CAPE TOWN - The Cape Cobras are oozing confidence after three successive wins and particularly blossoming in critical pressure moments, says skipper JP Duminy.
The triumphant captain spoke after the hosts’ 10-run win over the Warriors at a packed Boland Park, which fired them into second place on the RamSlam T20 Challenge log.
Asked why the Cobras were able to recover so well from their stuttering start by winning their last three matches to be in a good position to host a home semi-final, Duminy said: “The second half of each innings is a huge improvement for us, as well as the way we produced in the powerplay without losing a wicket.”
The Warriors were still in a favourable position to chase down the Cobras’ 159/4 at the start of the 17th over, but Dane Paterson nipped out 3/25, Ferisco Adams took 2/38 and veteran Rory Kleinveldt, despite a slight injury concern, captured a miserly 1/16 to secure the win.
“If we focus ball by ball, game by game, we will give ourselves a chance towards the back-end of the competition. We have to stay composed and grounded, but the wins have been confidence boosters,” Duminy added.
“We are still assessing the situation around the injury of Vernon Philander before Friday’s match against the Dolphins in Durban.
“It was a bit of a gamble to throw GF Linde (in at number three) to take things on, but it paid off. He played exceptionally well. It was not just about hacking. He was very strategic (in his attacking approach while hammering 52 off 30 balls).”
The Cobras, who were 78 without loss after 10 overs, managed 159/4 thanks to Linde and Hashim Amla, who struck 52 off 36 balls.
Duminy also deserves plaudits for when Adams was reintroduced for the final two overs, despite coming under fire in his first two overs. He responded when asked to bowl in the death overs by taking the wickets of Colin Ackermann and Jerry Nqolo in one over to turn the game on its head.
“Ferisco is renowned for his death bowling, with his exceptional skills-set and his variation and his accuracy with his yorkers,” said Duminy.
“It was not necessarily his best game but this is the beauty of this game; you don’t always have to play your best game to get the job done.
“It was the confidence we got out of the game. It was not necessarily our best but we handled the pressure moments well and played exceptional in parts of the match.
“Dane showed the hunger and desire to come back and the way he performed was a confidence booster. It is good to see him at his best.
“Rory is a bit of a veteran and he does not need to be 100 percent to give 100 percent. He knows what he wants to do and how to execute his skills.
An area in which the Cobras might still be a work in progress is the powerplay. If they can be even more destructive in that period, they will be in a strong position to propel the visitors to a convincing win against the Dolphins.
Yet the team still improved from their 60/2 at Boland Park on Friday to 78 without loss on Wednesday.