PIETERMARITZBURG – JP Duminy is ready for a return to the Proteas.
His batting is as crisp as ever, his bowling is efficient – if a bit rusty – and his ability to throw powerfully is improving all the time.
“It’s been an ideal comeback – aside from the first game,” he told Independent Media.
His sense of humour is intact too, then, as he chuckled about the zero on his first game back.
Since then, half-centuries at the Wanderers and in Maritzburg on Saturday have settled any concerns about rustiness.
His 74 not out from 56 balls propelled the Cobras to the creepiest of wins over the Dolphins.
“It was just about time in the middle, and these last two games were ideal in that sense. I felt good out there, and I feel myself getting stronger and stronger every day,” Duminy added.
He will be fine, and will hope to transfer that form into the last two one-dayers in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.
On a related note, beware the Cape Cobras.
In a matter of a few days, the men from the mountain have accounted for both the Lions and the Dolphins, both away from home.
In that time, they have had several players star with some wonderful performances.
On Saturday in Maritzburg, Janneman Malan clattered his way to a 72-ball hundred, before ending on 115 not out.
That saw the Cobras chase down 219 to win a 28-overs-a-side affair, which almost didn’t happen.
Perspective.— Lungani Zama (@whamzam17) March 9, 2019
Hashim Amla has been missing for Cobras and Proteas because of personal circumstances that are far more important than sport.
More than a tournament.
Perhaps we, as an eager media, can draw a line on speculating what should or shouldn't happen next.
The match was delayed by over three hours, thanks to the strip next to the playing surface being wet.
It needed the intervention of a nearby school to provide a suitable matting to cover the strip, and allow play to finally start.
When it did, Sarel Erwee smashed a beautiful 116 off 82 balls, with a display of effortless power.
That lifted the home side to a competitive 218/6.
The Cobras, though, went one better. Malan ended on 118 not out from 80 balls, and then Duminy did his thing on the other side.
#DOLvCOB | JANNEMAN DOES IT IN STYLE— COBRAS CRICKET (@CobrasCricket) March 9, 2019
Janneman Malan goes to his 100 in style with a 6! What a knock young man! It's taken 72 balls and includes 15 fours and a six#StrengthInDiversity #MODC pic.twitter.com/nU1ACPciKJ
Their industry this season has deserved a trophy, and they might feel that this Momentum One-Day Cup is the one.
Great chase.@CobrasCricket cruised home by eight wickets, two overs to spare.@jpduminy21 showed his class with an effortless 74 not out.— Lungani Zama (@whamzam17) March 9, 2019
Ideal comeback, Newlands duck aside.
Reckons he is improving every day. No discomfort with bat. Can bowl. Throwing will get stronger.
Classy touch from both @DolphinsCricket and @CobrasCricket . Signing autographs after a long, long day of waiting for all parties.— Lungani Zama (@whamzam17) March 9, 2019
Including the fans.
On the back of a picture or an autograph, those people will be back next time.#MODC pic.twitter.com/lSVY2YeMLG