Each team played three matches in Week One of the CSA T20 Challenge with only Western Province Blitz returning perfect results finishing unbeaten in the week. Ongama Gcwabe & Bet Central pick Team of The Week based on top performances in the campaign so far. The first week of the competition has been a mixture of incredibly good performances, entertaining brands of cricket, and disappointing performances from top teams and players in the domestic scene.
The wicket at St. George’s Park Cricket Stadium has been slow and took spin quite a bit and was very difficult to bat on, more so for the teams based in inland provinces of the country. The two highest match totals (211 & 191) in the campaign so far have been set by coastal-based teams, namely Dolphins and Warriors. Another coastal team, Western Province Blitz, chipped in with the fourth-highest total in the campaign so far, making it clear that coastal teams have had an upper hand in the first week of the tournament.
Due to how the tournament is set up, there’s time for struggling teams to make a notable turnaround and better execute in these conditions but it will not be too easy to catch up with the teams that have hit the ground running.
Here’s our TEAM OF THE WEEK:
1: Wiham Lubbe
Wihan Lubbe has been one of the two most successful opening batters in the campaign so far, he sits second on the most-runs list of the tournament so far. He has 126 runs in three innings and those runs came at a strike rate of 115.59. He has scored nine 4s and three 6s in his three innings.
2: Richard Levi
The 34-year-old Blitz new signing for the competition has repaid the trust and faith placed on his abilities by Western Province Cricket by accumulating 107 runs in two innings with a jaw-dropping strike rate of 191. He has smashed fourteen 4s and six 6s in the campaign so far.
3: David Miller
The experienced Proteas batter came into the tournament with a point to prove after he went unsold in the first round of the 2022 IPL Auction. He has been a muscle into the Dolphin’s batting order and has rescued them from tough situations and won games for his side. In his three innings, he has made 101 runs at a strike rate of 187 and has smashed nine 4s and seven 6s. He comfortably sits sixth on the most-runs list in the tournament after week one.
4: Tristan Stubbs
Arguably the most destructive batter of the tournament in week one is none other than the 21-year-old Tristan Stubbs who feature in Bet Central’s special mentions list last week. Stubbs has muscled fourteen 6s and four 4s in his three innings and has made 152 runs with a top score of 80*. That unbeaten 80 came in only 31-balls as Warriors fell short of a 212- run target. His strike rate in the tournament is 220 and he has made the most runs in the competition so far.
5: Donovan Fereira
At 23, with no Titans contract, Tuks & Titans batter has been a refreshing addition to this Titans T20 side. Surprisingly, he has been one of the few dependable and consistent batters in the Titans team filled with star batters including Quinton de Kock and Heinrich Klaasen. Fereira has made 99 runs at an average of 99 with one half-century to his name.
6: Sinethemba Qeshile
Warriors skipper features in this list as both captain and wicketkeeper because of his performances with the gloves and how he has managed his bowlers extremely well throughout this tournament. He’s been the most successful keeper in the campaign in week one with five dismissals (4 catches and 1 stumping) at a rate of 1.66 dismissals a game.
7: Sisanda Magala
Magala makes our team an all-rounder for his efforts with bat and ball. He has a strike rate of 135 with the bat and has an economy of 6.41 with the ball.
8: Hardus Viljoen
Viljoen has been one of the few new-ball bowlers who have actually taken wickets upfront in conditions that suit spinners and slow-bowlers more than fast bowlers. Having bowled eleven overs in the campaign so far (3 matches), he concedes runs at a rate of 9.18 runs an over and has taken four wickets at an average of 25.25. His best figures read 3-12 in the competitions so far.
9: Johannes Diseko
Johannes is placed tenth on the most-wickets list with four wickets in the competition so far and has conceded only 71 runs in the 10 overs he has bowled. His best figures are 2-17 and have an average of 17.75. An exciting element to Diseko’s skillset in this competition has been his versatility in that he can bowl successfully with the new ball and dries up the runs in the middle overs; this feat makes him an exceptional spinner in T20 cricket.
10: Tabraiz Shamsi
Shamsi overtakes Aaron Phangiso into the Team of The Week because there’s a left-arm finger spinner in the eleven already. Shamsi brings a different repertoire in the side with his leggies and has done reasonably well in the competition so far. The number 2 T20 bowler in the world has taken four wickets in the competition and played three matches in which he bowled 4 overs in each game; showing his importance as a bowler & a wicket-taker for the Titans. He has an economic rate of 7.0 in the competition so far.
11: Beuran Hendrickes
Hendricks is one of the most improved senior players in the Blitz side in this competition. He looks like the Hendricks of old, the one who got signed by Mumbai Indians at one point. He has been accurate and has taken key wickets with the new ball, which is an ability he has but has struggled to pull off in recent times. He has taken seven wickets in these competitions.