Star batsman shines for Primrose

Josh Schippers, from Wynberg, plays it safe against UWC in Bellville last week.

Despite Schippers smashing 52 runs from 107 balls, his performance was not enough as his side lost by five wickets against UWC.

Primrose captain Sohail Fortuin won the toss and chose to bat. The Rosmead Avenue-based side made 158/7 in their 50 overs with young Josh topping the scoresheet with 52.

Sikho Gcamagu was the pick of the bowlers for UWC, taking 3/30 in nine overs.

The home-side chased down the score within 39 overs, ending with 159-5. UWC’s Shane Hull contributed with 43 off 73 balls while Primrose pace bowler Gareth Engelbrecht took 2/14 in three overs.

Josh said it was a pre-season match and a lot of positives came from it.

“It feels good to be back but I don’t want to get ahead of myself as it is just one good knock and I have to produce more to progress further. To earn a permanent spot in the first team side, through consistent performances and to add value to the club is my main goal for the season,” he said.

The youngster who joined Primrose midway through the 2015/2016 season had a good run with top scores of 64 and 48 against UCT and Green Point in the two-day format, respectively. And, he made 80 not out against the Western Province CC in the one-day format.

“Club cricket is a massive wakeup call skilfully and mentally. The verbal communication from the opposition on the field is very different from school cricket. Primrose has become a home for me for the last year – the brotherhood between players is such of a family,” he said.

Schippers represented the Western Province under 11 and under-13A sides as a junior, and will represent the WP under-17 B side at the inter-provincial tournament, in Cape Town, later this year.

“I hope to add value to my team and to use my opportunities with consistent performances at the upcoming tournament,” said Josh, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of his hero, former West Indies captain, Brian Lara.

“He would dominate games by taking the game to the opposition and would make massive scores,” he said.

Coach Siya Sibiya said he was impressed with his young teams performance despite the defeat.

“At this stage results is not important but building partnerships and assessing different conditions is crucial,” said Sibiya, who believes some of the players who played put their hand up for a regular spot in the first team.

“Most of our regular first team players are not back yet but the youngsters that played gave a good account of themselves,” said Sibiya.

He said this is one of the biggest squads the club as had over the last few years.

“It is good to have such a big squad because if one of the first team players should get injured then it will open the door for a youngster to prove himself,” he said.

Last year, Primrose got promoted to the WPCA Premier League. They surprised many by finishing fifth in the two-day format and beat teams like St Augustine CC and 2015 champions Durbanville CC.

They were also losing semi-finalists in the Twenty20 format against the Western Province Cricket Club.

Sibiya said last year the club had a great season after they finished mid-table.

“It was a good learning curve for my players. This year we are hoping to go one better and be among the title contenders,” he said.