CAPE TOWN – The Cape Cobras have enjoyed a bitter-sweet week. Leading run-scorer Kyle Verreynne is back from injury, but Proteas batsman Hashim Amla will sit out the next two matches against the Highveld Lions and Dolphins.
Verreynne was sorely missed against the Titans last Friday after suffering a concussion mid-week when a Lizaad Williams bouncer struck him on the head during training. David Bedingham, who filled in behind the stumps for the injured Verreynne, keeps his place in the squad though after striking a confident half-century.
But it is Amla’s omission due to “family reasons” that will raise a few eyebrows. The veteran was left out of the Proteas one-day international squad to try and build his confidence at franchise level after a tough international summer. Unfortunately, Amla scored just 10 last Friday at Newlands as the Cobras succumbed to an 83-run defeat against the Titans.
The Cobras would have hoped that Amla could have helped a batting unit that has not fired on all cylinders during the One-Day Cup. Ashwell Prince’s team are currently in fifth position on the standings, having won two and lost three of their five matches in the competition so far, and face a crucial couple of days.
The Lions, who the Cobras face at the Wanderers today, are level on eight points but have played one game more than their coastal rivals.
Both Prince and captain JP Duminy are aware that the Cobras need to post more competitive totals if they are to be remain semi-final contenders.
“We can improve our batting by another 20 percent,” Prince said before Duminy added: “We also have not been sharing in 100-run partnerships or scoring enough tons in the first half of the competition.”
Verreynne is the sole centurion for the Cobras so far after the wicket-keeper struck an unbeaten 114 against the Knights in Bloemfontein.
The Cobras brains trust are not only looking for an improvement in the batting department though. After an impressive start with the new ball, particularly by veteran Rory Kleinveldt, that reduced the Titans to 31/5 at one stage, the visitors recovered to 320/6.
This was due to a 272-run world-record sixth wicket partnership between Aiden Markram and Farhaan Behardien. The pair blitzed 185 runs in the final 15 overs at a mind-blowing rate of 12.3 runs per over.
“Our death bowling let us down and was disappointing in the match against the Titans,” Prince said.@ZaahierAdams