Three wickets from Rory Kleinveldt and a half-century by JP Duminy helped the WSB Cape Cobras make it two RAM SLAM T20 Challenge wins from two after they ousted the VKB Knights by three wickets at PPC Newlands in Cape Town on Sunday.

The hosts, who had started the competing with a hat-trick of defeats, needed a big weekend to kickstart their campaign. And, after beating the bizhub Highveld Lions in Paarl on Friday, they followed that up with another vital showing in front of a sizable home crowd that had gathered for the second of a double-header at the venue.

Seamer Kleinveldt led the way with the ball by taking three for 19 after the hosts had won the toss and opted to field first.

That helped restrict the visitors to 159/5 in the process – a total built around a rather subdued 50 (37 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) by David Miller as well as Ryan McLaren’s unbeaten 31 off 20 balls and 40 from captain Theunis de Bruyn.

The Cobras appeared sluggish for most of their reply and looked in real trouble when Hashim Amla fell for 29 in the 10th over with only 54 on the board. They slumped further to 108/6 in the 16th over before a fine cameo by Vernon Philander helped get them over the line.

The Standard Bank Proteas all-rounder made 22 off 11 and offered good support to captain Duminy, who eventually fell for 67 (44 balls, 8 fours, 1 six) as the home side secured the win.

A RAM Slam T20 Challenge festival awaits the fans of the World Sport Betting Cape Cobras this weekend. They host the matches involving Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl and PPC Newlands in Cape Town, with some of the world’s most pronounced hitters of sixes destined to take centre stage. And a few of the names are local WSB Cape Cobras heroes.

The Cobras clash with the bizhub Highveld Lions at 18:00 on Friday at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl. On Sunday, the Warriors and the Lions will battle at PPC Newlands at 12:00 and the WSB Cape Cobras and the VKB Knights will follow at 16:00 at the iconic stadium, one of the world’s most popular cricket venues.

Amongst the South Africans who have hit the most sixes in their T20 careers, is AB de Villiers, with 258. Albie Morkel, on 234, is also prominent. Two WSB Cape Cobras feature on the elite list – Richard Levi, with 232 sixes, and JP Duminy, with 177. David Miller, who is set to play for the VKB Knights at Newlands on Sunday, features with 231 sixes.

For Duminy to continue his aerial assaults, he would require a top four that remains steady against the thunderbolts of Kagiso Rabada, Hardus Viljoen and Wiaan Mulder on Friday 24th November.

And in the second match against the Knights on Sunday, the same top four would have to be up for the potential assault of Marchant de Lange.

But it is not the case that the Cobras don’t possess the fire-power to star at Eurolux Boland Park and PPC Newlands. Vernon Philander has captured 31 test wickets at Newlands and is a master in assessing conditions and lengths quickly. Rory Kleinveldt has historically produced lethal performances at Paarl.

For the WSB Cape Cobras, both matches almost shape as must-win clashes, hopefully with bonus points, to come within touching distance of the third placed team, the Lions (with 8 points), on the log.

One of the finest T20 players on the planet right now is Hashim Amla, a man who has improved out of sight and substantial contributions in both games by this match-winner could take the Cobras to victory.

The bowling attack, though, needs to fire with more clinical fielding support as was the case in the first three matches.

Rupert Bailey, curator at Eurolux Boland Park, said strip number three will provide equally free-flowing options to batsmen on Friday as was the case in the One Day International between South Africa and Bangladesh recently.

South Africa smashed 353 for six in the second One Day International against Bangladesh.

“In that game, we saw how good a batsman AB de Villiers is, because he came in and adjusted superbly to conditions.

“The strip for the T20 match will be hard and batting friendly and the team taking first strike would be expected to score 180,” he added.

Evan Flint, curator at PPC Newlands, said the rain the past week has impacted things and there might not be as much pace as up-country. Possibly a par-score would be 160.

“A spinner can put on the breaks in a T20 match at Newlands. It might not turn, but just hold up. It is not always that easy to play through the line,” said Flint.

Tickets for both matches are still on sale on www.ticketpro.co.za and if you get in there early, there’s a #BlackFriday ticket sale taking place on the website today for this weekend’s RAM Slam matches so buy now to get the discount. Terms and conditions apply.

