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The reserve strength of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras will be stretched as injuries have cut a swathe through the team, while international call-ups have also impacted the line-up of the team ahead of the 4 Day Franchise match against the Warriors at PPC Newlands starting on Monday.

Ashwell Prince, the coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, is upbeat despite a dislocated finger keeping Janneman Malan out for another ten days and an ankle injury keeping Tladi Bokako on the sidelines.

Bokako will see a specialist early in the week about what seems to be chronic ankle trouble.

In the middle of Friday’s training session the side learned that Dane Paterson will not be able to play for the hosts against the Warriors from Monday as he will be called up early to the Proteas One Day International camp for the first two matches against Pakistan.

Rory Kleinveldt, a former test bowler and a man who sealed a win against the VKB Knights in the first game of the season, will replace Paterson.

Prince said he is convinced the reserve bowlers will do a job for the team and he is positive about his squad’s depth.

Lizaad Williams bowled well as replacement for Bokako last week.

Prince said the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras have their destiny firmly in their own hands and if they keep on winning, nobody will catch them (as they have a cushion of almost 20 points ahead of the bizhub Highveld Lions team).

“It is about remaining positive and playing the game in the right spirit and attitude,” he said.

Matthew Kleinveldt, who scored two back-to-back centuries in the first two senior provincial games for Western Province, will replace the injured Malan.

The 13-man squad is: Dane Piedt (capt), Matthew Kleinveldt, Pieter Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Simon Khomari, David Bedingham, Dayyaan Galiem, Rory Kleinveldt, George Linde, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams, Mthiwekhaya Nabe.

The current 4 Day Franchise series is possibly the best he has ever produced, even better than in 2013/2014 when he took 45 scalps in eight matches, said Dane Piedt, captain of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

During that 2013/2014 season he had an opportunity to score a hundred, but he was dismissed for 92 at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium.

Piedt is the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 34 wickets after seven matches, one more than his leading fast bowler, Dane Paterson, who has captured 33 wickets.

“Our bowling attack has been great with Pato, Tladi Bokako and Mthiwekhaya Nabe all bowling well. And then Lizaad Williams, he has been solid the past five years I have played with him and is a thorough professional. He gives you 150 percent every time he bowls,” he says.

The batsmen who have scored the fifth and the sixth most runs in the competition are Pieter Malan, with 629 runs, and Janneman Malan, who has made 554 runs. “It is important, because it sets up the game for the bowlers,” Piedt said.

Janneman Malan fractured his finger in the previous match against the VKB Knights and received four stitches. He was only able to bat at number eleven and scored an undefeated 2 in the first and only innings of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

Piedt says nothing should change now that the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras are leading with 140.04 points, almost twenty ahead of the bizhub Highveld Lions, who have 120.62.

“We need to follow the same process we did in our last seven games of which we won five. Even if Tladi does not play (due to an ankle injury), we possess the bowling attack to take 20 wickets,” he said.

In a pressure cooker situation, it is a case of who blinks first, but the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras don’t want to become tentative or revert to a negative pattern of play, instead they will be aiming to continue the swashbuckling dynamic pattern of play that has served them so well so far this season.

Asked what the chances are of 50 wickets in the competition, Piedt said it is more important that the team takes 20 wickets each match in the competition than if he or Paterson reaches 50 wickets overall.

A maiden first-class century by Dane Piedt highlighted the penultimate day of the 4-Day Domestic Series encounter between the VKB Knights and the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Bloemfontein on Sunday.

The visiting captain made 114 (145 balls, 11 fours, 3 sixes) to surpass his previous best score of 92 made against the bizhub Highveld Lions in 2013/14 to help his side amass 470 – in response to the hosts’ first-innings 319.

But the reply of the Central Franchise went well through day three after they reached the close on 135 for one – witling down the 151 deficit to trail by just 16.

First-innings star Keegan Petersen was again going well with an unbeaten 59 (99 balls, 99 fours), while former South Africa Under-19 captain Raynard van Tonder (56 off 114 balls, 9 fours) was also excelling alongside him.

The log-leading Cobras had started day three well-placed on 249 for four, but quickly lost overnight pair Jason Smith (30), their other centurion David Bedingham (114 off 145 balls, 11 fours, 3 sixes) and Dane Paterson (11).

