Wayne Parnell, left-arm pace merchant of the Cape Cobras, has rediscovered some of the swing that has made him famous. Don’t be too surprised if you see a repeat of that in the Momentum One Day Cup final at PPC Newlands on 28th February.

But don’t be too alarmed if you depart off one of those Parnell-deliveries that swung alarmingly, if you are the opposing finalist who has to deal with the opening burst of the Cape Cobras’ frontline-bowler.

Parnell was the pick of the South Africa A attack in the one-day match against England at Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday, nipping out 3-26 in four overs.

Vincent Barnes, high performance manager of Cricket South Africa and the SA A coach, complimented Parnell on the way in which he assessed conditions early.

He used the slower variations and bouncers very well and also forced the batsmen to hit down the ground to the protected long-off and long-on.

Barnes detected in a previous Momentum One Day Cup match that Parnell was not swinging the ball much. He told him his wrist position for the in-swinger to the right-hander was not correct.

And in the warm-ups for the game against England, Parnell swung the ball beautifully. His wrist position and his whole body positioning were excellent, Barnes added.

During the game itself, there was not much swing on offer. Only Reece Topley was able to swing one or two.

The little impromptu gesturing by Barnes might just be the right medicine for Parnell, who has been one of the key-performers for the Cape Cobras this season.

He has captured 14 wickets at an average of 23.71 and an economy-rate of 4.87.

Those figures might change dramatically on Sunday 28th February if he applies the Barnes-formula for swing-success.

 

 

 

The pyro-technics of Dane Vilas, the late swing of Beuran Hendricks and Wayne Parnell, the wizardry of Dane Piedt and the famous short-arm jabs of that man called The Bear might all be worth the price of admission fee on their own when PPC Newlands hosts the final of the Momentum One Day Cup competition on Sunday 28th February.

The Cape Cobras have romped to the top of the table with 33 points (correct on Tuesday morning 16th February) and will host their third consecutive Momentum One Day Cup final.

“We will count on our senior stakeholders and greatest allies, our fans, to support us in the Momentum One Day Cup final,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the Western Province Cricket Association.

“We have seen more than 85 000 spectators show up in the New Year’s test and more than 20 000 in the One Day International on Valentine’s day.

“That massive support aided the South African One Day International team to become the third unit in history to launch a fight-back from 0-2 down and register a series-win at PPC Newlands,” he added.

“Now we are calling on our supporters to fill the stadium and let the full-house sign go up well in advance of the final on 28th February. Your support can lift and inspire the Cape Champions,” he said.

“Ticket prices have been tailored to suit the pockets of our die-hard fans. The ticket prices range from adults: R60 (seat) and R50 (grass), children: R30 (seat) and R25 (grass) to pensioners R30 (seat) & R25 (grass),” he added.

Last season, Richard Levi, nicknamed The Bear, hammered 104 off 113 balls with 11 fours and one six, in the Momentum One Day Cup final.

He might be in a less forgiving mood when the bowlers dish up a buffet of half volleys and long hops this time.

The Cobras have produced an attacking brand of cricket with five bonus-point wins this season. It was highlighted by the brilliance of Vilas, who has smashed 259 runs without being dismissed more than once, and Justin Ontong, who has slashed 379 runs.

Perhaps the greatest treat for Cape Cobras-supporters might be the explosive starts provided by exciting stroke-makers like Levi, Parnell and Stiaan van Zyl. They live by the mantra of ‘see it, hit it’.

It might be blink-and-you-miss-a-boundary cricket.

The bowling attack has been the premier force in South African domestic cricket. The opposition has failed to come to terms with the pace of Parnell, who has captured 14 wickets, and the swing of Hendricks, who has nipped out 12 batsmen.

Piedt and Dane Paterson have been unheralded to a degree in the domestic 50-over series. Paterson, the enforcer, and Piedt, the wizard who produces the well-disguised Carrom-ball, have had top-orders in disarray regularly.

The final at PPC Newlands starts at 10:00 on Sunday 28th February.

RUDI SECOND struck a composed century to lead the VKB Knights to a 113-run bonus-point win over the Cape Cobras in their Momentum One-Day Cup match at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

Second recorded his third century of the season, striking 111 not out (143 deliveries, 4 fours) as the Knights posted 279/5 after winning the toss and electing to bat.

