Intensity, mental focus and a formidable bowling attack are the ingredients that can secure an 11th domestic title in eight seasons, says Justin Ontong, the Cape Cobras’ captain, about the Momentum One Day Cup final against the bizhub Highveld Lions at PPC Newlands on Sunday.

The match starts at 10:00.

It is the fourth consecutive home final in the Momentum One Day Cup for the Cape Cobras, who has been a trend-setter in South African domestic cricket the past eight season.

Ontong is unperturbed about the 16 days of passivism between the last Momentum One Day Cup match in which the Cape Cobras fielded their senior eleven, and the final. He says the Cape Cobras boast a very experienced unit who have the star-quality to win the competition which was dominated by them the past season.

He added the Cobras need to get off to a rollicking start, as was the case recently in Paarl, when Beuran Hendricks rocked the top-order of the Highveld Lions.

“We will target Alviro Petersen and Stephen Cook, and they have also been bolstered by Temba Bavuma, so those three players are their batting strengths,” Ontong said.

Petersen has smashed 669 runs in the competition and Cook has assembled 410.

The Cobras will be a threat on a PPC Newlands wicket which will offer something to the seam bowlers, while the humidity has always been an ally of the swing bowlers.

Hendricks and Wayne Parnell were the destroyers-in-chief at Boland Park recently against the same foes, and will present an enormous threat to the Highveld-visitors.

“We will possibly field the same squad, and the only change might be that Richard Levi could replace somebody, but we will probably decide on Saturday,” Ontong said.

“We will definitely bank on the same bowling attack, as they have done the damage for us,” he added.

The Cape Cobras has looked rejuvenated and has trained with vigour at Newlands the past week.

Their greatest challenge will be to produce a decent run-rate of four to five runs in the middle-period instead of becoming static and getting into a rut against the Lions-spinners, Aaron Phangiso and Eddie Leie.

The top-order will be vital in this respect, especially Omphile Ramela and Stiaan van Zyl. A more dynamic approach would be necessitated in order to get to a total of around 290.

Hardus Viljoen is the king-pin in the Lions-attack and the enforcer, which is similar to the role Dane Paterson has for the Cobras.

Expect pyro-technics from the Cobras when Viljoen is in operation, especially if he produces his natural shorter length against Van Zyl or possibly Levi.

“I do think there will be something in the wicket for the spinner (Dane Piedt) in the afternoon, and even possibly in the morning with the humidity around,” Ontong said.

The Cobras squad is: Justin Ontong (capt), Richard Levi, Andrew Puttick, Wayne Parnell, Stiaan van Zyl, Omphile Ramela, Keegan Petersen, Jason Smith, Dane Vilas,  Aviwe Mgijima, Tshepo Moreki, Dane Piedt, Dane Paterson, Beuran Hendricks.

 

 

Dale Steyn was one of three rejuvenated athletes at the PPC Newlands nets on Thursday who made an impression.

The lean-looking South African fast bowler, who lost 5 kilogram during his seven-week hiatus away from the game, will turn out for WPCC in club cricket this weekend. He bowled about 5 overs on Thursday at Newlands as part of his come-back trail.

Although Steyn did not have Richard Levi, Andrew Puttick or Dane Vilas skipping, hopping or jumping, he did produce some late swing.

“It is a case of going through my paces. I have been doing this the past two weeks,” he said. “I’ll be ready for Australia,” he said.

The South African players in the final T20-group of the Proteas were not considered for selection on Sunday.

South Africa’s premier fast bowler and the world’s top-ranked test bowler for more than eight years, Steyn was side-lined since the first test against England at Kingsmead late last year.

Levi, who once slammed a 117 off 51 balls for South Africa against New Zealand in 2012, was back after a short stint for Gemini Arabians in the Masters Champions League.

He has looked in good nick, and was inserted in the Cobras-group of 14 for Sunday’s Momentum One Day Cup final against the bizhub Highveld Lions at PPC Newlands.

A rejuvenated Wayne Parnell, who bowled with Steyn and Dane Paterson in the same net session on Thursday, produced some hostile deliveries and also swung it at pace occasionally.

Afterwards, Paul Adams, the Cape Cobras’ coach, said he has been very pleased with Parnell’s wrist position. If that position is right, Parnell can swing the ball back into the right-hander. But that swings normally only lasts for the first five overs in 50-over cricket.

The lack of swing produced by Parnell has been a discussion point the last year or two, but Adams says technically Parnell is in a good space and the white ball doesn’t swing that much.

Parnell has been one of the Cape Cobras’ finest players this season. His partnership with Paterson, Beuran Hendricks, Tshepo Moreki and Dane Piedt can propel the hosts to the Momentum One Day Cup title on Sunday.

