Qaasim Adams, captain of Western Province in a couple of games, said the team’s batting let them down at the start of the campaign. There were no half-centuries in the first game against Border. Against Eastern Province, the team looked as if they were cruising but then collapsed. Adams pointed to the fact that the team had only produced one five-wicket haul (Jason Smith’s 5-77 against Eastern Province) and one century (Zubayr Hamza) and that the cohesive effort of the eleven team members propelled them to victory. It was a true team effort.
The captain was a bit frustrated with his own form and said he had scored a number of half-centuries and two 90’s, without capitalizing on that and smashing a few tons.
Salieg Nackerdien, the head coach, was full of praise for the way that Western Province rallied and how they read the result wickets at WPCC.
The way in which they adapted at the ground, contributed to their two wins there.
“We were more focused on batting for long periods and setting up big partnerships in the last half of the season. In almost every game there was a partnership of 120 or more in the past four games. We also won the vital and critical moments in the matches,” Nackerdien said.
Junaid Dawood, leg-spinner of Western Province who nipped out 4-33 in 21 overs, was the destroyer-in-chief against Gauteng. “He took a wicket with his first delivery. Then Gauteng had a big partnership, but he returned and captured two wickets off successive deliveries to help set up the win,” said Adams.
Both Nackerdien and Adams said he only lacked consistency, but his stint at the national academy would aid his evolution as a wrist spinner.
Nackerdien also praised the role of Justin Dill, who played the holding role and has bowled splendidly during his two appearances while producing a few defiant knocks.
KwaZulu-Natal are the frontrunners with 154.42 points, which means Western Province, on 126.14, will require a few favours from KwaZulu-Natal’s next opponents if they are to qualify for the final.