Cape Town - Cape Cobras coach Paul Adams says his team will not take their foot off the pedal in their quest to secure a second successive home One-Day Cup final.
The Cobras currently lead the tournament standings with 25 points from seven matches - nine points ahead of second-placed Dolphins, who have a game in hand.
The joint-defending champions could secure a home final should they beat both the Titans and Warriors, at Newlands and Boland respectively, this coming Friday and Sunday.
Adams said his team had extra motivation to secure a home final after last season’s final was abandoned due to the rain, forcing the Cobras to share the trophy with the Titans.
It was the second successive season the Cobras had shared the One-Day Cup as the 2012/13 final against the Highveld Lions was also rained out at the Wanderers.
“This is a trophy we really want. For two years we've had to sit and watch the rain come down. It was very frustrating," Adams said.
"We have played consistently good one-day cricket and we want to win that trophy at Newlands.”
The Cobras had already exacted revenge for last season’s Twenty20 final defeat to the Dolphins at Newlands by claiming the short-format title in front of their home fans this season, downing the Knights.
The atmosphere on the night, according to Adams, was “electric”, and he believed it helped energise his team.
“We saw with the T20 final, how Newlands comes alive, it was really buzzing,” Adams said.
“My players enjoy playing before their home crowd. It really gets them excited and we are hoping to bring another final to Newlands. But we don’t want to look too far ahead and will continue to take one game at a time.”
Adams had not been able to finalise his squad for the weekend’s double header as a number of his players were involved with the SA A team in their limited-overs series against the England Lions.
Left-arm swing bowler Mthokozisi Shezi had returned to the A-side camp after being released for last Saturday’s franchise fixture at the Wanderers, which meant there would be at least one enforced change this weekend.
All-rounder Aviwe Mgijima was part of the Cobras squad at the Bullring, and would most likely be drafted straight into the starting XI for the two matches.
The Cobras handed a debut to former South African Under-19 star Clyde Fortuin against the Lions, and the youngster could get further opportunities with regular wicket-keeper Dane Vilas still on SA A duty.
Fortuin was neat behind the stumps on his maiden appearance, but appeared a bit flustered during his innings of 13 off 31 balls after coming in at No 3.
“It was Clyde’s first game for the Cobras and it was a big game on television, and his first time at the Wanderers, so obviously he was a bit nervous," Adams said.
"But the longer he plays, the calmer he will become. We don’t want to put any pressure on him. He is still a young cricketer finding his way, and he would have learnt from that first game.”