Mangaliso Mosehle’s career has been on a steady upward curve since joining the Lions last year.
It didn’t take long for Mosehle to break records in a Proteas shirt. Four minutes in fact. When he was run out in the first T20 international against Sri Lanka in January, the 26-year-old wicketkeeper held the record for the best strike rate in T20 history.
An insignificant record for someone that faced one ball on their debut, yes, but synonymous with the fearlessness in his approach to the game. His first ball in international cricket went for six, and not many can boast that.
‘I was having an argument with Andile Phehlukwayo before I went out to bat,’ Mosehle tells SACricketmag.com. ‘I wanted to use my old bat, but he wanted me to use my new one, so I was like “ah okay” and I tried it out. The bowler bowled quite wide so I just threw my hands at it and it hit the middle. Kookaburra make good bats!
‘Neil McKenzie had a word with me after to say “how can you get run out when you’re on a strike rate of 600?” I was just trying to get my partner on strike!’
Two qualities shout out from that one-ball fling: selfishness and fearlessness. Mosehle has tried to bring both to his game, and as each month passes, higher honours seem to keep heading his way.
The Legacy Cup match between the Boks and the Proteas was a charity game, with performances and results very far down on the priority list. But the fact that Mosehle was picked, did suggest that he was on the selectors’ minds.
‘It was a friendly game, but as soon as I walked into that changing room with the guys, you instantly felt like that was where you wanted to play and what it meant to represent your country,’ says Mosehle.
Mosehle popped up again on the selectors’ radar with a call-up to the SA Invitational XI to face the Sri Lankans in a three-day match in December. And by mid-January he had a first-class century to his name, achieving it against his old employers, the Titans.
This has all happened since Mosehle made the move across the Jukskei to the Highveld Lions last year, and he attributes much of his recent rise to the hard work he’s put in under the leadership of Geoff Toyana in Johannesburg.
‘I spoke to Geoff the night before [he scored a century] and he sent me a message saying “make sure you stick to your game plan and prepare yourself for the emotions you will have when you get there”.
‘He’s been very close to my heart and he’s someone that I’ve always looked up to. He understands the type of person and player that I am, so he knows how to coach me.’
His three-match stint with the Proteas followed, and he finally had the chance to express himself in the third match at Newlands, smashing three sixes on his way to a 15-ball 32.
‘In the second game I batted with Heino Kuhn and as soon as I took my guard he told me to just go and express myself. I think that was what was going through my mind in the third game and I just decided to play with freedom and without fear. That’s the type of person I am.’
Mosehle was as effervescent and mischievous as ever when he played for the Proteas in the KFC Mini Cricket Kids’ tour in Durban this week, as Cricket South Africa continue to keep him within reaching distance. A successful One Day Cup campaign for the Lions will be next on Mosehle’s busy cricketing to-do list, as he looks to maintain his current moniker as Quinton de Kock’s deputy.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images