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A simple game-plan against arguably the fastest opening bowlers in South Africa contributed to Matthew Kleinveldt’s highly satisfactory performance for the Buildnat Cape Cobras in Bloemfontein.

The VKB Knights won by 175 runs, but Kleinveldt was defiant, adventurous and aggressive despite a hostile assault by Duanne Olivier and Marchant de Lange.

He slammed 47 as opener in the first innings and 54 in the second.

“My game-plan was to play very straight and to attack down the ground if they planted it full. If they bowled short, I did use the cut shot, which is one of my best strokes,” he said.Although he pulls very well, he hardly employed that ploy in the first spell by Olivier and De Lange and rather swayed out of the way. He said he waited for the second spell to dispatch short deliveries to the square leg boundary.

Kleinveldt, an experienced opener who plies his trade for Western Province in the Sunfoil Three-Day Cup, has struck six centuries and 23 half-centuries in his first-class career.

He is not satisfied with his conversion rate, and said he wants to capitalize more on bright starts. “If I want to cement my place in the Buildnat Cape Cobras’ team, I will have to go big when I’m off to a flyer,” he adds.

Kleinveldt, when probed about the shortcomings of the bowling attack, said the VKB Knights edged the Cape Cobras in that department because they applied pressure from both ends.

“We created some pressure from one end, but then released it by leaking runs from the other end. Consequently, they were just better than us.

“By building pressure, they created chances to get wickets. We did not do that,” he added.

Kleinveldt has now showed promising signs in three of his previous four-day matches for the Cobras, with scores of 97, 47 and 54.

The Buildnat Cape Cobras’ next four-day match will start on Thursday 20th October at PPC Newlands against the Warriors. The Eastern Cape franchise beat the defending champions, the Multiply Titans, by six wickets in their previous Sunfoil Series clash.

“I have had no doubt since I first set eyes on Matthew that he has got the class to succeed at the franchise level,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the Western Province Cricket Association.

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