Cape Town - Cape Cobras captain Justin Ontong has acknowledged that they “lost their heads” after losing to the Dolphins in Wednesday’s RAM SLAM T20 playoff in Durban.
Chasing 179 for victory, the Cobras were seemingly cruising into Saturday’s final against the Titans.
With opener Richard Levi blitzing 85 from just 43 balls, the Cobras went into the last five overs of their chase needing just a run a ball with seven wickets in hand to win the playoff.
Although Levi had departed by that stage, with plenty of batting to come the Cobras looked certain victors, but they went on to lose five wickets for the addition of just 19 runs to grab defeat from the jaws of victory.
Questionable shot-making from experienced campaigners like Ontong, Andrew Puttick, Rory Kleinveldt and Robin Peterson eventually proved the undoing of the Capetonians.
“We threw it away. We should have won it,” Ontong told the Cobras’ official website.
“Instead of scoring singles and rotating the strike, we attempted the big shots and paid dearly for it. We lost our heads. We were our own worst enemies in the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge playoffs.”
Ontong though vowed that the team will hit back in the four-day Sunfoil Series competition.
“We will remain positive and are committed to bounce back with a bang in the Sunfoil Series,” he said.
“We pride ourselves in our four-day campaign and want to bounce back. In February 2014, we narrowly loss to the Dolphins in the Ram Slam final, but we rallied and won the domestic four-day showpiece.
“Having said that, the loss still hurts deeply, because it was such a close encounter. I would rather lose by 60 runs than by 5.”
The Cape Cobras’ ranks have been bolstered by the return of four South African stalwarts for their opening Sunfoil Series match as Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Dane Piedt and Stiaan van Zyl will be part of the team.
Ontong said the left-arm swing bowler Beuran Hendricks might need some more first-class exposure at amateur-level before he represents the Cape Cobras in the Sunfoil Series.
Dane Paterson bowled with enormous pace and incredible control in the playoff on Wednesday and might carry on where he left off last season when he nabbed out 42 batsmen in the Sunfoil Series.