Cape Cobras fast bowler Dane Paterson has impressed everyone with his performances in the recently concluded Sunfoil Series.
One season ago, his future was uncertain, his first-class career in turmoil and his lack of consistency widely questioned.
Now, Dane Paterson (26) has established himself as the leading domestic wicket-taker in South African cricket and a first-choice bowler of the Cobras. His fitness levels and defiance have even raised comparisons with the legendary former South African fast bowler, Makhaya Ntini, who claimed 390 test scalps.
Paterson finished with 42 wickets in nine Sunfoil Series games at an average of 22.54, more than any other SA bowler.
The bizhub Highveld Lions operated as a four-pronged pace attack, as Kagiso Rabada (39), Hardus Viljoen (39), Chris Morris (32) and Dwaine Pretorius (20) complimented one another splendidly to propel the Lions to the domestic four-day title, while Paterson has been performing largely on his own.
‘A feature of Dane’s season is that he bowled more than 300 overs, yet his last spell was as hostile as his first. He was our go-to-man during the season,’ said Justin Ontong, the Cobras captain.
‘What impressed me about Dane, was that he bowled lengthy spells and gave you very few deliveries to dispatch. He bowled straight and seldom strayed. He could also reverse swing the older nut on occasions,’ said Morné van Wyk, the Dolphins skipper.
‘There was a bit of uncertainty about his future before the start of the season,’ said Charl Langeveldt, the Cobras bowling coach and consultant to the South African team at the Cricket World Cup.
‘His 42 wickets is a testimony to his hard work in the off-season. I told him that he lacked consistency in terms of the line and length in first-class cricket. He took wickets for Western Province in the previous season, but he went for too many runs.
‘He needed to improve his consistency,’ said Langeveldt. ‘What was impressive, was he kept on running in for his side, and could do it almost all day, much as was the case with Makhaya.
‘And his last spell was as fast as his first delivery of the day. ‘He also developed a bit of aggression. It was almost white-line fever. He is not this hostile off the field, but as soon as he stepped over the line, he was different,’ added Langeveldt.
‘At the moment of delivery, he is close to the wicket and he attacks the wicket or operates at a line just wide off off-stump while nipping it away off the seam. He is at the batsmen all the time and don’t allow them any freedom or loose deliveries to release the pressure,’ added Langeveldt.
Paterson not only bowled superbly without much support in especially the first half of the domestic four-day competition, but he was also a star performer in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge.
The seam bowler captured four for 33 in the final against the Chevrolet Knights at Newlands to set up the 33-run win.