Shadley van Schalkwyk (4/67) did most of the damage, which saw the Cobras slip to 281 for seven and in danger of surrendering their good position.

But Piedt shared a 47-run eighth-wicket stand with Lizaad Williams (18), before adding a remarkable competition record partnership with Mthiwekhaya Nabe.

The pair added 132 for the ninth wicket, breaking a record set six years ago by Simon Harmer and Ayabulela Gqamane of 129 for the Warriors against the Titans in 2012/13.

Nabe played an equally important role as Piedt by scoring his highest first-class score of 68 (87 balls, 9 fours, 1 six) – a splendid effort considering his previous best score was only 12.

That boosted the Cape side to a strong position and they seized even more control of the game when Nabe removed Grant Mokoena for 15 to leave the Knights on 22 for one.

But Petersen and Van Tonder kept their side in the game, the latter thanks to his second franchise 50, as the game was left finely poised at the Mangaung Oval.

A career-best eight wickets in a marathon effort of 50.4 overs by Dane Piedt ground the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras to an epic 37-run victory over the Warriors deep into the final day of their 4-Day Domestic Series clash in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The spinner finished with eight for 130, which included 16 maidens, to bowl out the hosts for 380 in pursuit of a 418-victory target with just 3.2 overs of the game remaining.

Gihahn Cloete’s century (108 off 193 balls, 16 fours) was overshadowed in the process as the Cobras secured a huge win in the context of the season.

This thanks to a massive effort from Piedt and his team-mates, while the Warriors too had to be credited for coming so close to toppling the log-leaders, who now extend their lead even further at the top of the table.

The Eastern Cape franchise had started day four on 93 for none at St George’s Park, needing a further 325 to earn a priceless win.

Eddie Moore was batting alongside Cloete at that stage, but after the pair raised the century stand, the former became Piedt’s first victim after he was bowled.

Another big stand followed between the centurion and Colin Ackermann (43) – the pair adding 89 for the second wicket – before the Cobras’ spinner accounted for both with the score on 192.

Yaseen Vallie (46) and captain Jon-Jon Smuts (44) had to start from scratch again, with the pair doing a good job of things by adding 78 for the fourth wicket as the hosts reached 270 for three.

Again both fell within eight overs of each other leaving the tail with too much to do.

Sinethema Qeshile (34) and Clyde Fortuin (20) did their best to try and pull off the unlikely, with the Warriors even reaching 352 for six at one stage, but Piedt outlasted everyone and help script a fine win.

His figures also surpassed his previous best return of seven for 92 for the Cobras against the Titans back in 2010/11.

The other two wickets on the card were taken by Dane Paterson (2/107), who had learnt earlier in the day of his addition to the South Africa squad for the upcoming Castle Lager Test Series against Pakistan starting next week.

Overall, the result had a massive effect on the table as it allowed the Cobras to move clear at the summit of the table to a total of 126,16 points, over 30 ahead of the bizhub Highveld Lions with four rounds to play.

The next round of fixtures begins on January 4.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras bowling attack has got what it takes to run through sides and win matches. A key to that is that the bowlers should bowl fuller lengths than last season, said the captain, Dane Piedt.

He was speaking at a press conference on Friday as the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras continued their preparations for the opening 4 Day Franchise match of their season, against the VKB Knights at PPC Newlands starting on Monday 1st October.

When probed what is required to win the competition, Ashwell Prince, the coach, said you need to take 20 wickets but he believes the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras have the arsenal to run through sides.

“(The decision to part ways with) Wayne Parnell was a bit unexpected but there are capable players stepping into that position. Rory Kleinveldt might have played less of a role, but now he will play a greater role. And there are other players who can step up, like Jason Smith, Dayyaan Galiem and Ferisco Adams.

Prince was unperturbed about the young inexperienced squad that the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras have selected for the VKB Knights. “I am excited. I think there are four to five of those players that can go on and represent South Africa. Perhaps we will see that happening within the next two to three years,” he said.

Prince added that for most of last season, this young inexperienced batting squad did the business, so not much has changed.

In the 2017/2018 season, the Cobras batsmen scored a phenomenal 13 centuries, which is quite special when one remembers that two of the three senior batsmen in the side, Andrew Puttick and Justin Ontong, played only a limited part in the four day competition.

Piedt said Dane Paterson and Kleinveldt will lead the attack and they bowl a fuller length, which will make it easier for the other bowlers to follow their example.

