The off-spinners of the Cape Cobras could play a pivotal role in the Momentum One Day Cup match against the Dolphins at Kingsmead on Friday. Sybrand Engelbrecht is set for a recall and could slot in at number six while being given the task of challenging the left-handers of the Dolphins. Engelbrecht said the injured middle finger of his bowling hand has responded well to treatment and is almost 100 %.
In the One Day Cup match between the Dolphins and the Titans, the occasional off-spinner Henry Davids ripped through the middle-order of the Dolphins by taking three wickets in the space of eight deliveries at SuperSport Park on Wednesday. Justin Ontong, the Cape Cobras skipper, and Engelbrecht, are both more than useful as off-spinners and could be even more devastating than Davids when operating at the peak of their powers. Engelbrecht treasures the role of number-six batsman, saying it requires him to rotate the strike or accelerate according to the situation.
He says: ‘In that position, you have to assess conditions and the match situation.’ One of the best athletes in the Cape Cobras team, Engelbrecht is quick between the wickets and can also be swashbuckling at the end. In the 2014/2015-season, he averaged 37.50 with the bat. Andrew Puttick will open the innings and will also be required to take the gloves in the absence of Dane Vilas.
Rory Kleinveldt, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson and Tshepo Moreki are set to continue as fast bowlers. Vaughn Van Jaarsveld will be firmly in their sights, as the left-hander has scored 226 runs at an average of 56.50 with three half-centuries in four One Day Cup matches this season.
His superb contribution at Newlands last season put the Dolphins in a winning position, and the Cobras will be keen to remove the hard-hitting Van Jaarsveld early. Parnell, who has taken seven wickets this season, has operated with pace and intensity and his partnership with Kleinveldt is keenly anticipated. The seam bowler Mthokozisi Shezi had a slight lower back strain prior to the double-header last week against the Titans and the Knights, but has recovered fully.
The Cape Cobras will rely heavily on their top-five batsmen, with the in-form Richard Levi particularly important to get the innings off to a flyer.
The Cobras squad is: Justin Ontong (capt), Andrew Puttick, Dane Paterson, Keegan Petersen, Lesiba Ngoepe, Mtokozisi Shezi, Omphile Ramela, Richard Levi, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt, SA Engelbrecht, Tshepo Moreki, Wayne Parnell.