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


Coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, Ashwell Prince, believes his team have to be better with bat and ball if things initially don’t go their way as was the case against the Multiply Titans recently.

“We have to replicate the form we showed when we lost a few wickets against the Knights and fought back magnificently,” added Prince, ahead the critical match against the VKB Knights at PPC Newlands on Thursday.

The hosts have selected three spinners in their squad and have included the South Western Districts slow bowler Tsepo Ndwandwa together with Dane Piedt and George Linde on the same surface on which South Africa played two games against Sri Lanka at the iconic PPC Newlands.

“If pushed, we have to give it a go and play the conditions on the day,” said Prince.

“The fact that it is a must-win against the Knights should be motivation enough for the team, and there is even a chance that we can finish second on the log,” Prince said.

“Our focus should be to play well in the critical phases of the match and to fight back if we have early setbacks with bat and ball,” he emphasized.

Two of the stalwarts for the hosts on Thursday will be Rory Kleinveldt and Kyle Verreynne.

Verreynne struck an unbeaten century against the Knights in their first game and Prince said his middle order batsman is ready for the match against the Knights.

Kleinveldt, he added, was the number one white-ball bowler in South Africa last season and right now he is fourth on the list of bowling averages. “He is vastly experienced and hits the line and length consistently and that is why he is so highly ranked and rated,” Prince said.

Verreynne and the Malan brothers, Janneman and Pieter have all scored centuries during the series and they will be looking to continue their run of form on Thursday.

But the man arguably the best suited for the current conditions at PPC Newlands is Zubayr Hamza, who is a great player of slow bowling and has shown that when he represented South Africa A against India A.

Prince acknowledged that Marchant de Lange is an in-form bowler right now that deserves respect, but is confident the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras will deal with him like they did in Bloemfontein in the two sides’ first clash.

The match starts at 10h00 with tickets available to purchase at the gate. One lucky fan who has bought a ticket stands the chance to win a night away at Aquila Private Game Reserve worth R12,300.

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

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince knows that his team needs to get momentum, improve their catching and transform their execution with the ball in the last ten overs if they are to be victorious in the next couple of matches in the Momentum One Day Cup against the bizhub Highveld Lions and the Hollywoodbets Dolphins on Thursday and Saturday respectively.

“Our death bowling let us down and was disappointing in the match against the Titans. It happened after a catch was dropped off Aiden Markram’s blade and he went on to score another 64 runs off 23 balls,” said Prince.

“If they had accumulated 280 or 290 (instead of 320 for six), we would have improved our chances of winning.

“I want to add that we can improve our batting by another 20 percent as well,” added Prince.

JP Duminy, the skipper, said the execution of the Cobras with the ball in the final 15 overs was not on par.

“You have to give credit to the Titans’ pair of Markram and Farhaan Behardien for how they absorbed the pressure when they were on 31 for five, but we did not execute well after the 35th over.

“We also have not been sharing in 100-run partnerships or scoring enough tons in the first half of the competition,” said Duminy.

Kyle Verreynne has recovered from concussion and will serve as wicketkeeper in the matches against the Lions on Thursday at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium and against the Dolphins in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.

Dane Piedt, Pieter Malan and Mthiwekhaya Nabe are all included in the squad, whilst Hashim Amla is not available for family reasons.

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras Squad: JP Duminy (Captain), Pieter Malan (Vice Captain), David Bedingham, Tladi Bokako, Zubayr Hamza, Rory Kleinveldt, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Akhona Mnyaka, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, Kyle Verreynne  

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince is upbeat about the return of international players Hashim Amla and skipper JP Duminy for the hosts’ next Momentum One Day Cup clash against the Multiply Titans at PPC Newlands on Friday.

Asked about Amla, Prince said he did not closely observe his technique in the tests, but he had scored a One-Day International not so long ago and is looking forward to having a player of Amla’s experience at the top of the order.

“I am excited about Amla batting at the top of the order and JP in the middle, and the fact that they are batting around our younger batsmen, will add a lot for them,” he said.

Prince stated earlier in the week that he backed all-rounder George Linde and the wicketkeeper/batsman Kyle Verreynne for selection for the Cricket World Cup and when asked about this endorsement from his coach, Verreynne said, “a few months ago I wasn’t even sure I would play one-dayers for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras. I want to focus on the Cobras and stay level-headed before I can dream of wearing the Proteas jersey.

“It is a nice feeling that the coach backs me, but I need to stay focused and perform more consistently to be rewarded to play for the Proteas,” Linde said.

Looking ahead to Friday’s clash against the Multiply Titans, Prince acknowledged that the Momentum One Day Cup is a tight competition, but that every team is beatable.