Prince said David Bedingham and Janneman Malan have phenomenal talent. The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras fill the vacuums in the side from the bottom upwards, but in the case of Malan, his statistics suggest that he could fill the void left by the departure of Puttick and Richard Levi in all formats of the game.

Piedt said: “Last season we created opportunities with the ball, but did not execute them. We have done the hard preparation but ultimately it is about having the right attitudes to take chances and effect the run-outs. It is a vital part of the game.”

The loss of Parnell will give Kleinveldt a new opportunity as a bowling all-rounder. He is a live wire with the bat and was sensational in the shorter formats with the ball last season, while he took 50 wickets for Northamptonshire last season.

Piedt has improved by leaps and bounds with the bat last season so the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras looks in a good position to score totals of 450 and beyond.

If Piedt’s confidence in the bowling line-up is vindicated, the Cobras will break their five-year drought in terms of four day silverware this season.

The 13-man squad of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras is: Dane Piedt (capt), David Bedingham, Tladi Bokako, Zubayr Hamza, Rory Kleinveldt, Janneman Malan, Pieter Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Dane Paterson, Jason Smith, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams

Get as close to the ball as possible and play it at the last moment – this has been the successful credo employed by the latest South African centurion – and it is a game plan that World Sports Betting Cape Cobras opening batsman Pieter Malan wants to borrow from Theunis de Bruyn when he represents South Africa ‘A’ in India in July and August.

Malan is one of two top-order batsmen from the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras who will represent South Africa ‘A’ against the India ‘A’ team in India. The other batting representative is Zubayr Hamza, while spinner Dane Piedt and fast bowler Mthiwekhaya Nabe complete the group of representatives from Cape Town heading over to India on Tuesday as part of the four-day squad.

Malan said he has taken some learnings about spinning conditions by watching the centurion De Bruyn score 101 in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. It was De Bruyn’s first test ton.

“I don’t have a definite game plan whether to play on the front foot or back foot, but I know I must be clear in my decision making whether to go forward or backwards and commit myself with definite movement,” said Malan.

Although the conditions are tough and he has not played in India, he has played against spinners of international class which has helped him. The past season he represented the Cape side against Shaun von Berg and Tabraiz Shamsi – both of whom were in the Proteas touring test squad to Sri Lanka.

Hamza is looking forward to the tour but expects tough conditions: “It was beneficial to me that I went on the bowling and batting camp in India recently. I expect the conditions to be tough and I’ve decided that I want to get as close to the ball as possible when delivered by the Indian spinners. Or if I want to get out of the way, I need to be as far as possible from the ball.”

Malan and Hamza were part of the South Africa ‘A’ team that played against an Australian touring team last season and both have been heavy scorers for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

Malan struck 892 runs at an average of 55.75, while Hamza hammered 828 runs at an average of 69 in the Sunfoil Series.

Malan also compiled 615 runs in the Momentum One Day Cup competition last season.

Ashwell Prince, the head coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, said he spoke to all the players on Monday and motivated them to adjust their game plans to the subcontinent as they will play half of their cricket against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India if they represent South Africa one day.

“We should not wish those conditions away, but formulate a game plan that makes us successful in foreign conditions,” he said.

“It is about learning as much as you can and adding to your skills set of playing spin to the rest of your game,” Prince said.

He said India has become the nation that has improved the most in foreign conditions while other nations, including South Africa, have gone backwards in foreign conditions recently.

Eddie Moore recorded his second successive century as the Warriors made a strong start to their Sunfoil Series encounter against the WSB Cape Cobras at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

The left-hander made exactly 100 (198 balls, 12 fours, 1 six) to help the hosts reach stumps on the opening day of the round two encounter on 263 for four.

It was Moore’s sixth first-class hundred and came hot on the heels of his fifth career ton, which came in the opening fixture of the season against the bizhub Highveld Lions in Johannesburg last week.

He put on 111 for the second wicket with Yaseen Vallie, who made 63 (159 balls, 9 fours), after the Warriors had won the toss and batted first.

Despite both falling, captain Jon-Jon Smuts was going strong at the close with an unbeaten 46.

His opposite number, Dane Piedt, was the most successful bowler after collecting three for 55.

If the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras regularly get off to a flyer and establish more first innings’ leads in four-day games, they will be difficult to stop.

