JOHANNESBURG – According to coach Ashwell Prince, the Cape Cobras will be hoping for an improved batting performance in order to overcome the Dolphins in their Ram Slam T20 Challenge semifinal at Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday.
“Our bowling effort in the past competitions has been in the 90 percent bracket,” Prince said.
“But it is the batting department in which we require an improvement. We know the forecast for Durban is not looking good, but the weather is out of our control. We have the right game plans. Yet, we require the support staff for Hashim Amla and JP Duminy to score heavily.
“In the previous game, we had a couple of 30s but that was not good enough. We have discussed it at a team meeting,” Prince said.
Duminy and Amla have struck six of the half-centuries for the Cobras in the T20 competition. The other 50 was a match-winning 52 from GF Linde.
These statistics underline Prince’s view that the batting line-up has not hit top-form yet.
Duminy echoed the sentiments of his coach. “I think if we have one of the top-four still present at the start of the 15th over, we will be fine. We have caught up very well in this competition in the last five overs.”
Duminy said winning close games was a confidence-builder. “In games against the Titans and the bizhub Highveld Lions we were pretty much behind the eight ball but came back to clinch both games under pressure,” he added.
Duminy admitted the Cobras are playing against a dangerous Dolphins team. “I do feel we have the fire power and from a bowling perspective, things are really looking good. We don’t need to change game plans too much.
“Yet, we have to assess conditions at Kingsmead and identify what works for us in those situations.
“If it is not as true a wicket as usual, we need our skills and variations to be spot on,” Duminy added.
The Cobras lost only one of their last seven games – an 18-run defeat to the Warriors on Sunday when the team was disrupted due to injury and illness. Their five wins were achieved by two successful run chases and three wins characterised by top bowling in the power play and death overs.
Dane Paterson, with 12 scalps, is third on the competition’s averages of bowlers, while Ferisco Adams is ninth and Rory Kleinveldt (with eight wickets) is 12th.
The Cobras’ greatest challenge is to remove the dangerous Morné van Wyk, Sarel Erwee and Dane Vilas cheaply. Van Wyk averages 64, has a strike-rate of more than 152 and has been the Dolphins the match-winner in their previous two games.
The Cape Cobras squad for the semi-finals: JP Duminy (Captain), Ferisco Adams, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Rory Kleinveldt, Carlos Koyana (w/k), Richard Levi, George Linde, Aviwe Mgijima, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Justin Ontong, Dane Paterson, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt
African News Agency (ANA)