Janneman Malan, opening batsman of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, and Quinton de Kock performed admirably as an opening pair during the Mzansi Super League and played a mammoth role in propelling the Blitz to the final at PPC Newlands on Sunday 16th December.

They produced a stunning 105-run opening stand against the Paarl Rocks on Friday 7th December. The pair have formed an excellent combination at the top of the order for the Blitz in this tournament, setting up away wins against the Jozi Stars and Tshwane Spartans with opening stands of 99 and 83, respectively. They were even more devastating under Friday night’s lights, blitzing to a century opening stand at 10 runs an over.

Malan and Kyle Verreynne were the top-performing World Sports Betting Cape Cobras players in the Cape Town Blitz side that were comprehensively outplayed by the Jozi Stars on Tuesday 4th December.

The Stars won by 50 runs. Malan struck 43 off 37 balls with a boundary count of six fours, while Verreynne produced 25 off only 11 deliveries. He struck two fours and a six.

In the 21st match between the Tshwane Spartans and the Paarl Rocks, the Spartans won by 4 wickets.

Rory Kleinveldt, all-rounder of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, kept the Rocks scoreboard static by conceding only 11 runs in three overs for the Spartans.

Vernon Philander, plying his trade for the Durban Heat, conceded 13 runs in two overs in the Mzansi Super League’s 22nd match against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants. The game was washed out with the Giants on 121 for two after 13.3 overs.

The Jozi Stars beat the hapless Durban Heat by one wicket on Friday 7th December. Tladi Bokako produced reasonable figures of 1-31 in his allotted four overs, but could not prevent the Stars from winning by one wicket.

Lizaad Williams accounted for the wicket of Andrea Agathangelou for 5 in the match between the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and the Tshwane Spartans that was won by the latter by 28 runs. The fast bowler of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras finished with 1-15 but could not keep the Pretoria-based team from a fairly comprehensive win.

The Cape Town Blitz qualified for the home final on Sunday 16th December at PPC Newlands, despite a slightly deflating six-wicket loss against the Durban Heat on Sunday 9th December. Six members of the Blitz squad are also members of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad.

Participating in the USSA week in December and striking two half-centuries bolstered Zubayr Hamza’s confidence and he is still on course to become the 100th Protea to be selected since South Africa’s reintroduction into the international fold in 1991/92.

Hamza, 23-year-old number-three batsman of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, was selected in a 13-man squad for the three-match test series against Pakistan starting at SuperSport Park in Centurion on 26th December.

Linda Zondi, convenor of the CSA national selection panel, described Hamza as one of the standout cricketers in domestic cricket over the past year and carried that form into the South Africa ‘A’ tour to India where he averaged 52 in the four-day series.

Hamza scored 59 in the win for the University of the Western Cape against the NMMU and added an unbeaten 59 against the University of Cape Town.

“Not only are there a number of provincial players in the USSA week, but it also gave me opportunity to spend time in the middle,” Hamza said.

Reflecting on his career to date, Hamza acknowledged the match against the Warriors when he was drafted into the side after injury to Simon Khomari, as a turning point of his career in 2017/2018.

He immediately struck 111 and added 237 runs for the second wicket with Pieter Malan against the Warriors.

In the 2017/2018 season he finished with 828 runs at an average of 69, having only scored 151 runs in four games in the previous season.

Hamza heaped praise on Ashwell Prince and said he explained to the players what is expected at this level and also what the psychological expectations are if you are to represent South Africa.

As a combination, Prince, coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, and Faiek Davids, assistant coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, have had a big impact on his career.

Davids was the one that showed confidence in him and selected him for Western Province, while Prince, who played in 66 tests for South Africa, was instrumental in improving the mental aspect of his game. “Ashwell elevated the mental part of our game, having played for South Africa for a long time and knowing what is expected to be successful at that level.”

There is also a special “vibe” in the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras team under the coaching of Prince and Davids, he added.

Andrew Puttick, batting consultant of Western Province and the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, said, “contrary to articles floating around, which gave me credit for Zubayr’s evolvement, I have not worked with him much this season, the great work has been done by Coach Ashwell Prince and his assistant Faiek Davids and as Zuby stated, there have been massive contributions from Shukri Conrad during his time at the Academy and from SA ‘A’ coach Russell Domingo.”

