An improvement of 10 to 20 percent by the Buildnat Cape Cobras, top order centuries and a better strike rate with the ball in the power play, are part of Ashwell Prince’s wish-list for the two Momentum One Day Cup clashes over the next six days in Paarl which could entrench the Cobras’ position high up on the log.

The Cobras and the bizhub Highveld Lions will be at loggerheads at Boland Park in Paarl on Friday (starting time: 14:00).

The Cape champions will host the current table-topping team, the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, next Wednesday, also at Boland Park. The picturesque ground is traditionally a fortress for the Buildnat Cape Cobras.

“We have our bases covered for the match today. We might include two spinners if the conditions are dry, but if not, we have enough other fire-power with the seam bowlers,” said Prince.

The coach said the team needs to improve by 10 to 20 %.

The batsmen have performed well in their previous matches. Richard Levi has been dynamic up front, picking up two man-of-the-match-awards, while the rest of the top- and middle-order have also done well.

But Prince adds an important cautionary note. “Our opponents have struck four centuries, while we have not notched up one ton. We need to change that,” he said.

“The top- and middle-order have had opportunities to perform (and capitalize on good fifties to convert that into centuries),” he added.

He also wants the new-ball bowlers to strike more in the power play.

The Cobras have been dealt a body blow as they are without Dane Paterson and Wayne Parnell, but the hosts won’t see it that way. The primary goal of the Cobras, apart from winning trophies is to produce players who will represent South Africa, and the invaluable experience that Paterson will gain from being in New Zealand might just benefit the Cape team later in the Momentum One Day Cup competition once Pato, as he is affectionately known, is back in the Mother City for the last four games of the Momentum One Day Cup competition.

Prince said the Lions have been without experienced batting stars like Temba Bavuma and Stephen Cook, while injuries have also dented their progress. But he won’t read too much into that. “The younger players will come into the team, hungry to perform,” he said.

The form of Rory Kleinveldt and the pace and aggression of a rejuvenated Lizaad Williams could be a bonus for the Cobras. Kleinveldt captured 4-48 in his previous match.

Williams knows the Paarl wicket well and has been overlooked on many occasions due to the presence of several front-line South African bowlers in the Cobras-squad. He still will have a point to prove in front of his passionate home supporters.

Stiaan van Zyl might be an ace with the ball for the Cobras, because in slower, dry conditions, his cutters could just be a factor.

Currently, the Cobras are third on the log with seven points, three behind the Multiply Titans and six behind the Dolphins. If they strike twice in six days at Paarl, they will move closer to the top in their feverish quest to repeat their heroics of the previous three seasons in which they hosted the final.

The Buildnat Cape Cobras squad is: Dane Piedt (Capt), Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi, George Linde, Aviwe Mgijima, Justin Ontong, Keegan Petersen, Zakhele Qwabe, Omphile Ramela, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas (W/K), Lizaad Williams