MiWay T20 Challenge

Pro20 final: Stars v teamwork

2011-03-17 10:10
Herschelle Gibbs (Gallo Images)
Altus Momberg

Cape Town – Who will be better at handling the pressure of a final – the stars of the Cape Cobras or the teamwork of Warriors?

That question will be answered here at Newlands on Friday night in the final of the Pro20 tournament. Warriors coach Russell Domingo believes that his players have shown recently that they are not to be taken lightly.

“I think we are a team that has played the best cricket in the competition over the past three years – and we played well again this year. I am particularly excited about the fact that just about our entire team has contributed to our success. You can’t put it down to one or two players. We play together as a team,” said Domingo.

The Cobras have several international stars such as Herschelle Gibbs, Owais Shah, Justin Kemp and Charl Langeveldt on whom they lean.

The Warriors beat the Dolphins in two nailbiting semifinals, and they believe that experience will be helpful if the final ends up being a thriller.

The Eastern Cape side are also the defending champions and believe they can once again beat the Cape side in an important match. Last year the Cobras lost to them in the semifinals of both the MTN40 and Pro20 tournaments.

“We have a lot of confidence ahead of the final. It’s definitely also an advantage that the match will be played in coastal conditions. The wicket will not be very quick – and we know how to play in such conditions,” said Domingo.

However, the Cobras believe that with three spinners - Claude Henderson, Michael Rippon and Justin Ontong - the anticipated conditions will suit their bowling attack.

The form of 19-year-old “Chinaman-bowler” Rippon has been particularly impressive. He did not look at all nervous in the semifinal and the Cobras have confidence that they will be able to use him well on the “spinner’s track” at Newlands.

Rippon and Henderson changed the course of the match in the last Pro20 match at Newlands. The Titans made a good start to their innings in the first semifinal, but Henderson and Rippon put on the brakes and the Titans never recovered.

The same plan is on the agenda again.

“It will definitely not be the kind of wicket we saw in the semifinal in Centurion. I think a score of 150 will be very competitive. I will be surprised if a 200 is posted in the game,” said experienced swing bowler Langeveldt.

He was of course referring to the Cobras’ second game in the semifinal against the Titans in Centurion, where the Cape side scored 224/5 in their chase to win the game.

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