“I will prepare for them the same way we always do, by studying their strengths and weaknesses and see if we can pick some holes in them.”

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad: JP Duminy (Captain), Hashim Amla, David Bedingham, Tladi Bokako, Rory Kleinveldt, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Pieter Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Akhona Mnyaka, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, Kyle Verreynne.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – FEBRUARY 06: JP Duminy, Ashwell Prince (Head Coach) and Dane Piedt during the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras Training Session and Press Conference at PPC Newlands on February 06, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images)

Dane Piedt will lead the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in the opening match of the Momentum One Day Cup campaign against the Warriors at Eurolux Boland Park on Friday, in the absence of the injured JP Duminy.

Piedt played in a limited number of white-ball cricket games last season, but he is in the form of his life, having taken 54 wickets in the Four-Day Franchise Series and scoring a career-best 114.

At a press conference at PPC Newlands on Wednesday, Prince said the fact that the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras fell short in their bid to win the Four-Day Franchise Series was tough, but having personally experienced the tragic loss of a good friend in Port Elizabeth, it put things into perspective for him and that “there is a lot more to life than cricket.”

He added that the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras are playing with a lot of self-confidence.

What is heartening, is that 90% of the team that played so brilliantly in the Four-Day Franchise Series, are available for the Momentum One Day Cup.

When they walk onto the field at Eurolux Boland Park on Friday afternoon against the Warriors, the self-belief will be there that they possess the attack to take ten wickets.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras captured 178 wickets in the Four-Day Franchise Series, with Piedt capturing 54 scalps and Dane Paterson ending with 34.

Another very positive acquisition is that Tladi Bokako, who will return after a lay-off with an ankle injury.

Dayyaan Galiem and Mthiwekhaya Nabe are not available due to injury.

Bokako and Paterson formed a formidable opening bowling pair in the Four-Day Franchise Series and will be a threat in the competition.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras white-ball captain of last season, JP Duminy, is out with a shoulder injury, but he is on track to play in the second match of the Momentum One-Day competition against the VKB Knights on February 19 in Bloemfontein.

Prince said the team that lost the home semi-finals last season was without Duminy in that match and missed his experience in chasing down a total.

He likes to refer to his team as a kindergarten squad of 2017/2018 that has grown and matured tremendously this season so far. That is one of the reasons why the team came second in the Four-Day Franchise Series.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras want to play positive, explosive cricket and it would be the case judging from the 13 players that were selected for the opening match.

Zubayr Hamza, Jason Smith are naturally aggressive players, and so is Kyle Verreynne. They are destined to be crucial in the middle order.

Janneman Malan, who recently made an excellent debut for South Africa in the T20 International against Pakistan, will open the batting with his brother, Pieter. The younger Malan is an aggressive player will be aiming to display his talents in his first outing in white-ball cricket for the Cobras.

WP batsman Isaac Dikgale has also been included in the team for the opener.

The good balance of the top-order and the excellent balance in the middle order will give the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras extra confidence ahead of the first fixture in Paarl against the Warriors.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad: Dane Piedt (c), David Bedingham, Tladi Bokako, Isaac Dikgale, JP Duminy, Zubayr Hamza, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Pieter Malan, Akhona Mnyaka, Dane Paterson, Jason Smith, Kyle Verreynne.

A disappointed Ashwell Prince gave a sobering perspective on the heartbreak that the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras experienced by just missing out to the bizhub Highveld Lions in the race for the Four-Day Franchise Series crown.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras were leading until the final half an hour of the competition before Wihan Lubbe bowled the Lions to an 84-run victory against the Warriors.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras got bowling bonus points by restricting the Hollywoodbets Dolphins to 310 and then struck 523 for seven (declared). In the second innings, the hosts compiled 358 for two in Pietermaritzburg.

“The pitch on which we played against the Dolphins was a very disappointing one. We deserve credit that we dismissed them for 310 in the first innings. But half of their team threw their wickets away and they could have scored 600 on that pitch in the first innings,” said Prince.

“It says much about the pitch because we had a world-class bowler in Vernon Philander, one of the best in the competition in Dane Paterson, the leading wicket-taker in Dane Piedt and an in-form George Linde and we could not bowl them out in the second innings. They struck 358 for two,” Prince says.

“We expected the Lions to win and we went to Pietermaritzburg with the goal of winning, but we could not do it on that pitch.”

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras won six of their matches and captured 178 wickets in the competition. They scored 10 centuries and 27 half-centuries in the series.

“I think we have at least half a dozen of young batsmen who could play for the Proteas in the future,” Prince said.

