Cape Town Blitz's bright start down to an all-round effort‚ says Malan
The Mzansi Super League may only be three games old for the Cape Town Blitz but like their Cape-based First-Class franchise‚ the Cobras‚ they are asking serious questions of their competitors.
On Wednesday evening‚ they saw off the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants to add to their wins against the Tshwane Spartans and the Durban Heat in their opening two matches. They are top of the MSL log with 13 points‚ eight clear of the second-placed Jozi Stars.
It has been a round team effort but another youngster in Janneman Malan stood up for the Cape Town side.
His 39-ball 57 was the bedrock of their 175/6 that proved to be too much for the Giants even though a floodlight failure reduced the chase to 16 overs and 145.
The Blitz‚ coached by Cobras mentor Ashwell Prince‚ has a strong Cobras flavour to it allied with strong international experience.
Of the starting 11 in Wednesday's fixture at Newlands‚ four (including Malan) belong to the Cobras.
Malan‚ though‚ said their bright start to the tournament has been down to an all-round effort. He has also played a crucial role in the Cobras' surge to the top of the Four-Day Franchise Series table.
“I don't think there's a specific thing or person where things can be credited to‚" Malan said.
"It's been an all-round effort from everyone.
"The team vibe at the Cape Cobras is great and now in the Blitz team‚ there's all the calm minds and that helps with the confidence in you as a young player.”
More of Malan's top-order contributions will be needed‚ especially when they face the Jozi Stars at the Wanderers on Saturday night.
On Tuesday‚ the Stars recorded their first win (60 runs) against the Paarl Rocks on the back of Ryan Rickelton's rollicking 59-ball 91.
Malan was pleased with Rickelton's effort‚ saying it was encouraging to see a fellow youngster also marking out his batting territory.
There's a high possibility the 22-year-olds could be opening the batting for their respective teams.
Malan though is also happy to contribute to the team's current success but wants to make sure he bats deep into the innings.
“As a young guy‚ you don't feel you're one of the guys to perform but after Ryan's knock‚ it gave me confidence to know that one of the younger guys can actually make an impact on the game.
"When I saw that innings‚ I realised that maybe I could also try this‚” Malan said.
“It feels good to contribute to the team effort. In the first two games I had starts. I took the game quite deep in this instance but I'd still like to take the game a bit deeper.”