Seamer Tshepo Moreki was the stand-out performer with the ball for the Cobras as he ended with 3/45, which included taking two wickets in an over.

In reply, the Cobras could only muster 166 all out off 42.5 overs with paceman Malusi Siboto capturing 4/32, while Stiaan van Zyl top-scored with an unbeaten 70 (91 balls, 3 fours, 1 six).

The match was only of academic importance in terms of the playoff positions with the Cobras having already secured a home final, while the Knights’ playoff hopes were long extinguished although the win saw them move off the bottom of the table and into fourth place.

The Cobras were in the fortunate position of being able to rotate their team and regulars Dane Vilas (injury), Andrew Puttick (suspended), Dane Paterson (rested) and Justin Ontong (rested) were all missing from the visitor’s starting XI.

Second did enjoy a touch of luck during his innings as he has dropped with his score on 2 and then 79, but he and Reeza Hendricks gave the Knights a lightning start with the bat as the duo shared in a first-wicket stand of 128 off 23.2 overs.

Hendricks was the main aggressor as he raced to his 50 off just 38 balls as the Knights reached 100-0 in just the 16th over.

But the opener, who eventually weighed in with 82 (76 deliveries, 10 fours, 2 sixes), was bowled by off-spinner Dane Piedt as the Cobras fought their way back into the contest.

Second and Werner Coetsee (20 not out) then added some late impetus to the innings as they plundered 47 runs off just 4.5 overs in their unbroken sixth-wicket stand.

The Cobras lost wickets at regular intervals during their run chase with the next best score after Van Zyl being just 26 from Aviwe Mgijima.

 

 

There is no magical potion or a religiously pursued script which aided the Cape Cobras to reach four successive Momentum One Day Cup finals and host the last three.

Yet, a positive bowling mind-set, a dynamic approach with the ball in hand and the belief that one century in the top-order is required to set up the swashbuckling lower middle-order, have underpinned the Cobras the past four seasons, according to Paul Adams, the coach.

Adams, a former South African wrist spinner who represented the Proteas in 45 tests and 24 One Day Internationals, has been at the helm during this period of domination.

“We have the belief that you need to find the bowlers to take wickets throughout the innings. And we have also worked on our performance in the death overs,” said Adams.

The Cape Cobras will host the Momentum One Day Cup final on Sunday 28th February at PPC Newlands.

At a meeting at PPC Newlands this season, Justin Ontong, the skipper, asked the senior batsmen to stand up and to lead the way.

His words were inspirational.

Ontong has been a lead-from-the-front-skipper with 379 runs at an average of 54.14.

Five other batsmen average more than 45.

Dane Vilas has averaged 259 and produced a master-class on Saturday, said Omphile Ramela, senior Cape Cobras’ batsman.

Vilas, hampered by a groin injury, had to take pain-killers on Sunday to walk out to the crease at St. George’s Park, yet slammed 105 off 70 balls and featured in a match-winning partnership of 161 off 138 balls with Ontong to take the Cobras to glory and seal the home-final.

“The pitch was turning and the ball skid through low and slow, but it was important for Onters and me to take the singles on offer and then wait for the bad ball,” Vilas said.

“In this competition, you need skilful bowlers to get batsmen out, and we have been exceptional in this regard,” says Ramela.

“You also require batsmen to set a platform and compile competitive totals. We have done that.

“We are not necessarily old-school in our approach to batting. It is just that the wickets have been slow this season. We also did not have Richard Levi at the top of the order to always get us off to rollicking starts.

“But our form has been very good,” he added.

Stiaan van Zyl, senior batsman of the Cobras, said the attention to small basic details and the calmness and experience in the group have contributed to their success the past four seasons.

Van Zyl admitted that he is slightly irritated with the manner of his own demises the past few matches. “I have got in, scored 20’s and 30’s, and found ways to dismiss myself.

“Against the VKB Knights tomorrow in our Momentum One Day Cup clash at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, I will be focused on scoring a big one,” the left-handed stylist, who has slammed 277 runs at an average of 46.16, said.

 

THE VKB Knights welcome the Cape Cobras to Bloemfontein in a top versus bottom Momentum One-Day Cup clash at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

The match is the penultimate one of the regular season as the competition heads towards the play-offs.

