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.

Pieter Malan was closing in on his third century of the season as the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras were fighting hard at the close of the third day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the bizhub Highveld Lions in Paarl on Wednesday.

 

The right-hander struck an unbeaten 95 (213 balls, 13 fours) to rescue the log leaders from a woeful start of 75 for five at Eurolux Boland Park to reach the close on 186 for five in pursuit of a 433-victory target.

 

Support from the other end was coming from all-rounder Jason Smith’s 59 not out (87 balls, 6 fours) – the pair sharing a 111-run sixth wicket stand to retain outside hope of still winning the game.

 

The Cobras, who are top of the table after four wins from four this season, opened the door for the Lions when they were bowled out for their lowest score of the campaign (138) on day two.

 

The visitors capitalised on that by moving from 104 for four overnight to 233 all out. Nicky van den Bergh finished as their top-scorer with 83 (141 balls, 14 fours), while Dane Piedt was the pick of the bowlers with five for 99.

 

The final innings went horribly wrong for the Cobras after spinners Bjorn Fortuin (3/37) and Aaron Phangiso (2/49) made merry.

 

But Malan and Smith fought back to give their side hope.

A brilliant all-round bowling display by the bizhub Highveld Lions helped stop the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in their tracks after the 4-Day Domestic Series log-leaders fell apart on the second day of their clash in Paarl on Tuesday.

The home side, who have won all four matches of 2018/19 thus far for a massive lead at the top of the table, were blown away for just 138 in their first innings.

Nono Pongolo (3/29) and Aaron Phangiso (3/11) claimed three wickets apiece, while there were doubles from Nandre Burger (2/34) and Bjorn Fortuin (2/23) – the visitors dominating at Eurolux Boland Park.

The Lions then reached stumps on a 104 for four to take a telling 303-run lead heading into day three.

It completed a surprisingly poor day for the hosts, who started the day well enough by taking just over 10 overs to claim the final three first-inning wickets of their Johannesburg-based opponents. Dane Piedt struck twice to end with three for 119, while the other stick went to Dane Paterson, allowing him to complete his 12th career five-for with five for 81.

The Lions were bowled out for 337, and then came a consistent performance with the ball from their bowlers.

Without the suspended Beuran Hendricks, one of the leading bowlers of the season, the rest of his team-mates stood up by striking at regular intervals to blow away the Cobras in 51.1 overs.

Zubayr Hamza top-scored with 56 (113 balls, 5 fours), but only two others – Janneman Malan (22) and Aviwe Mgijima (24) – managed double figures.

It meant the Cobras were dismissed for their lowest score of the season.

To their credit, the Cobras did fight back as Stephen Cook (3), Dominic Hendricks (9), Temba Bavuma (17) and Wiaan Lubbe (23) fell cheaply.

Rassie van der Dussen was also forced to retire hurt on nought, but Nicky van den Bergh (41 not out) kept them ahead in the game.

Piedt was the best of the bowlers with two for 49.

A second successive century by Wihan Lubbe helped the bizhub Highveld Lions secure a strong start to their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the log-leading World Sports Betting Cape Cobras before Dane Paterson took two late wickets to peg the visitors back in Paarl on Monday.

 

The young all-rounder made 101 (181 balls, 5 fours, 6 sixes) at Eurolux Boland Park as the second-placed visitors reached stumps at 300 for seven.

 

There were good contributions too by Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen after both chipped in with half-centuries, although the Lions might be ruing not being in an even stronger position at the end after Paterson picked up four for 58.

 

The away side had the disadvantage of losing the toss at the start of the round five encounter with the home side opting to bowl first.

 

Openers Stephen Cook (25) and Dominic Hendricks (10) fell relatively cheaply, before the Lions’ middle-order got to work. Lubbe and Bavuma, who struck 51 (87 balls, 9 fours), put on 118 for the third wicket to take their side to 160 for two.

 

After the departure of the captain, Van der Dussen (66 off 100 balls, 9 fours) joined Lubbe in another important stand, which was worth 61.

 

Fifty was then shared between Nicky van den Bergh (13) and Van der Dussen to leave the Lions looking strong on 271 for four with around 10 overs to go, but Paterson struck twice and Dane Piedt (1/105) once to help the Cobras hit back and end the day well.

