About the Match
With 27 points in their kitty, Warriors are placed 2nd on the table just 2 points away from the top spot and will try to surge ahead when they meet Cobras, who are placed third with 17 points, on 9th December at Port Elizabeth. Both teams come here at the back of a win and will fight hard to keep their winning momentum going. While Warriors defeated Dolphins by 7 wickets, the Cobras registered an emphatic victory against Knights by 8 wickets to inch closer to the playoffs; the upcoming contest is crucial for both sides and we are surely going to see lot of entertaining cricket.
Chasing 216 runs against Dolphins, all-rounder JJ Smuts put up a power-packed performance, scoring an unbeaten 107 off just 58 balls; Colin Ingram and middle-order batsman Christiaan Jonker supported well with 55 and 36 runs respectively and steered the team across the finish line with one over to spare. Smuts, Ingram, Jonker and Ackermann have been consistently getting the runs on board, and they will look to stabilize the innings whether batting first or during a chase on Friday.
Against Lions, they failed horribly while chasing a modest target of 158 runs; Ingram was the top-scorer with 47 off 28 while Jonker and Andrew Birch tried to revive the innings with their heroic batting. However, with others like Smuts, Ackermann and Cloete dismissed for single digits, they fell short by a meagre 5 runs. Earlier, the combined force of their bowling skills helped contain the Lions to 157 but the batting was lacklustre, leading to a shocking defeat.
The team has spinners like Smuts, Ackermann and Ingram, who have been instrumental in picking up regular wickets; speedsters like BD Walters, Sisanda Magala and Andrew Birch have wreaked havoc on many opponents and can bring all their firepower here once again.
The Cobras have a strong batting outfit with players like Richard Levi, JP Duminy, Kieron Pollard and Wayne Parnell who can come out all guns blazing. Against Knights, they chased down 147 runs with ease in less than 15 overs as Levi posted a well-made 58 while Parnell and Pollard contributed with 30+ runs each. Fast bowlers Parnell, Pollard, Rory Kleinveldt and Dane Paterson have been regularly taking wickets and they can be a tough nut to crack here. Spinners George Linde and Serame add depth to the attack, and use their variations to outwit the Warriors in the upcoming match.
Against Dolphins recently, Kleinveldt took 3-31 while Serame took 2 scalps but they all gave away too many runs; chasing 179 runs, Richard Levi built a good foundation scoring 54 off 31 while Dane Vilas and Pollard kept their cool to steer the team safely home with 8 balls to spare. They have proven to be a strong contender for the title this season and will leave no stone unturned to win.
When they met Warriors previously, spinners Linde and Serame had taken 5 wickets between them to stifle the opponents while Kleinveldt was brilliant with 2-16 that helped them win the match by 12 runs. They have good resources with bat and ball to repeat the winning performance again.
Although Warriors enjoy a superior standing and net run rate when compared to the Cobras, Cobras are enjoying a newly gained confidence. We feel that the Warriors have a psychological advantage of being ahead and having performed better in the competition so far.