GARDEN ROUTE CRICKET NEWS - SWD's premier batsman for the past two seasons, Obus Pienaar, has signed a one-year franchise contract with the VKB Knights (Central franchise).
And its main strike-bowler, Marcello Piedt, who was on loan with the Multiply Titans earlier this season when he represented them in the Momentum One Day Cup, also entered a contract with the Pretoria-based franchise for next season. Pienaar, who represented the Knights before he joined SWD two seasons ago, was SWD's player of the season for both seasons.
He was in magnificent form with the bat and at first class level he scored 1 886 runs for SWD at an average of 88,85, with eight centuries and nine fifties.
In List A cricket, where he also captained the team, he averaged 60,5 with one century (141*) and seven half-centuries.
The 26-year old Piedt, who was selected for the SA Schools team in 2011, had a dream debut in first class cricket for SWD in 2012 when he recorded outstanding figures of 7/6 against Western Province and eventually bagged 69 wickets.
Piedt has a prolific first-class record of 187 wickets in 55 matches at an average of just 23,85 and will be eager to gain regular exposure at franchise level for the first time, having played two 50-over games for the Sky Blues on loan.
"I had a brief look at Marcello in the Momentum One-Day Cup and I was impressed with what I saw," said Titans coach, Mark Boucher. In 31 List A matches he took 50 wickets with a best bowling analysis of 5/35.
SWD has recruited the former Menlo Park High learner Richardt Frenz as replacement for Pienaar. He is suitable to open the batting and to bat in the middle order. At age 26 he will bring maturity and experience to the side. Frenz, who represented the North West Dragons in 39-first class matches, has a healthy average of 39,44 with six centuries and ten half-centuries.
His highest score of 168 was against SWD during the past season. In List A cricket he averaged 43 with two hundreds and seven half-centuries.
Oudtshoorn-born Renaldo Meyer, who represented Western Province the past season, is a new acquisition to the bowling department while the talented young Mesuli Vuba from Thembalethu and Herschell America of Union Stars were also awarded with provincial contracts.
The provincial contracted squad are: Herschell America, Kirwin Christoffels, Jean du Plessis, Richardt Frenz, Neil Hornbuckle, Brendon Louw, Renaldo Meyer, Tsepo Ndwandwa, Yamkela Oliphant, Stefan Tait and Mesuli Vuba, Mthobeli Bangindawo, Ndumiso Mvelase, Bradley de Villiers, Todd Walker, Bailey Aarons, Levin Muller, Travis Ackerman and Jhedli van Briesies.
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