The Cape Cobras are currently riding the crest of the wave, but captain Dane Piedt believes it has not happened by chance.
After three rounds of first-class action, the Cobras have a 100% record with three victories to propel them to the top of the table with 75.52 points.
This week’s crushing eight-wicket victory had even greater significance, with the Cobras downing the defending champions, the Titans, in their own backyard.
“It was an important win. They had a couple of current Test players in their line-up and a good leg-spinner, so their bases were covered.
“But the boys are putting in the hard work and relishing being out in the field.
“Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that I lost the toss because I probably would have batted, but the bowlers responded well to put them under early pressure,” Piedt told Independent Media.
The Cobras’ bowling unit has certainly been the bedrock of their success thus far.
Not only have they claimed all 60 wickets on offer this season thus far, they have placed the Cobras in the ascendancy with magnificent first-innings performances.
In the first match of the season, the Knights were bundled out for 279 on a good Newlands surface.
This was followed by a rip-roaring bowling display at the Wanderers when the Highveld Lions were skittled for 104 and now the Titans for 122.
“It really has been unbelievable,” Piedt said. “We don’t have the most experienced of bowling attacks, but each time they have stepped up and done the business.
“I told them at the beginning of the season that we are going to have to spend more time in the field than the opposition if we are to win this competition, and instead of fearing this challenge, the boys have embraced it.
“The guys come to the field knowing the hard work and effort that is required to take 20 wickets, and that has shown this season.”
The Malan brothers Janneman and Pieter have both been among the runs – 248 at 49.60 and 235 at 47.00 respectively – along with rookie David Bedingham (245 at 61.25), while Tladi Bokako is second on the wicket-takers list with 16 scalps at 22.06.
But the Cobras have further reason to smile this season.
The re-emergence of Jason Smith has everyone at Newlands walking a little bit lighter again.
The former Wynberg Boys’ High School prodigy is an exciting talent, who has represented South Africa A already, but seemed to have lost his way last season.
It was debatable whether Smith was even going to be included in the Cobras starting line-up this season, but the departure of Wayne Parnell on a Kolpak has allowed Smith to resurrect his fledgling career once again.
The 24-year-old has grasped his opportunities with both hands over the past couple of weeks, with the all-rounder making telling contributions with both bat and ball.
Final training session ahead of our next 4 Day Domestic Series clash against @DolphinsCricket starting at @PPC_Africa @NewlandsCricket tomorrow.— COBRAS CRICKET (@CobrasCricket) October 28, 2018
Head down to support your team as we look to continue our winning start to the season, entrance is FREE.#StrengthInDiversity pic.twitter.com/5FSl8OLHar
“Jason has certainly come of age. He has matured as a batsman. And he is playing like the Jason we all know, the one that has all the talent in the world to play for South Africa,” Piedt said.
“His 92 in the second innings here at SuperSport was crucial to the outcome of the game.
“It is not easy batting with the tail, but he showed great maturity and put on 80-odd with Tladi. That was hugely significant in the context of the match situation.”
Next up for the Cobras are the Dolphins at Newlands, starting on Monday.@ZaahierAdams