New SA U19 captain Matthew Montgomery is waiting to make his first-class debut for KZN Coastal against Western Province in the CSA Provincial 3-Day Challenge at the Chatsworth Oval.
Rain has delayed the start of play, and hence the announcement of the teams, but Montgomery is in the 15-man squad and sources suggest he will get the nod to enter into the world of first-class cricket.
Montgomery’s call-up comes after his heroics with the bat in the 2019 edition of the CSA Franchise Cubs Week held in Stellenbosch recently.
KZN Coastal coach, Roger Telemachus, said they always knew that he was a quality cricketer, following his domination in schools cricket.
‘Matthew deserved the call-up after his recent performances in the Cubs Week and also in the Coke Week,’ said Telemachus. ‘All the best to him, and I’m sure he will have a wonderful game because he is a quality cricketer.’
KZN Coastal will be looking to get their first win of 2019 against Western Province. Of the last five meetings between the two sides, Western Province has had the upper hand three times over the KZN outfit.
However, the KZN Coastal side will be in high spirits following a stellar performance in their last appearance in the competition against Border in Kingsmead. Western Province are currently rooted at the bottom of Pool B after a shattering 147 run loss to South Western District.
‘I don’t think it will be a walk in the park, it will be a very competitive game, and as a unit we have spoken about turning the corner and how we’re going to tackle the next five matches,’ added Telemachus.
The KZN Coastal bowling unit will be bolstered by the return of fast bowler Calvin Savage, who is four wickets shy of 150 first-class wickets. Savage is also handy with the bat, with 10 first-class fifties and one century to his name.
KZN Coastal will be without the services of the run-machine Marques Ackerman, who is currently involved in the 4-Day Franchise Series for the Dolphins.
‘I’m happy for Marques. Our goal at KZN Cricket is to move players to the next level,’ said Telemachus.
Ackerman recorded his highest score in first-class cricket with a majestic 137 in the Dolphins first innings against the Knights in Pietermaritzburg. Blayde Capell will be one of the batsmen to look out for; the middle-order batsman currently boasts an average of 40.3 after five matches in the CSA Provincial 3-Day Challenge. Another young player, left-arm spinner Yves Kamanzi, is also in the running to make his first-class debut.
KZN Coastal 3-Day Squad
Khalipha Cele (c)
Blayde Capell (wkt)
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images