As Cobras coach Paul Adams and his Dolphins counterpart Lance Klusener prepare for tomorrow’s T20 final at Newlands, both former Proteas have a number of matchwinners who can win the title for them.
The teams qualified for the final as the top two sides in the tournament with the Warriors and the Titans nearly making it.
The Warriors finished fourth on the log after losing to the Cobras on the final day of the round-robin stage while the Titans lost to the Dolphins in Thursday’s play-off.
“We played really well in the tournament. I would probably give our performance a nine out of 10.
“We should have made the play-offs but we made some mistakes that cost us our place in the next round,” said Warriors coach Piet Botha.
Botha believes the final will be a good contest, with both sides filled with quality players that will play a big role in the T20 showpiece.
“David Miller will be a big player on Sunday. He has been in impressive form and the rest of the Dolphins team have also been in good form.
“Both teams have played some good cricket this season and it looks like it will be a good final.
“Justin Ontong will be a massive player for the Cobras because he can come in and make a major impact on his day. Justin Kemp has also been bowling well in recent games so he will also have a major say in the final.”
Miller has been the player Titans coach Rob Walter has chosen as the Dolphins’ dangerman, especially after seeing the 24-year-old smash a 37-ball 93 in the play-off.
“Miller is playing really well at the moment. He is hitting the ball cleanly and is looking in tremendous form for the Dolphins.
“Against us on Thursday he was superb. I think the numbers speak for themselves.
“I do not think I have seen him in better form.
“It is exciting, not only for the final but also for the Proteas with the T20 World Cup coming up next month,” said Walter.
Beuran Hendricks will be the Cobras player to watch, Walter added, after the 25-year-old impressed the Titans mentor with his bowling throughout the tournament.
Walter believes the Cobras will head into the game with a slight disadvantage following the withdrawal of international players such as JP Duminy, Hashim Amla and Sunil Narine.
“The Cobras have been doing really well in the tournament but the number of changes in the squad ahead of the final will be disruptive for the side.
“I know that the guys coming into the squad are quality players but they have not played the entire season and it may be difficult to ask them to come in for the final.
“The Dolphins have been playing consistently together and after beating us they will be the ones coming into the game with all the momentum.”
Earlier this season, the Titans visited Newlands for the one-day final yet after two rained-out days they were forced to share the title with the Cobras.
During the T20 Challenge the Northern side came close to reaching the final, yet fell short at the final hurdle.
“We were not consistent enough throughout the tournament to make a real push for the final. The guys really did well to get close to the score the Dolphins set for us on Thursday, but ultimately I am glad to see the two best teams from this year make it to the final.” - Weekend Argus