The congested state of the Cricket South Africa T20 Challenge log is reflected by the following statistics: If the Buildnat Cape Cobras beat the defending champions, the Multiply Titans at SuperSport Park on Friday 25th November, and secure a bonus point, and the Warriors slump to defeat against the bizhub Highveld Lions on the same day, the Cape Cobras will move to second on the log.
That means that if they can sustain that form for the second half of the T20 Challenge, they will be in a favourable position to host the semi-final play-off match at PPC Newlands.
The fact that they started off their competition with a hat-trick of defeats, hardly means anything.
What is required of the Buildnat Cape Cobras, is focus, focus, focus, controlled aggression and more focus as well as a cohesion and joie de vivre.
The Multiply Titans possess a street-smart bowling attack who loves variation of pace, a mixture of cutters, slower-ball bouncers and Yorkers to bamboozle the opposition. And they have succeeded, which explains why they are at the summit of the log.If the Buildnat Cape Cobras’ openers can keep their heads and start solidly without being overly explosive, and then accelerate, the Cape champions are capable of scoring 180 runs or more at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Strip number six is a flat wicket and overcast conditions are expected for the match starting at 18:00 on Friday 25th November.
According to Bryan Bloy, the curator of SuperSport Park, a par-score would be 170 as there are some rainy and overcast conditions and the customary 300 or more might be a tad unrealistic to expect.
Richard Levi and Wayne Parnell are two of the most explosive opening batsmen around. Levi is not a one-match hero. His record is an impressive one, and in List A cricket he averages 35.89 with a strike-rate of more than 102.
He once hammered 117 off 51 balls with 13 sixes in an international T20-match.
In the last two T20-series, he scored 392 and 315 runs for the Cape Cobras.
Parnell has been equally impressive, striking 237 runs at an average of 47.40 in the previous season.
Parnell, Levi and Kieron Pollard hold all the aces. If they can fire simultaneously, the Buildnat Cape Cobras can move to the coveted number-two position.
That will require Dane Paterson, Rory Kleinveldt and Beuran Hendricks to use the swing on offer in overcast conditions to bamboozle the Titans.
Don’t believe for one moment that this is not possible. Just think back to 2013/2014 when Hendricks captured 28 wickets in the shortest format. He might be a tad slower than then, but he is still swinging it both ways and when he is on song, the Titans might suffer.
When the Buildnat Cape Cobras snatched their winless streak against the Warriors, the two spinners, GF Linde and Nkululeko Serame nipped out 3-23 and 2-19 respectively to secure a 12-run win. These two slow bowlers can be a major factor for the visitors again at SuperSport Park on Friday.
It was Anton Rupert, a famous billionaire, who once said: “He who does not believe in miracles, is not a realist.”
Some faint-hearted supporters of the Cape Cobras might have lost a tad of faith, but the die-hard fans are still confident that the Cobras can achieve the miraculous against the high-flying but beatable Titans.
The Cape Cobras squad is: Wayne Parnell, Andrea Agathangelou, Beuran Hendricks, Justin Ontong, Cebo Tshiki, Aviwe Mgijima, Kieron Pollard, George Linde, Rory Kleinveldt, Dane Paterson, Nkululeko Serame.