Pinelands look to bounce back

Pinelands' Ahmed Motti, Nick Salonen and coach Gareth von Hoesslin in pensive mood.

The mood in the Pinelands Cricket Club camp is understandably gloomy following their third consecutive defeat in Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) division 1B two-day action.

Following defeats against Strandfontein and Helderberg, Pinelands struggled against a rampant Northerns Goodwood who beat them by a 123 runs, at the Goodwood sports complex, on Saturday.

For Pinelands, Ahmed Motti, 20, was impressive with best figures of 5/45 on day two of their clash.

However, his performance was not enough as the home-side were completely in the driving seat. Despite an impressive 57 from Ethan Samuels, Pinelands were dismissed for 177 in their first innings, in reply to Northerns Goodwood’s 209 on the first day.

Goodwood’s Werner Moolman top scored with 48 runs with Luke Masisari was the pick of the bowlers taking, 4/61, supported by Abdul Saiet with 3/71. On Saturday, Northerns Goodwood declared on 203/5 setting the visitors a daunting task, chasing 235 for victory with Motti giving his side a glimpse of hope with his fiver. However, his side was dismissed for 112.

Masisari top scored with 41. Northerns Goodwood spinner Jaco Grobbelaar set up the victory, taking 5/26 in 11 overs. Motti, who made his debut in WP club cricket against Helderberg, said he was ecstatic with his performance because it was only his second first team two-day game of the season. This was after he took 2/2 in three overs in the game against Helderberg, earlier this month.

“I am hoping to continue this great run of form to consistantly contribute to the teams performance,” said the all-rounder who took seven wickets in two-matches.

“The WPCA division 1B is not easy but I am doing my best. I hope that we can bounce back against Bishop Lavis in our next encounter,” he said.

Pinelands coach Garreth von Hoesslin said his side played good cricket in some areas but collapsed in the last two sessions on the day.

“The match was in the balance for most of the time until the collapse came which set us back through soft dismissals. With the young team we have I do believe we are getting things right but need to be more consistent,” said Von Hoesslin.

Pinelands are not having the best start to the WPCA division 1B two-day format as they lost all of their opening matches. Von Hoesslin said his side has not played poor cricket but are not using their opportunities.

“We will keep putting in the work and maintain our standards and the results will come,” he said

“I think it is a win away that will give the team confidence and belief and will set us off.

Pinelands host Bishop Lavis in their WPCA division 1B two-day fixture for the year, on Saturday. Von Hoesslin believes a victory is a must to kick start their season.

“We will focus on ourselves, play to our strengths and make sure we perform in all areas. We need to play smart cricket to achieve this,” he said.

Last year, Pinelands had a decent season finishing fifth, with five wins, three defeats and one draw.

“We had a great season last year and were very competitive been in the top three for most of the season. This year we don’t have the same squad as many of the players have moved on so that’s why we have a youngsters forward,” he said.