Tuesday, 08 December 2015

THE Sunfoil Dolphins will welcome Kevin Pietersen back into their side for the RAM SLAM T20 play-off against the Cape Cobras at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Wednesday, but coach Lance Klusener is clear that Pietersen’s return is no guarantee of success.
Pietersen played the first half of the campaign for the Dolphins and was absent for the second, and the impact he made is easily measured.
Despite playing only five games, the former England star is still second on the run-scoring charts with 364 runs – just 61 behind Quinton de Kock, who played all 10 games for The Unlimited Titans.
Perhaps more telling is the fact that the Dolphins won their first four games of the tournament, but once Pietersen departed they went four games without a win until finally beating the Cobras last Friday.
The hope for the Dolphins now is that they have turned the corner after their horror run.
“Holding fingers and thumbs, I’d like to think so,” said coach, Lance Klusener. “The way we went about winning was good. The way we bowled was again excellent so I’m pretty happy.

“With Pietersen back we have some quality individuals. We just need to understand that just because he’s back doesn’t guarantee everything. That’s important.”

Barring the addition of Pietersen, the Dolphins haven’t made any changes to the squad that beat the Cobras, who have been dealt yet another blow.

Paul Adams’ side have endured a tournament filled with injuries and non-availabilities, and their poor luck continued when Justin Kemp went down with pneumonia.

Omphile Ramela has been brought into the squad in Kemp’s place, and Adams is confident that the Cobras will still have enough bowling options without the all-rounder, even if they will miss his experience.

A testing campaign saw the Cobras win five and lose five, and what will be most disconcerting is that they lost both of their games last week.

“The way we’ve played we do come into this game as underdogs,” reflected Adams. “We scraped through this one, but that is in the past. It’s all one-off games where the best team on the day makes it through.

“We’re two games away, and we’ve got to make it click under pressure. We’ve identified a few things that have added to our inconsistency and we’ll keep working on that. The guys have just got to back themselves on the field.”

The play-off gets underway at 6pm and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 2. Thursday has been set aside as a reserve day in the event of a washout.

CAPE TOWN. – Justin Kemp contracted pneumonia and won’t make the trip to Kingsmead, but the Cape Cobras do possess a manifesto for dominance against the Sunfoil Dolphins and have a battle plan to remove the world-class batsman called KP cheaply in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge semi-final play-offs on Wednesday.

Paul Adams, the Cape Cobras coach, said the all-rounder Kemp had flue, but has now developed full-blown pneumonia and he might be out for almost a month.

The middle-order batsman Lesiba Ngoepe has made a miraculous recovery from an ankle injury and will be available for the semi-finals, Adams added.

There is a new spirit in the Cape Cobras camp. The group was dejected after their loss to the Sunfoil Dolphins, but after the Warriors’ defeat to the bizhub Highveld Lions, the squad was rejuvenated and it was evident in a high octane practice at PPC Newlands on Monday.

The Dolphins boast the presence of several match-winning batsmen including Kevin Pietersen, David Miller and Morné van Wyk.

“It is about knowing the zones in which they are strong and less prolific and focusing on the areas in which they least want the ball to be bowled,” said Adams.

“We must execute our plans perfectly on the day,” he added.

Pietersen is at the summit of the list of batting averages in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge (121.33), with the Cape Cobras opener Wayne Parnell second on the same list.

When the two met previously, Parnell came out on top as he captured four for 20 to set up the Cape Cobras win at SuperSport Park.

That win coincided with a mid-season slump for the Dolphins.

“I think we have had a bit of an up and down season, especially in the middle period.

“We need to be more positive in the middle period with the bat,” Adams added.

He said Parnell and Richard Levi are two openers who can take the game away from the opposition to all parts of the ground.

The ideal is for them to continue after the conclusion of the power play, he added.

A sporting bonanza which will feature the MTN8 Champions, Ajax Cape Town, Santos, the DHL Stormers and the Cape Cobras is set to thrill the PPC Newlands crowd on 15th December with T20-cricket served as main course.
 
