Johannesburg – The Cape Cobras will be without Graeme Smith and JP Duminy when they take on the second-placed Dolphins at Boland Park, in Paarl, on Friday.

“JP will have a break on Friday, and Graeme has been pulled out of the tournament altogether because his ankle flared up. It's a precaution, and he'll also be preparing for the Test series,” Cobras' coach Paul Adams said in a statement on Thursday.

“Hashim Amla will play his final match before he takes a break, while Duminy will return in time for the Cobras' final two games next weekend.

“We'll also have a look at Vernon Philander and see if his fitness is all right. He woke up with a back spasm on Wednesday, so we'll see if he's all right to go on Friday.”

Justin Kemp will play his first game since taking a break for the birth of his child, as a spot has opened up for him in the line-up.

Despite the Cobras' numerous team changes, they have a 10-point lead at the top of the table. However, the Dolphins have two games in hand.

Friday's clash is crucial if the Dolphins are to deny the Cobras a second home final of the season.

The Dolphins go into the fixture in excellent form, having scored a mammoth 214 for two in a handsome victory over the Highveld Lions on Wednesday night. – Sapa