Ashwell Prince ticked all the right boxes as a cricketer. He was defiance and dogged determination personified and averaged 41.64 with 11 centuries in 66 tests. He could seamlessly move from middle-order batsman to opener and scored 150 in that position.

He was also a South African captain and in his final season with Lancashire shared in a partnership of 500 with Alviro Petersen, so when called upon to coach the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, he possessed almost all the credentials.

But from a coaching perspective, he has now achieved the only ingredient missing from his CV, his level-three certificate, and finished close to the top of his class.

“There are a lot of people (coaches) without the certificate. But I have to respect the system and as a young coach, I have had a lot to learn,” Prince said.

“Graduating with the level three certificate means you have done a lot of learning. We are all learning still, no matter how much you have played or watched the game,” he said.

Prince is in his second full season as coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras. They are at the summit of the Four-Day Series, but Prince was philosophical about the 33 point cushion above the bizhub Highveld Lions. (The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras have 99.86 points and the Lions have 66.98).

“We have won four in a row, but it is possible we can lose the next three. Credit must go to the backroom staff and the team who have shown character.

“Some things go unnoticed. It was a tough day yesterday. The boys bowled well with little reward. During the winter Sherman (Baatjes, the strength and conditioning coach) made the guys run around the boundary ropes a lot of times and put in the hard work. I’d like to give Sherman a lot of credit.

“For Pato to come back and take those three wickets close to the end of the day when they have been really tired, that is a lot of credit to the trainer to make the guys prepared for a tough season and for tough days like that. Sometimes those type of things (the work done by the strength and conditioning coach) go unnoticed.

“You have to be fit to concentrate the way Pieter Malan did batting for hours and hours and that does not just happen. That is people like Sherman working so that type of quality can go out and do their work,” Prince said. A lot of praise must go to the backroom staff.

“In the first three games we were bowling our opponents out cheaply and got in front, but in this game against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, we were 45 for four and had to show a lot of character to claim a first-innings lead,” Prince said.

“I am so proud of Ashwell and for the commitment, he has demonstrated by graduating with a level three certificate and as one of the top achievers. You never stop learning and Ashwell knows and appreciates that,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

“The art of forgetfulness has served us well and will be pivotal again when the two table-topping teams clash at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl from Monday in the 4Day Series,” said Pieter Malan, leading run-scorer of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

 

Malan says one of the key ingredients for the hosts has been to forget about their log position and to play every game as if they are second or third from the top. Consequently, they play with passion and hunger.

 

“We are oozing self-confidence at the moment, but we need to start from zero again and forget the four wins in four matches,” said Malan.

 

The bizhub Highveld Lions, second on the log, have beaten the Warriors by nine wickets and the VKB Knights by an innings and 22 runs.

 

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras have beaten the Lions by an innings and 71 runs at Bidvest Wanderers ground recently.

 

Malan says the bowling attack has been fantastic, taking 80 wickets. “They can almost not bowl better. They hit good lengths and are very patient.

 

“I think Dane Paterson (21 wickets at an average of 18.65) and Beuran Hendricks of the Lions (21 wickets at an average of 19.33) are the two leading wicket-takers at the moment.

 

“Mthiwekhaya Nabe took a five-wicket haul in the previous match and Dane Piedt has fulfilled his role by only conceding two runs per over,” Malan added.

 

“We focus on our own processes and don’t look too far ahead. That is what happened in that 228-run partnership for the sixth wicket between me and Vernon Philander against the Dolphins. We played each ball on its merit and tried to bat as long as possible and it worked,” he said.

 

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras’ top-order struggled a tad against the attack of the Hollywoodbets Dolphins and the middle-order resurrected both their innings. But Malan says one needs to heed the fact that every time two players knuckled down and showed their mettle.

 

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras have been served greatly by a bowling attack that has taken 80 wickets in four matches. Last season, they captured 115 wickets in the whole season.

The character under duress throughout the game and the 228-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Pieter Malan and Vernon Philander which could be a pivotal day of the season, were the standout features of the emphatic five-wicket victory at PPC Newlands by the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, said Ashwell Prince, head coach of the hosts.

 

“It was a phenomenal team effort,” a delighted Prince said moments after Philander struck a six over long on to clinch victory for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras as they reached 173 for five and eclipsed the 171 needed for a win..