The DHL Stormers and the Cape Cobras will resume their battle for T20-supresmacy in The WeChat Newlands Challenge on 15th December at 6pm after an absence of three years.
 
Ajax Cape Town, recently crowned MTN8 Champions by beating Kaizer Chiefs in the finals, will meet Santos in a 6-over per side cricket match starting at 4pm.
 
It will provide fans with an enticing hors d’oeuvres for the T20-match at 18:00. The gates for the clash between the soccer stars will open at 3pm.
 
This Cape-derby has been part of the football tradition in the City of Cape Town for many years, with some truly thrilling encounters. The first-division club recently underlined their steady progress under Zeca Marques with a 2-1 win over Ajax in a friendly match, reignited the significance of Cape Town’s biggest football derby.
 
The match between the Cape Cobras and the DHL Stormers will be a clash between South Africa’s most dominant cricket franchise and the country’s most successful rugby-franchise of the 2015 Super Rugby season.
 
Tickets can be purchased at R40 each and it includes both games. If tickets are bought on Ticketpros using the WeChat Wallet, the purchaser will receive R80 back into the WeChat Wallet! (T&C’s apply). Seating will be unreserved.
 
With the WeChat Wallet, users can electronically send cash to friends and family, just like handing cash to a friend to get you lunch or pay for coffee or a drink at the bar.
 
Information of up to three chip and PIN debit or credit cards, which are verified by Visa and MasterCard security systems, can be saved in the WeChat Wallet.
 
Cards can also be used to Cash In and increase your wallet’s cash balance, pay for services on WeChat such as airtime, electricity, food or pay SnapScan merchants.
 
“The idea originated with the rugby- and cricket stars as a means to get their friends and family together, but it has since evolved into one of the most richly entertaining T20-events in the country.
 
Now we have also added some of our beloved soccer neighbours and we are confident this will be a knockout-concept with long-term prospects,” said Jasmiena Davids, the Marketing Manager of the Western Cape Cricket.
 
“There will be a charity element in the game. The player of the match will receive R5000,00, which he can donate to a charity of his preference,” Davids added.
 
The Cape Cobras won 10 titles the past seven seasons including the coveted Ram Slam T20 Challenge in 2014/2015 and have qualified for the play-off RAM Slam T20 competition Wednesday, 9 December vs the Sunfoil Dolphins, Durban.
 
The Stormers finished at the summit of the South African conference-log in the Super Rugby 2015-edition, the third time in five years. They were beaten finalists in 2010.
 
“We welcome the opportunity to rub shoulders and spend some fun time on the favourite PPC Newlands turf against the DHL Stormers, who will have some famous Springboks in their ranks,” said Nabeal Dien, Chief Executive Officer of Western Cape Cricket.
 
“Over the course of the next three months, four internationals will be hosted by PPC Newlands, and these duels between the cream of the crop in local soccer, rugby and cricket will offer our die-hard supporters the opportunity to wet their appetite for the clashes against England and Australia,” Dien added.
 
How to pay via WeChat Wallet
1) Open WeChat
2) Tap on Me and select Wallet
3) Tap on Get Started to register your wallet
4) Tap on Cards and add your card
5) Tap on Use SnapScan and scan the QR code on the TicketPro payment page to pay for your tickets
 
Terms & Conditions
• Tickets for this event costs R40 per person. If the user pays via WeChat Wallet they will receive R80 paid back into their WeChat Wallet – irrespective of how many tickets were purchased.
• The rebate offer is limited to one R80 rebate per unique WeChat Wallet user.
• The QR code on the TicketPro payment must be scanned via the WeChat app not the Snapscan app to receive the rebate.
• Money rebated to the user’s WeChat Wallet can be used to pay for food & drinks at participating stadium vendors at the event, transferred to a friend on WeChat or cashed out at a Standard Bank ATM or selected retailers.
• To register a WeChat Wallet, users need to be 16 years or older and have a South African ID number.
• WeChat Wallet is only available on Android and iOS devices
 
Follow @wechatza #WeChatWallet for more info and your Western Cape Sporting starts: @THESTORMERS @ajaxcapetown @thepeoplesteam .