“I am very proud of this selection of Zubayr into the South African squad and I’m equally chuffed with the impact that the coaching staff of Ashwell and Faiek has had in his selection for the 13-man squad of South Africa,” concluded Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

“It is a brilliant selection. Zubayr Hamza made a statement with the bat last season and also grabbed the opportunity on his (first) away South Africa A tour to India,” said Dane Piedt, captain of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, about Hamza’s inclusion in the South African squad of thirteen for the test series against Pakistan.

“He’s got a good head on his shoulders and a sound temperament to win or save matches for his team,” said Ashwell Prince, coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

“Last season we had to chase a score beyond 200 and Zubayr struck 108 not out against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins to win us the game. This season, we were in early trouble against the VKB Knights and he struck 57 to steady us and win us the game.

“Last season, he scored a century against the Warriors and with Kyle Verreynne, saved us the game,” Prince said.

Those performances under pressure convinced Prince that he’s got what it takes to play for South Africa.

The 23-year-old Hamza struck two centuries and three half-centuries in the last five Sunfoil Series matches last season and assembled 156 runs at an average of 52 against India A this year in his maiden away SA A tour.

“He plays well against spin and he is very versatile – he can open, play at number three or six. I said four months ago he is ready to play for South Africa and nothing has changed,” Piedt said.

“I was speechless when I learned of my selection. I was overjoyed and phoned my parents and thanked the Almighty,” Hamza said.

“If selected, I would try and keep it as simple as possible,” he added.

“The past three years, Shukri Conrad at the Academy made a massive difference to me and then Faiek Davids and Ashwell Prince at the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras and Russell Domingo at the SA A team played big roles.

“Russell spoke to me a lot of what is expected at the highest level and encouraged me.”

He said he wants to keep his confidence and self-belief and take pride in wearing the Proteas badge. The purpose is to embrace the challenge of representing the country and playing for 50 million South Africans while keeping his cool.

He matriculated at Rondebosch High School and played for SA Schools before breaking into the Western Province U19 group and then onto the provincial scene.

A great future beckoned for Hamza when at the age of 17 he became the fourth youngest South African to score a double century at first-class level.

In 2016, he was nominated as the provincial Three Day Cup player of the year at the CSA awards, but he has since broken into the Cape Cobras line-up.

This season he averages 31.87 and has scored 255 runs in the Four-Day Domestic Series.

“He is humble, has a solid technique and he keeps his feet on the ground. But ultimately, it’s his ability to win it or save it when under pressure because of the big match temperament that tells me he is ready to play for South Africa,” Prince said.

Zubayr Hamza, the 23-year-old World Sports Betting Cape Cobras batsman, has been named as a potential new cap in the Standard Bank Proteas squad for the three-match Test series against Pakistan which starts at SuperSport Park, Centurion, on December 26.

The other matches will be played at PPC Newlands from January 3 and at the Bidvest Wanderers from January 11.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced a 13-man squad for the series today that also features the return of VKB Knights fast bowler Duanne Olivier in place of the injured Lungi Ngidi. Olivier was part of the squad for the previous home Test series against Australia and has represented the Proteas in five Test matches.

“Zubayr has been one of the standout cricketers in domestic cricket over the past year and carried that form into the South Africa A tour to India where he averaged over 50 in the four-day series against tough opposition and under toughconditions,” commented CSA National Selection Panel (NSP) convener Linda Zondi.

“Before that, he had an outstanding season in the four-day franchise competition where he scored 823 runs, including three centuries, at the impressive average of 69.

“His selection is part of our vision for the future as we start to feed new players into the system. It is inevitable that some of our senior players will start thinking of retiring in years to come and it is vital that we have a good succession plan in place,” explained Mr. Zondi.

“As unfortunate as Lungi’s injury is we are blessed to have outstanding depth in our fast bowling resources. Duanne has impressed on his previous appearances for the Proteas and has had a good franchise season to date with 20 wickets in his five matches at an average of 22.80.

“Tladi Bokako will work with the squad as a learning experience during the series in a continuation of the initiative we started with Kagiso Rabada and continued with Matthew Breetzke earlier in the season. He has had a good debut season for the Cape Cobras with 21 wickets at 26.33 to date.

“We will continue to identify young players with the potential to become future Proteas,” concluded Mr. Zondi.

If Hamza gains selection in the final XI he will become the 100th player to represent the Proteas in the five-day format.

