World Sports Betting Cape Cobras assistant coach Faiek Davids has backed Hashim Amla to come good and hopes the CSA T20 Challenge encounter against the Warriors at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl on Friday is when the veteran batsman will find his touch again.

The Standard Bank Proteas opener, who turned 36 last month, has been forced to take time off from competitive cricket in recent months due to family reasons.  He has also not been in the best of form, especially in the recent international series against Sri Lanka.

But he did show plenty of promise to start the year when South Africa beat Pakistan, raising hope that he was back to his best again. But he has hit a slump since then and failed to make too many runs in the first two matches of the competition.

But Davids has no doubt that Amla will soon turn the corner. “Hashim has obviously been on a bad run of form, but he is a quality player,” he said. “If he’s available to play then we’re happy to have him in the team. He is a massively experienced player and has a wealth of runs behind his name.

“We know he’s just one knock away from getting it right, so we back him and quite happy to have him here.”

The Cobras lost badly to the Multiply Titans in midweek, going down by seven wickets and conceding a bonus point in the process.

But Davids was still happy to have one win from the first two matches on the road ahead of a busy weekend.

“We’ve played two away games to start and will take one out of two against two strong sides,” he added. “We need to bounce back tomorrow and we know the importance of starting well at home.

“The guys are quite geared up, we had a bit of the rough end of the stick with the dew last night…but no excuses. We’re in Paarl now and need to set the record straight.”

Warriors coach Rivash Gobind, meanwhile, saw his side’s game against the VKB Knights in midweek abandoned on account of the weather.

The Eastern Cape side are top of the table at the moment and Gobind hopes they can stay there after the trip to the Cobras.

“It’s always nice to get some momentum going, but unfortunately we couldn’t get that after our game was abandoned,” he said. “That was out of our control and the weather is much more promising for tomorrow.

“We look forward to turning in a good performance against a Cobras side that we know is extremely dangerous.”

Coach Ashwell Prince has kept the same squad for Friday’s match in Paarl.

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

 

A measured half-century by Henry Davids laid the platform for the Multiply Titans to claim their first win of the CSA T20 Challenge season with a seven-wicket bonus-point win over the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Benoni on Wednesday.

The veteran opener struck 57 off 39 balls (8 fours, 1 six), batting for 14 overs, as the hosts chased down a 151-victory target with 26 balls to spare.

There were also useful contributions by Theunis de Bruyn (29 off 13 balls) and Diego Rosier (43 not out off 27 balls) – the defending champions making light work of a tricky target at Willowmoore Park.

The result also represented a perfect response to the home side’s disappointing opening loss when they were beaten by the Warriors, and the weather, on the DLS Method over the weekend.

Mark Boucher’s side were excellent throughout on the East Rand, and after winning the toss and bowling, they chipped away regularly to keep the Cobras in check.

Shaun von Berg (1/18) and the double-handed Gregory Mahlokwana (1/19) were excellent, while Eldred Hawken (1/39) picked up the key wicket of Hashim Amla (2) early on.

There were 20s from Janneman Malan (22), Simon Khomari (20) and Vernon Philander (22 not out), while Kyle Verreynne struck an impressive 44 off 38 before taking a blow from a Junior Dala delivery that forced him to retire hurt.

 Rory Kleinveldt smashed two sixes in the final over that gave the away side a seemingly competitive 150 for five.

But that total proved no match for the Titans as they eased to victory and second place on the standings.

 

The magnificent death-over bowling of Dane Paterson was not the only positive factor of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras’ inspirational 5-run win against the bizhub Highveld Lions on Sunday. The leadership and bowling of Rory Kleinveldt and the partnership of Vernon Philander and Aviwe Mgijima were two other outstanding features of the thrilling victory, said Faiek Davids, assistant coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

Davids said, “We are more relaxed in terms of our preparation and more focused on being match ready for the next three games in the space of six days.

“We want to play with smiles on our faces, operate with freedom, creativeness and express our skills. Hashim Amla is in the team with a point to prove as far as World Cup selection is concerned. We want the other batsmen to increase their strike-rate while they bat around Hash and Kyle Verreynne,” Davids said.

Asked how Paterson was transformed from his disappointing Momentum One Day campaign to his match-winning performance on Sunday, Davids said, “It all comes down to execution of his skills and also conviction. The team management have given him the responsibility to set his own fields. He can only grow in confidence after Sunday’s performance.”

Kleinveldt impressed with his body language and the calmness with which he executed his skills as bowler and captain.

The conditions were conducive to bowling on Sunday because the ball did not really come onto the bat. “We posted a defendable total and we believed that we could defend it,” Davids added.

