Cobras turn focus to Sunfoil Series

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Defending four-day champions the Cape Cobras will get their campaign up and running again this week with a match against the Lions at Newlands. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Defending four-day champions the Cape Cobras will get their campaign up and running again this week with a match against the Lions, starting on Thursday at Newlands.

Four rounds have already been played in the competition and the white kit will make an appearance this week after a break while the T20 Cup was being played.

Sitting third on the log, the Cobras will be looking to climb up a place with a victory over the Gauteng side, who are currently second.

Both teams will be heading into games following losses in their last four-day game, with the Cobras going down to the Knights by two wickets and the Lions losing to the Dolphins by 398 runs in December.

Despite these defeats, both teams will be confident heading into four-day action, with a number of their players playing well in the longer format.

With the exception of Warriors batsman Ashwell Prince, who is the second highest run-scorer in the competition, the Cobras and the Lions have the six best batsmen in first-class cricket this summer.

Stiaan van Zyl is the highest run-scorer with 456 runs, while Cobras teammate Andrew Puttick is third with 376 runs.

Cobras skipper Justin Ontong has scored the sixth-most runs, while the Lions trio of Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook and Neil McKenzie hold the fourth, fifth and seventh spots, respectively.

Cobras left-arm quick Beuran Hendricks, who set a South African T20 record of 28 wickets in a single campaign, is the most successful to date in the four-day competition.

His 20 scalps is the highest tally, while the Lions’ top bowler, Hardus Viljoen, is joint third with 13 wickets.

The four-day trophy is the last one up for grabs this season and, after sharing the one-day cup and losing the T20 final, the Cobras will be hungry to win some silverware.

Big-hitting Richard Levi will be looking for a place in the side, but Cobras coach Paul Adams will be more likely to continue with Puttick and Omphile Ramela as the opening pair.

Dane Paterson will also likely return to the side to join Hendricks and Justin Kemp as the seamers, with Lizaad Williams, Shaheen Khan and Aviwe Mgijima fighting it out for the fourth seamer spot.

Following his impressive showing in the T20 final and his good form for the amateur side, Sybrand Engelbrecht will also be knocking on the door for inclusion.

Log-leaders the Knights host the Titans this week, while the newly-crowned T20 champions the Dolphins entertain the Warriors in Durban.

Sunfoil Series standings

1 Knights 41.54 points,

2 Lions 41.42, 3 Cobras 40.84,

4 Warriors 38.54

5 Dolphins 31.92,

6 Titans 24.64 - Cape Argus


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