Cape Town - Highveld Lions captain Stephen Cook has hailed their One-Day Cup success following their weekend victory in Cape Town.
The Johannesburg-based side completed a comprehensive eight-wicket triumph over the Cape Cobras in the final at Newlands on Sunday to secure their first outright title since the 2003/04 season when they did so as Gauteng in the pre-franchise era. They did share the prize with the Cobras in 2012/13.
“I'm absolutely delighted that we won the competition, and not just won it, but the way we went about winning it,” Cook said. “We had to use quite a big squad and a number of young guys had to come in, they put their hands up very high as well, so that was incredibly pleasing to see. And that was one of the biggest joys of our success.
“Over the last few years we haven’t been as consistent with our one-day cricket, so to play consistent cricket over a period of time was very good to see.”
Cook has enjoyed a memorable season personally, winning his first Test cap for the Proteas, scoring a century in that debut game against England and also recording 500 runs in the 50-over competition.
He is also second highest run-scorer in the Sunfoil Series with 415 from six innings at the halfway stage.
“It’s one of those strange things when you captain, you tend not to think of your own performances too much,” Cook added.
“I ended up as one of the top three run scorers, but it was more about the team and thinking about the performances and the runs kept accumulating.
“Sometimes that focus off yourself really helps. I’ll probably look back in a few years and think ‘gee, it was a pretty good one-day season’. But the team success certainly rises above that.”
Cook's men have little time to soak up their weekend success as they shift focus to the Sunfoil Series home straight later this week. They face the Cobras in Potchefstroom from Thursday.
Cook added: “That’s our main focus for now and if we can come out of that having defended our title then it will be a really successful season. I always tell the guys you can win one trophy, but winning two really shows dominance of a season.”