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The Imperial Lions needed just seven deliveries on the third morning to sew up victory by 11 runs over the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in their opening match of the 2019/20 4-Day Domestic Series in Potchefstroom on Wednesday.

Malusi Siboto claimed the final wicket to finish with remarkable figures of five for 15 in 12.1 overs, five of which were maidens, at Senwes Park.

It meant the defending champions started the competition with a bang in what turned out to be a bizarre clash against last season’s runners-up.

Eighteen wickets fell on the opening day on Monday, followed by 21 on day two as the hosts were first bowled out for what proved to be a match-winning 215, before shooting out the visitors for 129 on Tuesday.

The Lions subsequently scored the lowest score of the game – 119 – and the Cobras then reached the halfway stage of the match on 191 for nine in pursuit of 206.

They needed 15 more on what proved to be the final morning with Aviwe Mgijima set on 23, but the Cape side also knew they were one wicket away from defeat.

They managed three singles in the first over sent down by Bjorn Fortuin (2/48), one of the runs scored by Tladi Bokako (1), but Siboto then struck with his first ball by bowling Mgijima for 25 to end the game and hand the home side a positive start in defence of their title.

Lions batsman Kagiso Rapulana was named Man of the Match.

Image result for awive mgijima cape cobras

Nine World Sports Betting Cape Cobras were snatched up in the marquee event of the Mzansi Super League season two, the MSL 2.0 draft which was held in Soweto on Tuesday.

 There were 184 foreign players, including Kolpak players, in the draft which presented a massive increase on the 71 who applied in 2018.

 Five of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras players were picked by the Cape Town Blitz – Janneman Malan, David Bedingham, Vernon Philander, George Linde and Aviwe Mgijima.

 Jozi Stars selected the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras fast bowler Lizaad Williams as they look to defend the title they won last season.

Nandre Burger, a new acquisition for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, was picked by the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants. Cobras left arm seamer Akhona Mnyaka will be joining Burger at the Giants.

Boland and Cobras all-rounder Ferisco Adams was selected to represent the Paarl Rocks in the showpiece event starting in November.

JP Duminy was also snatched up by the Paarl Rocks. He is no longer part of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad, having retired from the domestic game at the end of last season, yet he has a strong emotional bond with the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

Thirteen players were chosen on Tuesday and the 14th position will be a wild card to be selected at the conclusion of the CSA Provincial T20 competition. This will give all squads a total of 16 players. 

FINAL SQUADS

(in order of Protea Marquee Player, International Marquee Player, and then the 13 draft rounds)

CAPE TOWN BLITZ: Quinton de Kock, Wahab Riaz (Pakistan), Liam Livingstone (England), Dale Steyn (retained player), Sisanda Magala, Anrich Nortje (retained player), Asif Ali (Pakistan, retained player), Mohammad Nawaz (Pakistan), Janneman Malan (retained player), George Linde, David Bedingham, Vernon Philander, Marques Ackerman, Gregory Mahlokoana, Aviwe Mgijima 

 DURBAN HEAT: Andile Phehlukwayo, Alex Hales (England), David Miller (retained player), Dane Vilas, Ravi Bopara (England), Keshav Maharaj (retained player), Kyle Abbott (kolpak, retained player), Khaya Zondo (retained player), Marco Jansen (rookie), Daryn Dupavillon, Sarel Erwee (retained player), Malusi Siboto, Prenelan Subrayen, Wihan Lubbe, Shaun von Berg

JOZI STARS: Kagiso Rabada, Chris Gayle (Windies), Rassie van der Dussen (retained player), Reeza Hendricks (retained player), Daniel Christian (Australia, retained player), Temba Bavuma, Duanne Olivier (retained player), Simon Harmer, Ryan Rickelton (retained player), Aaron Phangiso, Lizaad Williams, Sinethemba Qeshile (retained player), Nono Pongolo, Eathan Bosch, Delano Potgieter

NELSON MANDELA BAY GIANTS: Imran Tahir, Jason Roy (England), Chris Morris (retained player), Jon-Jon Smuts (retained player), Junior Dala (retained player), Farhaan Behardien, Beuran Hendricks, Matthew Breetzke, Onke Nyaku, Ben Dunk (Australia), Heino Kuhn (retained player), Marco Marais (retained player), Grant Thomson, Akhona Mnyaka, Nandre Burger. 

