Ken Borland

By Ken Borland


Western Province covering their bases in T20 Cup – Hendricks

After withstanding pressure from lower-tier teams, Western Province are through to the T20 Cup playoffs.

The intensity and skill on display in the new domestic structure makes the cricket very competitive, but it is the game awareness of international players that marks them out when you move to a higher level, according to Western Province paceman Beuran Hendricks.

Hendricks was unfortunate to miss out on selection for the Proteas squad currently in the United Arab Emirates preparing for the T20 World Cup, but will instead spearhead Western Province’s efforts to try and win the CSA Provincial T20 Cup and bring some silverware to Newlands for the first time since 2014/15.

Western Province did not have things easy though, qualifying for the quarterfinals from Pool A, and the Central Gauteng Lions fell by the wayside in the same group, which was topped by Division II side South Western Districts.

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“The start of the season has been brilliant and very competitive,” said Hendricks, who has played one Test, eight ODIs and 19 T20s for South Africa.

“It looks like a good product and it woke up a few teams. We nearly found out the hard way that the Division II teams are not mediocre.

“We were in difficult positions, the Lions were knocked out and the Titans had a big scare. We’ve seen talent come through, names you didn’t see at franchise level like Evan Jones and Clyde Fortuin.

“There’s no problem with the intensity and the guys have the skill, but where the shift to international level comes is in game awareness. You have to make sure you have all your bases covered, not just one factor.”

ALSO READ: Proteas spinner Fortuin excited to test self against best at World Cup

While Western Province were far from perfect in edging out the Lions by two runs and beating Northern Cape, they came through under pressure, which speaks well of the environment in the squad under Faiek Davids.

“We’re quite relaxed and the guys are starting to enjoy themselves. It was quite a tough environment before because losing is never easy,” Hendricks said.

“But experienced guys like myself, Wayne Parnell and Aviwe Mgijima are trying to bring a sense of calm to the group. If the seniors take responsibility then the youngsters can just express themselves.

“Having three left-arm quicks in myself, Wayne and Nandre Burger is also good because it means it’s not easy for the opposing batsmen, who normally face so many right-armers.

“I’ve never seen three left-arm quicks play in the same team before, but we feed off each other and it’s definitely an asset to have 12 overs of left-arm seam.”

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