SA Cricket magazine separates the men from the boys after this year’s Africa T20 Cup as we pick our Team of the Tournament.
KwaZulu-Natal Inland players secure three spots in our side, but pride of place goes to Border opener Marco Marais, our Player of the Tournament.
1. Marco Marais (Border)
Matches 6, runs 359 (S/R 197.25), HS 106*
The hard-hitting right-hander was the 2018 tournament’s leading run-scorer by a veritable country mile and struck consecutive centuries against Mpumalanga and Namibia. Suggestions that he’ll eventually play at the highest level are not unrealistic.
2. Patrick Kruger (Northern Cape)
Matches 4, runs 200 (S/R 173.91), HS 86*
A relatively permanent fixture in the Knights’ franchise cricket campaign for a couple of seasons, the former National Club Championship Player of the Tournament isn’t beyond scoring significant runs at provincial level.
3. Delano Potgieter (Gauteng)
Matches 6, runs 217 (S/R 138.21), HS 71; wickets 9 (econ 5.21), BB 5-22
Acutely aware of the responsibility associated with being an all-rounder, Potgieter consistently capitalised with bat and ball. He clinched the 2018 tournament’s best figures and finished second only to Marais in the run-scoring charts.
4. Kyle Nipper (KwaZulu-Natal Inland)
Matches 4, runs 189 (S/R 150), HS 77
New to fatherhood, the in-form middle-order batsman boasts a maturity not necessarily witnessed during previous seasons. ‘Being a father has been good, it gives me a new perspective on cricket,’ he told The Witness recently.
5. Cody Chetty (KwaZulu-Natal Inland)
Matches 4, runs 188 (S/R 151.61), HS 94*
A justified regular for the Dolphins, the franchise batsman still has to pay dues at provincial level. Uganda bore the brunt of his brutality, fetching five sixes and eight fours during a 56-delivery near century at the Varsity Oval in Pietermaritzburg.
6. Tarisai Musakanda (Zimbabwe Select XI, captain)
Matches 4, runs 182 (S/R 127.27), HS 67*
Captain of the Zimbabwe Select XI and this hypothetical unit, Musakanda deployed experience gained during one Test, 15 ODIs and four T20Is throughout the 2018 tournament. He has been selected for the three T20Is against the Proteas later this month, too.
7. Zane Green (Namibia, wicketkeeper)
Matches 4, catches 4, stumpings 3; runs 24 (S/R 126.32), HS 16*
Warding off stiff competition from Limpopo’s Michael Weldon for the wicketkeeper berth in this XI, the 21-year-old Green kept well to Scholtz in particular and forged a key cameo to force a one-over eliminator against Kenya in eventual triumph for Namibia.
8. Andile Phehlukwayo (KwaZulu-Natal Inland)
Matches 4, wickets 10 (econ 6.93), BB 5-26
Whether or not Proteas cricketers should be allowed to play in a semi-professional tournament remains in the balance, but the multi-skilled seamer performed significantly better than, say, fellow ODI and T20I cricketers Wiaan Mulder or Dane Paterson.
9. Nandre Burger (Gauteng)
Matches 6, wickets 11 (econ 5.79), BB 3-11
The promising seamer started with a superb performance against the Zimbabwe Select XI in Gauteng’s tournament opener and ended with a strong showing in the final. Monday’s initial brace effectively sealed Border’s fate early and eventually made Burger the 2018 competition’s top wicket-taker.
10. Dyllan Matthews (Easterns)
Matches 5, wickets 10 (econ 5.8), BB 3-26
A move fro North West to Easterns shortly after debuting for the Lions now has the talented leg-spinner vying for a berth in the Titans squad. The 2018 competition’s joint second-highest wicket-taker was particularly cool, calm and collected against the marauding Marais in Sunday’s semi-final.
11. Bernard Scholtz (Namibia)
Matches 4, wickets 10 (econ 7.68), BB 4-28
The standout left-arm spinner of the 2018 contest, the 27-year-old Namibian took as many wickets as Matthews at a substantially smaller average, but obviously higher economy rate. That said, he did play one match less than Matthews.
Photo: Gallo Images