Two teams who are lagging behind need to step up in this week’s Sunfoil Series matches, starting Thursday.
Potchefstroom: bizhub Highveld Lions v Nashua Cape Cobras
The Cobras will undoubtedly be approaching this match with some intrepidation, remembering that the last time they met the Lions, at Newlands in mid-December, they were given a painful 213-run defeat. They also know they have to get moving after one loss and a draw from their two matches, which sees them propping up the log with just 10.66 points.
The Lions will take the lead in the series as they are just 1.54 points shy of the Titans, who are resting this weekend. And while they registered another big win against the Titans at the Wanderers, they will remember that they were less than effective against the Knights at Potchefstroom, where they were wrapped up and binned by the off-spin of Werner Coetsee.
The Cobras start with a new captain in Dane Vilas, as Justin Kemp is out with a groin injury. They are also introducing swing bowler Shaheen Khan, a new No 3 in Keegan Petersen and bringing back George Linde, who made a big impression in the T20 format.
At least they do have games in hand due to their trip to the Champions League at the start of the season, but they need to make a positive move soon if they are not to be left too far behind.
East London: Chevrolet Warriors v Sunfoil Dolphins
The Chevrolet Warriors, without a win in three attempts, know they need to step up against the Sunfoil Dolphins in a return match starting Thursday.
The Warriors have two losses and a draw, and while it is a bit early to press panic buttons, the hosts will want to bolster their meagre points tally of 17.74 which puts them in fifth place after three matches.
The two teams are familiar with each other, having played to a draw in Pietermaritzburg on December 21, a match more remembered for Imran Tahir’s spat with the umpires which saw him barred from this event.
The Warriors may feel they had the better of the Dolphins in that match and it took some gritty batting by Morne van Wyk and Khaya Zondo to stop the slide and secure a draw when they were 64 for four on the last day. This week, though, they are without Van Wyk, who has been called up to the South African T20 squad along with Kyle Abbott and David Miller, while Khaya Zondo is also unavailable.
The Dolphins certainly came right in their second match, thumping the Titans by an innings, and they have games in hand because of their Champions League commitments. They are in fourth place after two matches, less than 20 points behind front-runnning Titans.