zorzi (51) and Kyle Verreynne (14) as WP slipped to 158 for four shortly after lunch.

That brought Kaplan, playing just his 10th Division I innings, and Smith, in his 14th game at this level, together with WP still 67 behind. Crucially, the home team dropped both of them early in their innings.

Kaplan was missed in the gully, a sharpish chance, by Josh Richards off Codi Yusuf on 10, and Smith was on three when he edged Moreki to wicketkeeper Ryan Rickelton, who had the ball in both gloves but it somehow squirmed out.

Kaplan and Smith proceeded to add 87 for the fifth wicket, putting WP in front. Kaplan was full of defiance, but plenty of fine strokes as well, as his 60 came off 122 balls and included 10 fours. The left-hander Smith showed his potential as he also batted with great determination, his 60 coming off 117 deliveries, with eight fours. When he was dismissed, trapped lbw after missing a peculiar little paddle-pull at left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin, Western Province already led by 61.

Crucially, the Lions used spinners Fortuin and part-time offie Dominic Hendricks to claim three important wickets just before they called on the second new ball – Smith and Mihlali Mpongwana (28) falling to Fortuin and Hendricks trapping Kyle Simmonds (7) lbw for just his second first-class wicket.

Moreki then made it a memorable day for himself as he claimed the last two wickets with just 11 runs added to register his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. For someone who already has a hat-trick in the book and is a Test cricketer, it was a surprising career-best. But five for 65 in 18.3 overs was a just reward for finding the right length on this excellent Wanderers pitch, getting the ball to skid through and sometimes bounce well, with a bit of movement, from just back of a length.

Having fought back well, the last half-an-hour of the second day was immensely frustrating for the Lions.

Within the space of four balls, Hendricks (6) edged a wild drive far outside off-stump, Smith taking a good catch at first slip off Mthiwekhaya Nabe, and Josh Richards (2) then no doubt bemused his coaching staff by batting on off-stump but then stepping outside off and trying to play an away-swinger from Dane Paterson, presenting an easy catch to wicketkeeper Verreynne.

With the WP bowlers now rampant, Zubayr Hamza and Moreki had to survive a torrid few overs before stumps, which they managed while adding just two singles to the total.

The Lions will have to rediscover their roar with the bat in a big way on the third day if they are to stop Western Province from continuing their triumphant march through this season.

I don’t normally ascribe too much importance to the toss, but … 0

Posted on February 28, 2024 by Ken

Dane Paterson enjoyed a stellar opening day of the CSA 4-Day Series final with the ball at the Wanderers.

I don’t normally like to ascribe too much importance to the toss, but there is no doubt Western Province calling correctly on the first morning of the CSA 4-Day Series final against the Central Gauteng Lions at the Wanderers has turned out to be a big advantage for the visitors.

Having sent the Lions in to bat in heavily overcast conditions, WP backed it up with excellent bowling and an astonishing first 100 minutes saw the hosts crash to 35 for five. That the Lions eventually made it to 225 all out was thanks to fringe player Delano Potgieter showing what a useful cricketer he is by scoring 81, and their batting depth as the left-hander shared crucial partnerships with Wiaan Mulder (41) and Codi Yusuf (34).

Despite the rearguard action, WP were in no mood to allow the initiative to slip and Eddie Moore capped a great day for the Capetonians with a dominating 35 not out off 31 balls that took them to 49 without loss at stumps.

To be fair, it was not just a case of winning the toss and bowling first and dominating for WP. With the weather forecast predicting very hot weather and the pitch likely to dry out and crack (there was turn on day one for Kyle Simmonds), batting last will be tough as well. WP captain Kyle Verreynne admitted the decision was difficult when he said at the toss: “I was going to bat first but when I saw the floodlights were on I decided to bowl.”

There was a tinge of green on the pitch on the first morning and, with the overhead conditions, there was swing on offer. But credit to the WP bowlers, especially Dane Paterson, who found exactly the right areas of prime real estate on the pitch to cause major problems for the Lions top-order.

Paterson turns 35 in little over a month, but he does not look like retirement is on his horizon. And, after all, he has just returned from playing Test cricket for the Proteas in New Zealand, taking three for 39 in the second Test as South African gained a first-innings lead in Hamilton.

Lions openers Josh Richards and Dominic Hendricks seemed to have negotiated the first five-and-a-half overs comfortably enough, but then Paterson struck.

Richards found himself across his stumps and trapped lbw by an inswinger and the next delivery had Zubayr Hamza caught in the slips via a loose drive that seemed more appropriate for a game of garden cricket than a prestige final.