With the hosts bottom of the table, they will need nothing less than a victory to avoid finishing last.

They currently have 13 points from nine games with three wins and six losses to date. The Unlimited Titans have the same record, but are above them thanks to a far better net run-rate and only a big win will ensure that the Knights are not landed with the wooden spoon.

“Pretty much the only thing left to play for is to win the last game in Bloem and avoid finishing bottom of the table,” said coach Allan Donald. “We haven’t had a great campaign to be honest.

“It wasn’t a good performance against the Lions the other day, we just didn’t give a great account of ourselves.

“So we’re going to have to try and step up and play a much better game against a very strong Cobras team and make sure we salvage some pride.”

While the Knights have found winning a rarity this season, the Cobras have made it a habit. They have won seven out of nine games, five of them with bonus points.

That has enabled the runaway leaders to automatically qualify for the February 28 final they will host in Cape Town.

Coach Paul Adams has confirmed they will make changes for the final game, insisting that it was not at a risk of losing some of their momentum.

“We’ve got a few changes, a couple of guys that are having breaks,” he said. “So we’re having a good look at some of our youth, it’s an opportunity in that sense.

“You rarely get these opportunities to have a look at players, so we’re trying to use this window. It’s a nice chance and we don’t think it will disrupt us at all.”

A blistering century from Dane Vilas ensured that the Cape Cobras will host the Momentum One-Day Cup final after they claimed a five-wicket win over the Warriors at St George`s Park in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Unbeaten Vilas crashed 5 sixes and 11 fours in his 70-ball assault as the visitors recovered from some early trouble to chase down a 258 target with 15 balls to spare.

The Proteas wicketkeeper – reaching his sixth List A century – shared in an unbroken record 161-run sixth-wicket partnership with Justin Ontong, who made 60 not out (81 balls, 2 fours, 1 six). The pair initially came together when their side was in a huge spot of bother at 96/5 and still needing 161 from 24 overs.

But they smashed the previous record of 137 unbroken between Vilas himself and Sybrand Engelbrecht, set back in the 2014/15 season.

The pick of the bowlers was Colin Ackermann, who earlier top-scored with the bat to lift the Warriors to a competitive total.

Ackermann struck 92 (125 balls. 10 fours) , while Yaseen Vallie hit 58 (72 balls, 5 fours) to give the home side a chance, they eventually surrendered.

Dane Paterson was the pick of the bowlers with 3/54.

The Warriors dropped to third with the result and are likely to stay there and qualify for the play-offs, unless the Unlimited Titans can secure bonus-point wins from their remaining two games.

 

WARRIORS coach Malibongwe Maketa is hoping his team are peaking at the right time as they prepare to face the red-hot Cape Cobras in the Momentum One-Day Cup at St George`s Park in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

 

The Eastern Cape franchise produced one of the stand-out performances of the season when they crushed the Sunfoil Dolphins in Durban during midweek, bowling them out for just 110 and then romping to a nine-wicket win.

 

It was a famous result for their young coach.

 

“It was very encouraging in terms of performances from the last few games,” he said. “I was excited about the way we went about our business and pulled it through.

 

“I guess you can say that we’re getting to the business end and the guys are starting to find some much-needed form.”

 

The win has put them on the cusp of qualifying for the play-offs, but Maketa is not taking anything for granted.

 

“We not banking on guaranteed play-offs with that win, we just taking it as a game we have to win to get to our goal,” he added.

 

The Cobras are all but assured of an automatic berth in a final which they will host – the bizhub Highveld Lions are the only side that can catch them with two bonus-point wins.

 

But their coach Paul Adams also knows there are no guarantees.

 

“It’s still mathematically possible to be caught, so we’re still focussed on what we need to do,” he said.

 

The Capetonians have six out of eight wins to summit the table, including five of those triumphs with bonus points.

Adams, though, still wants the foot to remain on the pedal.

 

He added: “We’re practising and training the same way we have in order to try and stay in that zone. We’re playing some good cricket and looking forward to continuing that this weekend.

 

“Executing our skills well has been our recipe and it’s all about doing that again on Saturday. We’re really looking good and confident, so we want to keep doing that.”

 

Both sides are expecting minimal changes to their XIs.

