CAPE TOWN. – It was a disappointing performance by the Buildnat Cape Cobras against the Multiply Titans at PPC Newlands. Quite a few players will have to do soul-searching about their failures, said Ashwell Prince, assistant coach of the hosts.
He was approached after the Titans romped to a win by an innings and 50 runs at PPC Newlands in the Sunfoil Series clash between the defending champions and the Buildnat Cape Cobras.
The Cobras scored 235 runs in their first innings and 115 in the second as the leg-spinner Shaun von Berg finished with a match-haul of 10-113 for the Centurion-based visitors.
Prince was impressed by the effort from Stiaan van Zyl who struck 65 and an unbeaten 32 against the Titans.He added that the stylish top-order batsman could have capitalized on one of his half-centuries the past three games. He struck 83 against the VKB Knights and 65 against the Titans.
The former South African middle-order champion said all the players and members of the management staff need to accept responsibility for the defeat and look in the mirror.
“I believe 99 percent of the game is mental, and obviously, after a string of defeats, the team will be low on confidence.
“But the only thing a cricketer requires, is opportunity. There is only one place where you can remedy things, and that is not in the board room, in the change room or the nets. You must go and fix it in the middle,” Prince said.
Prince has an intimate knowledge of how to transform adversity into triumph. In the 2008/2009-season, he was side-lined by injury and when he was set to return to the national team, he was initially overlooked for the home series against Australia.
When he was finally inserted for the third test at Newlands, Prince was told by the chairman of selectors that he will have to open the innings for South Africa because there was no other slot available.
Prince was in unfamiliar territory. He had to face the hostile Mitchell Johnson, armed with the new ball. But he responded by striking 150, one of the highlights of his glittering test career.
Prince implied that one or two players might find themselves under pressure after some low scores for the Cape Cobras, “Remember, there are some good players currently not in the Buildnat Cape Cobras squad. Pieter Malan has completed two double tons, and he is knocking on the door,” he said.
The assistant coach said Justin Ontong looked good while he was there with his 45 in the first innings against the Titans. He brings a wealth of experience to the team and he could be a key factor for the rest of the season.
The Cobras are in desperate need of a win against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at Boland Park in Paarl as the fifth Sunfoil Series match of the season offers them an opportunity to break their duck of wins and kick-start something special.(The match starts on Thursday 3rd November).
The Cobras, winner of 10 trophies the last eight season and arguably one of the two domestic trend-setters in the 21th century (the other being the Titans) are too good a team to just fade and wither.
Therefore an inspirational performance at Paarl against the Dolphins might just be the tonic they require to transform a below-part start into something special.