The Warriors approach a crucial last week in the Ram Slam T20 where they need to win all three of their matches, starting on Wednesday, when they host the Cape Cobras at Buffalo Park.
With just 10 points from seven games, the Warriors’ chances of making the semi-final would appear slim, but three victories – preferably with a bonus point or two – could still lift them above the third-placed Dolphins, who have 18 points, but only one game to play.
‘It’s a huge week for us, and in truth we’re looking forward to it – we’re looking forward to the challenge of having to win three out of three,’ said Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa.
‘We’ve been in a similar situation before, where we had to win five out of five to stay in the Momentum One-Day Cup. We just missed out on run-rate to the Titans on that occasion, but getting close will give us some confidence – we know we can do it again.’
After finding themselves short of bowlers who could take pace off the ball in a heavy defeat to the Titans over the weekend, Maketa confirmed that the Warriors would be drafting in another spinner for Wednesday’s game, which gets underway at 6pm and will be shown live on SuperSport 2.
While the venue traditionally suits the slower bowlers, the only change to the Cobras squad sees fast bowler Dane Paterson brought in to replace Richard Levi, who has been ruled out of the game by the concussion he suffered during Sunday’s victory over the Lions.
Fortunately a neurologist confirmed that the concussion was mild, and the Cobras are hopeful that a further assessment on Wednesday will clear the opening batsman to take on the Dolphins on Friday in a game that could decide who hosts the semi-final.
In the meantime, the Cobras will persist with Wayne Parnell at the top of the order after he stunned the Lions with a sublime 99.
Having been inconsistent in the first half of the campaign, the defending champions have won their last two games and could be building some momentum at a crucial time.
‘With two games to go we really need to hit our straps, and make sure that we not only tick our boxes in terms of batting, bowling and fielding, but also keep improving as a unit,’ coach Paul Adams said.