PAARL ROCKS: Faf du Plessis, Isuru Udana (Sri Lanka), JP Duminy, Tabraiz Shamsi (retained player), Hardus Viljoen, Aiden Markram (retained player), Bjorn Fortuin (retained player), James Vince (England), Dwaine Pretorius, Cameron Delport (kolpak, retained player), Sibonelo Makhanya, Henry Davids (retained player), Mangaliso Mosehle (retained player), Ferisco Adams, Kerwin Mungroo

TSHWANE SPARTANS: AB de Villiers, Tom Curran (England), Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi (retained player), Heinrich Klaasen, Theunis de Bruyn (retained player), Roelof van der Merwe, Lutho Sipamla (retained player), Pite van Biljon, Tony de Zorzi (retained player), Waqar Salamkheil (Afghanistan), Dean Elgar, Wiaan Mulder, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Corbin Bosch.

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras Chief Executive Nabeal Dien, has addressed a recent media report written by journalist David Cox for Al Jazeera, regarding racial divisions within the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras last season.

Dien, including a host of senior players, are aghast by the accusations and refute any such claims.

Western Cape Cricket Chairman Advocate Nick Kock and Vice Chairman Angelo Carolissen have also added their disapproval to these false reports.

“Unity is PRIMARY at the Cobras. We have worked hard on this and not a single player in our squad will disagree. False accusations like this are scathing to our team and organisation as a whole,” Dien said.

“We call on the journalist and publication in question to retract this article and issue a formal apology,” he added.

“We have spent many hours ensuring our environment is inclusive and a healthy space for players and management. After a pre-season venture last season the team returned and adopted the slogan #StrengthInDiversity. It is used in all our social media communication which reflects the unity of our squad.”

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras captain Dane Piedt also expressed his disappointment at the accusations levelled at the Western Cape franchise.

“It is extremely disappointing. Being the captain of the team, it affects me even more, and on my leadership and the unifying culture we have created at the Cobras. It is really disappointing that someone from outside that has no idea of how our team functions and the camaraderie within the squad had made such comments,” Piedt said.

Senior Black African batsman, and a former World Sports Betting Cape Cobras Player of the Year, Aviwe Mgijima also addressed the matter.

“I am saddened and upset with the accusations against our squad,” Mgijima said.

“The statements in that article are indeed not true. It saddens me that a member of another team would spread rumours and lies about what transpired in our space.

“I for one do not even remember there being a division amongst us. I really hope we get to the bottom of this and our squad is cleared.”

Opening batsman Pieter Malan was equally taken aback with the claims of a racial fraction within the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras dressing room.

“We have the most diverse and open-minded squad in the country and these allegations go against everything we believe in at the Cobras. It is insulting and defamatory to say the least. Nothing like this happened in our team environment and he should name his source if he wants to take this story any further,” Malan said.

 

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.

 

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

It was a phenomenal innings by the best batsman in South Africa, is how Ashwell Prince described the 189 crafted in 482 minutes by Hashim Amla as the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras assembled a gigantic 567 for six on Friday on the final day of the first Sunfoil Series match of the season against the VKB Knights at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein.

The match ended in a stalemate. The WSB Cape Cobras were dismissed for 159 in their first innings and the VKB Knights hammered 623 for four in reply. In the second innings, the Cobras were defiant and answered the call by Prince prior to the season to show their mettle and character under pressure.

