Par­nell in War­riors loan deal

Co­bras all-rounder back for his old side in Ram Slam T20 match against Li­ons tonight

The Herald (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE - Alvin Reeves reevesa@ti­soblack­star.co.za

WAYNE Par­nell will make a dra­matic and un­ex­pected re­turn to the black and lime colours of the War­riors for their Ram Slam T20 Chal­lenge match against the Li­ons in Potchef­stroom tonight.

Coach Mal­i­bongwe Maketa con­firmed yes­ter­day he had se­cured Par­nell on a loan deal from the Co­bras for the War­riors’ penul­ti­mate round-robin match.

It is not certain whether Par­nell will play for the East­ern Cape side in their fi­nal match against his own team, the Co­bras, in East Lon­don on Sun­day.

What is known, though, is that the War­riors need to win both matches to have a sniff of qual­i­fy­ing for the semi­fi­nals and Maketa said all-rounder Par­nell would add value to that cause.

“Par­nell is a good ac­qui­si­tion for us, even if it is for only one game. He knows the guys well so it is an easy fit for us,” Maketa said yes­ter­day.

Par­nell, who left the War­riors for the Co­bras two sea­sons ago, has been sur­plus to Co­bras re­quire­ments this sea­son, hav­ing played in only two of their eight matches in the cam­paign.

He has been ex­pen­sive with the ball, hav­ing bowled just fewer than five overs for 56 runs. With the bat in hand, the former Grey High star has man­aged 35 runs in his two in­nings.

Rop­ing in loan play­ers is noth­ing new to the War­riors.

Last sea­son, they had Qaasim Adams on loan from the Ti­tans and then also Tabraiz Shami early this sea­son for the same fran­chise for the Sun­foil Se­ries.

Both play­ers failed to make a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact, but Maketa is hop­ing Par­nell will buck that trend.

Mean­while, the War­riors coach said he was guard­ing his play­ers from think­ing they had noth­ing to lose in their matches this week­end.

“At the end of the day it is im­por­tant for us to re­main in a good men­tal state. Noth­ing to lose may just mean kamikaze cricket, which is not how we play,” Maketa said.

“We want to make sure that we are men­tally and phys­i­cally ready. It’s im­por­tant that we ex­e­cute our skills un­der pres­sure be­cause it is a pres­sure game.”

“They [the Li­ons and Co­bras] are two solid teams.

“We did well against the Li­ons in the first game, so we are tak­ing pos­i­tive mem­o­ries to Potch.

“It’s also a pitch that comes on and it’s some­thing we need to adapt to be­cause we’ve played on slower pitches of late.

“But we are look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge.”

Maketa ad­mit­ted the cam­paign had been tough with so many Proteas play­ers in op­po­si­tion sides.

“We’ve re­ally given it ev­ery­thing we have. We have pre­pared well and we can­not fault the play­ers’ char­ac­ter. We have come up against good teams.

“If you look back at all the scores, most of the Proteas have hurt us quite a lot.

“But it’s been a bless­ing for us in a sense be­cause it’s shown us where we need to be to get to the elite level.”

The coach also said they would not be work­ing out per­mu­ta­tions.

“For us, there are no cal­cu­la­tions. For us, it’s about pray­ing the rain stays away and we go out and win the last two games and what­ever hap­pens from there hap­pens.

“Luck­ily, we are play­ing two teams above us, which brings us into con­tention.”

Pic­ture: GOR­DON ARONS/GALLO IMAGES

HOME BOY: Wayne Par­nell will play for the War­riors tonight

MAL­I­BONGWE MAKETA

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