Malan plays like a true Dragon
Janneman Malan topped the batting averages after the opening weekend of the Africa T20 Cup this past weekend – and then credited the ‘North West Way’ as the big reason behind the Potchefstroom side taking the plaudits in Pietermaritzburg.
The North West Dragons won all three their matches to top Pool A and ensure themselves a place in the finals weekend at the end of the month.
They were one of the least fancied teams in their group behind the likes of Western Province and KwaZulu-Natal Inland, but toppled both comprehensively, and also saw off a brave challenge from Namibia.
Malan, a 20-year-old right-handed opener, was the shining light amongst many others in his team. His scores of 47, 36 and 70 meant he topped the averages with 51.00 and a strike-rate of 126.44.
Team-mates like Rassie van der Dussen, his fellow opener, Andre Malan, captain Nicky van den Bergh and Marques Ackerman also helped ensure the Dragon’s Way was upheld.
Malan said: “I was very happy about how the week went.
“I just backed my strengths and tried to be positive throughout.
“The focus was to play the North West brand of cricket, which was aggressive. I backed my skills and it came off, so I couldn’t have asked for more.
“I think the entire batting unit did well and credit to my partners for making my job so easy. They helped keep the innings together each time and also helped maintain a high run rate most of the time. That allowed me to play my shots all the time.”
Amongst the bowlers, Brady Barends was their top performer with his six wickets leaving him one behind the most successful bowler of the weekend, Namibia’s JJ Smit with seven.
Bjorn Fortuin, the second most economical bowler at 5.08, picked up four wickets, the same number as Johannes Diseko and Aya Myoli.
Malan added: “In terms of the bowling unit and the fielding, it also backed up the batting.
“It was excellent so credit to them.”
Malan’s splendid form did not just come to the fore this past weekend. In fact, he has been in excellent nick through the winter, starring for the University Sport South Africa team as they won the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Emerging Tri-Series.
Both South Africa and Sri Lanka’s Emerging teams featured in the competition.
Malan was grateful for the time in the middle: “I think especially before the season, getting the seven games in like we did gave me a big advantage.
“It allowed me to work my game out in that series and coming here fresh from there was very good for me.”
Now Malan and his team-mates must wait patiently to find out who else makes the final four cut: “It’s a long wait, so we’ll watch the other three weeks with a lot of interest.
“But we’re looking forward to the rest of the competition.
“When the semis come, we’ll be ready.”
Australia skipper Cummins reveals match XI for first Ashes Test in Brisbane
Carey and Head come into the Australia XI.
Chris Silverwood weighing up England batting options ahead of Ashes opener
The England head coach must decide between Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope in the middle order.
West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard out of Pakistan tour with hamstring injury
Pollard has not recovered from the injury sustained at the T20 World Cup.
Black Caps spin sensation Ajaz Patel completes 14-wicket match haul against India
Patel added four second-innings scalps on Sunday to his 10 in the first innings.
England captain Joe Root ready to rock and roll ahead of defining Ashes series
The first Test gets under way at The Gabba on Wednesday.
Mitchell Starc and Travis Head are in for the first Ashes Test Australia confirm
Starc saw off stiff competition from in-form seamer Jhye Richardson.
Ollie Robinson takes inspiration from Flintoff’s Ashes tourists, eyeing different result
As a teenager, Robinson travelled around Australia watching England’s 5-0 series loss.
Second Test: India vs New Zealand – Day three – Scoreboard
Follow India vs New Zealand.
Second Test: Bangladesh vs Pakistan – Day two – Scoreboard
Follow Bangladesh vs Pakistan live!
Ajaz Patel savours ‘special day’ despite New Zealand collapse in Mumbai
Ajaz Patel will never forget 4 December 2021.