A flying half century by Rassie van der Dussen ensured the race for home advantage in the CSA T20 Challenge play-offs would go down to the wire after the bizhub Highveld Lions clinched a six-wicket bonus-point win over leaders the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Cape Town on Friday.

In a penultimate regular season fixture at PPC Newlands, the visitors turned in a polished display with the ball to restrict the hosts to a poor 133 for seven, before chasing down the target with 25 balls to spare.

Van der Dussen was the key man with the bat, returning to form with an unbeaten 59 (36 balls, 2 fours, 4 sixes) to leave everything to play for in Sunday’s final round.

The Lions jumped from third to first on the table, now with 24 points, one ahead of the Cobras (23) and three ahead of the Warriors (21).

And they were full value for their win after Nono Pongolo led the way impressively with the ball.

The seamer claimed one for 17 in four overs and was amongst six bowlers to pick up a wicket apiece – the pick of the others being the consistent Bjorn Fortuin (1/22) and Wiaan Mulder (1/25).

Only Jason Smith made an impact for the home side with an unbeaten 49 off 35 balls, while JP Duminy contributed 29 on his return to the side. There was another failure for Hashim Amla after he managed just 10.

The Lions lost Reeza Hendricks (2) early in the chase, but 26 apiece from Ryan Rickelton and Temba Bavuma were more than enough support for Van der Dussen.

He completed his 21st T20 50 and batted right through to complete a fine comeback effort for his side, just two days after they suffered a similar fate to the Warriors in Johannesburg.

Current and former players of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras have paid tribute to former Cobras all-rounder Con de Lange who tragically lost his battle with a brain tumour this past week.

Former team-mate Rory Kleinveldt led the tributes to De Lange. He tweet: “RIP Con de Lange!!! Someone I woulda taken 2 war with me any day of the week! Such a good soldier lost way 2 soon!! Condolences 2 Claire and the kids #loveyoubrother.”

JP Duminy, who played with De Lange as well, concurred. “I played with Con. Rory summed it up beautifully, a man you would have taken with to war any day. He was a fighter, a man who stood for the phrase day in and day out ‘never give up’. I had the great privilege of meeting up with him in Scotland three years ago and I could see that that attitude had certainly not changed. A man who loved his family dearly and I have no doubt they will follow his legacy.”

A talented all-rounder, he was a middle order batsman, a slow left arm spin bowler and an excellent fielder who played for Boland, the Cape Cobras, the Knights, Northamptonshire and Scotland. In his first class career he scored nearly 3,000 runs at an average rate of 23, including one century and 13 half centuries, while as bowler he took 183 wickets at an average of 38.

Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, said he was a great servant of the game and he came to know De Lange on a tour to Zambia in 2006. “A very good player and a very good spinner who had the potential to play for the country,” he said. “He was a fighter,” Dien noted.

André Odendaal, former CEO of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, said he found him to be a fantastic young player who did not shirk the hard work and was an honest toiler.

“He was a very solid all-rounder. It was with a sense of shock and sadness that I learned the news of his passing the past week.

“He was one of the players who helped made the success of the Cape Cobras brand possible,” Odendaal noted.

Graeme Smith, former SA skipper, tweet: “So sad, hard to comprehend… Will remember the good times! Best wishes to the De Lange family.”

Jacques Kallis also tweet: “Sad to hear of the passing of Con de Lange. Thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family. RIP.”

 

A thrilling 30-ball 55 by Aviwe Mgijima helped the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras consolidate their position at the top of the CSA T20 Challenge table with a narrow three-wicket win over the Multiply Titans at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday.

The right-hander struck three sixes and three fours for his best career score in a high-scoring affair that saw the 182 for three set by the defending champions chased down with seven balls to spare.

The home side had briefly lost top position earlier in the evening when the Warriors thumped the bizhub Highveld Lions, but regained their spot with a composed victory that put them two points clear with two round-robin games remaining.

They had won the toss and put the Titans into bat but Mark Boucher’s side responded by amassing a healthy total.

This was thanks in the main to Tony de Zorzi’s 70 off 47 balls (4 fours, 3 sixes) as well as a half-century from Theunis de Bruyn (50 off 37 balls, 4 fours, 1 six).

Farhaan Behardien also provided some fireworks at the end with an unbeaten 39 off 18 balls, which included three fours and two sixes.

After the early loss of Hashim Amla (3), Janneman Malan and David Bedingham struck 37 apiece in a 63-run second-wicket stand that helped the Cobras motor along to 83 for one in the ninth over.