“There are two types of centuries that count – those who win you games and those that draw you matches and all three of our centurions – Hashim, Aviwe Mgijima and Justin Ontong – helped us to achieve that draw,” Prince, the WSB Cape Cobras coach, said.

Ontong struck 16 fours and two sixes in his 128 off 193 balls. Amla blasted 22 fours and three sixes in his 189 while spending eight hours and two minutes in the middle. It was the perfect preparation for the first Test against Bangladesh at Senwes Park.

Mgijima toiled for 238 minutes in compiling 112 which included 13 fours and a six.

Prince said Ontong was very disappointed at holing out at cover in the first innings and was determined to set the record straight. He came to the crease after the fall of two quick wickets and showed his experience in a match-saving partnership of 251 with Amla. “You cannot defend, defend, defend for two days. And that is what Justin and Hashim knew. They rotated the strike so well and demonstrated how experienced they are,” he remarked.

The coach applauded Amla for his composure and how he controlled the tempo of the innings. He said he turned half decent deliveries into scoring opportunities and also underlined why he is rated one of the best players of spin in the world.

“You know how it is with test players. They are not happy with getting out for half-centuries. And after his 50 in the first innings, Hashim wanted to make a big one. It was the Amla of old.

“He was relaxed at the crease. There was no stress and no anxiety,” he said.

Prince applauded Mgijima as a supreme team man and one of the most popular players in the dressing room.

His first first-class century was the result of two winters of extremely hard work, Prince said.

“Last season he batted at number seven, and when you are playing with the lower order, you might manufacture shots here and there. But this time he was playing at number six and knew there were still players below him who can perform with the bat,” Prince added.

Mgijima was understandably elated about his first first-class ton, but chose to congratulate the team rather than reflect too extensively on his century.

“We showed a lot of character today (Friday), something we discussed at length before the season started.

“We wanted to bat for the full day, and I was determined to stay there until we had saved the day.

“When I was on 96, I struck the ball past cover off Werner Coetsee to get to 100. I was not that demonstrative. I was batting with Kyle Verreynne at the time. I went back into my shell, because I did not want to lose my wicket and allow them to skittle us out,” Mgijima said.

“The whole team must be commended for the way we showed character after the first day. We came back nicely with the ball and the batsmen showed they can push on and do big things when required,” the centurion and WSB Cape Cobras’ player of 2016/2017 added.

“The batting performance in the second innings will boost our confidence ahead of our next match against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth,” an upbeat Prince said.

The second pre-season two-day fixture between the WSB Cape Cobras and the Warriors that was played at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn ended in a draw on Wednesday.

Both coaches, Ashwell Prince from the Cobras, and Malibongwe Maketa of the Warriors will be satisfied with their first outdoor outings of the season ahead of the Sunfoil Series that will kick-off on 19 September 2017.

It was a match where various overs were lost on the first day due to a delayed start and bad light that brought an early end to the proceedings.

The Cobras, who batted first, posted 269/5 before they declared their innings after 72.2 overs but not before three of the top order batsmen reached half-centuries.  Zubayr Hamza, who was promoted to open the batting, needed 96 balls for his 50 (7×4) whilst Kyle Verreynne (70; 119 balls, 1×6, 9×4) and Aviwe Mgijima (61; 96 balls, 7×4) were involved in a partnership of 101 runs (165 balls) for the third wicket.

Jason Smith, who scored a half-century in the first match, was again impressive with the bat with an unbeaten innings of 37* (43 balls, 8×4).

The Warriors workhorse, Sisanda Magala, was rewarded with figures of 3/59 (in 14 overs).

Bad light also had the final say on the second afternoon when the umpires called off the game at 4.30 pm with the Warriors ending on 262/6 (62 overs). Lesiba Ngoepe, who was impressive with an aggressive 62 (from 67 balls; 11×4), was well supported by Gihan Cloete (51; 107 balls; 9×4).

