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When Tshepo Moreki first joined the Cape Cobras a few seasons back, he played a supporting role to the likes of Rory Kleinveldt, Vernon Philander and Wayne Parnell, who were spearheading the bowling attack for the Cape side at the time. Now, as we enter the 2020/2021 season, the 26-year-old makes his return to Newlands and is ready to take on a leading role in Ashwell Prince’s squad.

Moreki was part of the SA Emerging side back in 2015 and was tipped as a fast bowler with great potential for higher honours, and despite, by his own admission, having a “decent” franchise career to date, having played 70 first-class matches, he is under no illusion that at this stage of his career, he needs to be competing at a level high enough to catch the eyes of the national selectors.

He looks back on his first stint in the Cape. “My first stint at the Cobras was a huge learning experience for me. I came into a team which consisted of some legends of the game. With the likes of Rors, Parny, Vern, Putters, Stiaan, SA Engelbrecht, Richard Levi and Onters, every training session and match was a learning experience, you couldn’t help but absorb any information you could pick up on. Now, as I come back into the Cobras setup, I’m one of the more senior guys and I want to try and make an impact on the field and in the dressing room, especially with the guys who are playing only their first or second year of franchise cricket.”

Looking ahead to his second stint at Newlands, the squad has a youthful look to it, and with Moreki now into the prime of his career, he is not shying away from the responsibility that coach Ashwell Prince will expecting him to take on.

“I’ve got unfinished business at the Cobras, I feel like I owe the coaching team match-winning performances on a weekly basis. I think about the game differently and I want to take on a leading role in the bowling attack as well as adding value in cultivating a culture within the group.

“Ultimately, I want to play for South Africa and the only way to do that is to deliver for my franchise.”

Lizaad Williams and Tshepo Moreki shared six wickets to put the BuildNat Cape Cobras on top after another shortened second day of their Sunfoil Series encounter against the Multiply Titans at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.

After only 31 overs were sent down on day one due to bad light and rain, day two saw less than 60 overs bowled due to the weather as the visitors first shot out the hosts for 195, before then replying with 100/3 by stumps.

Williams, playing in his first match of the season, took 3/46, while fellow seamer Moreki ended with an even more impressive 3/37.

There were also two wickets for all-rounder Jason Smith (2/34) on a day when he also thrived with the bat thanks to an unbeaten 33.

Before that, though, the defending champions fell apart after losing their last seven wickets for 81.
Heinrich Klaasen contributed 52 (106 balls, 5 fours, 2 sixes) of those runs as the rest of his team-mates faltered around him with the home side rolled over in just 62.3 overs.

They did come out firing with the ball as Rowan Richards (2/16) struck twice and David Wiese (1/13) claimed one wicket that left the home visitors on 37/3.

But Smith and Justin Ontong (24 not out) shared a unbroken 63-run fourth wicket stand before bad light ended play early with the Cobras well positioned just 95 runs behind and with seven wickets in hand.

A superb collective effort with the ball which caused a dramatic Warriors collapse from 237 for five to 260, was one of the highlights of the Buildnat Cape Cobras’ performance in a rain-curtailed Sunfoil Series clash at Buffalo Park in East London during the weekend.

Dane Piedt, the Buildnat Cape Cobras’ skipper, refused in typical humble fashion to take full credit for the collapse, which saw the hosts lose their final five wickets for the addition of only 23 runs in 7.4 overs of Cobras’ induced venom.

He captured 4-64 in 15.4 overs, while the recently selected South African T20 International bowler, Dane Paterson, accounted for 3-60.

“I actually just bowled consistently in the same area, and the frustrated batsmen, who were restricted by the accurate seam bowling, attempted aggressive shots against me and lost their wickets.

“Enormous credit must go to our bowling attack.

“I think going forward our support cast is so important. Usually Paterson and Rory Kleinveldt or Wayne Parnell bowl very well up front. But our support bowling need to keep the run-rate down in order to exert pressure which will bring wickets.

“And the support bowling by Jason Smith and Tshepo Moreki has been splendid,” he added.

The match between the Warriors and the Buildnat Cape Cobras finished in a stale draw after the Cobras had reached 71 for three in their second innings, an overall lead of 102 runs.

But the whole third day was abandoned due to rain which ruined the match as a spectacle from a purely cricket point of view (the farmers and the citizens of East London would no doubt have been delighted about the rain).

Piedt pointed to the inability of the Buildnat Cape Cobras to convert useful scores into substantial centuries, as the one shortcoming in the first innings. Six batsmen scored between 29 and 85 and a realistic case could be made that at least two of those useful contributors should have reached three figures.

“Yes, if we converted those scores, we could have easily slammed 350 to 400. We should have done that,” he added.

“You know what you are going to get out of Andrew Puttick. He will give it his whole-hearted commitment.”

Piedt saluted Aviwe Mgijima, who has been a consistent performer for the Buildnat Cape Cobras this season. “You have to understand that he is batting at number seven with the so-called batting tail and it is not easy to get to three figures. You have to shepherd the tail and it is not without its challenges,” he said.

From a national point of view, the return to some form by Piedt should be applauded. It might have only been four wickets in the first innings, but when the off-spinner gets some of his wizardry back and bowls an attacking line just outside off-stump, he can cause havoc, like he did last season with 39 wickets, and in 2013/2014, when he removed 45 batsmen in the four-day domestic showpiece.