“The injury to Tladi Bokako was a setback and we had to sign Akhona Mnyaka. Mnyaka has underlined his talent and he is one for the future.

“In general, the Lions had more depth than us and they picked Kagiso Rapulana, Delano Potgieter and Nandre Burger with success from the senior provincial squad. Our squad was stretched,” Prince said.

“Nevertheless, I am very proud of the way we played, although it was not a fairytale ending,” Prince said.

Participating in the USSA week in December and striking two half-centuries bolstered Zubayr Hamza’s confidence and he is still on course to become the 100th Protea to be selected since South Africa’s reintroduction into the international fold in 1991/92.

Hamza, 23-year-old number-three batsman of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, was selected in a 13-man squad for the three-match test series against Pakistan starting at SuperSport Park in Centurion on 26th December.

Linda Zondi, convenor of the CSA national selection panel, described Hamza as one of the standout cricketers in domestic cricket over the past year and carried that form into the South Africa ‘A’ tour to India where he averaged 52 in the four-day series.

Hamza scored 59 in the win for the University of the Western Cape against the NMMU and added an unbeaten 59 against the University of Cape Town.

“Not only are there a number of provincial players in the USSA week, but it also gave me opportunity to spend time in the middle,” Hamza said.

Reflecting on his career to date, Hamza acknowledged the match against the Warriors when he was drafted into the side after injury to Simon Khomari, as a turning point of his career in 2017/2018.

He immediately struck 111 and added 237 runs for the second wicket with Pieter Malan against the Warriors.

In the 2017/2018 season he finished with 828 runs at an average of 69, having only scored 151 runs in four games in the previous season.

Hamza heaped praise on Ashwell Prince and said he explained to the players what is expected at this level and also what the psychological expectations are if you are to represent South Africa.

As a combination, Prince, coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, and Faiek Davids, assistant coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, have had a big impact on his career.

Davids was the one that showed confidence in him and selected him for Western Province, while Prince, who played in 66 tests for South Africa, was instrumental in improving the mental aspect of his game. “Ashwell elevated the mental part of our game, having played for South Africa for a long time and knowing what is expected to be successful at that level.”

There is also a special “vibe” in the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras team under the coaching of Prince and Davids, he added.

Andrew Puttick, batting consultant of Western Province and the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, said, “contrary to articles floating around, which gave me credit for Zubayr’s evolvement, I have not worked with him much this season, the great work has been done by Coach Ashwell Prince and his assistant Faiek Davids and as Zuby stated, there have been massive contributions from Shukri Conrad during his time at the Academy and from SA ‘A’ coach Russell Domingo.”

“I am very proud of this selection of Zubayr into the South African squad and I’m equally chuffed with the impact that the coaching staff of Ashwell and Faiek has had in his selection for the 13-man squad of South Africa,” concluded Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

There will be no Stiaan van Zyl or Andrew Puttick in the slip cordon this four-day season, which means a completely new first, second and third slip in Aviwe Mgijima, Janneman Malan and Zubayr Hamza, but nevertheless the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras expect to improve on last season by displaying a better attitude in the field. This was the view of Ashwell Prince, head coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

Puttick retired at the end of last season. Van Zyl was one of the best four-day batsmen on display for the Cape Cobras last season, but a knee injury will keep him on the sidelines until the end of January

He has been forced to watch his County side Sussex from the sidelines since the start of June and his progress will only be reassessed at the end of January. Van Zyl is not a fully contracted player for the Cape Cobras this season.

Prince, in speaking about the fielding – which has been described by Justin Ontong as in decline generally amongst all the franchises – said the Cape side have done enough fielding drills before the season starts and expect it to be better.

They field a very young team with Rory Kleinveldt being one of the few senior statesmen in the side.

But the fielding in South Africa has not slipped to a lower level due to a lack of intent by the franchises, according to Prince.

“Herschelle Gibbs and Ontong were playing in an era where there was general brilliance in the field.

“The fielding now is poorer because of a wrong attitude. The players don’t realise that in one moment of brilliance, you can remove the batsman who is controlling the game and possibly change the outcome of the game. It is because many players see fielding as a chore.

“What is needed is a change of attitude that you must want to make a difference in the field. If you go home and you have not given it your best effort, you have let your team down.

“Through good fielding you can lift the spirit in the field and lift the spirits of the bowlers,” said Prince.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras get their 4-Day Franchise Series season underway on Monday, 1 October when they take on the VKB Knights at PPC Newlands.

Finding that extra gear and possessing the right mindset while batting in the first innings are two important ingredients for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in their Sunfoil Series match against the Warriors (starting on Thursday at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth), said Ashwell Prince, the coach.

