Tuesday brought another first-class century for Pieter Malan, this time against the Knights in a key 4-Day Franchise Series fixture at Newlands in Cape Town.
A sterling 118 not out marked the 28th century of a superb career – and saw the steely right-hander surpass 9,000 first class runs.
Almost 3,800 were scored for Northerns and nearly 1,000 more for the Titans. A move to Western Province has yielded another 3,200-plus – and the 29-year-old recently passed 1,000 for the Cape Cobras.
Three first-class appearances for South Africa A earlier this year, unfortunately, only brought 49 runs and a five-innings average of under 10 – a stark contrast to a career aggregate of 45.41.
During the 2017-18 season, when the 4-Day Franchise Series was still known as the Sunfoil Series, Malan finished third only to the Lions’ Rassie van der Dussen and Dolphins’ Vaughn van Jaarsveld in the top run-scorers’ ranks.
His 892 came at an impressive average of 55.75. A strike-rate of 48.47 was the slowest among the top 10, but typified a willingness and ability to bat for long periods of time. These traits were characterised across four centuries – the most by anyone in the 2017-18 tournament.
Malan, as far back as 2007, struck 12 and 72 not out on first-class debut for Northerns against Gauteng in the South African Airways Provincial Three-Day Challenge. The Northerns team at the time, also featured eventual Knights captain Pite van Biljon, Proteas spinner Aaron Phangiso and dual international Roelof van der Merwe, who played for South Africa and the Netherlands.