1 Day Cup
Warriors ready for Cup final
Johannesburg - While the Cape Cobras boast a host of big names in their starting line-up for the 1-Day Cup final in Cape Town on Friday, Warriors coach Piet Botha believes they can cope with the pressure.
"I was assistant coach to the Warriors when we won the title two seasons ago, so I have been in this situation before," Botha said on Thursday.
Botha was assistant to Russell Domingo when the Warriors beat the Dolphins by 71 runs in the 2009/10 season.
The Cobras last won the same trophy in 2006/07, defeating the Warriors by 18 runs in the final.
Botha downplayed the importance of winning the toss and said his side would be confident regardless of who batted first.
"The need to win the toss has faded away," he said.
"Teams always wanted to bat first, but in the last few seasons teams have been just as successful batting second.
"It depends on the weather conditions, but if we do bat first, we will need to make a minimum of 280 runs to win the game."
The Warriors qualified for the final with the help of a century from captain Colin Ingram and a cameo innings of 40 off 29 balls from Craig Thyssen in the one-off semi-final against the Knights.
Ingram, one of the leading run-scorers in the competition this season, with 505 runs at an average of 50.5, said he had enjoyed leading the side.
"It has been a good challenge being the captain," Ingram said.
"I've been helped a lot by the guys, especially those who have captained the side before, but I've really enjoyed it."
In their last match in Cape Town, the Warriors were thumped by six wickets, but Ingram was confident they could trump their hosts.
"The final is always a big day and Newlands is a wonderful venue," he said.
"In our last game there we competed really well, and if a few things went our way we would really have been up there, but we've got the final now and the guys are really excited."
The Warriors' attack will be spearheaded by veteran paceman Makhaya Ntini, who has been the visiting side's best bowler this season, taking 17 wickets at an average of 22.23 in the competition.
Seamer Lonwabo Tstotsobe and spinner Nicky Boje are unavailable due to injury and Simon Harmer, the 22-year-old off-spinner, will replace Boje.
The rest of the 13-man squad remains unchanged from the team which beat the Knights in Bloemfontein last week.
The Cobras have been the leading side so far in the 50-over competition, winning seven out of 10 matches, with only one loss.
Their star international performers will be at their disposal and they are likely to include Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn.