Cobras out to bounce back against Lions

Assistant coach Faiek Davids admits that losing the opening match of the 4-Day Domestic Series was tough on the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras but hopes for an immediate reaction when they take on the Imperial Lions in Johannesburg from Monday.

Ashwell Prince’s side suffered a tough two-wicket loss to the Momentum Multiply Titans in round one of the campaign in Cape Town this past week despite dominating for most of the game.

“Maybe it was a learning curve for us but I still feel we should have done much better especially after bowling the opposition out for 150,” Davids said. “We really should have been on the other side of that result.”

The Cobras started the game fairly well, and after the first innings, had established a lead of over 100 thanks to George Linde’s five wickets.

Kyle Verreynne’s second-innings 85 then helped the Cape side set a tough 300-plus target, which the Titans chased down thanks to fine chase centred around a Theunis de Bruyn century.

“Our batting unit didn’t fire like we did last season,” Davids added. “It was disappointing with the bat all round I feel, accept maybe for Kyle Verreynne.

“With the ball as well, the exception being George Linde, who bowled well and the youngster Ziyaad Abrahams taking his first four-day wickets, he bowled with control and showed what a workhorse he can be.

“But everyone else will feel they are better than the performances that was on show.”

Like the Cobras, the Lions also lost their opening match, but they were beaten more emphatically by the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Durban.

“It’s a quick turnaround now and we’re obviously going to try and hit back next week against the Lions at the Wanderers, so the aim is to bounce back immediately,” Davids added. “I feel we have the necessary mentality to do it, so that will be the next challenge starting on Monday.”

Meanwhile, home coach Wandile Gwavu conceded that the champions had only themselves to blame for the opening round loss in Durban.

“It’s definitely been a disappointing start for us and there’s no one to blame for it but ourselves,” he commented. “What we need to do is look briefly at the positives from the game, then quickly put it behind us and look ahead to the next one starting next week.”

The Lions, winners of the last two first-class titles, were poor with the ball in Durban, managing just four Dolphins wickets, while many of their batsmen were out playing poor strokes.

Gwavu continued: “We definitely need to improve on the way we start with the ball. I think there was a big positive in the way we started with the bat in terms of our opening batters.

“We got decent starts in the first game but then failed to capitalise on that. We were not patient enough when wickets fell and there were too many clusters of wickets, so those are things that need addressing.”

Looking ahead to the clash at the Imperial Wanderers, Gwavu added: “It’s a tough way to start for both of us, but we’ve never really worried about the other teams on how they played.

“I think we have our own problems to deal with and we’ll focus on those and try to better ourselves come Monday.”

Batsman Isma-eel Gafieldien has been included in the 14-man squad, he replaces spinner David Schierhout.

Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras Squad: Zubayr Hamza (Captain), Ziyaad Abrahams, Corbin Bosch, Nandre Burger, Tony de Zorzi, Isma-eel Gafieldien, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Pieter Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Tshepo Moreki, Onke Nyaku, Calvin Savage, Kyle Verreynne (w/k)