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After their 8-run victory over the Dolphins at PPC Newlands on Sunday, the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras are sitting top of the table after 4 rounds of the CSA T20 Challenge, but according to assistant coach Faiek Davids, “we have not produced a clinical (and perfect) match yet.”

“If the batting line-up clicks, we can score 170 to 200 every time,” he added.

Hashim Amla showed signs of his best form by top-scoring with 32 against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, but coach Ashwell Prince said, “There’s definitely some improvement we can make in the batting department, especially partnerships. Quite a few batsmen chipped in with 20s and 30s but we need better partnerships in the batting department.”

“At one stage it was looking like it was going to be a more comfortable margin for victory so we didn’t finish off clinically with the ball. We’re happy with the 4 points but there’s a lot of room for improvement,” he added.

Davids said, “Vernon and Rory bowled excellently in the power play, but we were disappointed in the way Dane Paterson responded at the business-end of the innings. We were under the pump in the death overs, but we do understand that Rob Frylinck is a very good finisher.”

 We have had fantastic back-to-back wins. If we beat a good white-ball team like the Knights on Tuesday at Newlands – we will be in a really good position for the away games coming up,” added Davids.

“The experiment with two spinners worked very well,” Davids said.

 Nkululeko Serame captured 2-28 in his 4 overs and George Linde went for just 25 in his 4 overs.

 The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras were served well by the spinners in the weekend double-header on Friday and Sunday. Aviwe Mgijima in the role of part-time spinner, nipped out 3-14 on Friday and played a significant part in the seven-wicket win against the Warriors.

 Davids said the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras won’t underestimate the VKB Knights, who have several big hitters in their team including Patrick Kruger and Pite van Biljon, as well as the all-round capabilities of Shadley van Schalkwyk.

The CSA T20 Challenge match between the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras and VKB Knights starts at 6pm. Tickets are available at the gate.

 

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras assistant coach Faiek Davids has backed Hashim Amla to come good and hopes the CSA T20 Challenge encounter against the Warriors at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl on Friday is when the veteran batsman will find his touch again.

The Standard Bank Proteas opener, who turned 36 last month, has been forced to take time off from competitive cricket in recent months due to family reasons.  He has also not been in the best of form, especially in the recent international series against Sri Lanka.

But he did show plenty of promise to start the year when South Africa beat Pakistan, raising hope that he was back to his best again. But he has hit a slump since then and failed to make too many runs in the first two matches of the competition.

But Davids has no doubt that Amla will soon turn the corner. “Hashim has obviously been on a bad run of form, but he is a quality player,” he said. “If he’s available to play then we’re happy to have him in the team. He is a massively experienced player and has a wealth of runs behind his name.

“We know he’s just one knock away from getting it right, so we back him and quite happy to have him here.”

The Cobras lost badly to the Multiply Titans in midweek, going down by seven wickets and conceding a bonus point in the process.

But Davids was still happy to have one win from the first two matches on the road ahead of a busy weekend.

“We’ve played two away games to start and will take one out of two against two strong sides,” he added. “We need to bounce back tomorrow and we know the importance of starting well at home.

“The guys are quite geared up, we had a bit of the rough end of the stick with the dew last night…but no excuses. We’re in Paarl now and need to set the record straight.”

Warriors coach Rivash Gobind, meanwhile, saw his side’s game against the VKB Knights in midweek abandoned on account of the weather.

The Eastern Cape side are top of the table at the moment and Gobind hopes they can stay there after the trip to the Cobras.

“It’s always nice to get some momentum going, but unfortunately we couldn’t get that after our game was abandoned,” he said. “That was out of our control and the weather is much more promising for tomorrow.

“We look forward to turning in a good performance against a Cobras side that we know is extremely dangerous.”

Coach Ashwell Prince has kept the same squad for Friday’s match in Paarl.

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

 

A measured half-century by Henry Davids laid the platform for the Multiply Titans to claim their first win of the CSA T20 Challenge season with a seven-wicket bonus-point win over the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Benoni on Wednesday.