The return of all-rounder Jason Smith also makes this team a better balanced unit for the Sunfoil Series clash against the Warriors at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth (starting on Thursday), said Dane Piedt, the skipper.

The tendency to play catch-up cricket has been a trait of the WSB Cape Cobras, and it is something the team is addressing in order to get their noses in front early in four-day games. If they do produce an early lead, they will be a more rampant force.

Speaking about their dismissal for a lowly 159 against the VKB Knights and how the team transformed their fortunes with a gritty performance from day two, Piedt said the WSB Cape Cobras is “built around character.”

The team showed little character on the first day and the coach, Ashwell Prince, expressed his dissatisfaction and anger about their display. They responded almost immediately and stood up to the challenges.

The current bowling attack is a young and inexperienced one and they must just find a way to capture 20 wickets in every match.

Smith has definitely picked up pace in the off-season and he will ensure it is a better-balanced bowling unit. Piedt said he thought Smith was a bit unlucky that he did not shave Wiaan Mulder for a position in the test squad (against Bangladesh).

“He is a bit of a maverick,” Piedt said about Smith, while referring to Smith’s aggressive and fearless approach to batting. He said in this regard, Smith reminds one a bit of Quinton de Kock.

He was disappointed in his own batting performances for the SA A team, but the presence of Prince as coach and Faiek Davids as assistant coach will aid Smith in knuckling down and improving his shot selection at number five, the skipper remarked.

Piedt said the absence of Vernon Philander and Wayne Parnell for the second match is almost a blessing in disguise because it forces the attack to be brutally honest about their own shortcomings and find a way to capture 20 wickets. “But we are moving in the right direction.”

Justin Ontong, who struck a magnificent 128 in the second innings in Bloemfontein, said the Cobras must learn as a batting unit.

“When we batted in the first innings, there were too many soft dismissals and at the wrong times,” he added.

Ontong said the collective reaction of the team will bolster their confidence ahead of the match against the Warriors.

Asked about his 128, one of the highlights of the WSB Cape Cobras’ heroic counter-offensive, Ontong said he knew they needed to bat for two days to save the match.

“So I had to reel in my natural instincts, but it helped to have a master batting with me in Hashim Amla,” added Ontong.

At the practice at PPC Newlands on Tuesday, quite a few senior players and the management team were excited about the performance by Kyle Verreynne, who mercilessly hooked and pulled the test fast bowler Duanne Olivier during his unbeaten 42 in Bloemfontein.

Piedt said one of the greatest characteristics of the new WSB Cape Cobras’ culture, is that players are given the confidence to walk out and express themselves.

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.

The Buildnat Cape Cobras need to be less frantic at the start and the whole team must be more clinical in their pursuit of scores as 300 is no longer mission impossible in the Momentum One Day Cup competition, said Dane Piedt, the skipper, after the visitors lost by 100 runs to the VKB Knights at the Mangaung Oval in the opening match of the domestic 50-over showpiece on Saturday.

Theunis de Bruyn smashed 132 to catapult the hosts to 308 for six.

The visitors were dismissed for 208, despite a defiant 51 by Aviwe Mgijima.

“I think we must be less frantic, buckle up and the top six must accept that other teams will come hard at them. Yet, the Buildnat Cape Cobras can score 300 quite easily, but we had too many mediocre scores,” he said.

Piedt said the wicket was a bit up and down in terms of the pace and bounce at one end of the ground, which made scoring difficult.

He must give credit to the bowling attack who limited the VKB Knights to only 74 runs in the last ten overs.

But a key in a high-scoring match like that is that the Cobras require a solid base and wickets in hand. Instead, they went in pursuit of the total in frantic fashion and lost too many early wickets, which played into the hands of the Knights.

“We need to rectify this situation in our second match on Wednesday 22nd February at Buffalo Park against the Warriors,” said Piedt.

The Cobras utilized two spinners in the match against the VKB Knights and although that was not at the heart of their demise, the move did not exactly bringthe result the visitors were hoping for.

The Cobras also allowed De Lange to unnerve them with his short-pitched bowling, instead of keeping a calm head and waiting for the inevitable long hop or half volley by the fast and furious but slightly inconsistent fast bowler.

The Cobras lost their three first matches in 2012/2013, yet finished as the joint winner of the competition, something that should be slightly reassuring for the Cape champions.