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.