The 20-year old wicketkeeper-batsman of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras Kyle Verreynne, who is poised to play in his maiden franchise game soon, is not overawed by the prospect of taking up a position in the Cobras top order.
In the two-day warm-up game at Oudtshoorn, Verreynne shared in a 101-run partnership with Aviwe Mgijima for the third wicket.
Mgijima struck 61 off 96 balls with seven fours at number four, while Verreynne managed nine fours and a six while moving seamlessly to 70 in the number-three position.
At school representing the Western Province U19 team, he opened the batting or occupied the number-three or –four positions.
South Africa used him as opener at U19 level.
“Salieg Nackerdien decided to use me at number seven in the semi-professional Western Province because of the workload at Western Province as wicketkeeper.
“Later he moved me up to number five. I struck 107 while batting at number three, and 98 in the last game of the season at number five,” said Verreynne.
“I don’t mind where I bat, although it has been mostly in the top-order at school. Maybe it is because I am technically suited to it,” he added.
Verreynne was full of praise for the positive spirit in the Cape Cobras team. He says there is a camaraderie in a close-knit group.
The players have responded very positively to Ashwell Prince’s coaching and the fitness levels he demanded.
Mentally, Dane Piedt, the skipper, and Andrew Puttick have prepared him for the rigours of franchise cricket, while Ezra Poole has given him technical support in terms of his wicket-keeping in the off-season.
Verreynne was full of praise for Mgijima, the Cape Cobras’ player of the season in 2017. “He guided me well throughout my innings as the senior partner.”
Asked about the major responsibility of being the man setting the fielding standards and motivating the players, he said he is not overawed by the job. “Many of the players are also young.
“I don’t mind inspiring others,” he said.
The wicketkeeper-batsman said the bowling attack would not be 100 percent happy with their performance in the two two-day warm-up games, but one must remember it was their first outdoor experience.
“They were not always on the money, but there were still a lot of good things that emerged.
“The hard work they produced in the off-season, started to show in Oudtshoorn. They should be pretty happy,” he added.
Piedt said the bowling is moving in the right direction.
“Tshepo Moreki looked very good after his ankle injury. We possess good variations in our attack. We are very focused on the big opportunity and we intend to play aggressive cricket a high intensity in the first five Sunfoil Series matches.”
Ashwell Prince, the WSB Cape Cobras coach, said most of the bowlers had opportunities to find their rhythm in more than one spell, which was a positive sign.
Verreynne’s work behind the stumps was very good, the coach added.
Verreynne’s first-class statistics suggest that the Cobras might possess a rare jewel who can bat anywhere from four to seven.
He has not been out of place when making the move from school-boy cricket to provincial level. A record of 691 runs in 11 first-class games at an average of 53.15 is not to be sniffed at.