Some people enjoy making bold statements. Only a few actually follow it up with deeds.
But Cape Cobras captain Dane Piedt showed on Saturday he is a leader that stays true to his principles even when the heat is on.
Piedt has been telling anybody willing to listen recently that he wants to cultivate an environment that fosters attacking, positive cricket and that his players, especially the youngsters, must feel free to express themselves.
It was two of those rookies, Pieter Malan and Zubayr Hamza, that set up the Cobras’ first innings 387/8 declared with a 214-run partnership for the second wicket against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Both went on to register their maiden franchise centuries, with Malan putting together a marathon innings that lasted over five hours. He was eventually dismissed for 124.
Hamza showed equal patience at the crease during his 111 off 182 balls (11x4, 1x6). Former captain Justin Ontong (59 off 71 balls) also continued his good run of form with a rapid half-century.
However, a four-wicket haul from Warriors skipper Jon-Jon Smuts (4/38) precipitated a collapse that saw the visitors lose six wickets for just 108 runs.
But this is where Piedt stands out from his peers as a leader. Even though the Cobras were still 65 runs in arrears on the Warriors’ first innings 452/6 declared, the Cobras skipper rang the declaration bell.
The decision looked even better when Dane Paterson struck twice with the new ball to remove both Warriors openers Eddie Moore and Gihahn Cloete early on.
The overall lead was only 88 at that stage, but two former Cobras in Yaseen Vallie (22 not out) and Lesiba Ngoepe (23 not out) ensured there was no further alarms for the home team as they moved to 72/2 by the close of play on day three.