Prince challenges players to improve at Newlands

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

Cape Town - Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince believes his team is currently just short of where they need to be and has challenged them to improve when they face the Dolphins in their latest One-Day Cup outing in Cape Town on Wednesday.

The hosts have not been too bad so far this season but have still ended up losing three of their five matches to sit second-bottom on the standings at the halfway point of the regular season.

In fact, they scored 300-plus in their last game and still ended up losing to the Imperial Lions, a loss that disappointed Prince.

"The captain (Zubayr Hamza) batted really well in the last game and was very unfortunate to be on the losing side after such and unbelievable innings (of 156)," he said. "Posting 300 on the Highveld these days is not quite enough.

"We probably fell about 20 or 30 runs short, so fair play to the Lions for chasing that down."

The Cape side have had two scores in the 270s and just one really poor showing when they made 207 in a loss to the Titans.

They are up against a Dolphins side whom they beat last time out when a score of 320 took them to victory in Pietermaritzburg.

"Now we're looking forward to tomorrow," Prince added. "We beat the Dolphins a couple of weeks ago, but they're a solid outfit.

"They've got some solid batsmen and have been playing well. They also have good balance in their bowling attack with quite a bit of spin in there.

"They're a strong side but all the teams are strong to be honest. There's no easy games and the Dolphins will be tough."

With the season now heading into the second half for the Cobras, every match is important.

"We're going to have to dig deep in these games," Prince concluded. "We can't expect any easy. There's no easy in professional sport.

"We're going to have to raise our game because at the moment we're falling just short... five or ten percent. We have to bring a little bit more tomorrow."

The Dolphins, meanwhile, find themselves top of the table after winning three out of four games.

Coach Imraan Khan admits that things have gone well, but he feels they need to try and stay focussed on the current rather than get ahead of themselves.

"It's been a good start to the campaign, the boys have played really good cricket," Khan stated. "The game in Maritzburg against the Cobras was a bit of a frustrating one for us as a team.

"We still feel the rain came at a time when we were controlling the game, but it was a good effort to get as close as we did.

"Ahead of this next one the focus remains on one game at a time, the next one being this return game against the Cobras. There's still a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead in the competition."

Cobras squad is: 

Aviwe Mgijima, Kyle Verreynne, Jason Smith, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza (captain), Janneman Malan, Mihlali Mpongwana, Thando Ntini, Rory Kleinveldt, George Linde, Dane Paterson, Nandre Burger, Jonathan Bird, Akhona Mnyaka

Dolphins squad is: 

Sarel Erwee, Grant Roelofsen, Khaya Zondo, Sibz Makhanya, Senuran Muthusamy, Marques Ackerman, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Keshav Maharaj (captain), Prenelan Subrayen, Rob Frylink, Daryn Dupavillon, Okuhle Cele, Kerwin Mungroo, Keith Dudgeon

- Cricket South Africa

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