Once again, the runs or wickets taken here are the reason, they made the team and not all of the runs scored they scored, or wickets taken.
Sarel Erwee – 93 Dolphins v Warriors
The best way to describe Sarel’s season so far is consistent. There have not been any massive scores, but Sarel once again made a steady score of 93 that got the Dolphins in a position where they could win, even if they did not in the end. There was nothing flashy in this innings, but it was efficient. He is starting to be very dependable in the longer format, which is good news for the Dolphins.
Jono Bird – 152* WP v Lions
It has been a bit of an up and down season so far for Jono, largely down to injury but this week he made up for it with a mammoth score against a strong Lions attack that included Olivier, Sipamla, Fortuin and Mulder. Although the Newlands pitch flattened out at the back end of the fixture it was an excellent innings. You feel he will now get a longer run in the side if he remains fit.
Marques Ackerman – 96 Dolphins v Warriors
Any score made against bowlers of Dane Paterson and Glenton Stuurman’s quality is seriously impressive. Marques was his ever attacking best, taking the attack to the bowlers for much of this innings. He may have had a tough season last year in this format but is now averaging over 50, playing very well and his cricket is thriving.
Janneman Malan – 99 Boland v North West
I think I may have said this before but Janneman moving into the middle order has been a masterstroke for himself. He now has the 2nd highest average in the leading run scorers’ list in the top 10. This week’s performance may have been scored on a pitch on the flat side, but it showed his ability to bat for a prolonged period, which he needed to work on. He will be slightly disappointed he did not make the three-figure score though.
Ryan Rickelton – 102* WP v Lions
It was quite impossible to leave out Rickelton this week after his second-innings 102*. His innings not only saved the Lions from losing but also kept them on top of the log after this weekend’s round which with one round left is rather important. What was so impressive from him this week was his ability to curb his natural inclination to attack the bowling attack and instead be the rock of the Lions batting order and occupy the crease as wickets fell around him.
Sibonelo Makhanya – 111 Titans v Knights
Sibz, as he is affectionately called, was the glue this week for the Titans. He made sure the Titans did not have to bat a second time as they reached a score of 515/9 but also the individual who kept the pressure on the Knights’ bowlers. It was a century made at a good pace while batting with the lower middle order and tail. A mature innings by someone who is now a fixture in the Titans side.
Rudi Second – 120 Warriors v Dolphins
Rudi makes my team again and this time is as deserved as the last after a magnificent century against the Dolphins when the next best in the Warriors first innings was 43. Rudi has been an important cog in the Warriors side this season and no more than this week’s fixture with the 4 Day Series on the line. In another world, Protea’s selection might be around the corner.
Kyle Simmonds – 6/109 WP v Lions
Kyle’s numbers do not tell the whole picture but his first five-wicket haul not only for Western Province but also in first-class cricket outside of semi-pro cricket is a memory he should remember for a long time. He bowled with great accuracy, which caused the Lions batters a world of problems and managed to remove Rickelton and D. Hendricks in the first innings when both were well set thus getting Western Province back in the game when things looked difficult.
Alfred Mothoa – 5/62 Knights v Titans
He is an unsung hero in the Knights side that has individuals whom many think will be Proteas soon, but he was undoubtedly the best bowler for them in this round. In an otherwise difficult game for the Knights, Alfred bowled beautifully against a strong Titans XI, causing them several problems and deserved his five-wicket haul that included the centurion Sibz Makhanya.
Eathan Bosch – 5/75 Dolphins v Warriors
Another individual who is often in the background to more well-known and Proteas bound pace bowlers, as well as being a bit injury prone but Eathan outperformed them this week. Not only was he quicker than his teammates but he was also more accurate, which is good for a side that has relied a lot on Baartman and Dupavillon this season.
Malusi Siboto – 4/31 Lions v WP
When Western Province were 310/6 and looked like getting a total that would bat the Lions out of the game, Malusi did what some bowlers struggle to do against a tail at the latter stages of an innings, he put a stranglehold on the runs and finished the innings getting 3 wickets while Western Province managed just 5 runs. No less than he deserved as he bowled with real purpose and determination when the rest of the team looked a little tired.
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