It’s now or never for the Knights
Four wins in a row have pushed the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras right up the Momentum One Day Cup table and in prime position to challenge for the No 1 spot, but coach Paul Adams is not getting carried away.
The Capetonians, who have 22 points from eight games, can guarantee playoff qualification with a bonus-point win over the Chevrolet Knights at Chevrolet Park in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
They also remain the only team that can challenge runaway leaders bizhub Highveld Lions (26 points from eight matches) for an automatic place in the December 14 final.
“I think it’s more important to keep taking each game one at a time rather than look that far,” Adams responded when quizzed about topping the table. “If we can follow the little processes, those things will take care of themselves.”
The Cape Cobras crushed the Chevrolet Warriors in their last outing on Friday night when they eased to a 37-run victory.
“It was a good win once again and a good all-round performance from the side in every department,” Adams said. “It’s important now that we keep our heads down, the door is still wide open on what can happen, and just keep following the processes we have been in the last few games.”
Their recent form is a significant turnaround from the start they made to the competition when they lost three games in succession.
Adams said that “momentum” was key to changing the entire attitude of his squad. “We in a much better space than what we were two weeks ago,” he added. “It’s important that we build on that and really just stay focused and use this confidence that we’ve got to our advantage.
“Performance after performance has kept building things up for us. We’re fortunate we have had that, which has allowed us to kick on nicely.”
The Knights, meanwhile, have their backs against the wall and must win their remaining two games to have a chance of squeezing into the playoffs.
The Cape Cobras boss did warn that they had a lot to play for, with his counterpart at the Central franchise, Sarel Cilliers, admitting that they need to up their game.
“We need to play proper cricket in the next two games if we want to have a chance,” he said. “The result between the Sunfoil Dolphins and Nashua Titans (the Dolphins won by two runs) last night (Friday) opened up a little door for us to stay in the competition and we need to make sure we seize the chance.”
Cilliers, whose side is second bottom with 16 points, acknowledged that the visitors were on hot form, but said it made little difference to him.
“They’ve been playing good cricket, but our focus is on getting our basics right rather than worrying too much about them,” he added. “We want to do the right things, that’s our aim, and to execute well. If we can do that, everything else will take care of itself.”