Cobras chasing elusive title

Justin Ontong (Gallo Images)
Justin Ontong (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Cape Cobras will be driven on by their failure to get across the line in last season’s RAM SLAM T20 final when they meet the Knights in the competition’s finale in front of a packed Newlands crowd on Friday night.

The Cobras lost to the Dolphins by two runs in a dramatic T20 final earlier this year, denying them what could have been a third trophy, but are set on converting that disappointment into success this time around.

"I think last season we came two runs short of a perfect season, and this is one competition that we haven’t done exceptionally well in for the last two years so we’re quite desperate to win it," captain Justin Ontong said.

"I think it’s important that each player is in the right space, because if there are any weak points they can open up in the final and you can crack under pressure.

"One key thing is that we can learn lessons from being in finals in the past," said Cobras coach Paul Adams.

Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla will both be available for the Cobras, making a team that won eight games out of 10 in the round robin stage a clear favourite.

"We’ve got the names in the team but you’ve still got to do the business on the field," said Ontong.

"It’s going to be a good spectacle tomorrow, and a good, hard game."

The Knights have not claimed any silverware since the 2007/08 season, when they won the four-day trophy as the Eagles, and last won the T20 competition back in 2005/06.

Asked whether they were underdogs for the encounter, captain Werner Coetsee said: "I think if you line up the sides against each other, they are probably slightly more experienced and have slightly better stats.

"So if you want to throw tags around then you can (say that we’re underdogs), but we don’t think too much about that.”

Both franchises have had remarkably settled sides in the competition, and each boast eight players that have taken part in every game.

Adams suggested that he would field the same XI that comfortably beat the Warriors in the Cobras’ final league game, while the only decision facing the Knights is whether they should field Dillon du Preez or Quinton Friend, who has overcome a hamstring injury.

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