Cape Town – Off-spinner Dane Piedt has been drafted into the Cape Cobras line-up for Sunday’s T20 final to fill the gap left by Sunil Narine and Robin Peterson.
Narine has returned to the West Indies, while Peterson is in camp with the Proteas Test squad.
The game will be Piedt’s first of the season and despite the high stakes the 23-year-old is fully prepared.
“It is a bit nervy playing your first game and it’s a final, but they always keep the big names for the big games,” joked Piedt.
He added: “I feel that I am ready for the game, I’ve been spending my time developing and I’m really looking forward to going out there on Sunday and giving it my all for the win.”
While Piedt feels that he is ready for the game, he admits there is a little pressure on the home side to win their third T20 title. But the Cobras squad is also upbeat.
“There is a lot of excitement in the side because of the home final and the fact that we have now qualified for the T20 Champions League. As a young cricketer you always want to be part of the big matches and going to the Champions League is a massive achievement for us.
“But that is only happening at a later stage, so for now we have to make sure that we win the final, especially since the game is at Newlands.”
The Cobras secured the home final by finishing top in the T20 league phase. The team was also undefeated at Newlands during the campaign.
“It will be awesome to play in front of a packed home crowd with 20 000 fans all cheering for the Cobras.”
While Piedt has not played any T20 games for the Cobras this season, he has been a regular at training sessions alongside fellow-tweakers Narine and Peterson.
“It was great having Sunil around although I did not learn much from him technically. I am more of an orthodox spinner, whereas he has more wrist action. What I did learn from him is how to approach the overs and keep pressure on the batsmen.”
Piedt was part of the Cobras squad in the last two games of the round-robin stage and during that time he travelled to Joburg with the side, giving him plenty of access to Peterson.
“Robin and I started talking more when I travelled with the team to Joburg for the Lions game. We have a good relationship and his experience and advice have been helpful for me; hopefully I can use it to further my own career.”
Last season Piedt played in all of the Cobras’ T20 games, taking seven wickets, with a best return of 2/16. In his first season at the Cobras (the year before) he also featured in every game, taking eight wickets (including career-best T20 figures of 3/24).
Since the start of the year Piedt has played in two T20 games for Western Province – failing to take wickets against Boland and KZN.
Apart from Piedt, all-rounder Shaheen Khan and fast bowler Dane Paterson could also play their first T20 games this summer in the final.