Cape Town - The Cape Cobras did everything right in their last Sunfoil Series outing against the Highveld Lions over the weekend.
They made runs, they took wickets and they had their opponents on the ropes for most of the final day. But they lacked the knockout blow in Paarl, one that would have given them a first win of the competition this season.
Instead, they had to settle for an exasperating draw, which did snap a two-game losing streak, and they will be looking to build on that when they travel to St George's Park in Port Elizabeth to face the Warriors in a bottom-of-the-table clash starting on Thursday.
They have had plenty of things to work on since Sunday, according to coach Paul Adams. "We had to work very hard during that game," he says. "The bowlers were quite short and it's something we've had to work on afterwards.
"For us it's mainly been about recovering since then. We know we're on the right track and it's about following those same processes going forward, making sure we're fresh and ready come Thursday."
Adams feels there are many positives to take away from the result and hopes they can build on them in the Eastern Cape. "A draw in the game was as good as a loss, we get the same amount of points," he added. "It's important for me that we can pick it up from here and continue with that momentum."
Richard Levi is fit again after a foot injury and is expected to come into the middle-order for JP Duminy, who marked his return to form with an outstanding 260 not out at Boland Park.
While the Cobras were left frustrated by the Lions' tail - they were one wicket away from victory - their opponents, the Warriors, were thwarted by the rain.
But just like their opponents, their wash-out against the Dolphins in Pietermaritzburg, ended a two-game losing streak start to the competition. "It was frustrating what happened, but at least our bowlers got some rest and we hope that will assist us going into this game," coach Malibongwe Maketa stated.
Seamers Basheer Walters and Sisanda Magala are both carrying niggles and face late fitness tests.
Maketa is expecting a tough assignment against their Cape rivals, adding: "It's always a good challenge against the Cobras, who are a very good side. Having come so close to a victory in that game last week, they'll be determined to set the record straight."