At the end of his next over, Paterson claimed the considerable scalp of the regular Proteas Test captain, Temba Bavuma, for a two-ball duck. Having survived the hat-trick ball, Bavuma could not have done much more with his second delivery, defending compactly on off-stump, but a beautiful away-swinger moved just enough to find the edge and wicketkeeper Verreynne took a fine one-handed catch diving in front of first slip.

Captain Hendricks survived for the first 45 minutes, before edging Beuran Hendricks to Verreynne and when Ryan Rickelton (9) edged Mihlali Mpongwana into the slips playing a loose punch outside off-stump when a leave would have been better in that situation, the Lions top-order had folded quicker than the origami world champion.

Mulder, enjoying a marvellous season with the bat, helped Potgieter to restore some balance, adding 77 for the sixth wicket before he also edged Mpongwana into the slips.

When Bjorn Fortuin, trying an overly-ambitious drive, was caught behind in the same over, the Lions had crashed to 112 for seven. But Potgieter played an inspired innings, his 81 coming off just 106 deliveries with 12 fours and a six.

His aggression paid off and his determination kept the Lions in the game, especially since the sun came out in the afternoon and batting definitely is becoming easier, at least until the back end of this five-day match.

The last pair of Malusi Siboto (32) and Tshepo Moreki (8*) then sat in for over an hour to stretch the total towards respectability.

All-rounder Mpongwana eventually ended the innings to finish with four for 41 in 15 overs, an admirable foil for Paterson, who finished with outstanding figures of 16-8-31-5.

With Moore and Tony de Zorzi (12*) then starting the WP innings so well, in terms of dominant positions, the visitors are definitely enjoying a front-seater.

‘We are not a 1-man show’, Mulder says after he & Klaasen destroy JSK 0

Posted on February 08, 2024 by Ken

MAGNIFICENT – Heinrich Klaasen in full flow at the Wanderers.
Photo: Richard Huggard (Sportzpics)

“We are not a one-man show,” Wiaan Mulder said when asked why the Durban Super Giants have made it all the way to the SA20 final following their 69-run demolition of the Joburg Super Kings in the last Qualifier at the Wanderers on Thursday evening.

But if truth be told, their emphatic victory was at most a two-man show as a scintillating partnership between Mulder and Heinrich Klaasen carried the game well out of the Super Kings’ reach.

Klaasen and Mulder added 101 for the fifth wicket off just 38 balls, transforming a match in which Joburg seemed to have the upper hand for the first dozen overs. They lashed 112 runs in the last seven overs, including 29 runs being plundered off both the 15th over bowled by Imran Tahir and the 18th bowled by Sam Cook.

The incredible onslaught carried the Super Giants to 211 for six after they had been sent in to bat. The stand between Klaasen and Mulder was the best ever for Durban’s fifth wicket, beating the unbeaten 84 Klaasen and Matthew Breetzke put on against the Pretoria Capitals at SuperSport Park last season.

The Super Giants then kept chipping away with the ball, dismissing Joburg Super Kings for 142 in the 18th over.

The Durbanites did not have a great start, being 52 for three after seven overs, but Sri Lankan Bhanuka Rajapaksa, making his SA20 debut, helped Klaasen stabilise matters with his composed 35 off 23 balls as 43 was added for the fourth wicket. They then had the breathing space to launch the most stunning assault in the closing overs.

“We kinda knew the pitch had something in it and it was important to have a partnership,” Mulder said. “It’s not like we said we were going to pull the trigger, but we had a couple of match-ups, one thing led to the next and it just happened.

“A couple of soft balls got me going, then Klaasie got going and we all know how devastating he is when he’s firing. He’s arguably the best T20 batsman in the world at the moment. He’s a superstar and to score 74 off 30 on that pitch is a joke.

“I don’t think over 200 was par, maybe 180. It was really hard to score when they bowled into the pitch, but we had a couple of opportunities when they went full. And the way Klaasie was striking it, he turned 180 into more than 200. If the bowlers missed by a foot, they were in the stands, and maybe there were a few execution errors,” Mulder said.

The all-rounder will surely have changed some perceptions about him as a T20 player as his superb, vital 50 not out off just 23 balls continued his strong form this season.

While Klaasen will undoubtedly be the key man when DSG take on the Sunrisers at Newlands on Saturday, the defending champions will know their opponents have in-form, contributing players right through their line-up.

Breetzke and Jon-Jon Smuts have both made consistent runs and five DSG bowlers have taken more than 10 wickets.