 

“The partnership between Malan and Philander and Dane Paterson’s late spell – he took 6-63 including three late wickets on day three in the space of six balls – were the key factors,” said Dane Piedt, the proud skipper.

 

“I have always said Pato is not only a white-ball cricketer. He is a proper red-ball cricketer who has taken over 300 first-class wickets,” Piedt said.

 

“He is close to the leading wicket-taker of the competition although he has played in one game less. We always know he is a good white-ball cricketer, but he became renowned a couple of seasons ago when he was the leading wicket taker in the four-day franchise games with over 40 wickets,” Prince added.

 

“On day four (on Thursday), we needed two cricketers to knuckle down because we still had about 100 runs to score and they had taken four wickets. Avi (Aviwe Mgijima) played a really good innings and Kyle Verreynne showed his character,” Prince said.

 

“It was the second time this season that Kyle has produced that knock under pressure (he scored an unbeaten 51 in a four-wicket win against the VKB Knights in the first four-day game of the season),” Piedt said in heaping praise on Verreynne.

 

“It was a defining knock for Aviwe. He was under a bit of pressure,” Piedt said.

 

“It was a defining knock, but in the nets he was getting into good positions,” said Faiek Davids, the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras’ assistant coach.

 

Prince hailed the backroom staff and specifically Sherman Baatjes for his strength and conditioning work which contributed to Paterson bowling two spells of nine overs and for Malan facing 296 balls in his knock of 153 and for batting for 426 minutes.

 

The coaching staff also praised Mthiwekhaya Nabe for taking 5-60.

 

“I thought it was a really good cricket wicket because there were two centuries, three five-wicket hauls and 35 wickets falling. Credit must go to Evan Flint, the curator,” said Piedt.

 

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras are at the summit of the log with 99.86 points and they will clash with the bizhub Highveld Lions, second on the log with 66.98 points, from Monday at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl.

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras assistant coach Faiek Davids insists there are no thoughts whatsoever about the 4-Day Domestic Series title creeping into their camp ahead of their round five encounter against the bizhub Highveld Lions starting in Paarl on Monday.

 

The hosts are on a roll in the competition after four wins out of four thus far and can stretch their lead at the summit to close to 50 points with another victory against their closest rivals at Eurolux Boland Park.

 

The first-class competition reaches the halfway stage after this next set of games, after which it will break for the Mzansi Super League.

 

Davids, though, is not prepared to jump the gun. “We’re very pleased with where we’re at,” he said. “We’re obviously very confident as well.

 

“I think if you look back to last year, we couldn’t bowl out teams even once, so to have done it twice by taking 20 wickets four times already, it’s a huge credit to the bowling. They’re bowling in good areas and obviously holding their ends nicely as well.

 

“We’re rightly confident going into that fifth match, but we’re also not looking too far ahead because we ultimately know that we’ve only played four matches still.

 

“No one is even talking about championships or those sort of things, we just want to get ourselves into that position to be able to challenge for that championship come the end of the season.”

 

In the latest round of games this past week, the Cobras showed incredible character to come back from a dire position of 45 for four in their first innings to record what was possibly their best win of the campaign against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Cape Town.

 

Davids continued: “We played from behind in the game if you remember were 40-odd for four. The way we responded thereafter was fantastic and it set the tone for the game. It was an excellent win and does now put us in a good position.”

 

The Lions are second on the table and their closest challengers this season. The Cobras have already beaten them at the Wanderers, but Davids feels they will be a different proposition this time.

 

“We played well against them at the Wanderers, but now Rassie van der Dussen is back, Temba Bavuma is back and they’re playing quite well at the moment,” he added. “So, we know we’re going to be in for a good fight.”

 

The Lions boss Enoch Nkwe, meanwhile, is adamant that the Cobras are beatable, despite their formidable form this term.

 

However, he feels the Gauteng-based side, who drew their latest game against the Multiply Titans this past week, will have to deliver their ‘A-game’ to have a chance in the Cape.

 

“Every opportunity we get to play against any team we want to win,” he stated. “That’s the reason why we play this game.

 

“So, we’re just going to stick to our processes, we do understand that the Cobras are playing well at the moment and we respect that. At the end of the day, both teams will want to win heading into the break.

 

“We’re expecting a tough game in their back yard. They are on a good run, but, at some point, they are bound to slip up. Hopefully it will be against us.”