Champions League T20

Shukri: Gibbs is our man

2009-10-21 08:39
Herschelle Gibbs (Gallo Images)
Altus Momberg

Cape Town – Herschelle Gibbs’s contribution with the bat in the Indian Champions League to date is a single run, but the Proteas star is not expected to lose his place in the Cape Cobras’ line-up for Thursday’s semifinal against Trinidad and Tobago.

Gibbs, 35, has been dismissed twice for Golden Ducks and could only score 1 run in his other innings and it is clear that Gibbs is lacking in confidence. He has a reputation as a player that is vulnerable early in his innings, but has the ability to punish any attack once he is in.

The opening batsman chose to skip the Cobras’ game against the Victoria Bushrangers in Bangalore after a bomb scare. Derek Brand, who is the team’s reserve wicketkeeper, shone in his place, scoring 29 runs off 15 balls.

Yet Cobras coach Shukri Conrad said he had not even considered playing Brand again.

“On good wickets (like the one in Hyderabad) you want to use your best players,” he said. Conrad is also convinced that Gibbs will play a huge innings for the Cape side before the end of the series.

The Cobras are at full strength, with Charl Langeveldt at last having recovered from his shoulder injury. But they will still have to be at their best against the men from the Caribbean Islands, who are the only unbeaten team in the tournament.

Trinidad and Tobago, like the Cobras, have thus far relied on their batsmen, with questions having been asked of the bowling depth of both sides.

Conrad said they were relieved to be back in Hyderabad: “We are familiar with the conditions here and it is a good wicket.

“It’s incredible that the organisers could allow for such a poor wicket to be prepared in Delhi. We are just glad that we qualified for the semifinals before Monday’s defeat on that wicket.”

The first semifinal will be played today at 4.30pm (South African time) in Delhi between Australian sides Bushrangers and New South Wales Blues.

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