East London - Lonwabo Tsotsobe, the Warriors' left-arm swing bowler, has started the MTN40 series with a flourish by claiming two consecutive man of the match awards and he puts his success down to hard work.
The 25-year-old returned match figures of 4-27 against the Dolphins last Friday before snatching 3-36 against a much-vaunted Cape Cobras’ batting line-up on Sunday.
Tsotsobe’s performances helped the Warriors to victory in both of the aforementioned matches and his team now sits comfortably ensconced atop the MTN40 log.
“I am very happy with the way things are going at the moment. I have worked hard and now I am starting to reap the benefits. I just keep on doing what I have been told to do and it’s working for me,” Tsotsobe said on Tuesday.
The tall fast bowler has been particularly impressive with the new ball, extracting swing and bounce, which has seen him trouble even the most skilful of batsmen.
Against the Dolphins, Tsotsobe’s new ball spell yielded figures of 3-13 off six overs while against the Cobras he snared 3-16 off six overs.
Tsotsobe’s victims during the Cobras match included the in form duo of Andrew Puttick and JP Duminy.
Despite his recent achievements the Port Elizabeth-born Tsotsobe believes that if he can improve on his pace he will became far more of a threat for opposition batsmen.
“I probably need to get my pace up to consistently around the 140, 145km/h mark. It would make me a more dangerous bowler, especially if I could swing the ball at that pace,” he said.
The Warriors’ spearhead is quick to point out that he owes much of his success this season down to his provincial team-mates. The Eastern Cape franchise has been able to call on the likes of current or former Proteas’ stars Mark Boucher, Makhaya Ntini, Johan Botha, Ashwell Prince and Nicky Boje.
“Those guys add such value to the team. They have played so many games and you learn a lot from them,” Tsotsobe explained.
Tsotsobe will now turn his attention to international duty. He has been included in the Proteas squad for the two one-day-internationals (ODIs) against Zimbabwe and the first three, of five, ODIs against England.
The man known as “Lopsy” made an immediate impact on his ODI debut when he captured four for 50 against Australia in Perth in January this year.
Unfortunately for Tsotsobe he sustained a knee injury shortly after returning to South Africa and his international ambitions were put on hold. Not surprisingly, he is excited about being back in the reckoning.
“I am looking forward to be part of the squad. If I can keep on doing what I have been, hopefully I can force my way into the team,” he concluded.