Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince wants a better performance from his team when the Sunfoil Series returns. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince has rued his side’s poor fielding after the opening half of the Sunfoil Series season as they headed to the four-day break with five draws from five matches.
 
The Cape side are fourth on the table with their 64.14 points putting them a little over 15 points behind the leading Titans (79.68), who are also the only side to have won a match out of the 15 played by all the franchises in 2017/18.
 
For Prince, it has been a case of several near misses and he felt there were times since the season began in late September that they could have seized the initiative had they held on to the ball.
 
“Especially when the pitches have been fairly flat, which has been most of the time in the early season, it’s been hard,” he said. “Chances are difficult to come by and on the few occasions that you do create them, if you want to build any sort of pressure on the opposition, then you have to take those chances.
 
“An area of concern has been behind the wicket and in the slip cordon areas, but anywhere for that matter. You can’t afford not to take opportunities. So that has been disappointing.”
 
The competition is now on a break and will resume again in February, when Prince expects things to get easier for bowlers – and forecasts more results in the next set of 15 games.
 
“I think we can expect to see livelier pitches in the second half of the competition simply because we will be right out of the winter,” he adds. “I'm hopeful that will happen and it will surely help the seam bowlers a bit more.”
 
As for their own prospects, the former Proteas batsman is still giving all six franchises a chance of winning the competition. There are only a little over 23 points separating the Titans and the bottom-placed Highveld Lions.
 
“We’re still confident that we can challenge,” Prince concluded. “There’s only been one result so far after half the matches, so I'm sure every other team is sitting in the same position thinking they can challenge.
  
The franchise focus now shifts to the shortest format, with the T20 Challenge scheduled to begin this Friday.
 
The Cobras will play the Dolphins in the opening round. 

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