Unlike the grassy green decks across South Africa, the wickets dried up for our precocious young spinner in his first campaign, so he would’ve been keen to make an early impression in his second season on the club circuit.
It was with the bat that van Dunk got people talking though, making two undefeated fifties in the opening 3-day match and looking in phenomenal form. The nineteen-year-old finally ended his drought with the ball too, when he snapped up a wicket in the opening T20 match.
Given that Emalahleni won their opening match in each format, van Dunk was as surprised as anybody to be offered the captaincy. He duly assumed the responsibility though and opted to change the entire line-up for his first match as captain. This decision was in order to breed competition among the players. In the short term at least, it backfired spectacularly! Bowled out for scores of just 90 and a pathetic 41 in their second innings, Emalahleni succumbed to a whopping 435-run defeat!
Though Buster claimed a wicket in the next one-day game, another loss, the captaincy was clearly effecting both his mindset and performance. A corner was turned with a win in the T20s though. Remember that Emalahleni are the defending champions in that format and have now won eight on the spin.
Buster learns fast and now seems to know what his strongest XI is. The common consensus is that Ema will bounce back in their next 3-day game and they better make the most of having young Buster around. Pro South African domestic sides are sniffing around and even States in Australia are eyeing recruiting the Ginger Spin King as an overseas player. Watch this s e!