Prince said in a jam-packed Sunfoil Series the team requires a balance between rest and training and the Cobras did just that after the VKB Knights match.

He said the debriefing on Monday was a vital aspect of the preparations for the Warriors match. The team discussed the difference between the mind-set in the first innings and the second innings while batting.

The presence of JP Duminy and his experience was a boost for the team while discussing the right mental frame of mind when batting first.

One of the vital aspects of preparing for a Sunfoil Series match is to respect your opponents and expect them to bat and bowl well. “You just have to do it a bit better. That is one thing I have realized in my career. There are just a few games in which your opponents turn up and don’t play well at all. There are small margins and you have to edge your opponents,” he said.

Prince highlighted the importance of starting well and establishing a comprehensive first-innings total. If a team doesn’t do that, and ends up 200 runs behind, they are always likely to play catch-up cricket.

Wayne Parnell was not released by Cricket South Africa from the first-test squad against Bangladesh.

But Prince said the Cobras possessed good all-rounders in the team in Jason Smith and Dayyaan Galiem. He added that Simon Khomari should be braver and ask his skipper for an opportunity to bowl, because with his left-arm variations, he can pose a few questions to opposing teams.

Smith struck 500 runs last season and captured 20 wickets. He is clearly a batting all-rounder.

Galiem, though, is still at the infancy stage of his franchise career. “He can swing the ball and run through sides, and as a batsman, he can score you centuries. But he is still finding his feet at franchise level, so it is difficult to determine whether he is a batting all-rounder or a bowling all-rounder,” he added.

Prince was in awe of the defiance displayed by the WSB Cape Cobras on a flat track in Bloemfontein, culminating in a score of 567 for six in the second innings.

The Spirited Cricket Fund benefited richly from the partnerships in the WSB Cape Cobras’ batting innings and the team has already accumulated R22 500,00 for beneficiaries.

Now Prince wants more of those partnerships to occur in the first innings and for the Cobras to set up a healthy lead.

“Do we have the personnel to clinch this match? Yes, we do. We have the experience and if there are something in the pitch for the bowlers, we can definitely grab the opportunity. The pitch in Bloemfontein was definitely too flat,” he added.

WSB Cape Cobras Squad: Dane Piedt (Captain) Dayyaan Galiem, Zubayr Hamza, Simon Khomari, Pieter Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Tshepo Moreki, Justin Ontong, Dane Paterson, Andrew Puttick, Jason Smith, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams

A technical adjustment in the off-season aided Andrew Puttick as the World Sports Betting (WSB) Cape Cobras opener struck a superb century in the two-day warm-up game against the Warriors in Oudtshoorn.

The WSB Cape Cobras skipper, Dane Piedt, led the way as they routed the visitors for 221 in their first innings. The experienced slow bowler nipped out 4-24 in ten overs of attacking off-spin, using a fourth-stump off-side line and letting it rip.

In response, Puttick hammered 100 off 170 balls with 12 fours and a six and shared in a 170-run opening partnership with Pieter Malan, who belted 72 off 149 balls. They set up a superb 354 for seven in the first innings.

The Warriors managed 96 for two in the second innings and the valuable warm-up match ended in a stalemate.

“In the off-season, Ashwell and I worked on my set-up and my alignment, and it worked as it transitioned into my batting very positively,” said Puttick.

“What I also liked, was that it was my first outdoor action since the winter.”

Prince said Puttick scored all around the ground, handled the short balls with aplomb and got himself into strong positions. “He moved forward beautifully and it will give him that feel-good factor before the season starts.

“Pieter (Malan) is an absolute machine. He is fit and strong,” Prince added.

Jason Smith also showed his fluency while compiling 55, said the coach.

Piedt was the leading wicket-taker for South Africa A against India A with nine scalps in the off-season.

Prince said Piedt and Dane Paterson bowled with good rhythm, a testimony to the fact that they have seen some outdoor action.

Piedt did not take his four wickets because the Warriors attempted to slog and holed out to the inner ring, explained Prince.

It was the result of attacking bowling, which saw him beat the bat with excellent deliveries. He removed one of the Warriors’ top batsmen, Jon-Jon Smuts on his way to 4-24.

Vernon Philander, who has captured 171 wickets in 46 tests for South Africa, is still not 100% match fit and the WSB Cape Cobras did not select him for the first warm-up games.

He won’t be ready for the second clash starting on Tuesday 12th September at the Recreation Oval in Oudtshoorn either.

The WSB Cape Cobras’ first Sunfoil Series match of the season commences on 19th September at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein against the VKB Knights.

South Africa will clash with the Bangladesh Tigers in a two-match test-series starting on 28th September.