Duminy heaps praise on Cobras young guns


The decision by the Cape Cobras to employ several new players in the professional squad, has been vindicated by the  side as they sealed their second successive domestic semi-final the past weekend, said captain JP Duminy.

Duminy expressed a vote of confidence in the young guns who propelled the Cape Cobras into the second position on the Momentum One Day Cup competition by beating the Highveld Lions by 27 runs on Friday.

The Lions were well positioned on 197 for five after 40 overs to inflict defeat on the Cape Cobras. The captain backed Tshepo Moreki and Dayyaan Galiem in the critical moment in the match and they delivered to derail Dwaine Pretorius, Bjorn Fortuin, nine, ten and Jack from reaching the target of 273 runs at Boland Park.

“They stepped up and kept it simple and our young bowlers were exceptional. This is the beauty of the competition that we did not solely rely on Rory (Kleinveldt) and Pato (Dane Paterson) to win on Friday.

Galiem and Moreki were the chiefs of the support cast for Kleinveldt, who took 3-48 and wrapped up the tail.

Duminy, although disappointed with the 75-run loss against the Knights on Sunday, said the Cobras have their cup destiny in their own hands.

They have everything to play for to secure a home semi-final when they meet the Warriors on Friday.

It is a do-or-die match for the Warriors, while a win for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras will secure a home semi-final. They must bring their A-game to the clash against the Warriors, the skipper said.

Duminy also credited the whole attack for the good performances in the Momentum One Day Cup competition.

“Mthiwekhaya Nabe has been exceptional during the tournament as well,” he said.

“Rory is a leader in the bowling department and the rest of the guys look up to him. He is at the forefront of assessing conditions and devising the right game plans for different pitches,” Duminy said.

The Cape team finished bottom of the log in 2016/2017 but is firmly in the hunt for a sixth 50-over domestic title thanks to their much improved batting performances in the top- and middle order and excellent bowling.

“Pieter Malan was superb in striking 124 on Friday. His work ethic has been of the best I have seen.

“He is always in the gym, and he puts in the hard yards. He has reaped the rewards by implementing simple game plans. He set the game up for us on Friday,” Duminy added.

Duminy said the 273 runs scored by the Cobras was definitely par or better.  “We had only one wicket down after 35 overs, but it was difficult to score boundaries at the ground and in hindsight there is not much more we could have done,” he added.

In reflecting on the 75-run loss against the Knights, Duminy said the Cobras leaked 80 runs in the final five overs. They only shared in two 50-run partnerships or more. Those factors were the cause of their demise. “We were not on top of our game,” he said.

He saluted the decision by the management team and the board to back the young players this season. One of the most amazing aspects of the improved performance in the 50-over showpiece was that almost every player in the team contributed in crucial moments.

Remarkably, five members of the Cobras squad have averaged more than fifty in 2017/2018 – Kyle Verreynne (86), Simon Khomari (75), Temba Bavuma  (65), Duminy (406 runs at an average of 58) and Pieter Malan (517 runs at an average of 57.44).

Last season, only Richard Levi, with 412 runs, achieved an average of more than 50 in the 50-over competition.

Bavuma fractured his right ring finger while playing for the Cobras last Wednesday and will be out of action for three to four weeks.