The World Sports Betting (WSB) Western Province team lost wickets in clusters, struggled to read slower conditions expertly and to build substantial batting partnerships, which resulted in them being eliminated from the Africa T20 Cup campaign in Benoni.
Yet, the emergence of several young players were big bonuses, said Salieg Nackerdien, the head coach of WSB Western Province.
“Jean Strydom, opening batsman from Durbanville, Michael Loubser, middle-order batsman from Brackenfell, Luke Philander and his slow-bowling partner Emmanuel Sebareme, both studying at the University of the Western Cape, were stand-out players for us.
“They are exciting prospects. I thought the application shown by our young bowlers bodes well for us in the future,” Nackerdien added.
Philander is only 20 years of age, but as a left-arm spinner, he has demonstrated maturity beyond his years in both the warm-up games against Northerns and at the Africa T20 Cup in Benoni, where Western Province slipped to an eight-wicket defeat against Namibia, a five-wicket defeat to South Western Districts and a closely contested 12-run loss to Easterns on Sunday.
Loubser hammered 48 runs in the defeat to Easterns and finished with a healthy average of 41.5 at the tournament. Western Province scored 152 as their valiant chase to eclipse the 163 for eight was thwarted by the hosts at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Sunday.
Sebareme was mostly on song in the role of opening bowler in the opening weekend of the continental T20-showpiece. The 21-year-old was composed and his variations and control were impressive.
“I think we did not always implement the batting game plans. Our senior players could not convert what we discussed before the game into positive action. We also did not adapt to the slower conditions as well as we could have. We struggled to build partnerships,” Nackerdien remarked.