Even though it’s an amateur event, the professionalism shown by the players throughout the Cape Premier League was something to marvel at.
This is the view of Devil’s Peak Dragons coach Siraaj Conrad after his side were crowned this year’s tournament winners at the Western Province Cricket Club’s Wally Wilson Oval at the weekend.
The Dragons beat Atlantic Pirates by 52 runs in the final to claim the title and will now wait for a date to clash with other provincial winners of the same format to vie for the national title.
The Dragons posted 173 runs at the back of a brilliant 67 off 34 balls from Dewald Botha after opting to bat first.
The Dragons bowlers then shifted up a gear as they bowled Pirates out for 121 inside 17 overs.
The tournament, in its second edition after last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid-19, produced brilliant cricket in the two weeks it took place.
And having been starved of action for the greater part of the last two years, the players made sure to make the most of the opportunity given to them.
Conrad says the mood in his team is out of this world after surviving a scare in the second round of the games when they lost consecutive matches by close margins.
The Dragons had started the competition like a house on fire, winning their first five games. Following that five game win streak, however, saw them losing back to back games.
But they managed to bounce back when it mattered the most and sneaked through to the play-offs. They made it all the way to the finals.
“We hit a bit of a rough patch in the second half of the games after starting well; we lost very close games and the teams that beat us just had a bit more of a game plan than us. But we managed to push and make it all the way to the trophy and we are just very happy to achieve this feat,” said Conrad.
“The professionalism the guys showed was just wonderful. It is part of how we managed to dig deeper for the win. You can not tell that this is an amateur event the way that the guys handled themselves.”
The Dragons took the title from the inaugural winners, Cape Vikings, who won the competition back in 2019.
Dragons bowler Marcus Fourie added to his team’s accolade by taking home the bowler of the tournament award after taking 18 wickets in the nine matches he played.
His teammate David Schierhout was equally impressive with the ball as he took 19 wickets.
Atlantic Pirates’ Fritz de Beer was named player and batsman of the tournament after finishing the games with 472 runs in 11 innings.
The tournament format is of the same format as that of the popular Indian Premier League with the difference being that this one is for amateur players.