 

HEAD TO HEAD – Warriors v Cape Cobras

 

Matches Played                24

Warriors Win                   09

Cobras Win                      15

WARRIORS coach Malibongwe Maketa is hoping his team are peaking at the right time as they prepare to face the red-hot Cape Cobras in the Momentum One-Day Cup at St George`s Park in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

 

The Eastern Cape franchise produced one of the stand-out performances of the season when they crushed the Sunfoil Dolphins in Durban during midweek, bowling them out for just 110 and then romping to a nine-wicket win.

 

It was a famous result for their young coach.

 

“It was very encouraging in terms of performances from the last few games,” he said. “I was excited about the way we went about our business and pulled it through.

 

“I guess you can say that we’re getting to the business end and the guys are starting to find some much-needed form.”

 

The win has put them on the cusp of qualifying for the play-offs, but Maketa is not taking anything for granted.

 

“We not banking on guaranteed play-offs with that win, we just taking it as a game we have to win to get to our goal,” he added.

 

The Cobras are all but assured of an automatic berth in a final which they will host – the bizhub Highveld Lions are the only side that can catch them with two bonus-point wins.

 

But their coach Paul Adams also knows there are no guarantees.

 

“It’s still mathematically possible to be caught, so we’re still focussed on what we need to do,” he said.

 

The Capetonians have six out of eight wins to summit the table, including five of those triumphs with bonus points.

Adams, though, still wants the foot to remain on the pedal.

 

He added: “We’re practising and training the same way we have in order to try and stay in that zone. We’re playing some good cricket and looking forward to continuing that this weekend.

 

“Executing our skills well has been our recipe and it’s all about doing that again on Saturday. We’re really looking good and confident, so we want to keep doing that.”

 

Both sides are expecting minimal changes to their XIs.

HEAD TO HEAD – Warriors v Cape Cobras

 Matches Played                24

Warriors Win                   09

Cobras Win                      15

PPC Newlands has become one of the Mother City’s most popular sport tourist sites lately, and is about to lure a near-capacity crowd for Sunday’s fifth One Day International between South Africa and England.

A crowd of 85 235, the most in the 128-year history of the iconic venue, watched the frenetic New Year’s test between South Africa and England which finished in a high-scoring draw.

“With the exception of a few hundred tickets for the temporary stands at PPC Newlands, all the tickets have been purchased for Sunday’s match,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA).

“The status quo for the first T20-match on Friday 19th February is very similar, as most of the tickets have been sold.

“The sale of tickets is a testimony to the unique atmosphere of Newlands, the attacking and explosive brand of both teams, and also the value for money at this ground,” he said.

“The memorabilia on sale for England-, South African and Cape Cobras-supporters have been applauded by fans and we also trust that the quality of service will appeal to the supporters,” he added.

This series has been notable for its records. Hashim Amla produced a 22nd One Day International century for South Africa, which makes him the sole SA record-holder for the most tons.

South Africa also produced 319 for three in 46.2 overs in the third One Day International, which was the third-highest successful run-chase in history by the Proteas.

Quinton de Kock also hammered his tenth century, which is more than any other in history at age 23.

 

CAPE TOWN. – The South African experts are divided on the reasons for Hashim Amla’s batting resurgence as the all-time great breaks new ground, but they are united in predicting he can speed past Jacques Kallis’ South African record if he retains the desire and remains injury-free as Protea-player.

Amla suffered a lean trot in India, averaging 16.85 in the four-test series. But after failing in the first test against England, his subsequent scores for South Africa in three tests and three One Day Internationals (ODIs) were 201, 40, 5, 109, 96, 4, 6 and 127.
The 32-year old South African batsman, Cape Cobras stalwart and PPC Newlands legend, has now assembled 25 Test centuries and 22 ODI tons.

Only Kallis, with 62 hundreds in Tests and ODIs, have compiled more three figure-totals in these international formats for South Africa.

Ashwell Prince, a former South African middle-order batsman and currently occasional batting consultant at the Cape Cobras, said the Indian tour took its toll on most South African batsmen. And consequently, against a good England team, one could have been dismissed cheaply if you were not on top of your game straight away.

Amla’s batting transformation was due purely to a psychological factor – recapturing his confidence – said Prince.

And the former South African captain claims Amla can eclipse 62 tons. “It depends on Hashim. He is that good that he can retire on his own terms. He is somebody like a (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul who likes batting and played until age 40.”

