Tladi Bokako in action for the SA Invitation XI in December 2017. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky / BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – The Cape Cobras are excited with the infusion of young blood into their squad after the pre-season trip to KwaZulu-Natal last week.

Already boasting one of the youngest teams in the country, the Cobras have sourced even further youthful talent in the form of batsmen Janneman Malan (22), David Bedingham (24) and strike bowler Tladi Bokako (25).

Malan scored an unbeaten 151 and Bedingham struck 101 in the two-day game, while Bokako captured 5-44 in 11 overs. Malan, who is the younger brother of Cobras opener Pieter who was on South Africa ‘A’ duty in India, also posted 63 off 42 balls in the Kasi Challenge in Chatsworth on Friday.

“The new recruits put up their hands, gave themselves a sense of belonging and will draw confidence from this performance,” said Faiek Davids, assistant coach of the Cobras.

“Janneman scored runs all around the wicket. He was strong on the on-side, handled the short ball well and also scored richly on the off-side. He is tailor-made for white-ball cricket, but look at his first-class record (1943 runs in 23 matches at an average of 55.51). He has a strike-rate of almost 70 (67.96),” Davids said.

The new recruits will draw confidence from this performance, said Faiek Davids. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
The new recruits will draw confidence from this performance, said Faiek Davids. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Bokako’s performance also impressed Davids. The Cobras have a strong seam-bowling personnel with Dane Paterson, Rory Kleinveldt and Wayne Parnell all having still to come back in the mix, along with Proteas Test star Vernon Philander. Lizaad Williams also performed well on this pre-season tour, while Mthiwekhaya Nabe took great strides last season that culminated in a berth on the SA ‘A’ team.

However, with Tshepo Moreki’s move to the Titans during the off-season, there could be a vacancy for Bokako to push for.

“Tladi was phenomenal and had them against the ropes on 20/5. The wicket was a bit sticky with green patches and they kept the ball up to the bat. Tladi is a bundle of energy with good lines and lengths and he nipped it off the seam nicely. He is super fit,” Davids said of the new acquisition.

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The Cobras have just less than a month to go before their official season gets underway proper with a home four-day fixture against the Knights at Newlands. After last season’s promising third-place finish, the Western Cape side will certainly look to improve on that standing this year.

Off-spinner Dane Piedt will once again have the leadership reins for the first-class competition before Proteas all-rounder JP Duminy takes over for the white-ball competitions. Duminy, who became a father for the second time over the weekend, will also be looking to contribute heavily in the build-up to the World Cup next year in England.

 
Factbox

- Janneman Malan was the leading run-scorer for the North West University (Pukke) in the Red Bull Campus World Champions competition last year.

- Bokako claimed 22 wickets at an average of 24.31 for the Warriors in last season Sunfoil Series.



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