Cape Town - The Sunfoil Series season reached the halfway stage over the
weekend with Colin Ackermann and Duanne Olivier topping the batting and bowling
Right-hander Ackermann has been central to the Warriors’
change of fortunes this season after notching up 499 runs so far – an average
of 55.44. The former South Africa Under-19 batsman, who has been batting mainly
at No. 3, has already recorded two centuries and two fifties from his four
matches, to sit just ahead of Khaya Zondo in terms of aggregate runs.
The Dolphins No. 5 batsman has accumulated 494
runs at an average of 82.33, including a career-best franchise score of 157
over the weekend to go with four half-centuries.
Only one other batsman has crossed the 400-run mark, the new Knights captain Theunis de Bruyn, who has 423 runs at an average of 60.42
with one hundred and three 50s.
All three have played five matches so far.
The averages, however, are topped by rising Titans
star Aiden Markram. The 22-year-old has enjoyed a dream start to franchise
cricket with an average of 118 from his three matches and three innings to
date. Markram has already recorded two centuries and a fifty, with his
performances a key reason for his team topping the competition standings
heading into the break.
On the bowling front, Olivier has been in blistering form
with 28 wickets to date. The Knights paceman has three five-wicket hauls,
including a best return of 6/60, for an average of 21.60. He is six wickets
clear of his closest challengers, the bizhub Highveld Lions fast bowler Hardus
Viljoen and Dolphins medium-pacer Robbie Frylinck, both on 22. All three
players have played five games each.
Olivier’s Knights team-mate Marchant de Lange has enjoyed a
good start to life in Bloemfontein with 21 wickets to be next in line, followed
by Malusi Siboto (20), who moved to the Titans over the winter.
In terms of the competition itself, all the early signs
point towards an intriguing contest ahead. Less than 10 points separate the top
five, with defending champions the Titans (59.74) leading the way from the
Knights (55.20), Warriors (54.80), Dolphins (54.58) and Lions (50.14).
All five teams have two wins so far this season with the
sixth-placed Cobras yet to get off the mark.