CAPE TOWN - The Cape Cobras will be hoping the return of Proteas all-rounder Wayne Parnell will add some strike power to their limp attack.
Despite boasting internationals such as Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt, Dane Paterson and all-rounder JP Duminy, the Cobras attack suffered at the hands of Sarel Erwee (103) and Khaya Zondo (67) on Sunday at SuperSport Park.
The pair’s unbroken 136-run partnership for the third wicket propelled the Dolphins to a national T20 record 231/2. Erwee was particularly destructive, with his innings lasting just 58 balls, including 10 boundaries and five sixes at an impressive strike-rate of 177.58
Parnell was unavailable due to a groin injury, but his rehabilitation gathered steam in the lead-up to the match against the Dolphins. Coach Ashwell Prince and the selection committee, though, resisted the temptation to unleash Parnell while he was not 100%.
“Wayne bowled at 80% intensity at three-quarters of his run-up last week and the idea is that he will be able to operate at 100% starting with training on Tuesday,” Cape Cobras physiotherapist Shane Jabaar said.
Parnell’s return will add some much-needed pace and variation to the Cobras attack. There seemed to be much the “sameness” to the Cobras bowling unit on Sunday, with each seam bowler sending down deliveries right-arm over the wicket in the region of 130km/* to 135km/* .
The Cobras bowling unit also missed their lengths completely, and on such good surfaces that the coastal side are going to encounter on the Highveld in there next couple of matches, it is virtual suicide.
With his left-arm swinging deliveries, which touch 140km/* on occasion, Parnell is an entirely different factor to negotiate. The Proteas seamer is also a vastly experienced T20 campaigner, having played in the Indian Premier League previously and the Caribbean Premier League earlier this year, which has helped him claim 166 T20 wickets.
The Cobras will, though, have to wait a couple more days before Tshepo Moreki returns from injury. Jabaar said Moreki, who injured his finger during a fielding session on Friday, had a scan which revealed no fracture, but ligament damage.
Moreki was rested for Sunday’s opening match of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge, but will face a tough task to return to the side after his replacement, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, was comfortably the best of the Cobras attack with figures of with 1/38 in four overs
Moreki will, though, move full steam ahead with his training over the next few days as the Cobras prepare for the second T20 match against the Highveld Lions at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.