Standard Bank Proteas Test squad: Faf du Plessis (Multiply Titans, capt), Hashim Amla (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Temba Bavuma (bizhub Highveld Lions), Theunis de Bruyn (Multiply Titans), Quinton de Kock (Multiply Titans), Dean Elgar (Multiply Titans), Zubayr Hamza (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Multiply Titans), Duanne Olivier (VKB Knights), Vernon Philander (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Kagiso Rabada (bizhub Highveld Lions), Dale Steyn (Multiply Titans)

PAKISTAN TOUR TO SA 2018/19

December 26-30: 10h00, 1st Test match, SuperSport Park, Centurion

January 3-7 : 10h30, 2nd Test match, PPC Newlands, Cape Town

January 11-15 : 10h00, 3rd Test match, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

One of the most attractive sights to behold in South African white-ball cricket is to admire the death bowling skills of Dane Paterson. In the Mzansi Super League (MSL) match between the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and the Paarl Rocks, he captured 2-26 and removed Rudi Second and Sisanda Migala with his main weapon, the Yorker.

The Giants had 140 for three after fifteen overs, and lost six wickets while adding only 28 runs in the final five overs. Paterson and David Wiese were the terminators.

Paterson, a stalwart of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, took 2-10 in his final two overs and hardly made a mistake as he consistently landed those Yorkers that made him one of the best exponents of that toe-crushing delivery in international white-ball cricket.

In that 15th match of the Mzansi Super League, Paterson denied the Giants probably 15 runs and the score was competitive rather than highly challenging.

For the record: the Giants beat the Paarl Rocks by 48 runs, a bonus point-win.

Vernon Philander contributed an attractive cameo of 18 in a dramatic chase to eclipse the 230 struck by the Jozi Stars on Friday 30th November. Philander represented the luckless Durban Heat, who assembled a valiant 177 but lost too many wickets up front when Kagiso Rabada’s triple strike had the Durban team in deep trouble on four for three.

Janneman Malan shared in an 83-run opening stand for the Cape Town Blitz with the centurion Quinton de Kock on Saturday 1st December. He contributed an attractive and composed 34 as the Blitz compiled 172 for nine against the Tshwane Spartans. Malan is the leading run-scorer of the Blitz with 236 runs at an average of 39.33.

Rory Kleinveldt took 1-29 in four overs for the Spartans against the Blitz. His wicket was the prized scalp of De Kock. The Big Show, as Kleinveldt is known, also took two sharp catches at slip off the spinners Sean Williams and Jeevan Mendis.

Vernon Philander produced a quick-fire 30 off 16 balls for the Durban Heat against the Paarl Rocks, who won by nine wickets with five balls to spare at Eurolux Boland Park on Sunday 2nd December.

Janneman Malan was one of the greatest achievers amongst the 12 World Sports Betting Cape Cobras participating in the Mzansi Super League during the past, first full week of the international T20 competition.

Malan produced a sterling 57 off 41 balls with 10 fours and a six in the win of the Cape Town Blitz against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants on Wednesday at PPC Newlands by 14 runs according to the D/L-method of recalculation.

Malan dominated a 40-run partnership for the opening wicket with the experienced Protea, Quinton de Kock, who was dismissed for 6.

Linde slammed 12 off four balls with a six and a four to secure 175 for six.

Ferisco Adams was economy-personified by conceding 13 runs in three overs.

On Saturday 24th November Malan hammered 66 off 43 balls with four fours and four sixes in the 198 for five posted by the Cape Town Blitz. Malan and De Kock added 99 runs for the first wicket.

The Jozi Stars were restricted to 136 in reply. Linde, left-arm spinner of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, nipped out 3-25 to help seal the fate of the Jozi Stars, as the Blitz won by 62 runs. De Kock blasted 74 and was the player of the match.

On Sunday 25th November at a Western Cape derby in Paarl, the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras batsman, Malan struck 29 off 31 balls as the visiting Cape Blitz limped to 140.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras fast bowler Dane Paterson managed 3-23 in four overs for the victorious Paarl Rocks and was chief of the supporting cast for Bjorn Fortuin.

Hashim Amla, the international star who represents the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, assembled 24 runs in a low-scoring match for the Durban Heat, while Rory Kleinveldt boasted figures of 0-17 in three relatively miserly overs for the Tshwane Spartans. The Heat won by 10 runs according to the D/L method on Wednesday 21st November.

Vernon Philander, the all-rounder of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras and the Durban Heat, was a star for the Heat on Friday 23rd November in a low-scoring affair which was dominated by the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants. He struck 26 off 22 balls and later nipped out 1-17 in three overs, but the Giants romped to a nine-wicket victory.

Two members of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras made their presence felt with barn-storming performances on the opening day of the Mzansi Super League as they engineered a 49-run win for the Cape Town Blitz against the Tshwane Spartans.

