Central Gauteng Strikers youngster Delano Potgieter has thrown his hat into the ring for higher honours ahead of the Africa T20 Cup semi-final against North West in East London on Sunday.
The 22-year-old all-rounder has enjoyed a fantastic start to the 2018-19 season, racking up a string of sparkling performances last weekend during the African T20 Cup round-robin fixtures. Potgieter struck three consecutive half-centuries and claimed a career-best 5-22 against last season’s finalist, Free State, to power Temba Bavuma’s Strikers into the semi-finals this weekend in East London.
Gauteng faces neighbours North West in Sunday’s first semi-final (9:30am) at Buffalo Park.
‘Everything went really well. It was an unbelievable experience. From the toss in the first game, everything went in our favour. The team is gelling really nicely and it is allowing guys like myself to play with a lot of freedom,’ said Potgieter.
‘Obviously, the confidence was up after the first game, and the coach also showed that he had faith in me by promoting me up the order, so it really took off from there.’
Potgieter in Africa T20 Cup
• 2-10 and 52 | Gauteng v Northerns
• 70 and 5-22 | Gauteng v Free State
• 71 and 1-7 | Gauteng v South Western Districts
Potgieter faces a tough challenge to break into the bizhub Highveld Lions franchise team ahead of Proteas all-rounders Dwaine Pretorius and Wiaan Mulder. His luck could be in, however, as Mulder (who is also in the Gauteng Africa Cup T20 side) is a good bet to feature in national coach Ottis Gibson’s plans this season, opening up a place for the hard-hitting left-hander if he continues to impress.
‘That is the goals you set for yourself,’ said Potgieter. ‘Everyone doesn’t want to stay in the same place all the time. That is why you work hard at training, to continually improve your game and try to take it to the next level.
‘I would love to play franchise cricket. There is always place for an all-rounder. But, right now, we have the semi-finals to look forward to and I am fully focused on that,’ added Potgieter.
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