Kyle Verreynne meets adversity with the calmness of a battle-hardened veteran and leads the rear-guard action with the authority and steel that one would associate with a batsman seven years his senior.
In three Sunfoil Series matches this season, Verreynne, 20-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, has faced 390 balls and has scored 194 runs at an average of 64.44.
He has often come to the crease during a turbulent period, but has handled it like a seasoned franchise champion.
The young middle-order batsman waltzed to the wicket against the VKB Knights on a wobbly 209 for five in pursuit of the visitors’ first-innings score of 489 for five and took charge of the situation. He scored 85 in 260 minutes of excellence.
Crisis? What crisis? As the former legendary Australian champion, Don Bradman, once remarked: “There is no crisis, just the next run”.
Verreynne never played the moment or the circumstances. He merely played every delivery on merit.
When it required the treatment, he obliged, whipping it through square leg or caressing it past cover to the boundary ropes with contempt. He shared in a 79-run partnership with Simon Khomari and added 105 runs for the sixth wicket with another first innings hero, the skipper, Dane Piedt, who scored 62 off 120 balls at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn.
The hosts finished on 447 in their first innings.
When Verreynne left the scene on 410 for eight in pursuit of the first innings target of 489 for five declared, the WSB Cape Cobras had shared in two partnerships of 100 plus (109 between Justin Ontong and 105 between Verreynne and Piedt) and the draw had been sealed.
In the corresponding match between the two sides in Bloemfontein, Verreynne left the Knights in two minds. They were wondering whether to curse him because of his temerity to pull and hook Duanne Olivier or contemplating whether to admire the silky skills an assured mind of a solid defender and audacious shot-maker.
He contributed an unbeaten 42 as the WSB Cape Cobras shared the spoils with the defending champions.
“He is a very good young prospect and does not complicate things,” said Ashwell Prince, the WSB Cape Cobras coach.
“Kyle is a good wicketkeeper and has a no-thrills attitude.
“As a batsman, he is solid, with lovely timing and great hands.
“Every time he came to the crease, he needed to bat for a lengthy period of time, and showed a sound mental temperament. Every time, he stuck his hand up,” Prince remarked.
“He has showed good skills, the nerve and the temperament. Kyle is a good prospect with a bright future,” the coach said.
The Cobras have now compiled 19 stands of 50 and has contributed richly to the tune of R47 500 to the Spirited Cricket Fund, with Verreynne, Ontong, Aviwe Mgijima, Hashim Amla and Pieter Malan some of the impressive contributors.
Ontong has amassed scores of 128, 59 and 64 in the first three games of the campaign and is in a rich vein of form. Mgijima has contributed 112 and 63 in the first three matches.