“The senior players of Western Province led the way with consistent good performances and they proved to be good elder statesmen who showed the way to Thando Ntini and Bonga Makhakha,” added Adams.
The season hit a speedbump to a degree with a mid-season wobble where Western Province lost three games on a trot against South Western Districts, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and Adams doesn’t pull any punches about these performances. “We batted poorly against South Western Districts. The conditions and the pitch changed against KwaZulu-Natal and we were rattled by a good spell from Daryn Dupavillon (who captured 7-24). We could not handle conditions against Gauteng. The ball was nipping around and we did not adjust well.
“We could have utilised the conditions a lot better and we weren’t clinical,” added Dieter Swanepoel, assistant coach of Western Province.
“Throughout the season, we had batsmen like Matthew Kleinveldt (629 runs), André Malan (622), Jack Newby (515) and Qaasim Adams (76.28 average in the three-day competition and 57.33 in the one-day challenge). They set games up for us. You have to tip your cap to them,” said Adams.
“The senior bowlers, Justin Dill (34 wickets at an average of 21.47) and Mpilo Njoloza (28 wickets at an average of 21.60), bowled consistently in the right areas and asked questions. They each bowled more than 200 overs and showed the young fast bowlers the way to do it,” said Adams.
“The retirement of Njoloza will leave a hole for us,” he said.
“Maybe Ntini can step up. He took 11 wickets at an average of 20.09 and is still in matric.”
“We had chances against Easterns, KwaZulu-Natal Inland and Boland and just could not finish them off. Against Easterns we had ten overs bowling to the last pair and could not dismiss them. Those are fine margins at the end of the season and if we executed it, we could have exerted a lot of pressure on the team at the top of the table. It shows how important it is to stay focused right through to the end,” Adams added.
“Mpilo took five wickets in a one-day win against KwaZulu-Natal, Dill produced a ten-wicket haul against Northern Cape and Jason Smith captured 10 wickets and produced a hat-trick against Border,” Adams added.
Michael Cohen produced the other hat-trick, but struggled a tad for consistency throughout the season.