Van Zyl nears rare milestone

Stiaan van Zyl (Gallo Images)
Stiaan van Zyl (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Cape Cobras star batsman Stiaan van Zyl is within sight of a rare milestone as the Sunfoil Series enters its final weekend.

Van Zyl, who has scored a remarkable 928 runs for the table-topping Cobras this season, needs a further 72 runs against the Highveld Lions at the Wanderers to become only the SIXTH player to reach the magical 1 000-run mark in a domestic season.

The stats, as confirmed by world-renowned statistician Andrew Samson - who was recently presented with the Statistician and Historian of the Year for 2013 award by the Association of Cricket Statisticians (ACS) at their annual meeting in Derby, England - sees Van Zyl currently tops the run scoring charts, ahead of team-mates Justin Ontong (808 runs) and Andrew Puttick (709).

Should Van Zyl, who has scored three centuries with a highest score of 167* at an average of 61.86 this season, reach the milestone, he will join a select group of players to have done so.

Rilee Rossouw tops the all-time run scorers charts with 1 189 in the 2009/10 season, followed by SA legend Barry Richards who achieved the feat on two occasions - 1 089 (1971/72) and 1 064 (1972/73).

Dean Elgar (1 060 in 2009/10), Zander de Bruyn (1 015 in 2003/04) and Stephen Cook (1 013 in 2009/10) are the other batsmen to have written their names into the record books in either the Currie Cup (from 1889/90 to 1989/90) the Castle Cup (1990/91 to 1995/96) or the SuperSport/Sunfoil Series (1996/97 to date).

Thanks to Van Zyl's feats, the Cobras have all-but wrapped up this year's title, with the Knights the only other franchise with a sniff of overall victory.

Surely, thanks to his heroics with the bat, it's not a matter of 'if' Van Zyl will take the step up to international level, but a matter of 'when'...

In other Sunfoil Series final round of matches, the Titans host the Warriors at Centurion, while the Knights welcome the Dolphins to Bloemfontein.
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