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The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras and the South African all-rounder Wayne Parnell, who recently signed a three-year Kolpak deal with Worcestershire, have parted ways with immediate effect, bringing to a close a relatively successful period for Parnell in Cape Town over the past three years.

Parnell signed a three-year Kolpak deal with Worcestershire, effectively bringing an end to his international career, which consisted of 65 One Day Internationals, 40 T20 Internationals and six tests.

“The Board of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras unanimously decided to discontinue Parnell’s Cobras contract,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

“It was a tough decision, as he was a senior and successful member of the Cobras squad in the past, winning four awards at the Cobras Player Awards in 2015/2016. He was voted Player of the Year at that awards ceremony.

“But his decision to sign Kolpak and also to participate in the Afghanistan Premier League has made him available for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras for a very limited period, while he would also not be available for international selection in future,” said Dien. “We pride ourselves in being a conveyor belt for international South African players and it’s part and parcel of our mandate.”

Corrie van Zyl, general manager cricket of CSA, said, “Every franchise is entitled to select two Kolpak players in their playing eleven, but those Kolpak players must be paid from the franchise’s own funds, and therefore it is really up to the franchises to determine the value of that player to their team.

“We are concerned about the amount of players who have signed a Kolpak agreement, which makes them unavailable for national selection. Although the experience of the Kolpak players is valuable, CSA needs to ensure that those players, who are still committed to playing for the Proteas in the future, are afforded the opportunities to develop.

“Every player who turns Kolpak, is one less that can be eligible for the South African team and therefore CSA needs to look at ways to protect itself against the loss of experienced and younger players,” Van Zyl adds.

“Our mandate is to produce players at domestic level who will represent South Africa.

Parnell, when announcing his decision to turn Kolpak, said the decision to go Kolpak was the toughest of his life.

“This is probably the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my career,” Parnell told ESPNcricinfo.

“Of course this wasn’t an overnight decision, it’s a very difficult decision and I am fully aware and understand the pros and cons of it. I have always enjoyed playing for my country since making my debut. I’d like to thank everybody who has supported me through thick and thin, my family, my friends.

“Special mention must go to the Eastern Province and Warriors unions for taking a risk and giving a kid from the dusty streets of Booysen Park a chance play this wonderful game. To all of those people who dislike me for whatever reason I thank you as well, you’ve helped make me mentally and emotionally tougher.”

Parnell admitted he had been considering the move for almost a year during which time he has slipped out of South Africa’s teams across all formats and battled with injury.

“After my serious injury in January 2018 I had three to four months out and really had time to reflect and think about what I want for the rest of my career going forward,” he said to the Worcestershire website.

Parnell experienced a dip in form in 2017/2018 in the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge, but also battled injury. The Momentum One Day competition was his most productive for the Cobras, taking six wickets and averaging 29.33 with the blade in five matches.

“We will remember with glee his three straight five-wicket hauls for the Cobras in 2015/2016 and also the way in which he forced his way back into the national side through consistent excellence for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras. We wish him well with his future endeavours,” Dien concluded.

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.

The Buildnat Cape Cobras are just one victory away from the top-three teams in the Sunfoil Series. “We have so much talent. It is about doing the basic things well,” said an elated Wayne Parnell, hero of the Cobras after their six-wicket win against the bizhub Highveld Lions.

“There is no way that such a talented team should be at the bottom of the log,” he added.

Parnell scored an unbeaten 103 off 131 balls to power the Cobras to their first Sunfoil Series win of the season.

“At the start of my innings, it was all about building a partnership with Omphile Ramela and about rotating the strike well. Substantial partnerships aided us well,” he said.

Parnell has now hammered two Sunfoil Series-tons in two seasons and has shown that he possesses the qualities to bat at number eight for South Africa.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Wherever I am needed, I will try and score runs.

“This win will boost our confidence and it is just about starting all over again on Thursday,” he said.

“We dominated the four days and even when they were batting well, we as a bowling unit restricted the Lions to an average of 2.1 runs per over at the start of the last day,” he added.