Disaster then struck when Shaun von Berg (1/22) hit back to break the stand, before Junior Dala (3/32) nabbed two wickets in four balls to alter the course of the game.

It was suddenly 86 for four, but Mgijima and Jason Smith (28 off 18 balls) rebuilt with a stand worth 59 for the fifth wicket.

And by the time the partnership ended, just under 40 were needed from the last five overs, with Mgjima ticking along quickly to carry his side over the line.

Smarter play against the spinners and more clinical execution, are the areas that have been targeted by the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in preparation for the CSA T20 Challenge match against the Multiply Titans at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday.

“Our next two games are against Highveld teams who visit the coastal area. These are opportunities for us. They are two tough opponents but we are confident of our chances,” said assistant coach Faiek Davids.

Davids added the left-arm spinners have played a significant role in the T20 Challenge so far. “We think GF Linde can still improve and execute for us.”

“Our batting has not really fired and we have played at about 70% of our real potential. In the power play we had one game where our batsmen were explosive and that was against the Warriors at Paarl.

“We could still improve our batting in the power play and the middle order. Generally, we have been excellent at the business end of the innings with Rory (Kleinveldt), Vernon (Philander) and George (Linde) being belligerent.”

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras’ bowling has generally been of the highest order, but the execution of Kleinveldt let him down in the death overs as he conceded 27 runs against the Warriors at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.

“It was the exception rather than the rule,” Davids said.

“Our fielding can still improve and the Warriors threw themselves around on the boundary in our previous game and made match-winning saves. It is something we can still work on,” Davids said.

Ferisco Adams remains in the squad for Lizaad Williams who has gone to the bizhub Highveld Lions on loan for the remainder of the season whilst Hashim Amla returns to the squad.

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad: Rory Kleinveldt (capt), Ferisco Adams, Hashim Amla, David Bedingham, Tladi Bokako, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Akhona Mnyaka, Dane Paterson, Vernon Philander, Nkululeko Serame, Jason Smith, Kyle Verreynne.

Showing more intent with the bat and improving in the field are the two areas targeted by the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in the match against the Warriors at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Coach Ashwell Prince was full of praise for the bowling of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in the power play, and he also singled out the way the team handled the critical moments of matches, which explains why they have won four out of five games.

“Rory Kleinveldt and Vernon Philander have bowled brilliantly in the power plays which has served us very well,” Prince said.

“I anticipate the Warriors to play well in the next game, which makes them a dangerous outfit to conquer.”

Speaking about the batting, he said, “I want the team to show more intent throughout the 20 overs. That also means that they must increase the tally of boundaries. Most of our runs have come in the last four overs,” he said.

The winning of the toss has been an important factor in winning games, and so has the dew factor, which makes it a bit of a lottery.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras have not scored 170 yet in the competition in which the two slow bowlers of each team have played their roles splendidly in restricting teams.

The way the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras have handled the pressure with their bowlers has been a revelation, as was the case against the bizhub Highveld Lions and the VKB Knights.

“We had no right to win the match against the Knights, but Tladi Bokako bowled a brilliant spell and Nkululeko Serame bowled well, while Vernon and Rory finished it off at the end,” said Prince.

Prince also praised the role of the elder statesmen in the squad, Kleinveldt, Philander and Hashim Amla, in guiding the young squad on and off the field.

Prince added, “JP Duminy is still undergoing rehabilitation and will only be available for the last two games of the group phase.”

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad: Rory Kleinveldt (capt), Hashim Amla, David Bedingham, Tladi Bokako, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Akhona Mnyaka, Dane Paterson, Vernon Philander, Nkululeko Serame, Jason Smith, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams

A century by Byron Boshoff helped Durbanville Cricket Club (DCC) seal victory at the Momentum National Club Championships when they beat Clares Cricket Club on the fifth and final day in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The right-hander ended unbeaten on 118 off 127 balls (11 fours, 1 six) as the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras representatives won by seven wickets – concluding a perfect week where they won all five of their fixtures.

There was also a massive two-wicket upset win for Madibaz Cricket Club over Assupol Tuks, while Kovsies Cricket Club ended their trip to Gauteng well by thumping Impala Cricket Club by nine wickets in the day’s other game.

But all the focus on day five was on the Cape side, DCC at TUT Oval. They won the toss and asked Clares to bat first, with the Durbanites responding by posting a competitive 220/7.

Khalipha Cele (53 off 86 balls, 3 fours) and Bradley Porteous (61 off 70 balls, 4 fours) led the way for the KwaZulu-Natal side as both struck half-centuries. Jaco Castle (2/18) and Tashwin Lukas (2/27) grabbed two wickets apiece.

