Rocks coach heaps praise on spinners and death bowlers
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Cape Town – Rocks coach Adrian Birrell has heaped praise on his team's spinners and their death bowling in their 17-run victory over the Warriors in their CSA Provincial T20 Knock Out Pool D opener at the Kimberley Oval on Monday.
The Rocks posted an imposing 183/5, courtesy of a maiden T20 hundred from Clyde Fortuin (104 not out, 63 balls, 11x4, 4x6) and Christiaan Jonker's 45 (31 balls, 4x4, 1x6). The Warriors were well on track at 161/3 with 10 balls remaining.
It was this juncture that steamers Ferisco "the Ice Man" Adams (2/23) and Ziyaad Abrahams (3/27) produced an excellent last two overs as the pair picked four wickets and conceded just a further five runs.
It certainly was tale of the Rocks finishing the innings as they started it after they opening the bowling with the impressive spin twins of Siyabonga Mahima (1/30) and Imraan Manack (0/18).
"We obviously delighted with the win. It was hard fought. The Warriors batted really well. At the halfway stage of their innings they were well on track. In fact they were 20 runs ahead of what we are the time. I was therefore delighted with the way our spinners bowled and we finished at the death," Birrell said.
"Our spin was a major factor in us winning that game and our death bowling. We will continue to use spin as we have four spinners to use, and we will use them. They were particularly effective up front in the Powerplay and squeezed them in the midlde. Our death bowling was also really good and a factor in us winning the game."
Meanwhile, the Rocks' first-ever centurion Fortuin claims his new-found maturity has helped him finally deliver on the immense potential that was first witnessed in Dubai back in 2014 when he was central figure in the SA U-19 team that won the ICC U-19 World Cup.
"It's been a combination of hard work during pre-season and also maturity as you grow older you realize how you want to play. Definitely a combination of the two," the wicket-keeper/batsman said.
"The conditions weren't the greatest. I felt it was a bit two-paced and it felt like you just needed to stay in there to get used to it. The instructions from the coach was just to keep playing your game no matter what the situation was. Don't be reckless about it and just keep playing each ball on merit.
"It was definitely memorable and I will cherish it for years to come. Hopefully there is more to follow in the colours of the Rocks."
The Rocks face the Eastern Cape Linyathi (Border) on Tuesday in their second game on Tuesday (2:30pm).