Sunfoil Series title up for grabs
The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras, the bizhub Highveld Lions and the Chevrolet Warriors are set to fight it out for the right to be crowned this season’s Sunfoil Series champions as the competition enters its final round of matches this week.
The Cobras are in the driving seat at the top of the table on 111.26 points while the Lions are second on 101.6 points. The Warriors are in third, on 96 points.
The Cobras end their campaign playing away against the Chevrolet Knights in Bloemfontein while the Lions travel to Port Elizabeth to play the Warriors.
There are 10 points on offer for winning a match but the title could well come down to a battle for bonus points.
Batting bonus points can be accrued during the first 100 overs of each first innings. One point will be awarded for the first 150 runs scored while 0.02 of a point will be awarded for each run scored after that.
A total of four bowling bonus points is on offer four each team if they can take nine wickets during the first 100 overs of each innings.
The equation for the Cobras is quite simple. If they win they will be champions, which will be an impressive performance considering that Cobras’ mentor, Paul Adams, is in his first season as head coach.
The Lions and the Warriors will have to win their clash and hope that the Cobras lose while not picking up too many bonus points.
The Cobras have been boosted by the news that paceman Rory Kleinveldt has been released from the Proteas to play in the match.
Adams said that it was important that his players did not get too far ahead of themselves heading into the crucial clash against the Knights, which starts on Thursday.
"It is a big moment, but the focus is on the players to make sure that they play in an environment where they can perform at their best. They have to be in a calm environment, I do not want to bring any of my nervousness to the table," Adams said earlier this week.
The Warriors may be the long-shots to clinch the title and their coach, Piet Botha, is well aware of the need for his team to not only beat the Lions but also accumulate as many bonus points as possible. The men from the Eastern Cape also need the Knights to do them a massive favour by beating the in-form Cobras.
"At the end of the day, the first innings will be of utmost importance. We need to accumulate as many batting points as possible and then dismiss the Lions within the 100 overs, and then try to win the match. It will have to be a step-by-step approach, and we must not be too attacking early on,” said Botha.
Lions coach Geoff Toyana did not pull any punches when asked about his team’s chances of winning the competition.
“It is a do-or-die game for us. We must win, and hope that the other result goes our way. The first innings will be key,” he said.