• Saffas sizzle in 2021 County Championship … again

    South Africans have for years dominated County Cricket lists and 2021 is potentially no different, with David Bedingham and Simon Harmer respectively on top with runs scored and wickets taken, writes CARL LEWIS.

    With the First Class season in full swing, we go over some of the South Africans in action and how they’ve done so far, highlighting their best performances.


    David Bedingham – Durham

    Innings: 9

    Runs: 624

    Average: 89.4

    HS: 257

    Durham took a punt by naming Bedingham as one of their overseas pros but this decision has paid off handsomely – as it stands he is topping the run-scoring charts. The former Wynberg High boy struck a career-best 180 not out in the season opener and, two games later, he made Durham’s second-highest championship score in their history with a dominant 257, backing that up with a 50 in the second innings. Bedingham has played three innings since then but failed to capitalise on some starts but remains the standout batter in the County Championship so far.

    He will be back in South Africa playing for Western Province in the upcoming summer.

    Stiaan Van Zyl – Sussex

    Innings: 11

    Runs: 380

    Average: 34.5

    HS: 113

    Van Zyl has made an OK start to the County Championship for Sussex, averaging over just below 35. His solitary century this season came in the second match against Glamorgan. The former Protea followed that up with 79, 72 and, most recently, 52. He scored fifties in his past three matches but will hope to convert those into something bigger soon. He’s back in SA domestic cricket for Boland later this year.

    Dane Vilas – Lancashire

    Innings: 6

    Runs: 317

    Average: 52.8

    HS: 189

    Vilas smashed 189 in the season opener against Sussex. He’s made a handful of starts since then but just the one 50. Vilas captains the side and is a key figure for Lancashire.

    Hashim Amla – Surrey

    Innings: 8

    Runs: 337

    Average: 48.1

    HS: 215*

    The SA icon kicked off the season with 50 against Gloucestershire but has struggled to get going, though, despite averaging just under 50. He did give a timely reminder of his class against Hampshire with a double century and a 257-run partnership with Ollie Pope. Since his double ton, he’s scored 15 and 29. His much-needed experience, character and leadership will return to domestic cricket for Western Province.


    Simon Harmer – Essex

    Overs: 345.3

    Wickets: 34

    Average: 23.5

    BB: 9-80

    County Cricket’s perennial top wicket-taker has picked up where he left off. Harmer already has two 10-wicket match hauls and is the leading wicket-taker in the County Championship. Added to that, he also has two 50s – both not out. Harmer once again is showcasing his quality in England and there is no doubt his return to SA domestic cricket will raise the standards. In Harmer, Keshav Maharaj and George Linde, South Africa has genuine class in the spin department.

    Kyle Abbott – Hampshire

    Overs: 169

    Wickets: 26

    Average 18.9

    BB: 6-44

    Abbott’s season has sprung to life after his 11-wicket haul against Middlesex recently. Before this outstanding performance, Abbott had been solid if not outstanding, bagging 15, but was overshadowed by Pakistani teammate Mohammed Abbas. Now he is Hampshire’s leading wicket-taker, two ahead of Abbas.

    Dane Paterson – Nottinghamshire

    Overs: 114.3

    Wickets: 15

    Average: 23

    BB: 3-30

    Paterson has been solid for Nottinghamshire picking up 15 wickets and has only failed to take at least one wicket in one of them. Paterson has formed a destructive fast-bowling unit alongside Stuart Broad, Luke Fletcher and Lyndon James. He’ll be playing his domestic cricket with Eastern Province.

    Wayne Parnell – Northamptonshire

    Overs: 79.1

    Wickets: 13

    Average: 24.6

    BB: 5-64

    Parnell hit the ground running with the bat scoring a 50 in his first match of the season. In his second match, he let the ball do the talking and picked up five wickets in each innings for an impressive 10-wicket haul. Parnell will be back playing domestic cricket for Western Province next season.

    Duanne Olivier – Yorkshire

    Overs: 136.1

    Wickets: 13

    Average: 35.6

    BB: 4-61

    It hasn’t been a spectacular season for Olivier but he’s been effective for Yorkshire, who have yet to lose a match this season. He’s picked up wickets in every match he’s played, but failed to take more than four over the course of a match. He will be playing for the Central Gauteng Lions later this year.

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    Andre Huisamen