The Buildnat Cape Cobras produced arguably their finest CSA T20 Challenge display with the bat during the entire competition to sweep aside the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in emphatic fashion while keeping their hopes alive to reach the semi-final play-off.
One twist of irony in their 181 for three in 18.4 overs to eclipse the 178 for five scored by the hosts in Durban, was that the Buildnat Cape Cobras had to reach 178 for five in the semi-final play-off against the exact same opponents last season, but stumbled and only struck 173.
They had no such problems to produce a record score this time around.
The Cobras had three expert practitioners at the crease in the latter half of the innings in Richard Levi, who struck 51, Dane Vilas, who hammered 54, and the world-class Kieron Pollard, who blasted 31.
The T20 champions of 2014/2015 also delivered an ominous warning to the VKB Knights (whom the Cobras meet at PPC Newlands on Wednesday), and the Warriors, who love to use spinners to change the pace of the game in order to bamboozle opponents.
The Warriors, arguably the form team at the moment and one point behind the Multiply Titans with 23 points after seven games, have used Jon-Jon Smuts, Colin Ackermann and Colin Ingram as their slow bowlers and they have been effective in mesmerizing the opposition.
The two teams, the Buildnat Cape Cobras and the Warriors, will clash on Friday 9th December at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
It could effectively seal the Cobras’ fate if they don’t win, but it could also derail the Warriors’ effort to host a final. The Cobras could be the ‘king maker’, deciding who hosts the final, yet, if the Cape Champions continue to perform like they did on Sunday, few could deny them the opportunity to reach the semi-final play-off.
The Cape Cobras smashed the three spinners of the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, of whom two are international slow bowlers, for 84 runs in nine overs. Imran Tahir and Keshav Maharaj suffered at the hands of Levi, Pollard and Vilas.
“Yesterday was a par-performance. It was a clinical team feat and a team performing to their potential,” said a proud Ashwell Prince, the assistant coach of the Buildnat Cape Cobras.
“I know Richard. I have played against him a lot of times. He is not only a leg-side player and he is not only a basher of the ball. He hit some beautiful straight drives and he played touch shots to third man and a reserve sweep. When he comes off he is devastating, and there is more to come from him,” Prince added.
“Dane plays with great intensity. In T20, you have to bring your intensity into the game and not wait for things to happen, and that is what Dane did with his unbeaten 54.
“This is a big week for us. The win will give the team a lot of confidence. This underlines our view that if we play to our potential we can beat any team in the country.
“We have left ourselves with a lot to do, as we need to win all our matches to reach the semi-finals, but it is in our own hands,” Prince emphasized.