 

Kyle Verreynne shared in a 100-run partnership with Mohammad Nawaz and scored 53 off 34 balls with six fours and a six.

The duo was largely responsible for the 180 for 4 compiled by the Cape Town Blitz at PPC Newlands.

 

During the Tshwane Spartans’ chase, AB de Villiers and Rilee Rossouw were in the midst of a threatening stand when Ferisco Adams had De Villiers caught at deep square leg for 59. With his very next ball, he produced a Yorker and bowled Rossouw. That was the turning point of the match, and the Spartans limped to 131.

 

Adams took 3-28 in 3.3 overs, but it was his excellent bowling in his second over which transformed the match and derailed the chase of the Spartans.

 

The Iceman, as Adams is known, and the young Verreynne, were two of the heroes in a convincing win for the Cape Town Blitz.

Dane Piedt, four-day captain of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, was another to showcase his talent as he nipped out 1-15 in three overs and made life uncomfortable for the Spartans during the power play.

 

On Sunday, the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras all-rounder Vernon Philander struck a beautiful six in his attractive cameo of 16 off 12 balls and he shared in an unbroken stand of 39 runs with Khaya Zondo for the sixth wicket against the Cape Town Blitz.

 

In reply, Janneman Malan blasted 31 off 26 balls as chief of the support cast for Asif Ali, whose 80 off 33 balls set up a three-wicket win for the Blitz against the Durban Heat.

Dane Paterson suffered in his first three overs for the Paarl Rocks against the Tshwane Spartans on Sunday, conceding 42 runs. But in his final over he removed Dean Elgar and the in-form Gihahn Cloete and he finished with 2-45. He demonstrated his character under pressure in that final over.

There’s no doubt that the attacking brand of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras and their recent success of winning four out of five four-day matches will serve them exceptionally well in the Mzansi Super League, where twelve of them will be in action, says JP Duminy, captain of the Cape side in the white-ball formats.

Duminy, an experienced Proteas all-rounder, will miss the Mzansi Super League T20 due to shoulder surgery.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras have been in popular demand and 12 of them were snapped out in the draft of the inaugural Mzansi Super League.

Asked what his expectations of the 12 are, Duminy said he is confident that players who get a good run in the tournament will contribute heavily.

The Cobras have won four out of five 4Day Domestic Series matches and are at the summit of the table. Asked how beneficial it will be for them in the Mzansi Super League, Duminy said the confidence will be infectious in the Mzansi Super League.

“There has been a conscious effort by the guys, something I have been part of in the off-season, to play a positive brand of cricket and to lead from the front. To see that unfold in this manner has been exceptional.

“The conversations in the change room have been to play positively and to take the game forward. If all of them who have been snapped up in the League take that mindset forward into the league we can expect some great things,” Duminy said.

Duminy said he has a feeling Hashim Amla will be a big contributor to the Mzansi Super League. “He is a very meticulous player with his training for T20 cricket and very innovative.

“He is a student of the game and found ways to get on top of the bowlers. He has evolved immensely. For a couple of years he was not rated in T20 cricket but he has proved to everybody that he is capable of so much more and that has been exceptional to see.”

The international stalwart said Dane Paterson has been highly rated because of the skills-set he possesses. He is regarded as one of the best death bowlers in South Africa. It all comes down to execution.

“He practices meticulously on his skills and thinks hard about his game. He wants to make sure off the field as well as one of the leaders. He is high on confidence and the whole of South Africa expect him to have a good tournament,” Duminy said.

Rory Kleinveldt is a seasoned campaigner who knows what to do in pressure situations. He is the type of player who asks for the ball in pressure situations and then tries to make things happen.

 

The Mzansi Super League will give Vernon Philander an opportunity to showcase his skills. “In my humble opinion, Vernon can contribute in all formats. We have seen it time again in white-ball formats. He has been around for many years and understands his game and contributes heavily in pressure situations,” Duminy said.

 

“Lizaad Williams has been regarded as one of the better death bowlers in the country but it comes down to opportunity. He has not necessarily had the opportunity. He has been picked up years ago because of his death bowling skills, and a good action and execution. If he gets a go in the Mzansi Super League the lights will shine brightly on him,” according to Duminy.

 

Duminy has not seen a lot of Tladi Bokako, except for an over or two. He has come to the Western Cape with great expectations. He has taken his opportunities and has done exceptionally well in the four-day competition.

