Tata-ma-chance. Which Cobras team will turn up against the Titans at Newlands?
CAPE TOWN - Predicting the results of the Cape Cobras is similar to guessing the lottery numbers.
There is simply no formula at the moment for the Cape franchise. A handsome opening victory in Oudtshoorn was followed up a mediocre performance at Paarl against the Lions on Friday evening before Ashwell Prince’s team came back strongly on Sunday against the in-form Dolphins in Pietermaritzburg.
The victory on Sunday was built around Prince’s senior players contributing significantly. Proteas batsman Zubayr Hamza struck his maiden List A century - a superb 129 off 133 balls - and fellow international Pieter Malan also struck a solid 71 off 81 balls.
“I think it comes down to having clear gameplans in terms of going about a run-chase. Both games we won, we batted first and posted decent totals which got us over the line, Hamza said.
“When we chased, the scoreboard kind of dictated how we should play and we didn’t know how to go about it. We had a long hard chat about it after the game in Paarl. Ashwell insisted that if there a batter that’s in, that’s is his responsibility to bat through the innings. I didn’t do that at Paarl when I threw my wicket away when the team needed someone to bat through.”
Hamza certainly made up for it two days later in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands where he was the cornerstone of the Cobras’ innings. His granite-like presence at the crease allowed free-scoring players such as Jason Smith (29) and George Linde (49) to play their natural game allowing for partnerships of 62 for the third wicket and 78 for the fourth to bolster the Cobras’ innings.
“The last two games I have been ‘in’ but I was run out and then threw my wicket away against Lions at a crucial time in the game. So, I sat down with Ashwell and had a good chat about knowing my scoring options and being able to rotate the strike during the middle periods so I don’t get bogged down. To get the 100 and bat through the innings for team was a big thing,” he added.
The Cobras will certainly hope that Hamza, along with Malan, who struck a century in the opening game in Oudtshoorn, can continue this rich vein of form when the Titans visit Newlands tomorrow.@ZaahierAdams