Summarised scorecard:

WSB CAPE COBRAS 1st innings 269/5 decl.  (Zubayr Hamza 50, Kyle Verreynne 70, Aviwe Mgijima 61, Jason Smith 37*, Sisanda Magala 3/59)

WARRIORS 1st innings 262/6 (Edward Moore 43, Lesiba Ngoepe 62, Gihan Cloete 51, Jon-Jon Smuts 47, George Linde 2/46).

Result: Match Drawn

A superb collective effort with the ball which caused a dramatic Warriors collapse from 237 for five to 260, was one of the highlights of the Buildnat Cape Cobras’ performance in a rain-curtailed Sunfoil Series clash at Buffalo Park in East London during the weekend.

Dane Piedt, the Buildnat Cape Cobras’ skipper, refused in typical humble fashion to take full credit for the collapse, which saw the hosts lose their final five wickets for the addition of only 23 runs in 7.4 overs of Cobras’ induced venom.

He captured 4-64 in 15.4 overs, while the recently selected South African T20 International bowler, Dane Paterson, accounted for 3-60.

“I actually just bowled consistently in the same area, and the frustrated batsmen, who were restricted by the accurate seam bowling, attempted aggressive shots against me and lost their wickets.

“Enormous credit must go to our bowling attack.

“I think going forward our support cast is so important. Usually Paterson and Rory Kleinveldt or Wayne Parnell bowl very well up front. But our support bowling need to keep the run-rate down in order to exert pressure which will bring wickets.

“And the support bowling by Jason Smith and Tshepo Moreki has been splendid,” he added.

The match between the Warriors and the Buildnat Cape Cobras finished in a stale draw after the Cobras had reached 71 for three in their second innings, an overall lead of 102 runs.

But the whole third day was abandoned due to rain which ruined the match as a spectacle from a purely cricket point of view (the farmers and the citizens of East London would no doubt have been delighted about the rain).

Piedt pointed to the inability of the Buildnat Cape Cobras to convert useful scores into substantial centuries, as the one shortcoming in the first innings. Six batsmen scored between 29 and 85 and a realistic case could be made that at least two of those useful contributors should have reached three figures.

“Yes, if we converted those scores, we could have easily slammed 350 to 400. We should have done that,” he added.

“You know what you are going to get out of Andrew Puttick. He will give it his whole-hearted commitment.”

Piedt saluted Aviwe Mgijima, who has been a consistent performer for the Buildnat Cape Cobras this season. “You have to understand that he is batting at number seven with the so-called batting tail and it is not easy to get to three figures. You have to shepherd the tail and it is not without its challenges,” he said.

From a national point of view, the return to some form by Piedt should be applauded. It might have only been four wickets in the first innings, but when the off-spinner gets some of his wizardry back and bowls an attacking line just outside off-stump, he can cause havoc, like he did last season with 39 wickets, and in 2013/2014, when he removed 45 batsmen in the four-day domestic showpiece.

Sisanda Magala and Basheer Walters shared six wickets as the opening day of the Sunfoil Series Cape derby ended evenly poised between the Warriors and BuildNat Cape Cobras at Buffalo Park in East London on Thursday.

The pair took 6/113 between them as the visitors were bowled out for 291, before they then reduced their hosts to 5/1 by the close.

Fast bowler Walters took 3/42 and fellow seamer Magala managed 3/71 after the home side had won the toss and opted to bowl first on day one.

There were a number of starts for the resurgent Cobras, who appear to be improving all the time under new coach Ashwell Prince, with veteran Andrew Puttick top scoring with 85 (186 balls, 13 fours) – his 44th career 50.

Aviwe Mgijima also played a central role with his 51 (92 balls, 5 fours, 1 six), the 10th half-century of his career, while there were starts for Stiaan van Zyl (38), Jason Smith (29) and Rory Kleinveldt (31).

It meant the Cobras fell just short of 300, but they then removed one of the openers when Dane Paterson (1/0) had Gionne Koopman caught behind by Dane Vilas for 5 – the Warriors ending the day trailing by 286.