Proteas' future looking rosy
Cape Town - Five wickets
from 21-year-old Marchant de Lange for South Africa "A" against Australia and a
sparkling 1-Day Cup debut by 18-year-old Highveld Lions
wicketkeeper/batsman Quinton de Kock must have given Andrew Hudson and his
fellow national selectors much positive food for thought this week.
performance was of particular interest because the early part of the season has
been dominated by the debate about the Proteas’ fast bowling resources
cupboard is nowhere near as bare as some critics have pointed out. De Lange
wasn’t the only bowler to impress against Australia. Test squad
member Vernon Philander struck crucial blows up front as did Wayne Parnell.
Bowling a full-strength Australian XI out for a low score is an outstanding achievement
regardless of the circumstances.
is a department where the South Africana are probably better stocked than any other
country if you look at Mark Boucher and AB de Villiers being at the head of the
queue. De Kock has not only added his name to the wicketkeeping queue but as a
specialist batsman as well.
the batting for South Africa under-19 and had the best average in the recent
winning ODI series in England under conditions that were new to him. He also
made a remarkable unbeaten 102 off 51 balls in a T20 International match
always been well known that De Kock has the talent. What Tuesday evening’s
knock of 83 off 86 balls (7 fours and 2 sixes) did reveal is that he has the
mental composure as well and that is always the great divide between the
players who kick on to become international stars and the rest.
He came to
the crease with the Lions tottering at 31/3 with the three batsmen dismissed
having contributed 9 runs between them and all of those ahead of him on the
batting list having struggled to come to terms with the pace of the pitch.
ball he faced from Rowan Richards was dispatched through the covers for four
and he repeated the medicine four balls later. The hallmarks of his innings
were the judgment he showed in shot selection and the almost effortless manner
in which he collected his runs. There was also a touch of Herschelle Gibbs in
the manner in which he drove Henry Davids over mid-off for the second of his
He did play
two SuperSport Series matches for the Lions last season when his national
under-19 commitments permitted but this was his first real stride on to the
bigger stage of franchise cricket. In the three-day CSA Provincial competition
he has already scored three centuries and has an average of close to 70.
In spite of
the wide margin of the Titans’ victory (they had 7 wickets in hand and nearly
100 balls to spare at the finish) this match was an excellent start to a return
to 50 overs cricket in domestic competition and produced a high standard.
Davids and Jacques Rudolph
produced an opening stand of 139 in 18 overs that
was a performance of almost breathless belligerence. Davids finished on 81 (58
balls, 9 fours and 4 sixes) and for good measure shared the new ball and
started with a maiden over! He was an obvious candidate for man-of-the-match
opening stand represented the difference between the two sides. The Lions
barely reached 30 in the opening power play and they could never make up that margin
total had looked reasonably competitive but their bowlers were not able to
build on what De Kock and Jean Symes had created.
margin of victory gave the Titans a bonus point.
two matches take place on Friday (15:00 start). The Dolphins play the Cape Cobras at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in a match that will
feature a host of Proteas while the Warriors, also bolstered by
returning internationals, are at home to the Knights at Buffalo Park.