Parnell sweeps Cobras' limited-overs awards
Wayne Parnell did not have the best start to his international comeback, conceding 35 runs in four overs in a fifty-over warm-up match against the WICB Presidents XI, but he was the big winner in absentia at the Cape Cobras Awards presentation. Parnell scooped four awards including Player of the Year, one-day cup Player of the Year, twenty-over Player of the Year and players' Player of the Year.
After being left out of South Africa's national squads in all formats, the 2015-16 season afforded Parnell an opportunity to spend a full summer playing domestic cricket. Although he spent the early part of the season nursing a foot injury, he played a crucial role in helping Cobras reach the one-day cup final, and finished as the third-highest wicket-taker with 16 wickets at 23.00 and an economy rate of 4.83.
Parnell, who opened the batting in some of the T20s, scored 237 runs in the Ram Slam competition at an average of 47.40 with a strike rate of 133.14. He also took eight wickets. His all-round performances earned him a recall for the one-day triangular series in West Indies, which starts on June 3. "I have not seen Wayne play this well for many summers. It is a just reward for good, consistent performances," Paul Adams, Cobras coach said.
The first-class Player of the Year was awarded to Dane Vilas who finished second on the run-scoring charts. Vilas scored 761 runs at 69.18, including an unbeaten 216 in a record fifth-wicket partnership of 393 with JP Duminy. That came after Vilas was dropped from South Africa's Test squad following a poor tour of India.
"Dane picked himself up so quickly after being dropped from the South African team. People forget that he is not only a wicketkeeper, but a dynamic presence with the bat," Adams said.
Adams lost out to Western Province Women's coach Cobus Roodt in the Coach-of-the-Year category. Western Province Women won both the fifty-over and twenty-over competitions while Shandre Fritz, who was the third-highest run-scorer in the fifty-over tournament and seventh in the T20s, was named Women's Player of the Year.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent