for quality writing

Ken Borland



SA20 is about adapting to different types of pitches; Pretoria Capitals show how 0

Posted on January 18, 2024 by Ken

POWERHOUSE: Will Jacks of Pretoria Capitals celebrates the fastest century in SA20 history.
Photo by Sportzpics

One of the joys of the SA20 is that there are different types of pitches that are used in the tournament and teams are often forced to think on their feet and adapt at short notice. The Pretoria Capitals were quicker and better in adapting to the SuperSport Park wicket on Thursday night and duly notched their first win of the season, beating the Durban Super Giants by 17 runs.

When returning captain Wayne Parnell won the toss and elected to bat first, eyebrows were raised because Centurion is traditionally a venue full of runs, where defending any sort of total can be tough at altitude on a pitch full of runs and a smallish, very quick outfield.

But this pitch behaved slightly differently. The best time to bat was up front and batting second was just that little bit harder as the ball gripped on a dry surface once the new-ball shine had gone.

Will Jacks was the man who seized the moment as he plundered the fastest century in SA20 history, needing just 41 balls to get there, and his onslaught up front gave the Pretoria Capitals such a good platform that their deceleration in the second half of their innings and a collapse of five wickets for seven runs at the death did not cost them the match.

A total of 204 for nine was certainly competitive and the Durban Super Giants were unable to replicate Jacks’ aggression up front and finished on 187 for seven.

Junior Dala, the Durban Super Giants strike bowler but usually based at SuperSport Park, said “It was a game that was probably won and lost in the powerplays. We showed fight with both bat and ball at the end, but we probably conceded 15 to 20 runs too many in our bowling powerplay as Will came hard at us.”

With Jacks hammering eight fours and nine sixes, including a straight hit into the media centre that I have never seen before at SuperSport Park, and fellow Englishman Phil Salt also scoring freely with 23 off 13 balls, the Capitals were off to a blazing start.

The opening pair lashed 75 runs off the first five-and-a-half overs, but then crucially, the Super Giants began taking wickets. As the ball became older, so the cutters came out and the visitors kept chipping away at the Pretoria batting line-up.

“With the newer ball, your cutters and slower balls just skidded on more, but by the eighth or ninth over they were beginning to grip more. But you still had to be smart and understand your match-ups,” Dala later explained.

Jacks reached his hundred two balls quicker than Durban’s Heinrich Klaasen had done in his landmark effort in this same fixture last season, the ball whizzing off his bat in a sparkling innings that should attract many, many views on SA20’s various digital platforms.

But when Jacks (101 off 42 balls) cut his next ball after reaching his second T20 century straight to point, Dwaine Pretorius making the breakthrough, the Pretoria Capitals innings rather lost its fizz. The wicket left them 151 for four after 13 overs, and although Colin Ingram scored a busy 43 off 23 deliveries, their momentum petered out.

Marcus Stoinis (4-0-37-1), playing his first SA20 match having just arrived from the Big Bash in Australia, lit the fuse for the bowling comeback as he dismissed Jimmy Neesham and conceded just two runs in the 18th over; Reece Topley (4-1-34-3) then bowled an astonishing double-wicket maiden and Dala (4-0-32-2) also took two wickets in the final over while conceding just seven runs.

Jacks then toyed with the Super Giants with the ball as well. He opened the bowling and conceded just seven runs in the first over, before returning and claiming two wickets – Kyle Mayers bowled for 1 and the massive scalp of Klaasen for just a single. The off-spinner finished with two for 18 in his three overs.

Opener Matthew Breetzke ought to have batted deeper after scoring 33 off 24 balls but he steered Parnell straight to deep cover and the Capitals just kept chipping away with regular wickets.

Quinton de Kock made 25 off 20 before he sent a mistimed pull off Hardus Viljoen straight to deep midwicket, Stoinis hit a couple of big sixes before holing out to Neesham, and Jacks then took a boundary catch to dismiss Keemo Paul (18) off Parnell.

Jon-Jon Smuts scored a defiant 27, but not even a late flurry from Pretorius (19* off 10) and Keshav Maharaj (25* off 12) was enough to take the Super Giants to a win.

Eathan Bosch was the other Pretoria bowler to excel, showing what a top-class talent he is as he adapted beautifully to the pitch, bowling effective cutters and conceding just 18 runs in his three overs.

Green Gabba pitch has bowlers lining up like delivery vans 0

Posted on May 31, 2023 by Ken

A greener Gabba pitch than anyone could remember seeing before at Test level had the bowlers lining up like delivery vans outside an online store on Saturday, but Proteas top-scorer Kyle Verreynne said it was actually a good batting wicket in Brisbane on the first day of the first Test against Australia.

Sadly his colleagues did not enjoy the conditions as much as Verreynne, who scored a counter-attacking 64 off 96 balls, as only Temba Bavuma (38) made more than 10 as South Africa were bundled out for just 152.

Australia’s batsmen had problems too as they slipped to 27 for three, but Travis Head, with a tremendous run-a-ball 78 not out, and Steven Smith (36) took them to 145 for five at stumps.

While the pitch has provided seam movement, it has not been excessive and not even particularly consistent. But batsmen were also troubled by some inconsistent bounce and the sharp turn and bounce obtained by Australian spinner Nathan Lyon, who took three for 14 in eight overs.

“I think it’s a really good batting pitch to be honest,” Verreynne said, “and your normal game-plans are good on it. When you see it being so green, you expect the pitch to do so much.

“But it did a lot less than we thought it would. It’s not so soft even with such a thick grass layer, it’s quite firm and there is good pace and bounce.

