Dane Piedt stars as South Africa A finish day two on top against West Indies A

Veteran Dane Piedt, seen here playing for the Cobras, picked up five wickets as South Africa A finished day two on top during their four-day game against West Indies A on Wednesday

Veteran Dane Piedt, seen here playing for the Cobras, picked up five wickets as South Africa A finished day two on top during their four-day game against West Indies A on Wednesday. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published Nov 29, 2023

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In a short space of time, Proteas Test and South Africa A coach Shukri Conrad has demonstrated his vast knowledge of SA Cricket and its players. He started by appointing Temba Bavuma captain of the Test team, a decision that Bavuma followed up with a career-best 172 in his very first series as captain.

This time around, Conrad pulled the most audacious move in response to the situation he found himself in following the confirmation of the clash of next year’s Test tour to New Zealand and the playoffs of the SA20.

With the batting and fast bowling replacement options clearer, Conrad needed a spinner in the squad that he will take to New Zealand, and with the Blackcaps’ top-order filled with quite a number of left-handed batters including Devon Conway, Tom Latham and Rachin Ravindra, a right-arm off spinner seemed to be the best option.

But where would Conrad find a top right-arm off-spinner seeing that most of the top-spinners are contracted with the SA20?

Apart from Tshepo Ntuli, most right-arm off-spinners are contracted with the SA20 including Imran Manack of The Rocks.

However, Conrad thought outside the box and flew to the United States to convince the ‘prodigal son’, the retired Dane Piedt to come back home for what could be yet another dance in a Proteas baggy green Test cap.

Piedt returned home, joined the Knights, did well and was included in the SA A side, a move which made it clear that Conrad was involved in Piedt’s return home.

On Wednesday, Piedt (5/28) gave a first glimpse of the master plan by claiming a sparkling five-for to help the hosts dismiss West Indies A for 154 all-out. Piedt took three big wickets including that of Kavem Hodge (25 off 35), Tevin Imlach (3 off 23) and the captain himself Joshua Da Silva (7 off 17) and put South Africa in a commanding position.

More impressively, Piedt was able to finish off the game relatively quickly, a skill that has been lacking in the Proteas and SA A teams in the recent past. Piedt found the right lines and launched his deliveries in a perfect trajectory to get the wickets of Akeem Jordan (14 off 19) and Shamar Joseph (0 off 7).

Tshepo Moreki (3/66 in 15 overs) and Dane Paterson (2/28 in 13 overs) provided enough support to cover what was a mediocre batting performance from the home team having been bowled out for 298, adding only 32 runs to their overnight 266/6.

Having secured a 144-runs first innings lead courtesy of a brilliant bowling performance, top-order batters Tony De Zorzi (34* off 89) and Raynard van Tonder (20* off 39) led the hosts to safety after a Kevin Sinclair (1/19 in 9 overs) spin bowling spell led to Neil Brand’s demise late on Day Two.

Day Three will start at 10AM SAST at Bufalo Park in East London.

Scorecard

South Afrida A: 298/10 (Petersen 64, Van Tonder 50, Jordan 3/47, Joseph 3/57)

West Indies A: 154/10 (McCaskie 62, Hodge 25, Piedt 5/28, Moreki 3/66)

South Africa A: 65/1 (De Zorzi 34*, Van Tonder 20*, Sinclair 1/19)

IOL Sport

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Cricket South Africa