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Cricket | Sunfoil Series

Duanne Olivier © Gallo Images

Olivier reflects on sensational Sunfoil Series

A test debut, a Sunfoil Series title and the tag of leading wicket taker – 2017 has been a year to remember for VKB Knights quick Duanne Olivier.

Saturday 11 February 2017 will be a day fondly remembered by the Knights as they dismissed the bizhub Highveld Lions for 235 in their second innings to hand the Knights an innings and 121 run victory.

The win handed them their first South African domestic four-day title since 2007-2008 and once again it was Olivier at the helm, taking match figures of 6-78.

“It has been a long time since the Knights have won a trophy, but we are very happy about it. Heading into the last round, all the teams were in and could win the trophy. We knew if we did well and did the basics right, we could stand a chance,” said Olivier.

“It came down if we scored 120 runs more than the Titans and still winning the game, we knew we would win the trophy,” he added.

The Knights did exactly that, amassing 443 in their first innings with the bat in comparison to the 227 compiled by the Titans against the Warriors in Benoni.

For Olivier though, the Sunfoil Series title was the cherry on top of a tasty cake. 52 wickets from eight matches at an average of 18.13 with five hauls of five wickets or more in an innings – Olivier was well and truly the competition’s star performer.

“I think the bowling unit of Marchant de Lange, Shadley van Schalkwyk and Mbulelo Budaza played a massive role picking up 50 wickets for me as well. It’s been a great effort this season so far and obviously I am very happy with my performances,” explained Olivier.

His 52 wickets placed him well ahead of teammate De Lange who tied for second with Simon Harmer of the Warriors with 34 wickets apiece.

In a season with so many highlights, Olivier singled out the opening round four wicket win over the Titans in October as a personal highlight when he and De Lange rolled the defending champions for 57 in their second innings.

“We were a bit behind the eight ball in the second innings. Marchant took seven and I took three, so we bowled them out in 14 overs. That was an unbelievable moment for me; it was the first time I have bowled a team out in 14 overs.”

The focus for Olivier and the Knights will now shift to white ball cricket as they begin their Momentum One Day Cup campaign against the BuildNat Cape Cobras on Saturday. However, the next couple of days will allow the one-capped test quick to reflect on what has been an unreal year thus far.

“2017 has been a great year so far for me – it has been a bit of a roller coaster actually. We will have a few days off now and we can reflect on what we did right. We didn’t have a great T20 campaign and maybe we can start off well in the Momentum Cup now with a few wins,” he concluded.


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