at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Johannesburg - The Warriors will look to ensure their batting does not let them down for a third time in as many One-Day Cup games when the Cape Cobras visit Buffalo Park in East London on Friday.
Warriors coach Piet Botha was not despondent despite the Eastern Cape franchise's poor start to the competition.
“Last season we won five games and reached the finals. We have seven matches left in which to set the record straight after two early losses and a wash-out,” he said.
Botha said the Warriors put enormous pressure on their middle-order if they lost two or three early wickets.
It meant Colin Ingram, Ashwell Prince and Davy Jacobs have to face the new ball but also keep the scoreboard ticking in the middle period of the game.
While there have been suggestions that Jacobs be moved to the top of the order, Jacobs himself believes he is better suited to the middle order.
“They have provided statistical evidence that I average in the twenties as opening batsman, but more than 40 when batting in the middle-order,” Jacobs said.
“The period in the Indian Premier League has really been helpful in improving my game against the spinners.
“Players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid have truly assisted me to fine-tune my game in slow conditions against top-spinners.”
Jacobs said the Warriors needed to address their shaky starts as a matter of urgency.
“What we seek is a solid foundation up front. We don't necessarily need to be off to a rollicking start; we just cannot afford (to lose) those early wickets,” he said.
Cape Cobras coach Paul Adams said his side had identified the middle overs, between the 26th and 40th overs, as where the top and middle-order have faltered regularly.
Adams felt it was important his side fix their middle period problems.
The Cobras would have likely lost to the Dolphins were it not for the 51 run ninth-wicket partnership between Dane Piedt and Charl Langeveldt.
The defending champions however could not do the same against the Titans in Benoni last week.
“Our bowling in the first power play was really a key factor in that loss, where we let ourselves down,” said captain Justin Ontong.
“Andrew Puttick has really blossomed, but other members of the top-order will have to assist Andrew with bigger contributions in the middle period.”
The loss of Vernon Philander and Rory Kleinveldt after last season's victorious campaign has given newcomers like Beuran Hendricks an opportunity to impress.
Adams said Hendricks bowled with pace and venom at times, but needed to fine-tune his focus in the coming matches. - Sapa