Asked about the match against the Multiply Titans on Wednesday, Davids said: “Our confidence is there because we beat a strong Lions team. The Titans also field a very good white-ball team. We have nothing to lose and we are going to play with confidence and freedom.

“We have a need to execute,” he added.

Davids hinted that there was still a need to improve, as their clash against the Highveld Lions was only a 7-out-of-10 performance and one or two catches were grassed, while the highest score with the blade was 31.

“We have got the power at the back to launch in George Linde, Vernon, Rory and Paterson,” said Davids.

The Cobras play three games in the next five days, against the Multiply Titans tomorrow, against the Warriors at Eurolux Boland Park on Friday and against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at PPC Newlands on Sunday.

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

Dane Paterson bowled one of the great death overs of his career to earn the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras a thrilling five-run victory over the bizhub Highveld Lions to complete an outstanding opening weekend of the CSA T20 Challenge at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.

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The Lions entered the final over, needing just 8 runs for victory with five wickets in hand although neither of their batsmen at the crease, Wiaan Mulder and Dwaine Pretorius, had faced a ball at that stage.

Paterson conceded only two runs off his final six balls and took three wickets, one of them as the result of a direct hit run out to remove Mulder. If one also takes in account the fact that he hit the final ball of the Cobras innings for a six, then his contribution was immense.

Other key contributions for the Cobras came from the partnership of 58 of just 34 balls between Vernon Philander and Aviwe Mgjima.

Remarkably both sides had 104 runs on the board with six overs left in their innings and in the end this partnership plus Paterson’s final ball six proved just sufficient.

The Lions reply was set up by an entertaining innings of 69 off 43 balls with three fours and four sixes by Ryan Rickelton who confirmed the favourable impression he made in the Mzansi Super League earlier in the season.

It also served to highlight one of the important by-products of this competition to provide opportunities for fringe franchise players. The 22-year-old Rickelton was one such example as was the 23-year-old Marques Ackerman in the Hollywoodbets Dolphins victory over the VKB Knights on Saturday evening.

Paterson was named bowler of the match and the batting award went to Philander.

 

 

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince confirmed that Proteas batsman Hashim Amla will be available for at least the opening matches of the CSA T20 Challenge which gets underway this weekend.

 The Cobras head to Gauteng to face the bizhub Highveld Lions at Bidvest Wanderers on Sunday and then take on the Multiply Titans in Benoni on Wednesday.

 “I still think there is a place for someone to bat through the innings and he (Amla) is well capable of doing that. If he bats through the innings at 120-130 strike rate, it allows other natural ball strikers to play their game around him.”

 Prince also confirmed that JP Duminy will not be available for the opening part of the tournament as he undergoes strengthening of his shoulder as per CSA’s request.

 

A career-best and franchise record six for 19 by Junior Dala paved the way for the Multiply Titans to secure their place in Sunday’s Momentum One-Day Cup final after a gripping five-wicket win over the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Centurion on Wednesday.

 The Standard Bank Proteas seamer broke the previous record of five for 26 taken by Roelof van der Merwe against the Knights at the same SuperSport Park back in 2012/13 as his haul helped bowl out the visitors for 187.

 Dale Steyn also played a pivotal role with three for 20 that rocked the Cobras early as they were dismissed in 47.3 overs.

 An unbeaten 75 off 92 balls (9 fours) by Farhaan Behardien then steadied the Titans ship following a rocky start and guided them to their target with 65 deliveries remaining.

 It completed another excellent showing by Mark Boucher’s men, who will now meet either the Hollywoodbets Dolphins or the Warriors for the 2018/19 title.

 The regular-season winners dominated almost entirely from start to finish – bar a small window in between when Vernon Philander and Rory Kleinveldt got the new ball to talk.

 The home side won the toss and bowled first with veteran Steyn rocking the Cape side with two wickets, those of Janneman Malan and Zubayr Hamza for ducks, in two first-over deliveries to leave them on nought for two.

 Dala then got to work as the Cobras continued to slide until they reached 52 for five by the end of the 18th over.

 Kyle Verreynne and Vernon Philander (36) then did some repair work with a 75-run sixth-wicket stand that gave the Cobras some hope.

 A further 43 between top-scorer Verreynne, who struck a mature 65 off 98 balls (5 fours), and Kleinveldt (32) raised more hope of a respectable score, but both then fell in quick succession.

 It left the tail exposed to the impressive Dala and he pounced for best-ever figures that trumped his maiden career five-for, five for 32, against the Dolphins earlier in the campaign.

