Cape Town - The inspirational presence of a crowd of more than 8 000 at Newlands and the star quality of the batting that possesses the potential of posting more than 180, fills him with confidence ahead of the crucial RAM SLAM T20 Challenge match against the Titans, Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince said on Thursday.
Prince spoke ahead of Friday’s clash at Newlands - the first match of two for the Cape side over the weekend. They also meet the Warriors at Buffalo Park in East London on Sunday.
The Cobras, currently on 18 points, are in second place on the log and in a good position to qualify for a home semi-final on Thursday, December 14, provided they beat the table-topping Titans and subdue the Warriors.
According to Prince, the Cape Cobras as a batting unit is only performing at 70%. “But I am confident we will get it right at the business end of the competition with the quality we have,” he said.
“Against the Knights, we batted well the first 11 overs, then faded in the final 9. But I look at the positives of that collapse. Every batsman had the intent to express his aggression and to be selfless, putting the team ahead of himself,” Prince said of Wednesday’s five-run win in Kimberley.
“We just need to get the balance right as a batting unit.”
The Cobras have not scored more than 172 in this season’s T20 Challenge, but possess attacking batsmen who play genuine cricket shots with aplomb and have built world-class reputations, including Hashim Amla and JP Duminy.
Prince says the team targeted the start of the power plays and the start of the death overs after their three losses, and the response was immediate. Vernon Philander performed well and when Rory Kleinveldt returned, he was superb. The same can be said for Dane Paterson, while Ferisco Adams has taken to the role of death bowler like a duck to water.
Paterson has captured eight wickets and Adams five, but those statistics do not reveal their impact in the death overs, as Adams captured 2-9 in two overs on Wednesday. Paterson nipped out 4-24 against the Knights, while Kleinveldt has generally been extremely disciplined and accurate in the power play.
The crowd at Newlands can play a crucial role to lift the Cobras, Prince said.
“Whenever we play at Newlands we are well supported and every Cape Cobras player feeds on the energy and the good vibe,” the coach concluded.
Cape Cobras squad: JP Duminy (captain), Ferisco Adams, Qaasim Adams, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi, George Linde, Aviwe Mgijima, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Dane Paterson, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kyle Verreynne