“The aggressive approach worked for Travis Head and myself, but Steven Smith took his time and batted very nicely too,” Verreynne said.

It was the sort of pitch where being able to land the ball on the proverbial handkerchief on a good length would bring reward. The Proteas pacemen were initially able to do that, inspired by David Warner being dismissed on the first ball of the innings as Kagiso Rabada fired in a pinpoint short ball and Khaya Zondo took a phenomenal catch at short-leg. But as soon as the left-handed Head began shifting the momentum and putting the bowlers under pressure, the visitors’ attack turned ragged for a vital hour late in the day.

“After you’re bowled out for just 152, it’s difficult to get the energies up. So getting a wicket first ball was a massive moment, especially a big player like Warner,” wicketkeeper Verreynne said.

“That got the adrenaline going and our energy was really up for the next 10 overs or so. But unfortunately we fell away a bit after that.

“We’re probably still a bit behind in the game, but two late wickets did bring us back in a bit, they’ve given us a bit of a window. But it would have been nice to get a couple more wickets when we had them 27/3.

“After lunch, the pitch picked up a bit more pace and Anrich Nortje was getting it through nicely. Our fast bowlers definitely have a bit left in the tank and hopefully they can make an impact in the morning,” Verreynne said.

Former Protea’s outstanding catch, off Joburg-born bowler, breaks millions of South African hearts 0

Posted on February 06, 2023 by Ken

When former Protea Roelof van der Merwe let out a fervent roar of celebration after his outstanding catch, off the bowling of Johannesburg-born Brandon Glover, to take the key wicket of David Miller, it was unlikely he felt much regret for the millions of hearts that were breaking back in South Africa as the Proteas made a shock exit from the T20 World Cup, losing to qualifiers the Netherlands by 13 runs.

Chasing 159 for victory, South Africa had slipped to 111/4 after 15 overs and their hopes rested on Miller, their finisher supreme. The experienced left-hander had gone to 17 when he top-edged a pull at Glover and Van der Merwe scrambled backwards from short fine leg, and dived to take a superb catch.

Glover, who took 3/9 in his two overs, then had Wayne Parnell caught behind three balls later for a duck and, when Heinrich Klaasen (21) was caught at cow-corner off medium-pacer Bas de Leede in the 18th over, South Africa were all but buried. They limped to 145/8 in the end.

The Netherlands deserve full credit for their amazing victory, bowling and fielding with tremendous tenacity.

South Africa began their chase tentatively as Quinton de Kock (13) and Temba Bavuma (20) both just scored at a run-a-ball and the Proteas could only score 39/2 in the powerplay.

Rilee Rossouw (25 off 19) looked threatening before he pulled Glover straight to deep square-leg and Aiden Markram (17) sent a leading edge, well taken by a diving Stephan Myburgh, to cover off the excellent Fred Klaassen (4-0-20-2).

The dismissal encapsulated what the Netherlands did so well – taking pace off the ball and using variations, which caused the Proteas to really struggle to score freely.

It was something the Proteas attack failed to do and there can be no sympathy for their lack of awareness and adaptability to the conditions, which allowed the Netherlands to post a competitive 158/4 after they had been sent in to bat.

The outstanding Anrich Nortje (4-0-10-1) and Keshav Maharaj (4-0-27-2) apart, the Proteas attack simply lacked intensity and it was the Netherlands who seized the initiative from the start.

Pretoria-born Stephan Myburgh belted 37 off 30 balls, with fellow opener Max O’Dowd providing valuable support with 29 in an opening stand of 58 in eight-and-a-half overs.

Tom Cooper blasted 35 off 19 deliveries and another South African expat, Colin Ackermann, provided the finishing touches to the winning total with his brilliant 41 not out off 26 balls. The former Eastern Cape star also bowled three overs of probing off-spin for just 16 runs, keeping the left-handers quiet.

This time the Proteas could not blame anything outside of their own control – there was no rain, no freakish misfortune – for failing to make the semi-finals.

They defied history by choosing to bat first on a pitch that was only going to slow down and their whole mindset seemed incredibly soft when so much was on the line.

Proteas bowlers do not tax England, but Rabada gets some reward for effort he put in 0

Posted on October 25, 2022 by Ken

South Africa did not tax the England batting in their second innings as they raced to a nine-wicket victory in the third Test at The Oval on Monday, although Kagiso Rabada did finally get some reward for his efforts as he took the wicket of Alex Lees.

England were chasing just 130 to win the Test and the series 2-1, and they resumed on Monday morning just 33 runs short of that target. They rattled off those runs in just 27 minutes off 33 deliveries, with Zak Crawley finishing on a high as he scored a morale-boosting 69 not out off 57 balls, finally showing his true ability.

Rabada once again had Lees dropped early on, wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne this time reacting late and snatching at a regulation chance in the first over of the day, but the great fast bowler did eventually get his man when he trapped him lbw for 39. He needed a review to do it, and even that was rather half-heartedly requested by the Proteas.

Rabada was named as South Africa’s Player of the Series by England coach Brendan McCullum for his 14 wickets at 23.35, and Proteas captain Dean Elgar made a point of thanking his bowlers for their effort, while highlighting that their batting had been rank bad.

“We need to give our bowlers a lot of credit, but it boils down to our batting. We need to be point-blank about it, we just did not execute, we failed in that department,” Elgar said.

“First-innings runs are so crucial in England and with the overhead conditions and the Duke ball, the pitches were always doing something. But if you apply yourself and get in, then it will get easier,” Elgar said.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.



↑ Top