Mthiwekhaya Nabe took a five-wicket haul for the Cape Cobras against the Dolphins at Newlands. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Mthiwekhaya Nabe took a five-wicket haul for the Cape Cobras against the Dolphins at Newlands. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Proteas star Vernon Philander put in a solid shift on his return from injury for the Cape Cobras on Monday. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Proteas star Vernon Philander put in a solid shift on his return from injury for the Cape Cobras on Monday. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Cody Chetty top-scored with 71 for the Dolphins at Newlands. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Cody Chetty top-scored with 71 for the Dolphins at Newlands. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Cape Cobras seamer Mthiwekhaya Nabe has paid tribute to Proteas star Vernon Philander for helping him achieve his maiden five-wicket haul on Monday.

Philander was, of course, making his comeback from an ankle injury that has kept him on the sidelines since the Test series in Sri Lanka in July.

It certainly was a day for the bowlers, though, with 14 wickets falling overall on the first day of the Cobras and Dolphins four-day clash at a windswept Newlands.

The premier accolades, however, went to Nabe, who finished with 5/60 that helped the Cobras dismiss the visitors for just 225.

The medium-pacer maintained an accurate line outside the off-stump, particularly during the afternoon session.

The Cobras seamers were guilty of possibly being over-excited with the overhead cloud cover and green-tinged surface underfoot in the morning, after captain Dane Piedt won the toss and elected to bowl.

“It has been my dream forever (to play with Vernon Philander). It is quite exciting, quite exciting.

“I have played with Vern for many games now. I actually made my first-class debut with Vernon in the same team,” Nabe told Independent Media.

“I have been trying to work towards something like that (the five-for). I have been working towards getting a better rhythm.”

Nabe was a revelation for the Cobras last season in the limited-overs competitions, but realised quickly that he needed to up-skill if he was to be successful in the first-class arena.

Surprisingly, though, he was still selected for the South Africa ‘A’ Test series in India during the winter, where the 22-year-old learnt a great deal about his trade.

“I thought it helped a lot, getting experience from the guys I played with in the SA ‘A’ team. Bowling in foreign conditions, I quite enjoyed it,” he said.

“Red-ball cricket is where I thought that if I can bowl nicely in red-ball cricket, it will go easier in the other stuff.”

Nabe received solid support from Philander, who finished with 2/34 from 14.3 overs, with only Cody Chetty (71 off 102 balls, 14x4) offering any form of resistance for the visitors.

The Cobras batsmen discovered soon, though, that batting in the extreme conditions was not easy, with Robbie Frylinck wrecking havoc from the Kelvin Grove End.

First to depart was the in-form Janneman Malan (6) before Frylinck dismissed Zubayr Hamza (17) and David Bedingham (0) with successive deliveries.

And when Okuhle Cele sent Aviwe Mgijima back to the pavilion for a duck too, the Cobras were suddenly reeling at 45/4 before bad light brought an early close to proceedings.


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