T20 Challenge

Duminy wants Cobras to secure home semi

2017-12-07 19:13
JP Duminy (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The clash of the table-topping teams looms at Newlands as one of the most potent bowling units domestically, the Cape Cobras, and the Titans, whose pulsating batting has been a feature this season, contest the penultimate group match of the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge on Friday.

The Cape Cobras solidified their grip on second place on the table on Wednesday by beating the Knights in a thriller that went right down to the wire.

The Cobras head into a critical weekend knowing that if they finish second, they can host the second semi-final on Thursday, December 14.

Yet, in order to achieve that feat, the Cape side, second on 18 points, first have to down the Titans on Friday at Newlands. Then they have to beat the Warriors on Sunday, December 10 at Buffalo Park in East London.

The bottom-of-the-log team, the Warriors, on 10 points, still have the potential of moving to 20 points with two bonus-points wins, so no other team apart from the Titans are secured of a spot in the semi-finals.

The Dolphins (third on 14 points), the Highveld Lions (fourth on 14 points) and the Knights (fifth on 12 points) all still have a shout.

The Titans will host the first semi-final on Wednesday, December 13 against the team that finishes fourth on the log. They have won six of their eight games this season and are the defending champions.

Skipper JP Duminy said the Cobras have the home semi-finals destiny firmly in their own hands by clinching both their remaining games.

"We are focusing on what we can control and if we win both our last games, we will host the semi," said the captain.

"In order to do that, we must play close to our best game (of the T20 Challenge) against the Titans on Friday at Newlands.

"A key factor in the past five games is that the attack is taking responsibility as a unit.

"In Wednesday's game against the Knights, Dane Paterson captured two wickets with successive balls and that changed the game on its head.

"Ferisco has been a revelation as a death specialist. He stayed as calm as possible and has executed his death bowling-skills," said Duminy.

The Cobras have captured 18 wickets in the power plays and death overs in their four wins - an indication of their magnificent bowling form.

Probed about that, Duminy said the attack has been well led by Rory Kleinveldt, who has received two 'Deliverer of the Match' accolades, and Vernon Philander, Paterson and Adams have all been extremely instrumental in the death overs.

Duminy was not entirely happy with the way the lower order unravelled and lost steam in the final eight or nine overs against the Knights on Wednesday as the Cobras finished on 156 for nine.

He said substantial partnerships will be pivotal in order to achieve wins against the Titans.

"If we secure partnerships of 75 runs or more, those would be the kind of contributions that will help us win matches," he said.

The Cobras secured the match spoils on Wednesday against the Knights partially thanks to Adams' heroics, but Paterson was phenomenal, capturing 4 for 24.

Earlier in the campaign, Kleinveldt took 4 for19 against the same foes while Philander was superb with the bat in support of Duminy.

"In these remaining matches, it is being aware of the stage of the game you are in and performing your roles by making the best of your skills sets," Duminy added.

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Multiply Titans v Warriors, Centurion 18:00
Thursday, 14 December 2017
Hollywoodbets Dolphins v WSB Cape Cobras, Durban 18:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
TBA v TBA, TBA 18:00
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