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Heavy weather


Derail NC Cricket team's preparations ahead of their clashes against SWD in oudtshoorn

Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Determined not to rest on their laurels the Northern Cape Cricket (NCC) team were hard at work in the nets yesterday, after their convincing trouncing of Boland in both the CSA Three-Day Provincial Cup and the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge fixtures at the Diamond Oval recently.

However, although the NCC team started their practice session early yesterday and only went to a break around 10am, they could get back to the nets as intermittent showers put paid to their plans.

Despite the rain, their recent victories in both formats will, no doubt, go a long way in helping the team gel and calm nervous jitters ahead of an appointment with South Western Districts in Oudtshoorn in a fortnight’s time.

This weekend’s fixtures will be NCC’s fourth run in the CSA competitions; they were soundly beaten on the road by Western Province and then by Northerns in their first three-day outings, before they bounced back at the Diamond Oval last week against Boland.

Yesterday NCC skipper Farhaan Sayanvala, who scored an impressive 81 off 115 balls in Sunday’s one-dayer, spoke to the DFA about that innings.

Awesome time

“It was an awesome time out. I had a lot of senior guys with me I had Aubrey (Swanepoel) and KP (Keagan Pietersen) who advised me a lot. That was awesome to have them with me. I am still young in the team so it was nice to get runs under my belt,” the skipper said modestly.

Sayanvala (pictured) readily acknowledges that the team’s morale was phenomenal in this last outing: “The guys brought it back nicely especially after we struggled in the first two matches,” he said. He put the two disappointing results on the road down to inexperience and the fact that the bulk of the team under coach Loots Bosman is new signings, only coming on board in this season.

But after their rocky start, the coach did a lot to plug that hole in the team’s mental outlook and drilled them well ahead of the Boland match.

“We also knew this is our home ground and we had to make the people of Kimberley proud,” added Sayanvala.

He said the coach has done the homework on SWD and they were confident of achieving a similar pleasing result as the last one.

All rounder and NCC vice-captain Kagisho Mohale, who picked up a career best 5/47 in the three-dayer against Boland last week, echoed his skipper’s sentiments about the team’s fighting spirit. “We came together as a unit, that’s why we got that result,” he said. He added that though he was not thinking about getting a career best, at some point he started thinking that the five wicket haul was within reach.

Meanwhile, according to the NCC brains trust, the SWD outfit also has a number of new signings for this season so they too should have some adjustment issues.

They have, however, retained one of their top performers from the previous season; Obus Pienaar, who will be joined by experienced players including Neil Hornbuckle, Brendon Louw, Marcello Piedt and Letlotlo Sesele, who previously turned out for the VKB Knights, will form the backbone of the SWD team according to CEO Albertus Kennedy.

The Oudtshoorn team also has the good fortune of welcoming back Tsepo Ndwandwa, who recently attended a spinners’ camp in India and could prove to be a handful for the visitors.