Red hot Western Province head to Gqeberha to take on struggling Warriors

Western Province captain Wayne Parnell chats to Ashwell Prince. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Western Province captain Wayne Parnell chats to Ashwell Prince. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Dec 13, 2022


Cape Town — Western Province captain Wayne Parnell believes the key to his team’s current hot-streak is that “we have match-winners from No 1-11.”

Province have won six games across formats on the bounce, and currently top the Cricket South Africa Division 1 standings after four successive victories.

They take this unbeaten run to Parnell’s hometown of Gqeberha Wednesday (1pm start) when they visit St George’s Park to face the Warriors.

It has been a tremendous turnaround for WP after a hugely disappointing T20 Challenge campaign that kick-started the season.

There is no resemblance to that team, though, with Parnell in particular returning to take over the leadership reins of a team blessed with experience across all departments.

“The guys have shown really good character. It’s about doing the simple things well. We have guys in good form with both bat and ball, and have strung a few good performances together,” Parnell said Tuesday.

“I think I have said to the guys a few times that we have match-winners from No 1-11, and it’s about trusting each other.

“I have said it before that as a captain, I don’t want to rely on certain individuals, and always give each player the freedom to express themselves.”

Parnell may not want to rely on certain players, but there is no doubt that opener Tony de Zorzi has played a significant role in the upturn of WP’s fortunes across competitions.

De Zorzi, along with the Lions’ Ryan Rickelton, are the most in-form batters in SA, and could easily be on the next plane to Australia should the Proteas Test squad suffer an injury to any one of their front-line batters.

Equally, though, Parnell is correct in his assessment because Jonathan Bird has also played a significant role with two half-centuries, while all-rounder George Linde has simply been fantastic in all departments.

And that’s not even mentioning a hugely-impressive WP seam attack that has shared the wickets equally.

WP will, though, come up against a determined Warriors side that are blessed with some of the most explosive young batters in SA.

The Warriors’ headline act is, of course, Tristan Stubbs with the R9.2-million SA20 batter showing off his value with a few outstanding innings in the One-Day Cup this season.

However, just like the Titans and Dewald Brevis on Sunday, the job will be left to Nandre Burger to sort out Stubbs as WP look to maintain their momentum.


IOL Sport