 It was then then turn of the away bowlers to shine as Kleinveldt (3/49) and Philander (2/35) threatened an upset.

 Their early strikes left the home fans worried after their side slipped to 14 for two and then 65 for five.

 But Behardien did what Behardien does best by finishing the job his team-mates could not.

 After initially consolidating, he went on to bat right through the innings thanks to excellent support from Corbin Bosch at the other end – the latter ending on 45 off 65 balls.

 Their partnership in the end was worth 123 and their side won with 10.5 overs to spare.

Ashwell Prince, coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras is under no illusions that his team requires momentum and improved bowling performances if they are to beat the Multiply Titans in the Momentum One Day Cup semi-finals at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.

 “We have not really had any momentum throughout the competition except when we won two in a row. There are no easy wins out there – if you look at the standings, the Titans (with six wins) have only won one more than the rest of us.”

 Prince also defended the losses of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras against the Multiply Titans in the league phase of the competition, whilst also praising Mark Boucher’s men for some fighting cricket, adding that they had the Titans at 31 for five before an excellent Aiden Markram and Farhaan Behardien rescued the visitors at PPC Newlands. In the return game, the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras were 71 for one and misread the conditions and tried to force the pace, which led to their demise, as they only scored 151, which the Titans went on to knock off with ease.

 When probed about his team scoring in excess of 300, Prince added, “Can we score 300? Of course we can – you need to be mindful that at venues like Bloemfontein, Centurion, Wanderers and Potchefstroom you get 300 all the time. At venues like Newlands, Paarl and Oudtshoorn you don’t get it, so the scores are conditions related,” said Prince.

 “It is a bit tougher to score 300 at the coast, but we can adapt to any conditions,” Prince said.

 The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras will rely heavily on their international players in the match against the Titans.

 JP Duminy at number four is in excellent form right now and so is Zubayr Hamza at three, whilst Janneman and Pieter Malan have formed a formidable opening partnership this season which often frees up the likes of Kyle Verreynne and Aviwe Mgijima to play positive cricket in the middle order to try and get the team above scores of 300.

 Should that happen, experienced bowlers such as Rory Kleinveldt and Vernon Philander, as well as Duminy, can inflict damage and let the scoreboard pressure do the rest.

 When asked about the potential of this young Cobras side, Kleinveldt enthused: “There would be no looking back if this group of young stars get over the line (and win a trophy).”

 World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad: JP Duminy (captain), Akhona Mnyaka, Aviwe Mgijima, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Kyle Verreynne, Pieter Malan, Rory Kleinveldt, Tladi Bokako, Tsepo Ndwandwa, Vernon Philander, Zubayr Hamza

 

After a string of scintillating performances in this year’s Momentum One Day Cup, Akhona “AK” Mnyaka, has caught the eye of the cricket fraternity.

Notably, the 19-year-old’s  most recent moment of brilliance came against the bizhub Highveld Lions when he produced a sensational piece of death bowling in the last over to lead his side over the line in Johannesburg. Mnyaka seized the opportunity and bagged three- wickets in the last over, conceding a mere three runs to make his mark.

Not shy to conquer the big moments, the confident speedster has gained the trust of his team-mates to produce the goods when it comes to pressure situations.

“This has not always been the case, but I have learned to back my skill in every situation.” – a humble Mnyaka explained.

“I try to channel myself into executing and delivering the goods for my team and captain(s), who have backed my bowling throughout my career thus far,” he added.

From the humble streets of Mdantsane, East London, Mnyaka was born into a family of four, him being the youngest.

It was this very place where he was introduced to the game of cricket. Like most young hopefuls, he started participating in the Mini Cricket festivals and then moved up the ranks to the Hubs where he was recognised by Hudson Park High School, one of the Model C Schools in East London.

AK has always kept a level-head in his approach and exquisite knowledge of the game throughout the years and this became evident when he defended 6 runs in a semi-final match against Wynberg during the T20 school’s tournament during his school days.

This sensational trend resumed when he outshone most bowlers in New Zealand during last year’s U19 Cricket World Cup. Mnyaka surpassed all expectations to be the leading wicket-taker for his country.

“It was a great experience. Finishing as the top bowler for my country was special and it is something I will cherish forever.”

All Akhona’s hard work and riveting bowling displays have propelled him to the franchise side, where he has had to face some of South Africa’s top-tier batting talent and prove himself after signing for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

The youngster also has had to adapt swiftly from being a semi-pro player to becoming a professional in the Western Cape side.

“It has been a major shift, but you have to adapt quickly and grasp everything as fast as possible,” AK explains.