The Cape Cobras squad is: Justin Ontong (capt), Andrew Puttick, Aviwe Mgijima, Beuran Hendricks, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, Dane Vilas, Jason Smith, Keegan Petersen, Omphile Ramela, Richard Levi, Stiaan van Zyl, Tshepo Moreki, Wayne Parnell.

 

 

South Africa and the Cape Cobras’ premier spinner in test cricket, Dane Piedt, has stated it as his main objective to eclipse the 134 test wickets claimed by his mentor and coach, Paul Adams.

Currently, he has captured 22 in five tests.

Piedt has also revealed one of the reasons behind his rise from virtual obscurity to international stardom. Since 2012/13 he has spent several hours a week or more on honing his skills in the nets after his team-mates had left, with only a solitary cone and the wickets as company.

It resulted in Piedt capturing 45 wickets in the 2013/2014-season, and subsequently making his international debut where he took 8-152 in his maiden test against Zimbabwe in 2014.

He underlined his vast improvement with a mature performance in the fourth test at Supersport Park in Centurion where South Africa beat England in emphatic fashion recently.

A best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell has claimed in the publication Outliers that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way for a total of around 10 000 hours.

Piedt, at 25, might still be long away from that milestone, but the practical principle behind mastering the art – of spending hours and hours in perfecting his art – has yielded rich dividends.

He will be a key component for the Cape Cobras in the Momentum One Day Cup final at PPC Newlands on Sunday 28th February.

Perhaps adversity has been (in a slightly bizarre fashion) Piedt’s greatest gift, as the potentially career-crippling injury and shoulder surgery made him realize how precious the game is.

“I wake up every morning with a smile on my face. And I play the game in the same fashion,” he says.

His quiet exterior shields a fierce determination to succeed, and he possesses a sharp cricketing intellect, with a shrewd knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of every batsman.

“If you bowl it slightly full to Joe Root, he punishes you over cover, so the trick was to drag it a bit wide of his eye-line even wider than my normal delivery outside the off-stump,” he said about his ability to remove the premier England batsman cheaply in the fourth test at SuperSport Park.

“At PPC Newlands, I need to bowl a bit slower than at the Highveld, where the ball turns less, so I will focus on between 81 and 85 kilometres per hour.

Part of Adams’ success was his variety and his action, and opponents had to unravel the mystery of the so-called ‘flog in the blender action’ and the different deliveries, including the top-spinner and googly.

Piedt, although an orthodox finger spinner, is not that much different a prospect for opponents.

They have to gain an understanding of about five different deliveries, including a Carrom ball, a top-spinner, a slider, a traditional off-spinner with excessive turn and an off-spinner which hardly turns.

The Carrom ball has become internationally known through the exploits of the Indian off-spinner Ravi Ashwin, who turns it away from right-handers or get the delivery to move straight on by using the thumb and a bent middle finger to impart spin.

“I have bowled the Carrom ball quite a few times and I have been awarded with a couple of wickets in the 50-over competition this season,” said Piedt.

Piedt has been on the receiving end of some dropped catches in the field, but his answer epitomized his indomitable spirit: “I don’t ever bowl the perfect delivery, neither can I expect perfect fielding. I just turn around and try and repeat a wicket-taking ball. It was not dropped on purpose.”

The South African spinner said he would be ecstatic if he could capture 100 test wickets. His ultimate purpose is to reach the 134-mark of Adams, who performed his feats in 45 tests over about nine years.

Piedt has sung the praises of the other members of the Cape Cobras attack, saying they have been outstanding in the Momentum One Day Cup competition.

The South African slow bowler was one of the victims of the Ben Stokes-inspired onslaught which yielded 192 runs in one session and 399 runs for the sixth wicket with Jonny Bairstow in the New Year’s test.

Asked what he learned from bowling without success to Stokes, he said: “If I have to bowl at him again (in that move) I will spread the field a bit more, and get him to the non-striker’s end.”

THE Cape Cobras and bizhub Highveld Lions are set to clash in the Momentum One-Day Cup Final at PPC Newlands on Sunday.

The hosts earned a direct route to the final after an excellent regular season, which saw them top the table by virtue of winning seven out of 10 games, including five with bonus points.

Coach Paul Adams acknowledged that this, along with a few other factors, do make them favourites for the title.

“We are playing at home and we have been playing very good cricket, so we will bring that confidence to the final,” he said. “We’ve had some time off away from the game, before regrouping again this week.

“It’s been all about preparing and gearing ourselves up for this big game. Now we’re ready for it.”

