CAPE TOWN – Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince insists it his team will take it one game at a time in their pursuit of the 4-Day Domestic Series title ahead of their clash with the Warriors at Newlands in Cape Town starting on Monday.
The hosts have put themselves in pole position for the first-class title after five wins from their seven games this season.
And, with just three matches remaining in 2018/19, they lead the pack by nearly 20 points with their 140,04 points compared with the 120,62 of the second-placed Highveld Lions.
The margin is even greater from the rest of the pack with their round eight opponents the Warriors next on the list over 45 points behind on 94,60, but Prince is not prepared to put the cart before the horse.
“A win is 16 points, a loss is 10 points, so the nineteen and a half (19.5) point lead we have can be turned around pretty quickly if things don’t go the right way,” he said. “It’s one game at a time.
“We have to approach every game the same way, starting from nought for nought and build our way into the game, whether it’s batting or bowling, and in time wrestle our way into a position of advantage in a game.
“That’s going to be the same for all three games.”
The Lions did gain some ground on the Cobras in the previous round when they won their game and the Cobras were held to their first draw of the season away at the Knights.
Prince was satisfied with the way they played in Bloemfontein. “At the end of the day we have to be happy with the result,” he reflected. “It wasn’t a great pitch in terms of trying to get the result, it reminded me of last season a bit where the bat dominated the ball easily.
“So as far as that’s concerned, we just have to take our batting points and bowling points and move on.”
His approach for the Warriors remains taking it “one day at a time” in the Mother City and he may again have to go about proceedings without opening batsman Janneman Malan, with Zubayr Hamza also not available.
The former faces a late fitness test on a finger injury, while the latter was selected to play for the Proteas against Pakistan in the third Test.
Warriors coach Rivash Gobind, meanwhile, has confirmed that Sisanda Magala and Lutho Sipamla are in contention again after their recent injuries.
For the Port Elizabeth-based team, victory is essential against the log leaders if they want to keep their ultra slim title hopes alive.
“We’re just trying to win each game now,” Gobind says. “The Cobras are quite some way out at the front, so it’s out of our hands as to where we finish. But our goal remains to try and win as many of the remaining three games as possible.”
The two met in the last game of 2018 when the Warriors ran their Cape rivals close in PE and the coach is looking for an improvement on that game.
“We’ve had the same chat with the players as we had before the last game against them before the end of the year,” he added. “We saw what happened there, the guys ran them pretty close even though we didn’t play very well.
“We are pretty confident that if we rock up in Cape Town and execute our skills over the four days like we did this past weekend, we should be able to get into a position to force a result.”