The veteran opener struck 57 off 39 balls (8 fours, 1 six), batting for 14 overs, as the hosts chased down a 151-victory target with 26 balls to spare.

There were also useful contributions by Theunis de Bruyn (29 off 13 balls) and Diego Rosier (43 not out off 27 balls) – the defending champions making light work of a tricky target at Willowmoore Park.

The result also represented a perfect response to the home side’s disappointing opening loss when they were beaten by the Warriors, and the weather, on the DLS Method over the weekend.

Mark Boucher’s side were excellent throughout on the East Rand, and after winning the toss and bowling, they chipped away regularly to keep the Cobras in check.

Shaun von Berg (1/18) and the double-handed Gregory Mahlokwana (1/19) were excellent, while Eldred Hawken (1/39) picked up the key wicket of Hashim Amla (2) early on.

There were 20s from Janneman Malan (22), Simon Khomari (20) and Vernon Philander (22 not out), while Kyle Verreynne struck an impressive 44 off 38 before taking a blow from a Junior Dala delivery that forced him to retire hurt.

 Rory Kleinveldt smashed two sixes in the final over that gave the away side a seemingly competitive 150 for five.

But that total proved no match for the Titans as they eased to victory and second place on the standings.

 

 

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince confirmed that Proteas batsman Hashim Amla will be available for at least the opening matches of the CSA T20 Challenge which gets underway this weekend.

 The Cobras head to Gauteng to face the bizhub Highveld Lions at Bidvest Wanderers on Sunday and then take on the Multiply Titans in Benoni on Wednesday.

 “I still think there is a place for someone to bat through the innings and he (Amla) is well capable of doing that. If he bats through the innings at 120-130 strike rate, it allows other natural ball strikers to play their game around him.”

 Prince also confirmed that JP Duminy will not be available for the opening part of the tournament as he undergoes strengthening of his shoulder as per CSA’s request.

Adien Markarm returns to the Standard Bank Proteas ODI squad for the final two Momentum One-Day International matches against Sri Lanka on the back of his outstanding recent form that included back-to-back centuries that have helped propel his Multiply Titans franchise to the top spot on the Momentum One-Day Cup log.

The squad also features the return of experienced hands Hashim Amla and JP Duminy. The latter has made a successful comeback for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras after being out of action for several months following shoulder surgery.

“Experience is always a key factor in major tournaments such as the ICC Men’s World Cup,” commented Cricket South Africa National Selection Panel Convener (CSA NSP) Linda Zondi. “It is great to see how well JP has regained his best form after being out of action for so long.

“What has also been highly encouraging is see how well the Proteas have played when they have returned to franchise cricket. It is important that they should dominate at this level and that their skills should rub off on our emerging talent.

 “JP, Aiden and Dwaine Pretorius have all made significant contributions to their franchises in recent matches.

 “We will use the final two matches in the ODI series to continue to examine all the options that are available to us as far as the World Cup squad is concerned,” concluded Mr. Zondi.

 Standard Bank Proteas ODI squad (for final two Momentum ODI games against Sri Lanka): Faf du Plessis (Multiply Titans, capt), Hashim Amla (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Quinton de Kock (Multiply Titans), JP Duminy (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Imran Tahir (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Multiply Titans), David Miller (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Multiply Titans), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Andile Phehlukwayo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Dwaine Pretorius (bizhub Highveld Lions), Kagiso Rabada (bizhub Highveld Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Multiply Titans), Dale Steyn (Multiply Titans), Rassie van der Dussen (bizhub Highveld Lions).

 FIXTURES

 March 13             : 13h00, 4th Momentum ODI, St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth (D/N)

March 16             : 13h00, 5th Momentum ODI, PPC Newlands, Cape Town (D/N)

 

 

Standard Bank Proteas batsman, Dean Elgar, has been added to the One-Day International (ODI) squad to take on Zimbabwe in the three-match series starting in Kimberley on Sunday. Elgar replaces World Sports Betting Cape Cobras’ opener,  Hashim Amla, who has been ruled out of the series due to a finger injury.

Commenting on the injury, team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee said: “ Hashim sustained a tear to the tendon in his left fifth digit while fielding during the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League. The injury will need up to three weeks to heal making him unavailable for the series against Zimbabwe.