 

CAPE TOWN. –  A more explosive and belligerent approach to the problematic middle-overs is imperative if the Cape Cobras want to grab the semi-final life-line given to them by the match-winning exploits of the leg-spinner Eddie Leie, said Salieg Nackerdien, assistant coach of the Cape Cobras.

The Cobras, the defending champions in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge, reached the play-offs against the Sunfoil Dolphins on Wednesday, courtesy of a magnificent 4-32 by the South African leg-spinner Leie, who ripped through the Warriors lower order by taking his four wickets after leaking 16 runs in his first over for the bizhub Highveld Lions at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.

The bizhub Highveld Lions beat the Warriors by 21 runs to deny the Eastern Cape franchise a place in the semi-final play-offs. If the Warriors had won, they would have advanced to the semi-final. If they had beaten the hosts by a bonus point, they would have hosted the play-offs at St. George Park on Wednesday.

But they faltered with the bat after restricting the Lions to 127 for nine.

The Cobras had to rely on the Lions to do them some favours and the Highveld team responded thanks to the exploits of Leie, Dwaine Pretorius and their 150 km/h pace merchant Hardus Viljoen.

“We are two wins away from the title. We cannot dwell on the past. The team that pitches up playing with composure, will win it,” said Paul Adams, the overjoyed Cape Cobras coach.

“We need to play clever cricket with the experience we have got, be calm and put our hands up,” said Adams.

The Cobras won the Ram Slam T20 Challenge last season partially thanks to a magnificent all-round performance by Kieron Pollard, who averaged 81 with the bat and took 13 wickets in grand style.

He was ruled out of the remainder of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge due to a knee injury midway through this season’s T20-domestic showpiece.

“Hopefully Justin Kemp can recover from his illness and use his experience (as substitute for Pollard),” Adams said.

The big all-rounder Kemp could not represent the Cobras in the match against the Dolphins on Friday due to flue and he was still in bed on Sunday.

Nackerdien said the Cobras have not been smart enough in the middle periods and it has been a damning factor throughout their campaign, as they have batted at an average of five or six an over after bright starts, which is not sufficient to set a competitive target or chase down significant totals.

“When you have an aggressor and a partner who rotates the strike with him, you have to be smart. The accumulator must also bury the bad delivery while the aggressor must continue his adventurous approach. We have faded in the middle periods and we need to rectify this,” he added.

The Cobras have managed only four half-centuries throughout the campaign, which have compounded their efforts to reach the play-offs.

“But we have been handed a life-line and now we need to play that perfect game in the semi-finals,” said Nackerdien.

The Cobras players meeting on Monday at PPC Newlands will revolve extensively around their approach in the middle.

If they can rectify their poor batting after flying starts from Richard Levi and Wayne Parnell, they will be traveling to Centurion for the Ram Slam T20 Challenge on Saturday, and not the Dolphins.

 

A sporting spectacular awaits Western Cape sporting fans in the WeChat Newlands Challenge on 15 December when Ajax CT takes on Santos in a 6-over per side innings starting at 4pm AND the Cape Cobras clash with the DHL Stormers in a T20 match at 6pm at PPC Newlands.

Be early and meet all your sporting stars in ONE venue on the 15th! Gates open at 3pm.

Ticket sales will open today (Saturday) at 9am. Details of the two games at PPC Newlands are as follows:

i) Ajax CT vs Santos FC, 4pm [gates open at 3pm]
ii) DHL Stormers vs The Cape Cobras, 6pm

Tickets for both game costs ONLY R40 and if purchased on the TicketPro website or at the PPC Newlands ticket office using the WeChat Wallet, the purchaser will recieve R80 back into their Wechat Wallet to spend within the stadium at participating vendors. (T&C‘s apply)

Howzat for value?! 4 teams, 2 matches at 1 venue PLUS get R80 in your WeChat Wallet to spend within the stadium, so download WeChat today to score.

