Club Cricket SA’s Team of the Season: 2017-18 WPCA first division A

Simon BlakeFile image: Simon Blake.

Club Cricket SA names their best XI of the season, after the early end of the 2017-18 Western Province Cricket first division A due to the ongoing drought in Cape Town.

  • The hypothetical team obviously required a captain and wicketkeeper – and two or more players of colour, including a black African. Former and debutant first-class cricketers – and university players – were also considered.
  • St Augustine Cricket Club’s Warren Ekstraal, Strandfontein Cricket Club’s Sulaiman Jaffar, Tygerberg Cricket Club’s Franco Kasner, Kraaifontein Cricket Club’s Arno Pekeur, Northerns Goodwood Cricket Club’s Richard Holman, Primrose Cricket Club’s David Schierhout and others were in contention, but ultimately didn’t gain selection.

1. Zac Elkin (Green Point Cricket Club, captain) 
Elkin assumed the captaincy after the exit of the veteran Donovan Henry. He proved prolific – and eventually gained the formal recognition of the Western Province selectors with a List A debut. See Elkin’s stats.

2. Jack Newby (University of Cape Town Cricket Club)
Newby consistently nudged the Western Province selectors with a string of high scores – and eventually earned a first-class debut against Gauteng in the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup. See Newby’s stats.

3. Mbuyiselo Xakana (Gugulethu Cricket Club)
Gugulethu Cricket Club endured a tough introduction to the first division A, slipping to seven defeats in as many attempts, but Xakana still managed to average 40 amid an otherwise fragile batting order.

4. Mujahid Behardien (United Cricket Club)
Behardien was elevated to the captaincy at the start of the season – and the elevation inspired him to almost 500 runs at an average of nearly 50. See Behardien’s stats.

5. Keenan Bowers (St Augustine Cricket Club, wicketkeeper)
The award-winning player-coach relished a solid campaign, with his talent epitomised by a superb 127 not out against United Cricket Club. See Bower’s stats.

6. Ahmad Magiet (Primrose Cricket Club)
Primrose Cricket Club suffered a slew of exits prior to the start of the season, but Magiet remained – and loyally delivered two centuries in an average of over 60. See Magiet’s stats.

7. Shaheen Khan (United Cricket Club)
Out of favour with the Cape Cobras, Khan cherished a solid stretch of form at club level – with bat and ball. His 90-plus strike-rate was certainly among the highest. See Khan’s stats.

8. Rostill Wessels (Strandfontein Cricket Club)
Strandfontein Cricket Club relied heavily on Wessels‘ 35 wickets to keep within reaching distance of log leaders United Cricket Club. See Wessels’ stats.

9. Simon Blake (Edgemead Cricket Club)
While the steely Dylan Verreynne formed the backbone of Edgemead Cricket Club’s batting order, Blake spearheaded the bowling attack with plenty of pride. See Blake’s stats.

10. Saliegh Jaffer (Strandfontein Cricket Club)
The 2017-18 first division A’s leading wicket-taker required less than 10 runs per victim – and formed an enviable duo alongside Wessels. See Jaffer’s stats.

11. Tommy Jansen (United Cricket Club)
Jansen spent a couple of seasons in the premier league with Cape Town Cricket Club, before taking a step down to the first division A, where a maiden stint with United Cricket Club – statistically – went well. See Jansen’s stats.