The Cape side have named a similar squad to the one that has served them so well throughout the competition, with Richard Levi’s inclusion giving them further batting strength.

Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana, whose side ended the regular season second on the table, has confirmed he is still sweating over the fitness of Temba Bavuma (back) and Eddie Leie (hamstring).

Both are likely to miss out, though, having also missed the Qualifier against the Warriors in midweek.

Toyana said they were all looking forward to the game. “We’re very excited ahead of the final,” he said. “There’s obviously some areas we need to improve on, but overall I think we’re in good shape ahead of Sunday.

“It’s a big game, it’s a final; it’s the home of the Cape Cobras. We lost to them away a few weeks ago, even though that was in Paarl, but we also beat them at home this season. So we’re expecting a mouth-watering affair.”

The Lions have a wretched head-to-head record against the Cobras, winning just six out of 25 meetings, but Toyana feels it is an unfair reflection of his side.

“To be fair, ever since I’ve take over as coach (in 2012) it’s been much closer, probably a split four and four over eight games,” he added. “Games between the two are always competitive.”

The Lions last won the title when they shared it with the Cobras back in 2012/13. However, their last outright title was way back in 2003/04.

Michael Owen Smith

The Cape Cobras will host their 3rd consecutive Momentum One Day Cup Final at PPC Newlands on Sunday, 28 February at 10am.

The Cape Cobras squad vs the Bizhub Highveld Lions are as follows:

  1. Justin Ontong (Captain)
  2. Andrew Puttick
  3. Aviwe Mgijima
  4. Beuran Hendricks
  5. Dane Paterson
  6. Dane Piedt
  7. Dane Vilas (W/Keeper)
  8. Jason Smith
  9. Keegan Petersen
  10. Omphile Ramela
  11. Richard Levi
  12. Stiaan Van Zyl
  13. Tshepo Moreki
  14. Wayne Parnell

Details of the #MODCfinal are as follows:
CAPE COBRAS VS BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS
Date: Sunday, 28 February 2016
Venue: PPC Newlands
Time: 10h00 (Gates open: 08h30)
Ticket price: Adults: R60 (seat) & R50 (grass); children: R30 (seat) & R25 (grass); pensioners R30 (seat) & R25 (grass)

Book your seats today and cheer our boys on in their quest to re-claim the Momentum One Day Cup trophy. #BringItHome #Cobras
Tickets can be purchased through the following channels:
• Internet: cricket.ticketpros.co.za
• PPC Newlands [Cricket Ground] ticket office (021-6572089 / 43)
• All Postnet outlets. For a comprehensive list visit ticketpros.co.za or postnet.co.za

 

Secure your tickets today as the tickets are going to sell like hotcakes!

 

Purchase your ticket to this exciting cricket today and you will be entered into the lucky draw for R5000 during the lunch break. TWO people can win R5000 each IF they claim their R5000 prize within 5 minutes of the announcement so hold onto your tickets!. #R5kIN5mins ONLY at PPC Newlands, THE place to be! (T&Cs Apply).

 

PLUS: The first 100 FANgS who enter the turnstyles wearing blue between 9am – 10am will receive a Cape Cobras flag (While stocks last) so get to the game early!
Follow us on twitter: @CobrasCricket or @NewlandsCricket and use hashtags #Cobras #ChampionsWithin  & #PPCNewlands or on Facebook:www.facebook.com/cobrascricket

We wish our Champions everything of the very best in their pursuit of lifting the silverware on the 28th!  #Cobras #ChampionsWithin

AN unbroken 128-run stand between Rassie van der Dussen and Dominic Hendricks proved decisive as the bizhub Highveld Lions booked their place in the Momentum One-Day Cup final with a comfortable eight-wicket Duckworth/Lewis win over the Warriors in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Opener Van der Dussen struck a commanding 83 (89 balls, 1 six, 6 fours) to set the early foundations, while Hendricks added later impetus with his attacking 70 (56 balls, 2 sixes, 7 fours) to aid their side to comfortably chase down the revise 174 target with 18 deliveries to spare.

There were two lengthy rain delays that also influenced the game. The first one arrived early in the Warriors’ innings – after 10.4 overs to be precise – forcing the match to be reduced to a 41 overs per side affair.

By that stage, the Warriors had lost both openers for 27 and they were dealt a further double blow after the resumption when Nono Pongolo removed key middle-order pair, captain Colin Ingram (10), and Yaseen Vallie (14), to slip to 61/4.

An 89-run stand between Jerry Nqolo, who struck a career best 63 (68 balls, 4 fours, 1 six), and Christiaan Jonker (42) lifted the Eastern Cape side to 202/8.

