Northerns boast balance and depth, but must stay focused in critical moments, says skipper
CENTURION - Composure in the critical moments and handling it with aplomb, would be the essential element if Northerns want to progress to the semi-finals and beyond, said Thomas Kaber, captain of the region’s Africa T20 Cup-team.
The well-balanced team doesn’t merely possess several all-rounders, a strong top-order and three spinners with the X-factor.
There are also four seam bowlers, with the aggressive Migael Pretorius and the mature Corbin Bosch at the helm who could rip through a top- and middle order.
Kaber is an all-rounder who bowls left-arm wrist spin and his father, Thomas, spent hours in the home-made nets during his formative years to groom him for South African schools and SA u.19-honours which he achieved at age 16.
Nine years later, Kaber is ready for all-comers. He is supported by Ruben Claassen, an off-spinner who can bowl the doosra, or use bouncers to unsettle and dismiss batsmen.
Roger Arendse and Luvuyo Nkese are seam bowlers who can complement Bosch and Pretorius splendidly.
“We made sure during our warm-up games of understanding conditions, as we played seven matches at Potchefstroom,” said JP Triegaardt, the Northerns coach.
Although he underlined the importance of the team culture, he also stressed that the Multiply Titans members of the squad, Tony de Zorzi, Andrea Agathangelou and Rivaldo Moonsamy will have to show their mettle.
Agathangelou hammered 61 off 20 balls for Northerns in a warm-up match against Western Province at the high performance centre. Recently he also smashed a century in an inter-squad game.
De Zorzi also featured with a half-century in an inter-squad match.
He offers the Northerns the composure that Kaber was asking for.
“We are playing in a very strong group,” he said, referring to North West, the hosts, who will be the first opponents at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Friday 1st September. With Gauteng and Eastern Province, on Saturday and Sunday respectively, the two of the strongest opponents possible at the provincial level.
Kaber knows his team possesses the CV’s, the recent honours having won the CSA One-Day tournament for semi-professional teams and having shared the Three-Day Sunfoil Cup with Free State.
Yet, both Triegaardt and Kaber mentioned the importance of negotiating vital moments well.
“The first six overs will be so important because the ball flies off the edges and if it is over the heads of the inner circle, it usually travels for four,” said Kaber.
De Zorzi, Moonsamy and Agathangelou have been given a perfect platform to kick-off a new chapter in their recently established franchise-careers. If they lead by example, Northerns will be on the way to the semi-finals, despite the tricky road in the first weekend of September.
The Northerns squad is: Thomas Kaber (capt), Luvuyo Nkese, Andrea Agathangelou, Ruben Claassen, Rubin Hermann, Lerato Kgoetle, Luvuyo Nkese, Migael Pretorius, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Tony de Zorzi, Jiveshan Pillay, Corbin Bosch, Roger Arendse, Gregory Mahlokwana