Co­bras’ young­sters step it up


ANY COACH WHO loses 237 matches worth of first-class ex­pe­ri­ence, and par­tic­u­larly within his seam bowl­ing de­part­ment, ahead of a trip to the Wanderers would have been con­cerned.

But not Cape Co­bras coach Ash­well Prince. Even though Rory Klein­veldt (in­jured) and Dane Pater­son (Proteas T20 call-up) were un­avail­able, Prince re­mained con­fi­dent his team could take 20 wick­ets. And that’s ex­actly what they did, and within three days too, to com­plete an in­nings and 71 run vic­tory over the Highveld Lions.

“Why did we beat the Lions de­spite los­ing Rory Klein­veldt and Dane Pater­son? Well, Lizaad Wil­liams has been around for a long time and ev­ery time he plays for the Co­bras, he has never let us down, he makes the step up well. And he took five wick­ets in this game,” Prince said.

“Tladi Bokako made the step up and took the new ball and hardly strayed. Ja­son Smith took 3/19 and scored a half-cen­tury and at a stage he bowled six overs for seven runs. An im­por­tant fac­tor in the sec­ond in­nings of the match was that we con­trolled the run rate (and did not let the Lions get away from us). And this was on a sur­face where you could get a cou­ple of wick­ets when you have new bats­men at the crease,” he added.

The vis­i­tors dom­i­nated the con­test from the out­set, when they dis­missed the Lions for just 107 be­fore tak­ing full con­trol by post­ing 529 through twin cen­turies from young­sters Jan­ne­man Malan (137) and David Bed­ing­ham (107) and fur­ther half-cen­turies from all­rounders Smith, Kyle Ver­reynne and Dane Piedt. The ic­ing on the cake, though, came on third af­ter­noon when cap­tain and off-spin­ner Piedt claimed seven wick­ets to close out the vic­tory.

“It was an un­be­liev­able team per­for­mance,” Prince said. “Dane bowled off-spin­ners and used the rough. It was a wicket on which you could eas­ily bag two or three if you were not es­tab­lished at the crease and that was what hap­pened at the end.”

The vic­tory pro­pelled the West­ern Cape fran­chise to top of the log.

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