The Cape Cobras are hoping lighting does not strike twice.
It all seems a bit eerie, but the exact scenario that faced the Cobras in the final round of the RamSlam T20 Challenge a couple of months ago is now ahead of them this weekend in the Momentum One-Day Cup.
The Cobras have to beat the Warriors today in their final league encounter - just like they needed to in the RamSlam – if they are to host a semi-final next week. However, should they lose in Port Elizabeth and the Dolphins defeat the table-topping Titans at SuperSport Park, the playoff will be moved to KwaZulu-Natal.
Ashwell Prince’s team will be hoping they have learnt from their mistakes in the RamSlam. The Cobras lost out to the Warriors on that occasion, thereby squandering their chances of a home semi-final due to the Dolphins smashing an under-strength Titans with a bonus point. All of this meant the Cobras were forced to travel to Durban, with the rain ultimately proving to be the winner as the play-off was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Due to the Dolphins having finished higher on the log, it was they who advanced to the final instead of the Cobras.
“Cricket is a funny old game, isn’t it?” said Cobras batsman Simon Khomari. “We looked at the log after Sunday’s game, and saw that it has worked out exactly the same way. I wasn’t part of the RamSlam campaign, but I know I enjoy playing at home, and so do the rest of the team.
“We have great support out in Boland and Newlands, so it would be nice to play a couple more white-ball games in front our home crowd. We know what we need to, and our destiny is in our own hands.”
Khomari will certainly need to play an integral role at St George’s Park on Friday evening. The young left-hander had made an immediate impact since coming into the Cobras team midway through the competition, contributing 225 runs at an average of 79 in the last four matches. He holds down the crucial No 3 position, and is expected to build partnerships with either the openers or his in-form skipper JP Duminy. Although that is a great responsibility, Khomari is still though encouraged to play his natural game and express himself at the crease.
“Two weeks ago I didn’t think I’d be standing here talking to you about my performances for the Cobras. No, not all!” said Khomari. “This all comes after a period of reflection. Over the Christmas period I sat down with a couple of important people in my life, and I did a bit of reflecting and I decided to up my intensity and work a bit harder.
“I haven’t blown the world away, but I have had some steady starts that have helped the team. Last year I didn’t showcase any positivity, I felt like I was always looking over my shoulder. I was very nervous, but this year I have just tried to be myself out there, stick to my guns, and go out there do my thing.”
“Work ethic is something we speak a lot about in the Cobras team. It is something the coach drives a helluva lot in the team environment. So, if you want to improve your game, work on anything specific, he is the first one at the nets to meet you there. Even on our off days!”