WSB Cape Cobras Squad for Lions clash in Paarl: JP Duminy (c), Hashim Amla, Ferisco Adams, Temba Bavuma, Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi, George Linde, Aviwe Mgijima, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Dane Paterson, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Ricardo Vasconcelos, Kyle Verreynne

Cricket South Africa (CSA) is excited to announce its participation in this year’s Black Friday festivities with 50% off select tickets to this summer’s international and domestic matches.

Tickets available for promotion will include RAM SLAM T20 Challenge round-robin phase, Zimbabwe and selected India Test matches. One thousand (1 000) tickets, per day, for each match will be on sale exclusively at www.ticketpro.co.za.

The consumer journey on the Ticket Pro website will go as follows:

  • Visit www.ticketpo.co.za
  • Go to an event in question
  • on the top right corner of the screen, click the “Black Friday” button
  • The consumer will be requested to enter a promotion code, enter “Black Friday”
  • Consumer will now qualify for a 50% discount on the tickets selected
  • Terms and conditions apply

The promotion will run from midnight on Friday, 24 November 2017 and will end at 23:59 of the same day.

 

 

Western Province and the Cape Cobras have set high standards as a domestic powerhouse over several decades and they have an obligation to their fans and their own sakes to maintain it, said a disappointed head coach of the World Sport Betting Cape Cobras, Ashwell Prince.

“We have been domestic leaders in setting standards and it is my duty to make people understand our proud history.

“We have to maintain it. There is no free ride (in the WSB Cape Cobras team),” Prince said.

“If you represent the Cape Cobras, it brings high expectations, and we must embrace the challenge,” he said.

Prince said WSB Cape Cobras fans are disappointed about the way the Cobras have lost in the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge, as they should be.

He said it is not that other teams scraped over the line against the Cobras, and the manner of their defeats have been hard to swallow.

The former South African batsman said two or three losses don’t define a cricketer. The players must maintain their self-belief and not allow themselves to harp too long on the negatives.

They need to set the record straight, but that must be done in the middle in the weekend’s matches in the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge.

The Cape franchise will clash with the bizhub Highveld Lions at Boland Park in Paarl on Friday (starting at 18:00) and on Sunday the WSB Cape Cobras will face the VKB Knights at 16:00 at PPC Newlands on Sunday.

That RAM SLAM T20 Challenge match is the second of two at the iconic ground on Sunday. The Warriors and the Lions will kick off a festival of T20 cricket on Sunday at 12:00 at PPC Newlands.

Asked about the defeats in the past weekend’s matches, Prince says excuses won’t cut it, as conditions in both matches were equal for both teams.

The fact that the lights went out in the seven-wicket loss against the bizhub Highveld Lions after about 16 overs, came at a very disappointing time, as the Cobras were in an excellent position to score 180. They lost momentum after the interruption and could only post 169 for six.

In the match against the Multiply Titans, the Cobras batted first on an “awful pitch”.

But, again, the team could have adapted earlier in terms of the batting and conditions were similar for both teams.

Richard Levi has a badly bruised finger and is in a race against time to be ready for the match on Friday against the Lions at Boland Park in Paarl and the Knights on Sunday at PPC Newlands.

“This is a chance of a lifetime, an early Christmas present, and I had to grab it with both hands,” said Justin Ontong, senior World Sport Betting Cape Cobras’ batsman.

The former SA T20 captain and ex WSB Cape Cobras skipper was named amongst the management staff of the national coach, Ottis Gibson, on Thursday. He will start as fielding coach on 16th December.

Few players domestically sustained their excellence with the bat and in the field over such extended period as Ontong.

He has compiled 11 933 runs at an average of 41.87 at first-class level in twenty years while also capturing 136 wickets.

The 37-year-old has scored the bulk of his first-class runs for the WSB Cape Cobras, Boland and Western Province. He represented South Africa in two tests and 28 One Day Internationals.

He wore the armband as WSB Cape Cobras skipper during an all-conquering period when the Cobras won all the trophies on offer, while also sharing the spoils in the Momentum One Day Cup competition.

“It is an enormous blessing to be back in the Proteas fold, although it is in a coaching capacity,” Ontong remarked.

“We boast very good athletes in the Proteas team and it is a good challenge to work with their skills. I intend to test them in different ways in the field (to boost their levels),” he added.

Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the WSB Cape Cobras, said the franchise released Ontong from his domestic contract from 15th December in the best interests of South African cricket.

“We salute his undisputed legacy to Western Cape cricket. We believe he will ensure that South Africa sustains its proud world-class standards of fielding,” said Dien.