Pongolo (2/25) was one of four bowlers to take two wickets each. The others were Dwaine Pretorius (2/23), Hardus Viljoen (2/42) and Aaron Phangiso (2/38).

Andrew Birch, with 2/34, then grabbed the big wickets of Stephen Cook (13) and Alviro Petersen (2) to raise the Warriors’ hopes.

But that was as good as it got for the visitors. Another long delay 13.5 overs into the innings and with the total on 81 meant there was a further adjustment to the total and with only 93 needed from 18.1 overs, the hosts cruised home.

They will now face the Cape Cobras in the competition finale at PPC Newlands this Sunday.

 

Michael Owen Smith

The advent of T20-cricket, sweet spots that have evolved from the size of a 50 cent-coin to a Blackberry cell phone, smaller fields and the changed regulations have seen the targets in One Day Internationals increase by at least 10 % annually in One Day Internationals (ODI), said Barry Richards, a former South African opening batsman.

“I would say there has been a giant leap (in the totals in One Day Internationals) the past five years,” said Richards, an advocate for a fairer contest between bat and ball in limited-overs cricket.

At the Cricket World Cup in 2015, most TV-analysts spoke about a total of 320 as a new normal.

Herschelle Gibbs, a former South African opener, said the new normal in One Day International Cricket doesn’t necessarily apply to domestic cricket.

When the Cape Cobras host the final of the Momentum One Day Cup competition at PPC Newlands on Sunday 28th February, a total of 250 for the team who sets the target, might just be enough.

“You have seen many times this season that if domestic teams scored 270 or 280, it was enough,” he added

The Cape Cobras hammered 282 for nine against The Unlimited Titans at PPC Newlands early this season and won by 20 runs.

It was their highest total at the ground this season in the Momentum One Day Cup series.

According to Andrew Samson, the official Cricket South Africa statistician, the average score at PPC Newlands the past ten years in domestic 50-over cricket was 221.

The average the past five years was 229.

That vindicates and supports the view of Gibbs.

Justin Ontong, the Cape Cobras’ skipper, admits the hosts will communicate very clearly with the batsmen in the middle and supported the case for a slightly more adventurous approach by the number-three and number-four batsmen if the situation calls for it.

The Cobras’ top- and middle-order have been excellent this season in setting up seven wins in the league phase as the hosts reached 33 points to qualify for the home-final.

Dane Vilas slammed 259 runs at an average of 259, Ontong hammered 379 runs at an average of 54.14. His strike-rate is 83.84, while Vilas’ strike-rate is 126.34.

The top-order has been more sedate. Stiaan van Zyl’s 347 runs came at a strike-rate of 68.03, while Andrew Puttick’s 254 runs were assembled at a strike-rate of 71.34.

Omphile Ramela scored his 254 runs at a strike-rate of 66.66.

Ontong said he understands that Puttick has played the anchor role for many years, and that Van Zyl and Omphile might also score at a certain rate.

But if the situation dictates it and the management requires it, it might necessitate a strike-rate of closer to 80 by both Ramela and Van Zyl, he added.

Ontong has applauded the match awareness of the top- and middle-order and the bowling attack, saying the ability to perform in pairs have aided the Cape Cobras’ remarkable run which has seen them host the past three domestic 50-over finals at PPC Newlands.

Paul Adams, the Cape Cobras coach, said the management team won’t tinker with the approach adopted by Wayne Parnell as opener.  “He plays high-risk cricket and we want it to stay that way,” he said.

Parnell was sensational in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge, but has struck only 83 runs in the Momentum One Day Cup campaign as opener.

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR Champions, the Cape Cobras will host their 3rd consecutive Momentum One Day Cup Final at PPC Newlands on Sunday, 28 February. Let’s get behind our boys and from a sea of blue as we wave our flags!!

Details of the #MODCfinal are as follows:
CAPE COBRAS VS QUALIFIER
Date: Sunday, 28 February 2016
Venue: PPC Newlands
Time: 10h00 (Gates open: 08h30)
Ticket price: Adults: R60 (seat) & R50 (grass); children: R30 (seat) & R25 (grass); pensioners R30 (seat) & R25 (grass)

Book your seats today and cheer our boys on in their quest to re-claim the Momentum One Day Cup trophy. #BringItHome #Cobras
Tickets can be purchased through the following channels:
• Internet: cricket.ticketpros.co.za
• PPC Newlands [Cricket Ground] ticket office (021-6572089 / 43)
• All Postnet outlets. For a comprehensive list visit ticketpros.co.za or postnet.co.za

 

Secure your tickets today as the tickets are going to sell like hotcakes!

