It was a weekend where South African cricket’s rich stock of wicketkeeper-batsmen – phew, some depth to celebrate! – was confirmed.
But that wasn’t the only thing learnt during the past rounds of domestic One-day Cup action.
Roelofsen spearheads Dolphins’ up-and-down weekend
There’s been an explosion of wicketkeeper-batsmen piling on the runs in domestic cricket over past season or so and Grant Roelofsen is the latest name to be added to the group.
The 23-year-old’s form over the past weekend has been red-hot, headlined by a magnificent unbeaten 147 off just 113 deliveries, an effort that included an incredible ten sixes as the Durban franchise chased down 284 in 39 overs against the Titans in Centurion.
Importantly, it showcased a side to his game that might yet prove very useful – Roelofsen has always been known as a fluent stroke-maker, but it’s never a bad thing for a team to have a guy who can go into overdrive as well.
His 69 against the Cape Cobras was far more measured as the Dolphins just fell short of overhauling their opponents’ 320 – reduced to 286 in 43 overs – after Zubayr Hamza’s cultured 129 in Pietermaritzburg.
Titans 275/4 (39) (Dean Elgar 74* , Grant Thomson 68 , Heinrich Klaasen 40* , Henry Davids 37 ) lost to the Dolphins 289/5 (38.4) (Grant Roelofsen 147* , Khaya Zondo 39 , Tshepo Moreki 2/74) by five wickets. (DLS method)
Cape Cobras 320/6 (Zubayr Hamza 129 , Pieter Malan 71 , George Linde 49 , Prenelan Subrayen 2/58) beat the Dolphins 280/9 (43) (Grant Roelofsen 69 , Khaya Zondo 44 , Vaughn van Jaarsveld 41 , Jason Smith 3/36, Nandre Burger 3/81) by 6 runs. (DLS method)
Anything you can do, I can do better, buddy
Ryan Rickelton played in the same national Under-19 side as Roelofsen did and the two were also teammates at Gauteng … and foes at school.
Nonetheless, both men are preaching for the strength of Gauteng’s top schools (even though it also reinforces broader inequality).
23-year-old Rickelton, like his friend, is also a wicketkeeper, but predominantly known as a precocious young batter.
After starring with 92 against the Titans, the left-hander smashed a career-best 157 against the Cobras in Paarl, emphatically batting at a level higher than anyone else in that match.
A century in a 50-over match is always an impressive achievement, but to convert it into a biggie is very notable.
Is Rickelton finally fulfilling the hype after his exploits at school?
Highveld Lions 320/6 (Ryan Rickelton 157 , Dominic Hendricks 50 , Nicky van den Bergh 36 , Rory Kleinveldt 2/42) beat the Cape Cobras 271/6 (Zubayr Hamza 58 , George Linde 58 , Jason Smith 41 , Eldred Hawken 3/40) by 49 runs.
Warriors need to find that extra 15 runs
Robin Peterson’s Warriors have a reputation as a plucky outfit with a consistently good bowling attack.
It worked well against a Knights batting order suffering from a severe crisis of confidence, but they simply couldn’t contain a Titans outfit desperate to get their season kickstarted in Port Elizabeth.
The Warriors didn’t bat poorly this past weekend, but they’re relying too much on isolated contributions.
Mo Vallie gamely dragged his side to a competitive total in East London, while Eddie Moore’s century and Rudi Second’s 50 should’ve given them over 250 at least.
Instead, they get stuck with mediocre scores.
And the bowlers can’t always bail them out…
Warriors 214 (41.4/42) (Mo Vallie 90* , Marco Marais 32 , Shaun von Berg 3/31, Tshepo Ntuli 3/46) beat the Knights 164 (37.2/42) (Wandile Makwetu 35 , Stefan Tait 3/27, Dyllan Matthews 3/36) by 50 runs.
Warriors 233/8 (Eddie Moore 103 , Rudi Second 51 , Dayaan Galiem 4/27) lost to the Titans 236/5 (Tony de Zorzi 98 , Farhaan Behardien 31* , Rudi Second 2/23) by five wickets.