As a player and captain, he personified all the values associated with the WSB Cape Cobras. He was the champion within, elegant, defiant and had an amazing ability to reinvent himself as a batsman. His effervescence as a fielder endeared him to spectators in all the domestic arenas.

“One of his greatest moments came when he hammered 927 runs in the 2013/2014 season for the WSB Cape Cobras. He was skipper of the Cobras, South Africa A and South Africa, a rare feat indeed,” Dien added.

It is memorable moment that one of our stars in the Boland and former South African player receives an international call-up to manage the coaching of the fielders,” said Angelo Carolissen, president of Boland Cricket. “He was one of the more versatile fielders that the Proteas produced – in the slip cordon, at cover or when patrolling the boundary area.

“Justin is one of the golden stars of Boland and we believe he will add value to the fielding unit of South Africa and lift them to another level,” Carolissen remarked.

Beresford Williams, president of the Western Province Cricket Association, said Ontong is an iconic player whose outstanding service contributed to an era of domestic dominance by the WSB Cape Cobras. “His leadership and all-round skills, especially his batting at number four, were invaluable to the success of the franchise.”

Ashwell Prince, the current WSB Cape Cobras coach, said Ontong’s longevity was a feat of his career. He fulfilled the role of mentor with distinction while also contributing regularly during a stellar 2017/2018 season in the Sunfoil Series.

“The World Sport Betting Cape Cobras are by no means out of the running in the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge. We still have a long way to go. We just need a win to gain confidence and momentum,” said JP Duminy, the skipper.

He spoke after the Cobras suffered defeats in the clashes on Friday and Sunday against the bizhub Highveld Lions and the Multiply Titans.

Duminy also said the Cobras opener Richard Levi went for an X-ray on his badly bruised finger but there is still uncertainty as to whether he will be fit and ready for the next game.

The WSB Cape Cobras will clash with the bizhub Highveld Lions at Boland Park in Paarl on Friday and will meet the VKB Knights at PPC Newlands on Sunday. The Cobras, without any points after three games, are 6 points away from the third-placed Hollywoodbets Dolphins.

Duminy admitted the team lost some momentum in the final four overs on Friday while assembling 169 for six against the Lions. (The Cobras were well-placed on 151 for four after 17 overs, but could not take sufficient advantage to reach 185, despite a superb 55 by Duminy off 31 balls.

Everybody in the team would have admitted that they could and should have defended that total of 169 on an indifferent wicket, Duminy argued.

“We missed a few opportunities (in the field) at crucial moments. Unfortunately, those misses can define a result.

“Yet, we are not blaming anybody for mistakes,” he said.

Duminy said soft dismissals was the root cause of the seven-wicket defeat against the Titans.

The Cobras slumped to 67 for five and at least three of those wickets were gifts to the hosts at SuperSport Park.

“Assessing conditions and adapting earlier, is one of the lessons we learned from the weekend,” Duminy said.

On a wicket with variable bounce, some Cobras batsmen will rue the shots they played and with the 20/20 vison of hindsight would have showed better judgement, but, again, Duminy steered away from criticizing individuals.

“You need to assess and communicate which shot you need to play on which type of wicket early,” he said.

The Cobras captain criticized his own innings, saying he was “scratchy” in his 40 off 43 balls.

He was impressed with the body language and the intensity shown by the WSB Cape Cobras at SuperSport Park, Duminy added.

The Cobras discussed their RAM SLAM T20 Challenge campaign and said they can either fight or flee, but they will opt to fight. “Our character is tested and we can still turn it around. There’s still a long way to go. We just need something to go our way.

“The key for us is that both departments will be working at the same time. We must just be street smart at the way we go about our business.

“When we don’t execute our game plans well from a bowling perspective, we will suffer against some of the best players in the world. We have to be on top of our game.”

Vernon Philander was dangerous at SuperSport Park and had the Titans reeling on 13 for two after striking twice in his first two overs.

Talking about the fielding of the Cobras, Duminy said the Cape team has put the work in, but they just need to take the opportunities when presented.

 

bizhub Highveld Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana wants to put their RAM SLAM T20 Challenge loss quickly behind them with a victory over the WSB Cape Cobras at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Friday.

Both the hosts and the visitors lost their opening matches – the Gauteng franchise crushed by the Multiply Titans and their Cape opposition easily ousted by the Hollywoodbets Dolphins.

The match is one of two for both sides this weekend, with the Lions also playing the Dolphins in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

“It was a tough one on Sunday against a quality Titans side and it was always going to be that way when you’re nought for two in the first over,” Toyana explained.

