There were many candidates that could have made the team of the week especially in the batting department but my focus when selecting it, was to find the right balance and I also went for some individuals over others because they were the dominant partner in the partnership. The scores provided here show the score that put them into this team and is not the total number of runs or wickets that they made in this round.
163 v Titans
Sarel, as the next man in line to open for South Africa after his call up as back up to the Caribbean tour, will have wanted to make a statement before the home series v India, which starts next month.
His mammoth hundred of 163 against the Titans will have gone a long way towards doing that. It was an innings of exceptional patience that showed he can build an innings over an extended period. He was however dropped twice early on Day 3 but he had already reached his century by that stage. Overall, it is fair to say Sarel is knocking down the door for a Proteas cap.
78 v Titans
Bryce has always been a talented cricketer; it has just been about producing that talent on a more regular basis. It is starting to look like his move to the Durban Coast was the right decision, after he made 45 and picked up 7 wickets in the match during Week 1 of the competition.
His 78 on Day 2 against the Titans this past week was an innings of class that showed his full array of shots. He’s growing with every innings he bats or bowls in and looks a good foil for Sarel Erwee.
Tony de Zorzi
129 v Boland
Tony’s overall first-class record has not been spectacular since his move to Western Province but his hundred of 129 against the likes of Hardus Viljoen and the experienced Shaun Von Berg was mightily impressive. His former school’s coach, who now coaches Mpumalanga said he was one of the most talented youngsters that he had seen at that time.
I would say it is time we saw these types of innings from Tony more regularly. However, this innings on its own was particularly good and his partnership with Zubayr Hamza was crucial for his side.
94 v Boland
Zubayr will be kicking himself he let himself be bounced out by Hardus Viljoen on ninety-four but before that error of judgment, it was another excellent innings for Hamza who, like many others, will be knocking on the door for higher honors once more. A Hamza in form is necessary for Western Province and good if he wants to play for the Proteas again.
Pite Van Biljon
127 v North West
The evergreen Pite just cannot stop scoring runs and scoring them well too. Protea’s selection in the longer format is beyond him now, even though his age ought not to work against him but this is the world we live in. That said, after taking his side to their first white-ball trophy in ten years he is now doing his best to do it in the longer format. His 127 and partnership of 234 with Patrick Burger was exceptional, with Pite being the main scorer in that partnership.
112 v Dolphins
This man has been the find of the week and I do not think there can be much doubt about it. He is just 19 years old and scored 112, playing as if he was an accomplished first-class cricketer. He made more than double anyone else in the Titan’s side in the first innings against a strong Dolphins side and rarely looked in trouble. Some might be wondering where the future stars of SA cricket are, well you may be looking at one now. Watching him bat with such freedom when his side kept losing wickets was a breath of fresh air. With his positive approach, he is someone to watch out for in the future.
Nicky Van Den Bergh
42 v Knights
It has not been a good round of fixtures for wicket-keepers with most failing but Nicky gets the nod this week, in part because he had to try to stem the tide as northwest were well on their way to having to follow on against the Knights and although he did not manage to stop it happening, his 42 in the first innings showed promise and was a shining light for North West on what was a difficult weekend for them. The fact he was able at least to stop the flooding momentarily as well as perform well behind the stumps gets him in.
6/34 v Warriors
Quite possibly the best bowler in this round was Lutho, who bowled with real pace and exceptional accuracy throughout the game. This will be music to Proteas’ selector’s ears who it seemed might have lost interest in him. His first-innings performance of 6/34 for Lions versus North West and 7 in the match was something worth watching. It is not hyperbole to say he dismantled North West in this round. The fast-bowling reserves look good for South Africa
5/39 & 26*
This was a good game for Mihali and just showed the talent that Western Province has in the ranks. He bowled with a lovely rhythm and showed serious maturity, especially when he out-bowled Walters and Parnell. He also showed promise with the bat with his 26* at 10 in a partnership of 53. It is early in his career but he already looks like a possible all-rounder.
6/38 v Lions
It was a game to forget for the Warriors but Marco’s 6/40 in what was a low-scoring affair was just enough for someone who has been in the IPL to show the selectors he can play in the longer format as well. Even though he was constantly having to climb an insurmountable mountain to get the Warriors back in the game, he bowled with great skill.
6/30 v Warriors
It is always good to see Sisanda in full flight and he sure was back at his best in the second innings of the match after getting no wickets in the first. Everyone will be hoping that he can remain fit for a considerable amount of time because his talent has never been in doubt. Lovely to see him back as he has such a good bowling attack to bowl with his own exceptional skills.