Lions and Cobras set for epic face-off
The players of the Cape Cobras and the Highveld Lions would most likely have enjoyed watching Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal play tennis at Cape Town Stadium this evening, but instead they have more serious matters to deal with in the Momentum Cup at Boland Park.
Both teams are coming off impressive performances in the opening round. The Lions smashed their provincial neighbours and the competition’s defending champions, the Titans by 73 runs in Centurion, while Cobras were almost as dominant in defeat the Warriors by 27 runs via the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern method in Oudtshoorn.
For both, those wins were vital, although for slightly different reasons, related to the Four-Day competition. The Lions top the log in that tournament but had lost their last two matches before the break for the Momentum Cup, while Cobras remain winless in that competition.
A change of ball and kit clearly did both sides good. For the match in Paarl, there will be more changes for the Lions, this time in terms of personnel. Reeza Henricks, Temba Bavuma, Beuran Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen have all been seconded to the Proteas for the series against England.
Dominic Hendricks, Josh Richards and Kagiso Rapulana will likely fill in the batting spots, while it will be a choice between Nono Pongolo and Migael Pretorius as to who takes over from Beuran Hendricks.
The Cobras don’t have the same problems. They’ve named an unchanged side from the one that triumphed in Oudtshoorn last weekend with the aim to keep improving. “The idea is to build on the win in Oudtshoorn,” said the Cobras’ assistant coach Faiek Davids. “Because we played such a good match there, we will still be striving to improve by at least five percent in each area in Paarl.”
Meanwhile, the Titans are aiming for a bit more than five percent improvement when they host the Dolphins in Centurion today. The Titans bowled poorly with the new ball against the Lions and then saw three players get starts with the bat, none of which were converted into scores of any substance, while chasing 306.
Those are mistakes not normally associated with the team that has had great success in the limited overs formats in South Africa in the last few years and head coach Mandla Mashimbyi had pushed his players to avoid similar errors against the Dolphins, who comfortably beat the Knights last Saturday.
In Bloemfontein the Knights and the Warriors face each other with the home team set to be captained by former SA Under-19 skipper Wandile Makwetu.
Today (all matches start at 1.30pm): WSB Cape Cobras v Imperial Lions, Paarl; Multiply Titans v HollywoodBets Dolphins, Centurion; VKB Knights v Warriors, Bloemfontein