“A guy like Vernon Philander, who is someone I look up to, has been significant in my development especially on how to conduct myself on and off the field.

With the season’s “ups and downs”, AK’s star continues to ascend into the limelight and one day soon, he hopes to fulfil one his one of his aspirations, which is to represent the Proteas.

Matthew Breetzke finally came of age at franchise level with his maiden career century helping the Warriors secure their ticket to the Momentum One-Day Cup semi-finals with a nine-wicket drubbing of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Port Elizabeth on Saturday night.

The right-hander struck an unbeaten 131 off 129 balls (13 fours, 1 six) as the hosts comfortably chased down a 270-run victory target with six overs to spare. He was well supported by his captain Jon-Jon Smuts, who was not out with 92 off 93 balls (9 fours, 1 six).

The result meant the Warriors secured the final available play-off spot on offer and will now face the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, a side they jointly hold the title with, in the last four in Durban next week.

The other semi-final will be between the Multiply Titans and the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Centurion.

Breetzke and his team had entered the round 10 encounter knowing that they simply had to end a four-game losing rut if they wanted to stay alive in the competition.

And, led by the opener, they responded emphatically with a clinical performance in front of their home fans.

The Eastern Cape franchise initially did not get things right, as they lost the toss and were asked to field first.

But disciplined bowling ensured the Cobras were restricted to 269 for five in their 50 overs, with Janneman Malan (88 off 108 balls, 10 fours) and Kyle Verreynne (62 off 59 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) doing the bulk of the scoring.

Dayyaan Galiem (39 not out off 41 balls) and Aviwe Mgijama (31) also chipped in, but no one really cut loose as the visitors were restricted to a fairly modest total.

Debutant Jade de Klerk impressed with one for 49, while there were also solid spells by pick of the bowlers Basheer Walters (2/50) and Sisanda Magala (1/52).

The Warriors were then incisive in their chase as Breetzke and Gihahn Cloete (28) put on 63 in a little over 11 overs for the first wicket, before Dane Piedt (1/47) claimed what turned out to be the only wicket to fall. The former went on to beat his previous best score of 94 for Eastern Province against Border at East London last season.

Together with Smuts, the South Africa Under-19 star and his skipper put on an unbroken 207-run second wicket stand – a franchise record that surpassed the long-standing 170 by DL Makalima and JP Kreusch recorded against Western Province Boland at Paarl in 2004/05.

A maiden career five-wicket haul by veteran Rory Kleinveldt laid the platform for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras to secure their place in the Momentum One-Day Cup semi-finals thanks to a comfortable seven-wicket win over the VKB Knights in Cape Town on Thursday.

The 36-year-old seamer claimed an impressive five for 22 to help shoot out the visitors for 186 at PPC Newlands, before Zubayr Hamza’s unbeaten 65 (84 balls, 6 fours) guided the hosts to their target with 35 balls remaining.

Victory guaranteed the Cobras a place in next week’s play-offs after they moved to 20 points on the table, with the Knights (14 points) now having to beat the already qualified Multiply Titans on Saturday and hope other final round results go their way to have a chance of progressing.

The Cape side did what they needed to do though, on Human Rights Day.

In a good showing in front of their home fans, Ashwell Prince’s side were made to field first after losing the toss, but their opponents failed to make the most of their decision at the toss.

They lost three wickets before even getting to 10 as Kleinveldt accounted for Patrick Kruger for a duck as well as Keegan Petersen for two, before Vernon Philander, who was also hugely impressive with one for 30 in 10 overs, dismissed Andries Gous (7).

All this inside the opening 4.5 overs as the Knights were in a deep hole from the off.

Captain Pite van Biljon managed just 14, before he too fell, with Rudi Second (49) and Grant Mokoena (44) then doing their best to try and stabilise things with 40s apiece. That did momentarily give the Knights hope after they progressed to 118 for four – the pair adding 73 for the fifth wicket.

Rookie Tsepo Ndwandwa (1/35) eventually broke the stand and from there it was the Kleinveldt show as he blew away the tail to end with lifetime best figures, the fifth of which took him to 200 List A wickets.

His previous best in a career spanning 172 games was four for 22 for South Africa against Pakistan at Bloemfontein in 2012/13.

The Cobras had little trouble chasing down the target, bar a point where they lost Pieter Malan (17) and Janneman Malan (25) relatively close to each other.

That left them at 56 for two, and after 27 by Aviwe Mgijima, Hamza and Kyle Verreynne (44 not out off 55 balls, 4 fours) shared in an unbroken 87-run stand that led their side to an important win.