In reply, DCC lost Kudakwashe Samunderu (5) early, but a 140-run, second-wicket stand between Boshoff and Pieter Malan, who hit 68 off 89 balls (8 fours) gave the Capetonians control and they eventually finished the job with 4.4 overs to spare.

Victory was their fifth out of five and took them to 23 points on the table, eight more than Tuks and 11 clear of Clares after they ended third.

The former ended their competition with a loss to Madibaz at their home ground, Tuks Oval where the men from the Eastern Cape pegged them back to 141 all out in 49.1 overs after winning the toss and bowling.

Several players excelled with the ball – Henco Vorstman (2/22), Sean Callaghan (2/28), Justin Banks (2/26) and Kenan Smith (2/39) – all grabbing two wickets apiece in their 10 over spells.

Christopher Britz, the last man out, was the only batsman to really trouble the opposition with a top score of 42.

Madibaz then made heavy weather of the chase by losing wickets regularly. They were 14/2 early on, 63/5 a little later and then 104/7 with two wickets each from Nico van Zyl (2/28) and Dian Forrester (2/22) doing the damage.

However, they had Joshua van Heerden (35) to thank for holding on to his wicket through the carnage, and then Smith (27 not out) showed good fight later on to take them over the line with 37 deliveries remaining.

Finally, Wizard Ncedane led a fine bowling display that ultimately proved key for Kovsies in their nine-wicket triumph over Impala. The medium-pacer claimed three for 49 to help his side dismiss their opponents for 143.

He was well-supported by Siphamandla Mavanda (2/8), Christo van Staden (2/9) and AJ van Wyk (2/33) – the Johannesburg side bowled out in 33 overs.

Breezy half-centuries from Wihan Victor (53 off 52 balls, 8 fours) and Stephan van Vollenhoven (54 off 40 balls, 7 fours, 1 six) then powered the VKB Knights representatives to victory with more than 30 overs to spare.

The Momentum National Club Championships was put together by Cricket South Africa (CSA) and encompassed the six outright winners of the Franchise regional play-offs, all playing against each other in a 50-over format.

 

Outstanding death bowling by Vernon Philander and Rory Kleinveldt helped the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras extend their lead at the top of the CSA T20 Challenge table thanks to a narrow five-run win over the VKB Knights in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The pair claimed two for 43 in eight overs between them, restricting the visitors to 145 for seven in pursuit of 151 at PPC Newlands.

The Knights looked on course for victory at 111 for two in the 15th over thanks to Patrick Kruger’s 57 off 38 balls (3 fours, 3 sixes).

However, they then lost their way, and even though 19 were needed from the final two overs with five wickets in hand, veterans Philander and Kleinveldt were miserly enough to secure the win.

It was the Cobras’ fourth win in five games this season as they moved six points clear. The Central Franchise, meanwhile, were left bottom of the table and still searching for a first win.

The Knights win the toss and bowled first, with the home side having to rely on David Bedingham (50 off 42 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) for most of their scoring. 

Hashim Amla (4) again failed, with the log leaders also having to rely on Philander (30 not out) and George Linde (22 not out) to lift them to 150 for five.

 The reply was a strong one by the visiting side for three-quarters of the way as Kruger received support from Raynard van Tonder (30) and Pite van Biljon (19).

 But Philander (1/17) and Kleinveldt (1/26) pegged them back to sneak a third straight home win for the Cobras.

 

 

After their 8-run victory over the Dolphins at PPC Newlands on Sunday, the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras are sitting top of the table after 4 rounds of the CSA T20 Challenge, but according to assistant coach Faiek Davids, “we have not produced a clinical (and perfect) match yet.”

“If the batting line-up clicks, we can score 170 to 200 every time,” he added.

Hashim Amla showed signs of his best form by top-scoring with 32 against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, but coach Ashwell Prince said, “There’s definitely some improvement we can make in the batting department, especially partnerships. Quite a few batsmen chipped in with 20s and 30s but we need better partnerships in the batting department.”

“At one stage it was looking like it was going to be a more comfortable margin for victory so we didn’t finish off clinically with the ball. We’re happy with the 4 points but there’s a lot of room for improvement,” he added.

Davids said, “Vernon and Rory bowled excellently in the power play, but we were disappointed in the way Dane Paterson responded at the business-end of the innings. We were under the pump in the death overs, but we do understand that Rob Frylinck is a very good finisher.”