Prince said Amla reminds him of the legendary Kallis in his relentless pursuit of centuries. He prides his wicket so much that he hates giving it away, and once he takes control of the bowling attack, he doesn’t relinquish it because he treasures his own scalp at the crease.

That’s why Amla’s conversion rate (25 tons in 92 tests and 22 hundreds in 129 ODIs) is so spectacular.

Eric Simons, a former South African coach, said the transformation from struggling player on Indian turf to prolific run-scoring machine was psychological.

“He looked more able to relax once the pressure of captaincy was no longer there. He is in the right space mentally.

“The fact that there is a change of mind-set has aided him. He is not reaching anxiously for the ball. He hits it straight under his eyes because of his mind-set,” Simons said.

Asked if he could reach 62 centuries, Simons said: “Never say never. Hashim has a good conversion-rate and the right mental fortitude to score tons.”

Kepler Wessels, a former SA captain, said Amla’s change of fortunes were purely due to technical adaptions.

“He has made big technical changes. His trigger movements are much smaller since his return to India and his balance is better.
“I definitely believe he can reach the 62 centuries scored by Kallis.”

HD Ackerman, a former South African batsman, agreed with Wessels that there the champion batsman tinkered with his technique a tad.

He changed the positioning of his left foot with which he closed himself off a touch prior to his double century at PPC Newlands. Also, he is earlier into his trigger movement and also stands a bit taller at the crease.

Ackerman said reaching the 62 centuries and breaking the record is not out of Amla’s reach and he could achieve it.

Yet it is extremely difficult to make accurate predictions.
History has shown that there are variables which nobody could have foreseen.

“Look at Tiger Woods. He won 14 Grand Slams, and everybody predicted he would have passed The Golden Bear (Jack Nicklaus), but it did not happen.

“When Roger Federer reached 17 Grand Slam-title, some said he would win much more, but somebody else came along, so it is difficult to predict.”

White-line fever is one of those characteristics of a very competitive first-class cricketer which can set him apart.

Tshepo Moreki, former South African u.19-player and currently one of the Cape Cobras’ leading bowlers, admits freely that he is inspired by those aggressive instincts when he walks on to the field.

Moreki is joint second on the list of leading wicket-takers for the Cape Cobras in the Momentum One Day Cup competition, having taken 10 wickets at an average of 30.10.

In the Momentum One Day Cup clash against last season’s champions, The Unlimited Titans, Moreki’s duel with the South African batsman Dean Elgar proved to be one of the highlights of the match.

A clearly determined Moreki seemed momentarily agitated as he stormed in against the left-arm South African opener. The temperature on the pitch soared for a moment or two while the two seemed to throw down the gauntlet without any words being uttered.

He eventually captured Elgar’s wicket and finished with 3-26, arguably his finest performance of the season.

“We have had a couple of run-ins, Dean and I. There has been a few ‘verbals’ here and there, but all in the spirit of the game,” he said.

Moreki likes to hurry up batsmen and produces the odd short delivery, just to let them know he is there.

Asked about the Cape Town culture, he said he has adapted well to Green Point and its metropolitan lifestyle. It is different from Durban, where everything seems to be happening in slow motion, he added.

The senior players in the Cape Cobras team have been fantastic, he added, welcoming him and make him feel at home, while Rory Kleinveldt has been a mentor with excellent teaching skills who have added new elements to his game.

Moreki doesn’t subscribe to the theory that the five bonus-point wins by the Cape Cobras in the Momentum One Day Cup tournament could be attributed solely to the bowlers.

“On Friday, it was the partnership between Dane Vilas and Justin Ontong (69 runs in 6 overs) which put the pressure on them and set up the competitive total against the Titans,” he said.

Moreki said one of the aspects of the game that he is most resolute to fine-tune, is his action. “I don’t have an easily repeatable action, so it is a case of making sure I repeat it and work on it,” he added.

Wayne Parnell is currently the leading wicket-taker for the Cape Cobras in the Momentum One Day Competition, with 12 scalps. Beuran Hendricks (on 10) and Moreki are in shared second spot on the list.

The Cobras and the Warriors will meet on Saturday in the Cape champions’ penultimate game in the round robin or league phase of the Momentum One Day Cup competition in Port Elizabeth.