 

Purchase your ticket to this exciting cricket today and you will be entered into the lucky draw for R5000 during the lunch break. TWO people can win R5000 each IF they claim their R5000 prize within 5 minutes of the announcement so hold onto your tickets!. #R5kIN5mins ONLY at PPC Newlands, THE place to be! (T&Cs Apply).

 

PLUS: The first 100 FANgS who enter the turnstyles wearing blue between 9am – 10am will receive a Cape Cobras flag (While stocks last) so get to the game early!
Follow us on twitter: @CobrasCricket or @NewlandsCricket and use hashtags #Cobras #ChampionsWithin  & #PPCNewlands or on Facebook:www.facebook.com/cobrascricket

We wish our Champions everything of the very best in their pursuit of lifting the silverware on the 28th!  #Cobras #ChampionsWithin

Historically, swing bowlers have had an intimate love affair with PPC Newlands. If you are not a romantic and prefer forensic facts, here they are: Charl Willoughby, Alan Dawson, Meyrick Pringle, Brett Schultz, Charl Langeveldt, Wayne Parnell and Beuran Hendricks have all plied their trade at Newlands.

All of them represented South Africa, and those seven have caused the demise of many teams at this fortress of Western Province, the Cape Cobras and South Africa.

Currently, Hendricks is at the summit of the national bowling averages in the Momentum One Day Cup competition, having taken 11 wickets at an average of 17 and at an economy rate of 4.59 this season.

Hendricks credits Dawson, Willoughby and Langeveldt for the impact they had on his development as a swing bowler. Information passed on from Dawson and Willoughby on the art of swing bowling reached Hendricks’ ears.

But in the case of Langeveldt, he worked personally with the 25-year old left-arm swing bowler.  “I would not have been the bowler I am today if it was not for Langeveldt,” he says.

Hendricks will be one of the Cape Cobras’ premier weapons in the Momentum One Day Cup final at PPC Newlands on Sunday 28th February (starting time: 10:00).

He expects humidity to be a factor in the morning session, and spin to play its part in the afternoon.

“Our bowling in partnerships this season has played an important role in our performance as an attack,” said Hendricks.

His partner with the new ball, Dane Paterson, has been the enforcer, who has denied openers the opportunity of jumping onto the front foot straight away. He has kept them rooted to the back foot with his aggression and venom.

Hendricks says the understanding of the partner’s role has been a pivotal factor in the Cape Cobras’ success formula.

“Up front, it is vital to strike, but if you cannot, it’s about limiting their scoring opportunities and building pressure,” he said.

Hendricks has not been sitting at home in the build-up to the final. He has been at work in the gymnasium and on the road to ensure his fitness levels remains high.

On Sunday, he will be the carrier of a long tradition of swing bowling, one that brought Langeveldt 5-46 on test debut, Pringle 4-11 in a One Day International at the Cricket World Cup and which aided Parnell to capture 4-25 in a One Day International against Australia.

If Hendricks continues his splendid Momentum One Day Cup upward curve on Sunday, he might just propel the Cape Cobras to their third 50-over title the past four seasons.

 

 

Wayne Parnell, left-arm pace merchant of the Cape Cobras, has rediscovered some of the swing that has made him famous. Don’t be too surprised if you see a repeat of that in the Momentum One Day Cup final at PPC Newlands on 28th February.

But don’t be too alarmed if you depart off one of those Parnell-deliveries that swung alarmingly, if you are the opposing finalist who has to deal with the opening burst of the Cape Cobras’ frontline-bowler.

Parnell was the pick of the South Africa A attack in the one-day match against England at Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday, nipping out 3-26 in four overs.

Vincent Barnes, high performance manager of Cricket South Africa and the SA A coach, complimented Parnell on the way in which he assessed conditions early.

He used the slower variations and bouncers very well and also forced the batsmen to hit down the ground to the protected long-off and long-on.

Barnes detected in a previous Momentum One Day Cup match that Parnell was not swinging the ball much. He told him his wrist position for the in-swinger to the right-hander was not correct.

And in the warm-ups for the game against England, Parnell swung the ball beautifully. His wrist position and his whole body positioning were excellent, Barnes added.

During the game itself, there was not much swing on offer. Only Reece Topley was able to swing one or two.

The little impromptu gesturing by Barnes might just be the right medicine for Parnell, who has been one of the key-performers for the Cape Cobras this season.

He has captured 14 wickets at an average of 23.71 and an economy-rate of 4.87.

Those figures might change dramatically on Sunday 28th February if he applies the Barnes-formula for swing-success.