CAPE TOWN – Although the Cape Cobras insist that it is a team effort that is resulting in their brilliant performances in the four-day competition, the re-emergence of Jason Smith has everyone at Newlands smiling 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 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.
“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,” Cobras captain Dane Piedt said.
“His 92 in the second 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.”
After three rounds of first-class action, the Cobras have a 100% record with three victories which has propelled 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 bed-rock of their success thus far. Not only have they claimed 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, they 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.”