Johannesburg – Cape Cobras coach Paul Adams says his charges are highly motivated to defend their domestic four-day title ahead of the final game of the season against the Lions at the Wanderers starting on Thursday.
The Cobras enjoy a 19.08-point lead at the top of the table, and only a crushing defeat – without any bonus points – would allow the second-placed Knights a chance to steal the title.
“The guys are raring to go and we’re ready to switch on,” Adams said ahead of his side’s match against the Lions.
“A couple of the players are trying to get the most runs and most wickets in the competition, and they all pride themselves on good performances.”
For the Knights to claim the top spot, the Cobras would have to be bowled out for less than 150 and take less than three wickets with the ball in the first innings, a seemingly unlikely scenario.
The Cobras have the three leading run-scorers in the competition with Stiaan van Zyl (928), Justin Ontong (808), and Andrew Puttick (709) in their arsenal ahead of the final round of fixtures.
Also at their disposal, the Cobras have the leading wicket-taker in the competition with spinner Dane Piedt claiming 38 scalps throughout the season. The Cobras have won five of their nine outings in the competition.
Pitted against the Lions – who have won just two of their nine games this season – the Cobras would still have to go out and perform, Adams said.
“It's important we stick to our process and I’m a firm believer in playing good cricket all the way through this competition,” he said.
“Each member of this team owes it to themselves to go out there and really put in a good performance to end a great season.”
Consistency was the key to crossing the final hurdle, Adams believed.
“We always pride ourselves in four-day cricket. The Cobras have been a big powerhouse in that format.
“It’s one of the formats where you have to play consistent cricket throughout the season.
“It's always a long hard one – four-day cricket – but you just have to be really consistent as a unit.”
With the task of finishing up the season at the Johannesburg ground, Adams was confident his side would get the result.
“The Wanderers is always a good wicket where you get good bounce and carry.
“The Bullring is always a great place to play and good for results.”
In other games starting on Thursday, the title-chasing Knights take on the Dolphins in Bloemfontein and the Titans host the Warriors in Centurion. – Sapa