Justin Ontong will return to lead the Cape Cobras as the Sunfoil Series strugglers attempt to overcome their first-day blues against the Warriors at Newlands and finish the competition strongly. Last season’s champions find themselves bottom of the log with three games to play and effectively out of the running for the trophy, but they can at least identify their greatest weakness in recent games. Both in last week’s defeat to the Dolphins and the victory over the Titans that preceded it, the Nashua Cape Cobras found themselves behind the eight ball after poor outings on the first day.
Ontong said: ‘Throughout the competition we’ve let ourselves down in the first innings. We know how important it is to set up a game. We’ve got a team document in place and we know what we stand for. We know how important it is to keep building a winning culture. It’s something that we don’t want to lose.’ Ontong missed the game against the Dolphins due to the birth of his second child but will be present again on Thursday, and suggested there could be some rotation in the bowling ranks. He said: ‘I think it’s been a bit taxing for us the last few weeks because we have these six games on the trot. The bowlers have taken some strain so it’s important how we rotate them and not let them get too fatigued.’
The Chevrolet Warriors will be at full strength, and while they also find themselves well behind the table-topping Lions – 38 points to be exact – their players should not want for motivation. With Davy Jacobs retiring and Colin Ingram committing himself overseas as a Kolpak player, squad places are up for grabs at a changing franchise. Malibongwe Maketa said: ‘We want to prove to ourselves that we can play right up until the last ball is delivered or the last run is scored – that’s the goal we’ve set ourselves. We’ve got young players who are grateful to be playing at this level and are looking to set a marker for their careers, so we’re challenging everyone to play up until the last day.’
HEAD TO HEAD – Cape Cobras vs Warriors
Matches Played 21
Cobras Win 11
Warriors Win 5