The worst soccer player in the Buildnat Cape Cobras team, but one of the most underrated limited overs bowlers in South Africa, is how Dane Piedt, skipper of the Cobras, light-heartedly describes his team-mate and fellow Manchester United supporter, Dane Paterson.

Paterson is on course to represent South Africa in the opening match of the T20 series against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.

“He is a match winner,” says Piedt, a South African off-spinner and current Cobras’ captain. “He is the type of bowler who can capture 4-16 in a match to clinch it for you,” he said about the Buildnat Cape Cobras spearhead.

“Patto possesses a blue print for every spell. Dane is consistent, has the skills and adapts accordingly. He can bowl a consistent yorker, can swing it in the right conditions and can produce a very slippery bouncer,” he adds.

Vincent Barnes, CSA manager at the high performance centre, says Paterson is a very underrated bowler. He can operate in a Cobras attack with stars like Vernon Philander, Wayne Parnell and Rory Kleinveldt and doesn’t always receive the accolades and credit he deserves.

“Two seasons ago, he bowled with Hardus Viljoen, Marchant de Lange and Chris Morris for South Africa A against England A. The others are all world-class performers. But in that match, Dane was the most skilful of them all.
“He can bowl you cutters, yorkers, slower balls, whatever the situation demands in the shorter format. He deserves the call-up,” he added.

Paul Adams, the Western Cape High Performance Manager, said he worked with Paterson while he was the coach of the academy and saw him as a top performer who also represented Western Province.

When he came back from Natal, he performed for the Buildnat Cape Cobras occasionally, but really found his mojo in the 2014/2015-season when he captured 42 domestic wickets and also featured with 13 Ram Slam T20 Challenge scalps, including a match-winning 4-33 in the final.

“This season, he has performed very well in the power plays. On at least four occasions, he captured a wicket in the first over in the CSA T20 Challenge to put the Buildnat Cape Cobras on top,” Adams, who was instrumental in the resurrection of Paterson’s career, said.

Barnes said Paterson can easily bowl between 135 and 140 km/h but he is not a strike bowler in the 145 km/h or faster bracket.

It is rather the skills set and consistency that sets him apart.

Adams said Paterson has been unlucky on occasions as there has been international interest in his limited overs abilities but he hasn’t been able to take up the offers. One such occasion was when he was called up to the Jamaican Tallawahs, but could not represent them because he was on South Africa A duty.