 We have had fantastic back-to-back wins. If we beat a good white-ball team like the Knights on Tuesday at Newlands – we will be in a really good position for the away games coming up,” added Davids.

“The experiment with two spinners worked very well,” Davids said.

 Nkululeko Serame captured 2-28 in his 4 overs and George Linde went for just 25 in his 4 overs.

 The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras were served well by the spinners in the weekend double-header on Friday and Sunday. Aviwe Mgijima in the role of part-time spinner, nipped out 3-14 on Friday and played a significant part in the seven-wicket win against the Warriors.

 Davids said the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras won’t underestimate the VKB Knights, who have several big hitters in their team including Patrick Kruger and Pite van Biljon, as well as the all-round capabilities of Shadley van Schalkwyk.

The CSA T20 Challenge match between the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras and VKB Knights starts at 6pm. Tickets are available at the gate.

 

 

Rory Kleinveldt produced the outstanding figures of two for nine in four overs as the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras moved to the top of the CSA T20 Challenge table thanks to a narrow eight-run win over the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Cape Town on Sunday.

 Out-of-sorts Hashim Amla also showed some glimpses of a return to form by top-scoring for the hosts with a run-a-ball 32 that helped them post 152 for six after being put in to bat first at PPC Newlands.

There were also handy contributions in the 20s by Kyle Verreynne (28), George Linde (27 not out) and Aviwe Mgijima (23).

 However, the visitors would have been relatively happy to have restricted their target to 153 thanks to strong bowling displays by Robbie Frylinck (2/27) as well as spinners Keshav Maharaj (1/20) and Prenelan Subrayen (1/23) – all three sending down their full quota of overs.

 The reply of the Dolphins was a mess as Kleinveldt, who delivered 17 dot balls in his spell, struck twice in his first seven deliveries to remove Sarel Erwee (2) and Morne van Wyk (1).

 And when Vernon Philander (1/28) had Cody Chetty (7) caught behind in the fourth over, the KwaZulu-Natal side were limping on 13 for three.

 They feel into an even deeper hole after Nkululeko Serame’s spin yielded two for 28 and left them on 63 for five by the 14th over.

Then came a near rescue act by Khaya Zondo and Frylinck, who shared in an unbroken 81-run sixth-wicket stand that nearly pulled off an upset.

The captain collected his seventh career half-century to end on 53 not out off 49 balls (1 four, 2 sixes), while veteran all-rounder Frylinck was sensational on his way to an unbeaten 23-ball 47.

 Despite the big hitting, however, the Dolphins were always well behind the game – they needed 54 off 18, 48 off 12 and eventually 24 off six, which proved a mountain too big to scale.

Janneman Malan’s sensational century enabled the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras to strike back from a heavy midweek defeat and seal a lop-sided seven-wicket bonus-point win over the Warriors in their latest CSA T20 Challenge encounter in Paarl on Friday.

The right-hander plundered 12 fours and a six on his way to 103 not out off 57 balls – which helped the hosts comfortably chase down a 152-run target with 25 deliveries to spare.

It was Malan’s second 20-over century, but first at franchise level and kept the crowd entertained throughout at Eurolux Boland Park.

Earlier it was Aviwe Mgijima that was the unlikely hero with the ball for Ashwell Prince’s side. The medium-pacer nabbed a career-best three for 14 to restrict the visitors to 151 for eight after the home side had won the toss and elected to bowl first.

 There was good support all round, particularly from new ball pair of captain Rory Kleinveldt (2/27) and Vernon Philander (1/25).

 Dane Paterson (1/34) and Tladi Bokako (1/19) also managed a wicket each, with none of the Warriors’ batsmen really firing.

They lost wickets regularly throughout, and in the end, the 28 by Gihahn Cloete up front ended up being the top score.

At one stage, they had slipped to 100 for seven, before an unbeaten 25 by Sisanda Magala and 18 not out through Jade de Klerk at least lifted them to a respectable total.

 But it was a total that proved to be no match for the Cobras and their big-hitting opener Malan in particular as he ruthlessly dispatched the bowlers to all corners of the ground.

 He shared in an opening stand of 61 with Hashim Amla, whose seven off 12 balls was probably the only major blip for the Cobras as the veteran Standard Bank Proteas opener battles to find his form.

 A further 46 with David Bedingham (26) followed to take the home side past 100 in the 11th over, and despite the loss of two further wickets, Malan stood tall to reach three figures in 55 balls and then completing the job with 4.1 overs to spare.

 The result took the hosts top of the table after three rounds of the competition with nine points, with the away side remaining on six points.