Cobras hope for 3rd time lucky

Paul Adams (Gallo Images)
Paul Adams (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The Cape Cobras will be hoping to win their first home final at the third time of asking when they battle the Knights for the Ram Slam T20 Challenge title at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday.

Last season, the Cobras hosted the T20 final and were beaten to the trophy by the Dolphins in the final by two runs. In the domestic One Day Cup, they were even more unlucky as the Newlands final was rained out and the Cobras shared the title with the Titans.

"Last year was a tough final, and even though we came out on the losing side it's created a desire to win this one," said Cobras coach Paul Adams on Thursday.

The Cobras won the right to host the final by winning eight of their 10 matches in the competition as they finished top of the log.

The Knights, meanwhile, took on the Lions on their home turf on Sunday at the Wanderers and came away with a comprehensive eight wicket win over the hosts in their playoff match to reach the final.

With both teams already assured of entry into the lucrative Champions League T20 competition in India next year, Knights and Proteas player Rilee Rossouw said his side would like to go one step further.

"This year it's been really special, the guys were really longing for the Champions League. But we want to take a trophy back home as well," said Rossouw.

The Cobras boast a good complement of Proteas players in their lineup and Adams said he did not foresee any major changes to his side ahead of the title decider.

"I want to keep continuity within the squad and the guys that have gone through the campaign.

"Barring some of the Proteas coming in positions where they are world class... guys like Dale Steyn, Hashim Amla and Robin Peterson combining will add some spice," said Adams.

The Cobras also have West Indian Kieron Pollard, with the best batting average (66.66) in the competition, at their disposal. Together with fast bowler Dane Paterson and spinner George Linde (joint leading wicket-takers in the competition) the Cobras can put together a powerful attack.

"At the beginning of this campaign we were faced with injuries but the young players have put their hands up which has been refreshing," said Adams.

"They've worked really hard and are now in a position where they understand their game-plan and the structure of how we want to play."

Unable to match the star-studded Cobras team on paper, Rossouw believed his team would be able to turn in one last good performance.

"The guys have been playing good cricket the whole season, and hopefully we just back ourselves in the final."

With the explosive Richard Levi at the top of the order for the Cobras, Rossouw suggested the Knights could take pace off the ball to negate the powerful striker.

"You've got Richard up top for them who is probably not the greatest player of spin. But he has changed his game around so maybe he will be expecting it."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
41% - 12324 votes
12% - 3686 votes
19% - 5594 votes
3% - 778 votes
1% - 297 votes
2% - 702 votes
5% - 1539 votes
8% - 2525 votes
3% - 1047 votes
Water sports
1% - 272 votes
American sports
1% - 384 votes
3% - 1007 votes