• Piedt ready to fight his way back

    A rejuvenated Dane Piedt is up-beat about his international career and his future prospects following his second-innings performance for the Nashua Cape Cobras against the Sunfoil Dolphins in the final four-day match of the 2014/2015-season.

    The Cobras romped to an emphatic win by an innings and 117 runs against the Dolphins in their Sunfoil Series encounter, a victory that propelled the Cobras to fourth position on the log.

    Many observers would not have noticed the modest contribution made by the 25-year old off-spinner in that match.

    He conceded 55 runs in the first innings in six expensive overs. Piedt finished with two for 28 in 10 overs in the Dolphins’ follow-on, but Piedt’s confidence was boosted by his second-innings showing.

    ‘It was my best bowling performance since I made my test debut (against Zimbabwe in 2014),’ Piedt said.

    ‘I bowled with much more control in the second innings. I landed the ball 85 to 90 % where I wanted and I also spun it past the bat. There was more consistency,’ he added.

    ‘I had a conversation with a national selector, Linda Zondi, in Durban and that helped me. There were no guarantees, but it was refreshing. The two weeks I spent away from first-class action was a benefit. I think the injury and my recovery strengthened me mentally. I do believe I have about 13 seasons left in me and I can still play for South Africa in many tests. I am only 25.

    “I will focus in the off-season on my drills and on the full repertoire. The Doosra-deliveries and the Carrom-balls are part of what makes me successful, so I will continue to work on those varieties. I will also speak to the coach (Paul Adams), who knows spin bowling well,’ Piedt said.

    Piedt took 45 wickets in the Sunfoil Series competition in 2013/2014 and his inclusion in the Test team for the clash against Zimbabwe was no fluke.

    He took a wicket with his first delivery in test cricket and finished with eight for 153, a very promising debut for a spinner.

    Piedt said he did not read too much into the 55 runs he conceded in his first six overs against the Dolphins, as players like Khaya Zondo and Morné van Wyk were attacking good-length deliveries by the spinners and hitting it over conventional mid-off and mid-on in order to get back into the match.

    ‘But my control and my consistency were considerably better in the second innings,’ he added.

    Meanwhile, Bangladesh claimed a five-wicket victory over the South Africa under-19s in the first Youth One-Day International (ODI) at Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Wednesday.

    The visitors were restricted to 160-8 at the end of their 50 overs, with only Dayyaan Galiem (38) and Tony Zorzi (35) making any notable contributions with the bat. Bangladesh’s Saleh Ahmed and Sanjit Saha were the leading wicket takers with 2-22 and 2-25 respectively.

    Openers Kyle Verreynne and Ryan Rickleton were dismissed for nine and 17 respectively before captain, Sibonelo Makhanya (9) and Zorzi put on 32 runs for the third wicket to steer their side out of trouble. Wiaan Mulder (15) joined Zorzi for a 29-run, fifth-wicket stand after the loss of Aaqil Ebrahim for a duck.

    The visitors did not seem to be on song as they lost Lesego Senokwane and Conor McKerr for a respective four and seven, but Galiem managed to steer the team forward to a respectful total after his 28-run and 23*-run partnerships with Sean Whitehead (14) and McKerr.

    The hosts got off to a more solid start than the young Proteas. Saif Hassan (18) and Pinak Ghosh (39) shared a 56-run opening stand, followed by a 23-run, second-wicket partnership with Nazmul Hossain Shanto. They stumbled a little when Whitehead removed Shafiul Hayet and Zakir Hasan for four and nine respectively, but regained their momentum when Shanto shared a 39-run, fifth-wicket partnership with Masabbek Hossain (27).

    Whitehead did well with the ball, finishing with 4-26 but it was not enough as Bangladesh reached their target in 44 overs.

    The second ODI of the seven-match series will be played on Friday.