George Linde’s all-round brilliance powers Cobras to consolation victory
CAPE TOWN – "It was whole lot of fun."
This was George Linde’s reaction after blasting 48 off 20 balls to power the Cape Cobras to 181/5 – the highest total in the CSA T20 Challenge this season.
It bettered their 167/5 of the previous day which was overtaken in dramatic fashion by the Knights.
But Linde wasn't going to allow lightning to strike twice. The Proteas all-rounder followed up his blitzkrieg innings, which included 26 runs off one over from Aya Gqamane, with a fine bowling performance too.
The tall left-arm spinner claimed 4/25 to restrict the Warriors to 158 all out, thereby earning the Cobras a long-awaited victory in this T20 Challenge.
Linde certainly is making a bold claim to be a regular in the Proteas T20 line-up going forward, particularly with the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled for India later this year.
While he may face stiff opposition from various other spinners such as Bjorn Fortuin, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi who have all impressed over the past week in Durban, Linde is pushing hard to be selected purely on his batting prowess alone.
There are few batsmen in the country that have displayed the ability to clear the ropes with such power – and more importantly consistency – like the Cobras southpaw.
It was not only in this match that the opposition have felt the wrath of Linde's swinging blade, as he also despatched Shamsi for three consecutive sixes in a previous game.
The Proteas have long sought someone to take the attack to the bowlers post the PowerPlay overs and at the death.
Linde is not the only Cobra enjoying himself again. After a tortured season until the past two days, Zubayr Hamza has finally found some form and struck his second consecutive half-century to help lay the platform for Linde's pyrotechnics show.
Hamza compiled 57 off 45 balls (6x4) and in conjunction with Kyle Verreynne (26 off 18 balls), the pair ensured the early loss of captain Tony de Zorzi for a first ball duck to Anrich Nortje (2/30) did not stall the momentum.
Although it is merely a consolation in the context of the overall competition, the 24-run victory is certainly a great relief for the Cobras after their heart-breaking defeat on Monday.