The Cape Cobras are oozing with confidence after three successive wins and particularly blossomed in critical pressure moments, admitted skipper JP Duminy.
The triumphant captain spoke after the hosts’ 10-run win against the Warriors at a packed Boland Park fired them into the second place on the Ram Slam T20 Challenge log.
Asked why the Cape Cobras were able to recover so well from their stuttering start by winning their last three matches to be in a good position to host a home semi-final, Duminy said: “The second half of each innings is a huge improvement for us, as well as the way we produced in the power play without losing a wicket, were critical for us.”
The Warriors were still in a favourable position to chase down the Cape Cobras’ score of 159 for four at the start of the 17th over. Yet, Dane Paterson nipped out 3-25, Ferisco Adams took 2-38 and the veteran Rory Kleinveldt, despite a slight injury concern, captured a marvellous 1-16 to secure a 10-run win.
“If we focus ball by ball, game by game, we will give ourselves a chance towards the back-end of the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge. We have to stay composed and grounded, but the wins have been confidence boosters,” he added.
“We are still assessing the situation around the injury of Vernon Philander before Friday’s match against the Dolphins in Durban,” Duminy added.
“It was a bit of a gamble to throw GF Linde (in at number three) to take things on, but it paid off.
“He played exceptionally well. It was not just about hacking. He was very strategic (in his attacking approach while hammering 52 off 30 balls),” Duminy said.
The Cobras, who had 78 without loss after 10 overs, managed 159 for four, thanks to the contributions by Linde and Hashim Amla, who struck 52 off 36 balls.
Duminy also deserves applause for when Adams was reintroduced for the final two overs, despite coming under fire in his first two overs.
He responded when asked to bowl in the death overs by taking the wicket of Colin Ackermann and Jerry Nqolo in one over to turn the game on its head.
“Ferisco is renowned for his death bowling, with his exceptional skills-set and his variation and his accuracy with his Yorkers. It was not necessarily his best game, but this is the beauty of this game, you don’t always have to play your best game to get the job done.
“It was the confidence we got out of the game. It was not necessarily our best, but we handled the pressure moments well and played exceptional in parts of the match,” Duminy add.
“Paterson showed the hunger and desire to come back and the way he performed was a confidence booster. It is good to see him at his best,” Duminy remarked.
“Rory is a bit of a veteran and he does not need to be 100% to give 100%. He knows what he wants to do and how to execute his skills. He is a banker,” the skipper remarked.
Duminy admitted that it was not the Cobras’ best game, yet they secured a massively important win in front of a huge, enthusiastic crowd.
An area in which the Cobras might still be a work in progress is the power play. If they can even be more destructive in that period, especially between the 6th and the 10th, they will be in a strong position to propel the visitors to a convincing win against the Dolphins.
Yet, the team still improved from their 60 for two at Boland Park on Friday to 78 without loss on Wednesday, an indication that the team is making strides in the right direction.