Prince plays down Cobras flying start

Ashwell Prince (Gallo Images)
Ashwell Prince (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince has refused to get carried away with their flying start to the season, warning that the season is still in its infancy ahead of the round four 4-Day Domestic Series meeting with the Dolphins starting in Cape Town on Monday.

The hosts will enter the game top of the table having won three out of three matches so far. They are undoubtedly the form team in the country and have proved it with an outstanding victory over champions the Titans this past week.

"We're obviously happy with the start to the season having won the three games," Prince said. "But it's still early in the season and there’s other teams also playing good cricket.

"If you look at the (Highveld) Lions they've got two from three, so it's very much early doors and we take it one game at a time."

The Cobras' good start has put them on a strong 75.52 points thus far, a whole 21.54 points clear of the Lions (53.98) in second. The next best side, the Warriors, are more than 10 points further back on 42.54.

In contrast, the Dolphins are bottom of the table - winless after losing two out of their three matches.

However, Prince remains coy about their prospects at Newlands. "It's very pleasing the way the guys have started and we’re expecting every game to be a tough test," he says. "I don't think there's any easy opposition, like I said before.

"So come next week we need to start again from scratch and we’re expecting a tough match with the Dolphins."

The visitors will be kicking themselves after blowing a golden chance to gain that first win when they went down to the Warriors in Durban during round three. They were in a winning position needing 199 for victory at the start of the final day, before a massive collapse of eight for 32 led to a heavy 93-run loss.

It left coach Grant Morgan bitterly disappointed.

"I was devasted in the sense that we started the season so well against the Titans, which in a way kind of built on last season," he said. "I think last year was disappointing, but we showed a lot of resilience and we were still in it going into the last game.

"We lost just one game and the winning team lost one game, so we'd shown how we’d become a resilient team and then this loss to the Warriors on the back of another one to the Knights the previous match.

"It's massively disappointing and the first time in my tenure at the Dolphins where we seem to have gone backwards in a format. It's a difficult pill to swallow and I take responsibility for it."

Morgan hopes there will be a reaction come Monday, adding: "We have to try and be positive ahead of next week and for me the positives are how we dominated the last two games.

"We were on top of the Knights for probably 60 to 70 percent of the game and then against the Warriors was probably 85 percent. So we need to make sure we can capitalise on this."

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