Gqeberha — The new regime at the Proteas Test team has not only revived hopes for a better performing national team, but has also revived hopes for domestic cricketers who still dream of representing South Africa some day.
This is a result of the non-conservative, but rather bold selections Test coach Shukri Conrad has made for the West Indies series. The selections of Gerald Coetzee, Senuran Muthusamy, Tony de Zorzi, Ryan Rickelton and Wiaan Mulder have certainly motivated both youngsters and senior players who show up week in, week out at domestic level in an attempt to break into the Test team.
This has been highlighted by some good performances in the Cricket Sa 4-Day Series this week.
Warriors vs Knights
The contests between the Knights and Warriors who for the second season in a row are favourites to win the 4-Day series was nothing short of amazing. The Knights went into the match as clear underdogs, but still had the players, on paper, who have what it takes to challenge the Warriors in Gqeberha.
The contest was highlighted by yet another hundred by Matthew Breetzke. The 24-year-old scored another second innings hundred trying to win the match for the Warriors, but the Knights just had more determination to win than the hosts.
An inspired Nhlakanipho Mpungoshe (2/35 & 4/46) delivered a performance he will remember for many years to come to win the match for the visitors.
Knights: 422/10 & 157/10
Warriors: 134/10 & 284/10
Knights won by 161 runs
Lions vs Western Province
Bjorn Fortuin of the Lions stood out in Johannesburg as the Lions defeated Western Province. Fortuin rescued the Lions from a difficult position where all the batters struggled to put on big enough scores to set a decent first innings total. Fortuin scored an unbeaten 123 and took the Lions to 323 in their first innings.
Fortuin then showed his skill with the ball by taking nine wickets in the match and won the match for the Lions.
Zubayr Hamza returned to form with a superb century at “The Bullring” but it was all in vein as the Cape side lost their second match of the season.
Lions: 323/10 & 315/10
Western Province: 423/10 & 187/10
Lions won by 28 runs
Dolphins vs Titans
Kingsmead has seen spinners dominate over the last few years in red-ball cricket. The contest between the defending champions, the Titans, and the home team, the Dolphins, was not different in that the spinners dominated in the match.
Dolphins spinners Prenelan Subrayen alongside Jon-Jon Smuts took 19 wickets between them in the match, as the Dolphins won by seven wickets. The Titans batters had no answers for the highly skilled and experienced spin duo of Smuts and Subrayen as the Titans struggled to get past the 200 in either of their innings.
On the other hand, the Dolphins batters took advantage of the home-ground advantage and scored 253 runs in their first innings. Jason Smith’s 222-ball 82 was key to the Dolphins setting a big enough total for their spinners to defend.
The young batting order of the Titans just couldn’t adapt and their ambitions of defending their title was dealt a huge blow following their loss this week.
Dolphins: 253/10 & 51/3
Titans: 165/10 & 138/10
Dolphins won by seven wickets