 

Duminy said he has not seen much of Janneman Malan but believes the young Cobras star has huge potential.  “I’ve had conversations about him. He is very different in his technique. He is exceptionally talented with an amazing set of hands. He is a good striker of the ball and can hit the ball very far. I expect big things of him and it will be exciting to see how he unfolds,” Duminy said.

 

“George Linde is a go-to man and a banker in the sense that he does not shy away from the action. He always wants to use the ball in pressure situations. He never backs down and as a batsman can be used up and down the order. He is itching to play in the Mzansi Super League and wants to put in big performances, which is great,” Duminy added.

 

Duminy also sees a bright future for Kyle Verreynne. “He is undoubtedly exceptionally talented, but he just needs a good opportunity and a fair go to showcase his skills. He has an immense skills-set from a batting point of view and is very innovative. He is going to make some big inroads in the tournament (if given opportunities),” Duminy said.

 

Ferisco Adams, nicknamed the Ice Man for his composure under pressure, is the man Duminy turns to whenever in doubt. “He closed out so many games last season. He has exceptional skills-set in the way he executes his stock delivery and bowls his Yorkers. His change-up and variations have been impressive. There is no doubt he will do some great things,” Duminy remarked.

“We did not make it hard for them to take our wickets. We did not apply ourselves enough with the bat in the first innings,” was Dane Piedt’s post-mortem on where the pendulum swung away from the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in their 186-run loss to the bizhub Highveld Lions in their Four-Day Domestic series clash at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl which ended disappointingly early on Thursday.

“We had three bad days. I thought it was reasonable to restrict them to 300 for seven on the first day. It was very disappointing,” Piedt said.

The hosts limited the Lions to 337 in the first innings, and it prompted Ashwell Prince, the host’s coach, to say that if in any other game the first-innings response was over 400, it would have left the Lions in some disarray.

WJ Lubbe struck 101. Temba Bavuma scored 51 and Rassie van der Dussen contributed 66. Both those half-centuries could have been tons, which left the door open for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras to eclipse them in the first innings.

Probed about the failure of the top-order in both innings, Prince was philosophical: “There are a lot of young guys (batsmen) who like to play their shots and they are learning. You have got to take the rough with the smooth and learn from making mistakes,” Prince said.

Piedt mentioned that the wickets in the past two games were responsive to good bowling, but the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras gave wickets away and did not counter-attack as was the case in the first games.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras collapsed to 246 all out from a good position of 197 for five on Thursday.

Both Piedt and Prince mentioned the good bowling of the Cape champions: “We have taken 20 wickets in five successive games now and Dane took a five-wicket haul while Pato (Dane Paterson) also captured five wickets in an innings, said, Prince.

“Our bowlers are some of the leaders on the list of bowling averages with Dane Paterson, Tladi Bokako and Piedt amongst the leading wicket-takers,” Prince said.

But Piedt said his 5-99 – the eighteenth five-wicket haul of his career – was hollow because it was not in a winning cause.

Despite the comprehensive loss, the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras are still leading the log with 103.86 points, while the Lions are second on 91.72 points.

Twelve World Sports Betting Cape Cobras will now turn their attention to the Mzansi Super League and play for six different franchises. The League starts on Friday 16th November at PPC Newlands.

Craig Alexander claimed three of the five remaining wickets to wrap up a 186-run win for the bizhub Highveld Lions over 4-Day Domestic Series leaders the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras on the final day of their clash in Paarl on Thursday.

 

The fast bowler ended with three for 52 as the hosts fell from their overnight 186 for five to 246 all out on the last morning.

 

There were also three-fors from Bjorn Fortuin (3/37) and Aaron Phangiso (3/77) in a polished overall performance from the Lions that inflicted a first loss of the campaign on the Cobras.

 

Defeat overshadowed another good display by Malan, who recorded his third century of the season by making 101 (235 balls, 13 fours), while Jason Smith struck 74 (132 balls, 8 fours).

 

Their performances apart, it was a largely disappointing effort from the home side with the bat – their 138 all out in the first innings contributing hugely to the loss at Eurolux Boland Park.

 

They had started day four with some hope on 186 for five, chasing 433, and two set batsmen at the crease. Malan quickly went to his 30th first-class century but was the first wicket to fall not long after, trapped leg before wicket by Alexander. The same bowler took out Smith, moments after Phangiso got Dane Piedt (1) as all hope for the Cobras disappeared.

 

They were eventually bowled out in 81.2 overs, but still go into the competition break top of the table.