“We are very similar to the Sunrisers in that we’ve had consistent performances from different people and that’s what wins competitions,” Mulder said. “To win competitions doesn’t take one person, it’s about how the players and management look after each other. In any successful team, the people play for the team.

“The most important thing is the environment and trying to create a good culture. There’s no unnecessary pressure put on us and there’s no nitpicking from anyone. That’s a big part of why we will be playing in the final,” Mulder said.

JSK overwhelm Paarl, need 1 more win to book place in SA20 final 0

Posted on February 08, 2024 by Ken

Sam Cook of Joburg Super Kings celebrates one of his four wickets at the Wanderers during his record spell for an SA20 debutant.
Photo: Shaun Roy (Sportzpics)

The Joburg Super Kings just need to win one more game to book their place in the SA20 final after they threw everything at the deflated Paarl Royals and hammered them by nine wickets with 40 balls to spare in their Eliminator at the Wanderers on Wednesday evening.

Having just scraped into the playoffs with victory in their last round-robin game, the Super Kings will now face the Durban Super Giants in Qualifier 2 at the Wanderers on Thursday, the winner going on to play defending champions Sunrisers Eastern Cape in the final at Newlands on Saturday.

Before their almost complete victory over the Royals, Joburg’s best showing in the tournament had been in the previous game when they registered a rousing win in the final over against the selfsame Super Giants last weekend.

Wednesday was a night when just about everything went according to plan for the Super Kings, starting with winning the toss and sending Paarl in to bat first, which has generally been tougher this season at the Wanderers.

And then Sam Cook, making his SA20 debut because strike bowler Lizaad Williams picked up an injury, struck twice in his second over, removing Paarl’s two leading run-scorers going into the game, Jos Buttler (10) and Mitchell van Buuren (0).

Van Buuren’s dismissal was courtesy of a sensational catch by Imran Tahir, who showed that age is just a number by racing back from short fine-leg and diving to take a catch over his shoulder. At 44 years old, Tahir has been “poor in the field” this season, JSK coach Stephen Fleming admitted, but he took a second fantastic catch when he intercepted Dane Vilas’s sweep that was looking like being a low, flat six, at fine leg off Nandre Burger.

Burger also dismissed Jason Roy (24) and Wihan Lubbe (4), finally getting the wickets his excellent bowling this season has deserved.

While fast bowlers Cook, whose four for 24 in 3.5 overs were the best ever figures by an SA20 debutant, and Burger (4-0-26-3) shared most of the wickets, spinners Moeen Ali (4-0-26-1) and Tahir (4-0-33-2) were able to tie the batsmen down and strike, while seamer Dayyaan Galiem bowled two tidy overs for 11 runs.

From 43 for four, Vilas (21) and David Miller were able to double the total with their stand of 44 off 34 deliveries, and the Royals were relying on captain Miller for a big finish to give them a competitive score. But Miller was caught behind off a Tahir googly at the end of the 17th over with the total on 126.

Eventually Paarl finished on 138, bowled out in 19 overs, setting them on track for their fifth successive defeat.

Joburg Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming.
Photo: Shaun Roy (Sportzpics)

“We weren’t 100% with the ball, but we were on the right areas for long enough and we had a bit of luck,” a smiling Fleming said after the triumph. “It’s a very fine line, on certain days you can do everything right but it just doesn’t work.

“The word momentum is over-used, sometimes it’s just slightly different training or words beforehand that can turn things around, and we were nicely in the moment this evening.

“Imran has been poor in the field for us this season, and then he takes a couple of catches like that! That’s when you know it’s your day,” Fleming said.

Faced with a potentially tricky target if they lost early wickets, the Super Kings were on fire from the start of their chase.

In the briefing before their innings, the importance of a good start would have been emphasised, and once Leus du Plooy had lashed 68 off 43 balls, JSK were always going to make short work of the chase.

Du Plooy’s innings, laced with seven fours and two sixes, was a fine example of dominant strokeplay and clever shot options.

With Faf du Plessis giving perfect, sensible support at the other end, they raised their century partnership for the first wicket in the 10th over, Du Plooy falling soon after, stumped off Tabraiz Shamsi.

But by then Du Plessis was giving the Royals bowlers a battering as well, and he finished with 55 not out off 34 deliveries.

When your best performance of the season comes at the start of the knockout rounds, your coach is going to be well-pleased, and Fleming was certainly chuffed.

“That was right up there as one of our most complete performances, and also with the status of the game. It’s a great time to have the sort of performance we aim for.

“The start of the chase was so good, it just killed the game, we polished off that target. It was a really good win,” Fleming said.

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    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.

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