We select our top performers across the formats in the 2016-17 domestic season.
BATSMAN OF THE SEASON
Vaughn van Jaarsveld
Van Jaarsveld might already be 32, but this will go down as one of his finest seasons, scoring buckets of runs in the middle order in the Sunfoil Series, and at the top in the One Day Cup. The Dolphins star is a naturally attacking batsman as it is, but he was particularly ferocious with the rate at which he scored his runs, and finished in the top four in both formats.
|One Day Cup||10||444||44.40||105.71||108||1/4|
The captaincy was a learning process for Zondo, but he was prolific across the formats, especially in the Sunfoil Series, boasting the best average and the fourth-most number of runs. He was just edged out by teammate Van Jaarsveld for top honours in this category, but he’s put his hand up as a genuine option in the Proteas’ middle-order next season. He could win the ‘Most Improved’ section by miles.
|One Day Cup||10||349||49.85||80.97||74||0/1|
Colin Ackermann, Aiden Markram, Henry Davids
BOWLER OF THE SEASON
Shaun von Berg
Talk about making the most of your chances. Von Berg was never a regular throughout the whole season, such is the quality Titans coach Mark Boucher had at his disposal, but he performed every time, in all three formats. A century and a 10-wicket haul in the final match of the Sunfoil Series followed healthy contributions to the Titans’ limited-overs double success.
|One Day Cup||6||15||18.53||5.77||4-40||–|
Marchant de Lange
If this man stays fit and hasn’t burnt too many bridges by almost signing a Kolpak contract at the beginning of the season, De Lange is surely the natural replacement, should Morne Morkel decide to call time on his international career. His pace and bounce proved the perfect foil to Duanne Olivier’s stellar four-day season, and he kept that up in the shorter formats.
|One Day Cup||10||14||25.92||4.32||4-35||–|
Duanne Olivier, Malusi Siboto, Junior Dala
ALL-ROUNDER OF THE SEASON
Jon Jon Smuts
In a season starved of regular all-round performances, Smuts, known mainly for his batting, stood up with the ball in the T20 Challenge and One Day Cup. Smuts, who made his T20 International debut in the Sri Lanka series, didn’t get a run-around in the Sunfoil Series, but finished in the top two of the run-scoring charts in both limited-overs tournaments, boasted the best economy rate in the T20 Challenge, and was the second-best spinner in the One Day Cup.
|One Day Cup||13||581||52.81||86.84||173*||2/2|
|One Day Cup||13||14||28.50||4.91||4-4||–|
A canny bowler and an explosive batsman, Frylinck is one of those players who may never quite be international quality, but will never let you down at domestic level. The burly 32-year-old finished joint top in the wickets column in the One Day Cup, as well as breaking the record for the fastest fifty in the tournament. He also broke the record for the best match figures in a Sunfoil Series game, surpassing Kagiso Rabada’s 14-110 with 14-62.
|One Day Cup||10||16||22.25||4.74||4-43||–|
|One Day Cup||10||151||30.20||120.80||54*||0/1|
Albie Morkel, Colin Ingram, Senuran Muthusamy
NEWCOMER OF THE SEASON
I’m cheating a bit here, due to the way he stepped up for the Proteas, but the excitement he generated from his first two international matches got everyone on the edge of their seats every time he bowled for the Titans after that. He was selected largely on talent and potential, but he did take 11 wickets from his first three Sunfoil games, and then formed a devastating alliance with Chris Morris with the new ball towards the end of the One Day Cup.
CAPTAIN OF THE SEASON
Morkel’s decision to retire from the longest format in the build-up to the season paid off, as the 35-year-old wound back the years to score only his second List A career century, albeit in a losing cause, with a typically explosive strike rate throughout the campaign. Handy cameos with the bat and a useful economy rate with the ball in the T20 Challenge all contributed to the Titans winning two trophies, both of which were led by Morkel, and often with a team which was chopped and changed every game.
COACH OF THE SEASON
Nicky Boje was a very close second for leading the Knights to an unlikely Sunfoil Series triumph, but Boucher, in his first season a professional coach, led his side to two trophies and a narrow second-place finish in the Sunfoil Series. He certainly had a talented bunch of players at his disposal, but blooded a number of youngsters in the likes of Aiden Markram and Lungi Ngidi, while keeping his large squad of players happy with the way the rotation policy worked and always ready to perform, as we saw in players like Shaun von Berg and Henry Davids.
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images