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Cricket | Momentum One Day Cup

Successive wins put Cobras in a good space



The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras have the confidence of three successive wins to maintain their challenge for the play-off section of the Momentum One-Day Cup when they play the Chevrolet Warriors at Sahara Park Newlands on Friday.

The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras find themselves in the top three on the log but cannot be assured of reaching the play-off due to the traffic jam for places two to five on the log. The Chevrolet Warriors, however, are pretty much clutching at straws after a bad weekend which saw them suffer two heavy defeats.

Chevrolet Warriors coach Piet Botha feels that his team might just squeak into the play-off, but will need to win their remaining three matches with bonus points to have any ghost of a chance. Even then, much will depend on other results. A more realistic view from Botha is that the Chevrolet Warriors need to give of their best. “We will give absolutely of our best to win," he said. “Our recent performances have been disappointing, but we need to apply our minds to the task to finish well so we can take some form into the Sunfoil Series.” That competition resumes on 20 December.

The Chevrolet Warriors have been too inconsistent to make much of an impact on the one-day tournament. They have won just once in seven outings, but that was against the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in East London.

The Chevrolet Warriors have battled with their batting, and an injury to Colin Ingram on Sunday will put further pressure on the line-up. Colin Ackermann, a former South African under-19 player, fared well on Sunday with a useful innings of 28. He is now reaping the rewards for consistent performances in the Eastern Province amateur team.

Botha did not want to commit himself to his playing eleven for Friday, but one interesting addition to the fourteen-man squad is Christiaan Jonker. Currently playing for South Western Districts, the former North West batsmen has a useful one-day record at amateur level, with two centuries to his name. He has a reasonable average of 37, but his strike rate is a handy 92.

On the other hand, Cobras coach Paul Adams has a lot to smile about at the moment, as his team come into this match on the back of three successive wins, two of them achieved with bonus points. Even so, every match looms as a virtual quarterfinal as four teams are basically neck-and-neck in the closing stages. “It is the back end of the competition,” he said. “We have worked hard to be in the position where we can qualify for the play-off after a poor start.”

The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras middle-order batting has looked brittle, but Adams is pleased with the form in recent matches. “A good partnership between Dane Vilas and Stiaan van Zyl set up the win over the bizhub Highveld Lions, and allowed Justin Ontong to come and finish the game.”

The batsmen are all looking good at the moment, with Richard Levi in full cry. Levi is showing the ability to adapt his game to the circumstances. Lurking down at No 8 in the order is Alistair Gray, who opens the batting in the four day format. “Gray gives us a leg-spin option to complement Ontong’s off-spin. He also lengthens our batting line-up and brings more balance to the team.”

Adams is less guarded about his final selection. The Cobras are in winning form and Adams is not anticipating any changes to the team for Friday.

Things have always been close between the Cape rivals. In nineteen previous matches the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras hold a slender lead of 11-9.

Play starts at 3pm with fine weather predicted.

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