Morne Van Wyk has a new accolade to add to an already storied career, but what the Sunfoil Dolphins captain is most interested to see is how the record List A stand that he put on with Cameron Delport affects his opening partner going forward. On Friday the pair registered an unbroken stand of 367 for the first wicket against the Chevrolet Knights in Bloemfontein, breaking the record for the highest partnership in List A history. The previous record had been held by India’s Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, who put on 331 for the second wicket during a one-day international against New Zealand in Hyderabad in 1999.
“It was just a partnership that grew and grew and grew. As the innings progressed we had a few things come on the scoreboard like highest Dolphins partnership and highest first-wicket partnership in South Africa. But it was only when we walked off the park after the victory that someone told us that it was a new world record, which was just amazing. A lot of cricket records are individual, or feel somewhat self-centred, so to be able to score a massive record like that with a teammate like Cameron is actually quite special,” said Van Wyk. According to Knights coach Sarel Cilliers, the pair offered up just a couple of chances. While a misjudgement by a fielder on the boundary ensured that Delport’s skier landed safely when he was on 50, a more straightforward opportunity was put down when the left-hander had 101.
“That gave them the momentum they needed for the final surge. We bowled well up until the last 10 overs but then it got out of hand,” said Cilliers. Van Wyk and Delport added 104 runs in the last seven overs, with Van Wyk scoring 74 of them. That saw the captain finish on 175 not out, while Delport scored 169 from 130 deliveries to bring up just his second List A hundred.
At the age of 35, Van Wyk is in his 18th season of top-level domestic cricket, and his 22 List A hundreds attest to his qualities as a batsmen. But at this stage of his career, the wicketkeeper-batsman’s role is as much about bringing on the next generation as it is about scoring runs, and so he is hoping that the innings will bring big things for Delport. While the 25-year-old has obvious match-winning potential, greater consistency is required if he is to reach the highest level.
“I think sometimes the media labels players, and Camo is in that situation. He’s got that reputation that he can be destructive and explosive. I think most batters initially tend to be either naturally attacking or solid defensively, and then it’s about trying to balance it out. Camo is naturally attacking so for him it’s about balancing it out and finding that niche where he keeps the substance of himself but gives himself the best chance of being more successful. One thing that Jimmy Adams told me is that sometimes the hardest part is doing something for the first time, because once you’ve done it then you have the road map to it. Since I made 150 for the first time, four or five of my hundreds have been over 150. I’ll be excited to see how Camo responds to this because now he’s seen how to score 169, and seen how long you have to bat through the innings and get through the different phases. We’ll see how he goes from here,” added Van Wyk.