“But we’ve chatted about it as a group and put it behind us now. We’ve trained well this week and look forward to the next game.”

Defending champions the Titans have looked almost invincible so far in their two games, the second of which saw them brush aside the VKB Knights on Wednesday.

But all the teams are tough to play, according to Toyana.

“We realise it does not get any easier because this Cobras side also has four or five Proteas, so it won’t be straightforward,” he said. “It’s still early days with both of us having played one game each and both having lost them.

“So we can expect a tough duel against them, just like many meetings in the past. We’re at home so we need to make that count. We know the wicket at the Wanderers, which will hopefully help us. We’ve always done well there, so we look forward to it.”

Cobras counterpart Ashwell Prince believes the game is the first of two key ones over the weekend.

They also take on the Titans on Sunday and the coach said: “It’s a very important weekend for us with the two games we have. Last Sunday, the rain arrived at the wrong time against the Dolphins.

“Even though we were five wickets down, you never know what might have happened. But the weather is not in our control, so we’ll now move on. Hopefully we can get off the mark this weekend and start building some momentum.”

While the Cobras have plenty of Standard Bank Proteas in their mix, Prince believes the Lions too will be formidable opposition.

“There’s no easy games in this competition and we’ll have to be ready for the Lions,” he concluded. “They have a good bowling attack led by Kagiso Rabada, they’ve got some good spinners and then their batting is also very good.

“So we have a lot of respect for them, but we also have a lot of confidence in our own abilities.”

 

The weekend’s two matches involving the World Sport Betting Cape Cobras, champions of 2014/2015, are set to thrill the domestic RAM Slam T20 Challenge fans.

The Cobras will challenge the bizhub Highveld Lions, winners of 2015/2016, on Friday (at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium) and the title-holders of 2016/2017, the Multiply Titans, on Sunday (at SuperSport Park).

Both Ashwell Prince and Faiek Davids, the coach and the assistant coach, spoke candidly about the importance of the Cobras not being reactive or half-hearted in their T20 approach.

That requires an aggressive, fearless and bold approach.

JP Duminy, the captain, emphasized that the team should be thinking on their feet and be adaptable, while absorbing pressure collectively.

The greatest challenge for the WSB Cape Cobras in their 15-run loss against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins (according to the D/L method) was a failure to peg away at the opposition by constantly striking.

The flat deck was certainly a factor. The Cobras created three clear chances and would be aggrieved that they were not a touch more clinical in the field.

The return to the squad of Wayne Parnell would certainly be a boost. It would be difficult for coach and skipper to decide on who to prefer at number seven – Parnell or Vernon Philander.

Philander has been credited as one of the finest exponents of which length to bowl on a flat deck.

His ability, aligned with Parnell’s swing and Dane Paterson’s strike-power, can set up a win against the Lions, who looked out of sorts with the bat in their opening clash against the Multiply Titans.

The Titans were not only superb as a batting unit in their first two games. The bowlers, notably Lungi Ngidi and Malusi Siboto, used variety and slower cutters as a Plan B to derail the valiant chase of the VKB Knights on Wednesday.

Very few domestic attacks possess the statistical and real experience of the Cobras as Parnell (167 T20 matches), Philander (96 T20 games), Paterson (52) and JP Duminy (216) know what it takes to hold their nerve under pressure.

Prince stressed the importance of bowlers executing their game-plans and backing their own instincts, a factor that will determine if the Cobras can overcome a Titans team full of international stars on Sunday.

The WSB Cape Cobras squad for Friday and Sunday is: JP Duminy (capt), Qaasim Adams (w/k), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi, George Linde, Aviwe Mgijima, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Vernon Philander, Jason Smith.

 

CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA (CSA) today announced the appointment of Standard Bank Proteas national coach Ottis Gibson’s support staff which includes the key one of current Warriors Coach Malibongwe Maketa as Assistant Coach.

Other senior appointments are former Proteas Dale Benkenstein who takes up the position of batting coach in a partnership with Hilton College where he continues to be employed and Justin Ontong as fielding coach.

Claude Henderson remains in his position as spin bowling coach while Craig Govender succeeds Brandon Jackson as physiotherapist. Greg King remains in his position as fitness trainer as does Prasanna Agoram as technical analyst.

