CAPE TOWN – Despite winning just one Sunfoil Series game all season, the Cape Cobras are still in a prime position to lift the coveted trophy ahead of this weekend’s final round of fixtures.
Ashwell Prince’s side may have played out yet another high-scoring draw with the Titans at Boland Park this past week, but the Western Cape side are in touching distance of the log leaders, the Warriors, on 127.02 points. Only 1.02 points separate the two coastal sides with the Warriors on 128.04.
Equally, the Knights (124.32) and Titans (121.42) are also still in contention in third and fourth places respectively.
“I think it is exciting that you are going into the season finale with four teams still in contention,” Prince said. “There have been lots of draws around, but I think it is in some teams’ interest to create pitches that produce results.
You cannot plan to outscore and outdraw opponents on bonus points. You have to plan to win the game. The message is clear: Find any way to win the game!”
The Cobras will certainly have a great opportunity to push for maximum points as they travel to Potchefstroom this weekend for a final go at the Highveld Lions. Their hosts are currently in last place and are out of the running for the title.
While this may provide some optimism in the Cobras camp, Prince is not taking anything for granted.
This is due to the fact that despite the Lions’ lowly position on the log, they have been spoilsports of late. Last month in Paarl when the Cobras posted a mammoth 574/8 declared, the visitors responded with 562 to cancel out any hope Prince’s team had of pushing for an outright victory.
Equally last weekend against the Dolphins too, the Lions hit back with 417/7declared after trailing by 133 runs on the first innings.
“The destiny is in our own hands. We’re playing at Potch. It is a fast-scoring ground, so potentially you can make up the 1.02 in the batting, providing you take your full bowling bonus points,” Prince said.
“But I think they (Lions) would want to finish strong. The Warriors are in the same position. They’re playing the Dolphins, who can’t really catch the leaders. At the end of the day I don’t think that makes a difference.”
The in-form Cobras batting unit will certainly be relishing the chance to play on a good batting surface at Senwes Park, but it is the bowlers, and particularly the fielders, that will need to raise their performances this weekend.
The home side were once again guilty of putting down a few chances at Boland Park and will hope their Achilles heel of throughout the season does not come back to haunt them when the final calculations are made.
“It was frustrating our catching was frustrating. I mean the wicket was good pitch to bat on, but if we caught better in the first innings we could have restricted them to less.
“If we had caught our catches in the first innings we could have had a 250-run lead. Missing our chances was frustrating.”