Warriors are not giving up series hopes
The Warriors will have a skip in their step when they face the Cobras in their 4-Day Franchise Series clash at Newlands starting on Monday after a superb victory in their last outing.
The third-placed Warriors whipped the Titans in East London last week and kept their very slim title hopes alive.
Coach Rivash Gobind has not given up on the title race just yet and has impressed on his team that they need to keep winning in their final three matches and then see how the other results go.
A win over the table-topping Cobras this week would certainly open the door slightly, but more so for the secondplaced Lions.
“We’re just trying to win each game now,” Gobind said.
“The Cobras are quite some way out at the front, so it’s out of our hands as to where we finish.
“But our goal remains to try to win as many of the remaining three games as possible.”
It was a close affair when the sides met in Port Elizabeth in December.
A career-best eight wickets in a marathon effort of 50.4 overs by Dane Piedt was the difference between the sides in a 37-run Cobras victory.
“We’ve had the same chat with the players as we had before the last game against them before the end of the year,” he said.
“We saw what happened there, the guys ran them pretty close even though we didn’t play very well. We are pretty confident that if we rock up in Cape Town and execute our skills over the four days like we did this past weekend, we should be able to get into a position to force a result.”
The good news for the Warriors is that quicks Sisanda Magala and Lutho Sipamla have both recovered from injury and are available for this game.
As a result, team selection will prove interesting, with experienced seamer Basheer Walters having picked up five wickets in the second innings against the Titans.
Cobras coach Ashwell Prince says his team are taking matters day by day.
“A win is 16 points, a loss is 10 points, so the 19½- point lead we have can be turned around pretty quickly if things don’t go the right way,” he said. “It’s one game at a time. “We have to approach every game the same way, starting from nought for nought and building our way into the game, whether it’s batting or bowling, and in time wrestle our way into a position of advantage in a game.
“That’s going to be the same for all three games.”
The Cobras may be without opening batsman Janneman Malan, while Zubayr Hamza is not available.
Malan faces a fitness test on a finger injury, while Hamza is in the Proteas’ setup.
Log standings after seven matches: 1 Cobras 140.04; 2 Lions 120.62; 3 Warriors 94.60; 4 Knights 91.56; 5 Titans 90.72; 6 Dolphins 71.72.