“Congratulations to Malibongwe, Dale and Justin on their appointments,” commented CSA Acting Chief Executive Thabang Moroe. “Their qualifications speak for themselves. Malibongwe has done a wonderful job as Powerade National Academy and SA ‘A’ Interim Head coach as well as getting the Warriors to two limited overs finals last season without having some of the headline players available to other franchises while Dale brings loads of experience from the time he has spent overseas.

“I would like to thank Hilton College for their willingness to share Dale’s expertise in a partnership that will be a win-win situation for everybody. Hilton have always been wonderful supporters of cricket, notably through the way they make their magnificent facilities available for the annual Sunfoil Township Tournament.

“Justin has deservedly earned the reputation of being an outstanding all-round fielder and the addition of a fielding coach to the Proteas support staff is something that is overdue.

“At the same time I would like to thank Adrian Birrell, Neil McKenzie, Charl Langeveldt and Brandon Jackson for the contributions they have made to the Proteas over a considerable period of time. CSA would like to keep their institutional knowledge and expertise in our High Performance structures.”

Proteas head coach, Ottis Gibson, is excited with the coaching staff assembled: “My first six weeks as head coach gave me a good indication of the areas and resources needed for me to take the team forward,” he said. ‘ I’m confident with the coaching support staff we have put together and believe we share the same vision and understanding required to achieve success in our environment.

“The coaches are experienced experts in their respective fields and will add value and energy to an already high-performing environment. The Proteas have a well-run and professional setup and I have no doubt that these additions will further enhance that element during my tenure.”

The Board of Directors have approved the extension of the contract of Team Manager Dr. Mohammed Moosajee until April 2018. Two new appointments will have to be made by the Board thereafter as Dr. Moosajee has filled the dual role of Team Manager and Team Doctor.

Standard Bank Proteas Management Staff:

Coach – Ottis Gibson

Assistant Coach – Malibongwe Maketa

Batting Coach – Dale Benkenstein

Fielding coach – Justin Ontong

Physiotherapist – Craig Govender

Fitness Trainer – Greg King

Spin Bowling Coach – Claude Henderson

Logistics Officer – Volvo Masubelele

Media Manager – Lerato Malekutu

Security Liaison Officer – Zunaid Wadee

Technical Analyst – Prasanna Agoram

Qaasim Adams’ transition from fielder to man entrusted with the big gloves of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in the Ram Sam T20 Challenge came by default many years ago.

He was representing Western Province and Ryan Canning got injured. “I filled the gap for a couple of games.

“Then when I was playing for Northerns, Heinrich Klaasen (recently selected for a South African touring squad as Quinton de Kock’s understudy) broke his finger. I took over the duties and also performed the role in the second innings. It went so well that the coach said I could do it for the rest of the season (while Klaasen was unavailable for six weeks) whenever I represented the amateur side,” Adams said.

He kept on working on those second skills of his and honed it.

Regarding his evolution from an occasional batsman of the WSB Cape Cobras and the Multiply Titans to South Africa A star last year, Adams said he has always believed in keeping it simple, watching the ball closely and playing to his strength.

At number six, his role is to be a finisher, but he can perform a dual function – as stabilizer or swashbuckling boundary basher.

So successful was Adams in this department that he caught the eyes of the national selectors with a brutal 50 off 21 balls for the Titans against the bizhub Highveld Lions in a Momentum One Day Cup match in February 2016. It included five sixes.

When he stays true to his strengths, it does not mean opposition teams will limit him. Every season, he works on two extra things to extend his attacking repertoire, he adds.

Adams has been part of two Ram Slam-winning campaigns, three Momentum One Day Cup series and two triumphant Sunfoil Series’ and knows a bit about what defines a champion. And he says: “As a team, we are not that far off. I know many people are talking about us, but we are going to surprise people.

“You just have to look at the top two batsmen in the order. Hashim Amla is a great in world cricket and everybody knows what Richard Levi can do. And Rory, Vernon and Dane (Paterson) have all represented South Africa.

It just takes one or two wins to get the momentum going,” he said.

His own form has been excellent and he is in buoyant mood after striking 92 for Western Province against Border in a CSA One-Day Challenge match.

“After that, I also made some runs for United in a club game, so the confidence is there and I have a clear mind at the crease,” he said.

The WSB Cape Cobras will clash with the Lions on Friday in the Cobras’ second Ram Slam T20 Challenge match of the season at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. On Sunday, the Cape Town team travel to SuperSport Park to challenge the defending champions, the Multiply Titans.