Stiaan van Zyl, number three batsman of the Cobras who struck 64 off 65 balls, said his mindset during the 125-run partnership with Parnell was to play with freedom. Occasionally, he stood leg-side of the ball and sometimes he used his feet to the spinners.

Van Zyl said what made Parnell’s innings special, was his aggressive nature. He actually likes the new ball and enjoys taking the attack to the spinners.

Parnell averaged 48.40 with the blade in the Sunfoil Series last season, an indication that he is growing In stature as a batsman.

The Buildnat Cape Cobras’ next Sunfoil Series match begins on Thursday 12th January at Buffalo Park in East London. The match starts at 10:00.

Wayne Parnell struck a century as the BuildNat Cape Cobras began life under Ashwell Prince by breaking their Sunfoil Series duck with a six-wicket victory over the bizhub Highveld Lions late on the final day of their clash at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn on Sunday.

The Standard Bank Proteas all-rounder finished unbeaten on 103 (131 balls, 7 fours, 2 sixes) enabling the hosts to chase down their 237-run victory target with less than three overs to go.

Stiaan van Zyl also played a key role with his brisk 64 (65 balls, 7 fours, 1 six) as the Cape side finally managed a four-day win in 2016/17 – in what was their sixth match of the term.

Their poor results had lead to a change in a management and former Proteas batsman Prince appears to have made an immediate impact, inspiring his team to a victory at a venue that was hosting its first franchise match ever.

But the Lions can be credited for putting up a brave showing on the final day, with their last three wickets adding 149 that gave them a fighting chance.

Having resumed day four on 247/7, Bjorn Fortuin proved the anchor with his 72 (179 balls, 7 fours) as he shared in stands of 39, 79 and 31 with Wiaan Mulder (25), Hardus Viljoen (46) and Aaron Phangiso (8 not out) respectively.

That left the hosts 46 overs to get to their winning target and they were given a strong enough start of 74 in 14.3 overs by Omphile Ramela (36) and Parnell.

Then came the key second wicket stand of 125 that put the Cobras on course for victory, with the runs from Van Zyl and Parnell scored at 5.39 to the over.

Despite three wickets in the closing six overs, the hard work was already done, allowing the host to take a full haul of 17.46 points for the win.

They remained bottom of the standings, but now within 10 points of the Lions (54.14) and just over 20 behind the top of the table Multiply Titans (64.74).

The Buildnat Cape Cobras have the potential to beat every team in the country, but ultimately, names on paper won’t cut it. The mental attitude on the field, the appetite for a fight to rally when one is with their back against the wall, is the trait necessary for the Cape Town-based team to move up the log in the Sunfoil Series, said the newly appointed coach, Ashwell Prince.

The Cobras will host the bizhub Highveld Lions at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn starting on Thursday 5th January.

“The keys for us are simply improved performances. We have been sub-standard so far this season.

“What we need, is for players to perform up to the class they have displayed throughout their careers,” he added.

“Having the inner drive and the hunger to do well will be important for each player,” he added.

Prince said a lack of centuries was not the only weak spot in the Cobras’ armour during the first half of the competition. “We also did not bowl that well and have only taken one or two five-wicket hauls,” he added.

Prince said he only met with the team on Monday, but plans to have a sit-down session with each individual player in the squad over the course of the next two weeks about their own plans, dreams and potential.

The new coach underlines the importance of seeing the new picture. “If we win against the Lions this weekend, we are just a victory away from the team that is at the top of the log,” he said. “And if we can win another one, we are back in the competition,” he added.

The Cobras will be bolstered by the return of Wayne Parnell and Dane Piedt, two test players with the ability to win matches almost single handedly for them.

Parnell was part of the thirteen-man Standard Bank Proteas’ squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka.
Piedt captured 39 wickets last season at an average of 22.33.

Parnell nipped out 7-51 in a match at PPC Newlands against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins.

Watch out for the left-arm swing bowler to repeat these performances and to challenge the Lions’ top-order during the weekend.

Prince, though, warned against the Cobras relying too much on the names on the paper. “It is about more. It is about our appetite for wins. It is about the mood, the hunger and the mental approach on the field,” he added.