Dragons ready for Gauteng challenge

Katle Leokaoke will want to get among the wickets against Gauteng this weekend.
Katle Leokaoke will want to get among the wickets against Gauteng this weekend.

The North West Dragons will look to gain their second win in a row in the CSA 3-day Provincial Cup when they take on the franchise neighbours, Gauteng, at Senwes Park from 8 to 10 November.
The Dragons have had an up and down season in the longer format thus far. They lost to Eastern Province in their first match in PE before overcoming KwaZulu-Natal with a spirited performance at home two weeks ago.
The Dragons’ top order still has to fire on all cylinders this season, with only Wihan Lubbe (115) and Ruan Haasbroek (101) recording centuries. Haasbroek is currently the top run-getter for the Dragons with 172 runs at an average of 43.
Experienced batsmen like Richardt Frenz and Kagiso Rapulana are also due for a big innings after going through a lean spell.
The Dragons have performed valiantly with the ball, though. The teenager, Marco Jansen, is the leading wicket-taker with nine wickets at an average of 17.77 and a strike rate of 35.2. The Dragons captain, Brady Barends, has also been typically steady with seven wickets to his name at an average of 16.28 and strike rate of 33.4.

Katle Leokaoke will want to get among the wickets against Gauteng this weekend.

Katle Leokaoke will want to get among the wickets against Gauteng this weekend.

Ruan Haasbroek in action

Ruan Haasbroek during the net session this past Tuesday. 

‘We have had a steady start to the season. As a captain, I like to lead from the front with both bat and ball. The team has respected me as captain and I have also had good support from other experienced guys like Jonty (Rapulana),’ said Barends.
‘I feel I have contributed with bat and ball and I have to be a banker in the team in both departments. It has been steady so far.’
The Dragons coach, Monty Jacobs, has also had some selection headaches with the unavailability of players.
‘Some players are busy with exams and this makes the selection process tricky. We have to make sure we get the balance right. A positive for us is that we know how to win; cricket is never played on paper but grass,’ he added.
The Dragons are currently fourth in pool B and this cross pool encounter will be a must-win match to gain momentum for the rest of the competition. The regular spinner, Johannes Diseko, will be missing out because of family commitments. It is likely that Katle Leokaoke will lead the attack in the spin department, with four pacers providing the strike force they need.
Gauteng is still undefeated after winning once and drawing two of their matches. The team is currently second in pool A.
The dangerous Joshua Richards is the top run-getter with 274 runs at an average of 45.66. Aya Myoli, the former Dragons fast bowler, could also inflict damage with his pace. He has been in good form, taking seven wickets at a strike rate of 55.7.
The Gauteng all-rounder, Delano Potgieter, could also make inroads with his off-spin on a spin-friendly Senwes Park pitch.

  AUTHOR
Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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