Cape Cobras’ white-ball cricket captain, JP Duminy has also been announced as the stand-in captain for the One-Day series in the absence of Faf du Plessis, who failed to recover in time from a shoulder injury suffered in the recent 3-2 ODI series victory against Sri Lanka.

“The CSA medical committee has also withdrawn Faf from the ODI series. He has not made a satisfactory recovery from his shoulder injury and has been given more time to make a complete recovery. We are hopeful he will be fit enough to return to lead the T20 side for the three-match series against Zimbabwe.” Dr. Moosajee concluded.

CSA National Selection Panel (NSP) convener, Linda Zondi, says Elgar’s recent form and experience will be added value at the top of the order.

“We have said that the Zimbabwe series is an opportunity to further explore our ODI options and the unfortunate injury to Hashim gives us an opportunity to see what Dean is capable of in the limited-overs format. He has always been on our radar having put in consistent performances both in South Africa and the UK, and brings a wealth of valuable experience to the batting group in Hashim and Faf’s absence.”

Keshav Maharaj has been released from the ODI squad and will play for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in their first round four-day competition fixture against the Multiply Titans starting at SuperSport Park on Wednesday.

 

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.

Rudi Second, Werner Coetsee, Hashim Amla and Justin Ontong all scored unbeaten centuries on day three of the Sunfoil Series clash between the VKB Knights and WSB Cape Cobras at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein where the hosts closed in a strong position on Thursday.

Standard Bank Proteas star Amla was still batting at stumps on 121 (207 balls, 13 fours, 2 sixes), while Ontong was with him at the other end on 124 (181 balls, 15 fours, 2 sixes) – but their side was still trailing by 160 with a day to play after ending on 304 for three.

This after Coetsee and Second had earlier joined team-mates Theunis de Bruyn (195) and Keegan Petersen (141) with three figure scores of their own, making it the first time in the history of franchise cricket that four players on one side had hit tons in the same innings.

However, it was the fourth instance that this had happened in South African cricket.

All-rounder Coetsee made 105 (135 balls, 10 fours, 2 sixes), his ninth career century, and wicketkeeper Second completed his 16th ton when he reached 101 (176 balls, 11 fours). The pair put on 210 together for the fifth wicket.

The declaration then followed on a massive 623 for four, the second highest team total overall and biggest for the Knights in franchise history.

The Cobras, who made a paltry 159 in the first innings, needed some inspiration to get going in what is the first match of the season and it came through veteran duo Amla and Ontong after they added a Cobras record 246 for the fourth wicket that was still going with a day to go.

It was the 48th time Amla scored a hundred in his career and the 26th time for Ontong. Both will need to bat on to give their side a chance of salvaging something from the opening game of the season.

 

The VKB Knights made a strong start to their Sunfoil Series title defence after five wickets from Shadley van Schalkwyk put them on top against the WSB Cape Cobras at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

The medium-pacer claimed a tidy five for 30 in 15 overs, which included the wickets of Standard Bank Proteas stars Hashim Amla and Temba Bavuma, to send the visitors packing for 159, before the hosts replied with 180 for one by stumps, a lead of 21.

The response was led by an unbroken 150-run stand between another Test player and Knights captain Theunis de Bruyn (81 off 106 balls, 12 fours) and Keegan Petersen (70 off 143 balls, 8 fours).

It was a commanding opening day of the 2017/18 campaign by the home side, who had lost the toss at the start and were asked to field first.

But that did not hamper them as last season’s top wicket-taker, Duanne Olivier, provided fine support for Van Schalkwyk with three for 58 – the pair ensuring the Cape visitors were dismantled in 41 overs.

Amla was the only batsman to make his mark with a fluent 56 (70 balls, 6 fours, 2 sixes), with Bavuma getting 25.

Knights debutant Eddie Leie picked up one for three in his solitary over.

Grant Mokoena (16) fell early in the reply, but that was as good as it got for the Cobras, with De Bruyn and Petersen punishing them with a stand that left the hosts in a powerful position.