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Johannesburg – The match between the Cape Cobras and the Dolphins in the One-Day Cup, at Newlands on Friday, looks to be one of a string of do-or-die matches as the teams vie for second and third spots.
While the Highveld Lions seemed to have a grip on the top spot on the log, the other five teams were all still in the running for one of only two play-off spots in the competition.
The Dolphins go into the match holding on to third spot on the log after their match against the Lions was washed out on Wednesday.
While the Cobras were fourth, a win against their KwaZulu-Natal rivals would see them overtake the Dolphins and possibly find themselves in second spot, depending on Friday's results elsewhere.
Form players for the Dolphins were batsmen Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Imraan Khan. Some unbeaten innings had helped Van Jaarsveld maintain a solid batting average of 60, but his strike rate had been on the low side at 70.His 91 against the Knights last Wednesday set up the Dolphins' first win.
Khan contributed 101 to his team's successful chase against the Titans on Friday night.
David Miller has also been contributing consistently without producing a score of note.
Former Western Province and Lions pace bowler Craig Alexander had made an impact after not being considered for the first few matches.
Off-spinner Prenelan Subrayen had taken the most wickets in their campaign, albeit going at more than a run a ball, while Lonwabo Tsotsobe was starting to show the form which made him a top-ranked international bowler not too long ago.
Dolphins' coach Lance Klusener was happy his team had picked up some momentum after their results last week.
“It is nice to get some wins under the belt, but it has been a stop-start season for us with the weather,” Klusener said.
“We will know where we stand after Sunday's match in Pietermaritzburg as the teams are tightly clustered.”
The Cobras boasted an in-form top order with Andrew Puttick having already passed 200 runs for the season.
Richard Levi made fifties in both matches last weekend, and had scored 194 runs in the tournament so far, at a strike rate of 109.
Coach Paul Adams will be more pleased with the form of his veteran bowling attack.
On the bowling front, Charl Langeveldt made the inroads into the Knights top order on Sunday, setting up what proved to be an easy victory. Young Boland quickie Lizaad Williams only got the ball once the damage was done, but still bowled a useful spell.
The star turn had been Justin Kemp, whose nine wickets had come at an average of 18.
There was an injury scare for Justin Ontong, who injured himself taking a catch at Paarl, but he had responded well to treatment and coach Paul Adams was confident his captain would be available on Friday. – Sapa