Cricket South Africa (CSA) have congratulated the Cape Cobras on winning the Sunfoil Series after claiming the trophy in decisive fashion at the weekend beating the Highveld Lions by an innings and 165 runs.
“The Cobras strength in depth has been very impressive. Their captain, Justin Ontong, and Stiaan van Zyl were the two leading runs scorers while Andrew Puttick also finished in the top five. They also had the leading wicket-taker in Dane Piedt and he, together with Proteas Beuran Hendricks and Rory Kleinveldt, took almost 100 wickets between them.
“The Cobras have also been major contributors to our national teams and the way they have succeeded in developing younger players like Piedt, Travis Muller and Dane Paterson is notable.
“Their supremacy is proven by the fact that they scored two more outright wins than any other Franchise, scored 12 more batting points than any other opponent and also had the second highest number of bowling points.”
Big contributions from senior players and a well-managed pipeline were the keys to the Cape Cobras’ Sunfoil Series success this season, according to coach Paul Adams.
The Cobras clinched the competition by a whopping 33 points over the weekend to retain the Sunfoil Series trophy with six wins from their 10 matches.
While a settled batting unit produced three of the top five run-scorers in the competition and offspinner Dane Piedt finished as the leading wicket-taker, it was the success of their inexperienced pace attack which often stood out.
With Johann Louw forced into retirement by injury and Beuran Hendricks and Rory Kleinveldt regularly called up for Proteas duty, the likes of Dane Paterson and Travis Muller were given more responsibility and responded by taking 42 wickets between them.
“I think we faced quite a few challenges there but looked at it as an opportunity to give youngsters a chance to see to what they’re capable of in an environment where they’re learning and striving to be successful,” said Adams. “That’s been a key thing, as well as having our core players contributing big time throughout the season. In losing Beuran to the national setup and having injuries to key players, some others had to step up and it was really great to see the pipeline move through.”
In that regard, Adams paid tribute to the other coaches in the Western Cape setup. With Western Province winning the CSA Three-Day Competition, Adams feels that the young players coming through are being monitored intelligently.
“We try and keep a close eye on that pipeline, from the Under-19 level and through those semi-pros, and try and work hard in the winter to identify who the right players are and make sure they come closer into the environment, so they understand what is required,” he said. “So that’s the hard work that the coaches within our structure have been doing.”
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