Cape Town – Cape Cobras coach Paul Adams believes the Dolphins have some spin deficiencies which could be exposed when the two meet in a top-of-the-table domestic four-day encounter in Paarl, starting Thursday.
The clash is one of three taking place across the country with the other two seeing the third-placed Knights host the Warriors in Bloemfontein as well as the Highveld Lions entertaining the Titans in a Gauteng derby in Johannesburg.
But the biggest match-up of the round is set for Boland Park where the hosts, also the defending champions, will be keen to extract some revenge on their visitors, who beat them in the domestic T20 Challenge final 10 days ago.
“I've completely forgotten about T20 competitions and those short formats,” Adams quipped ahead of the game.
“We're now into a new competition, probably the most prestigious ones and most difficult to win.
“We've got a proud record and we're determined to keep the title here in Cape Town.”
Adams felt there was little consequence from the 20-over final, which they lost by two runs in Cape Town.
The Cobras crushed the Dolphins in the first game of the season, by an innings and 98 runs in Pietermaritzburg.
“It's a different competition and since our performance in the first game of the season, we've always been confident against the Dolphins.
“Particularly the way they played spin. So spin is an option we'll seriously look at. We'll first wait and see what pitch is prepared, but expect a turning one.”
The Cobras will be without the competition's leading wicket-taker Beuran Hendricks, who was also recently named in the Proteas' World Twenty20 squad.
“Beuran has a side strain and will miss out,” Adams said. “We're also monitoring Shaheen Khan, so we're playing a waiting game at the moment.
“I think it will be a good game, an intriguing one.”
The Cobras beat the Lions by 47 runs over the weekend, while the Dolphins crushed the Warriors by an innings and 45 runs.
“I think we picked up a good win on the weekend to move back to the top of the table. We hope we can build on that to really consolidate our position.”
Meanwhile in the Free State, the Knights are coming off a defeat ahead of their clash against the Warriors, now bottom of the table.
Defeat to the Titans in Kimberley saw them lose two positions on the log.
“We still fancy our chances in the competition,” their coach Sarel Cilliers said. “There are five teams close together and then another one a little bit behind, but halfway through this Sunfoil Series is wide open to be honest.”
The Titans could be bolstered by the return of Marchant de Lange when they travel to the Wanderers.
The fast bowler has paced his recovery from injury after struggling with a side strain for most of the season.
“Marchant is fit, he bowled very quickly today and was very unpleasant to face in the nets,” captain Henry Davids confirmed. – Sapa