Follow @wechatza on twitter and use the hashtag ‪#‎wechatwallet‬

How to pay via WeChat Wallet

1) Open WeChat
2) Tap on Me and select Wallet
3) Tap on Get Started to register your wallet
4) Tap on Cards and add your card
5) Tap on Use SnapScan and scan the QR code on the TicketPro payment page to pay for your tickets

Terms & Conditions
• Tickets for this event costs R40 per person. If the user pays via WeChat Wallet they will receive R80 paid back into their WeChat Wallet – irrespective of how many tickets were purchased.
• The rebate offer is limited to one R80 rebate per unique WeChat Wallet user.
• The QR code on the TicketPro payment must be scanned via the WeChat app not the Snapscan app to receive the rebate.
• Money rebated to the user’s WeChat Wallet can be used to pay for food & drinks at participating stadium vendors at the event, transferred to a friend on WeChat or cashed out at a Standard Bank ATM or selected retailers.

 

MORNE VAN WYK chose the perfect time to return to form as his unbeaten half-century guided the Sunfoil Dolphins to an eight-wicket win over the Cape Cobras at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead to seal their place in the RAM SLAM T20 play-off.

Van Wyk had managed just 52 runs in his previous five innings as the Dolphins failed to register a victory, but a controlled 60 not out from 52 deliveries provided the platform required for the hosts to chase down a target of 143.

The victory lifted the Dolphins back into second place on the table with 22 points, putting them in prime position to host Wednesday’s play-off.

While the Cobras are currently still third with 20 points, they could be overtaken by the Warriors if they beat the Lions on Sunday. The Warriors, who have 18 points, could even earn a home play-off if they win that game handsomely. This match will be shown live on SS2.

The Dolphins’ victory was underpinned by two spells of good bowling – the first at the top of the innings when the pacemen dismissed Richard Levi and Andrew Puttick in the first seven balls, then later on when Keshav Maharaj (2 for 21 in four overs) and Cameron Delport took pace off the ball and squeezed the Cobras.

Wayne Parnell contributed 27 after opening the batting with Levi, but the fall of wickets meant Justin Ontong was forced to anchor the innings with a slow knock of 34 from 46 balls before Robin Peterson (35 not out from 22 balls) and Rory Kleinveldt (17 from eight balls) added 39 in the last three overs.

Nevertheless a total of 142 for seven looked on the short side, and Van Wyk and Delport (39) ensured that the Dolphins had a strong foundation when they put on 69 for the first wicket.

That partnership was ended by Peterson in the 10th over, and the Cobras were given a glimmer of hope when David Miller fell for 10.

But Jonathan Vandiar underlined his striking abilities with an unbeaten 34 from just 12 balls, as the Dolphins cruised to victory with eight deliveries to spare.

RICHARD LEVI has provided a welcome boost to the Cape Cobras ahead of their crucial encounter with the Sunfoil Dolphins at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead after he was given the all-clear by a neurologist.

 

Levi suffered a mild concussion after taking a blow to the temple while fielding last weekend, but recovered swiftly and showed no ill effects during a 40-minute session of throwdowns at PPC Newlands on Wednesday.

 

As such he has been passed fit to play in Friday’s televised affair – a major fillip for the Cobras as they look to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Warriors on Wednesday.

 

Despite that result, the Cobras remain second on the table and can seal a home play-off by beating the Dolphins, who currently trail them by two points.

 

Having shot out of the blocks like an Olympian sprinter, winning their first four games in the competition, the Dolphins have subsequently hit a wall and find themselves crawling towards the finishing line.

 

Despite that, they could still earn a home play-off if they beat the Cobras and have other results go their way.

 

“It has been difficult,” admitted coach, Lance Klusener. “I think we’ve been pretty hard on ourselves and taken some of the losses a bit personally.

 

“But we’re still in a position to qualify and the nice thing is that qualification is still in our own hands. We’re upbeat about that, but we’re not shying away from the fact that we need to lift our game.”

 

The Dolphins have added Sibonelo Makhanya to their squad for the game, which will be broadcast live on SuperSport 2.

HEAD TO HEAD – Sunfoil Dolphins v Cape Cobras

 

Matches Played                21

Dolphins Win                   09

Cobras Win                       11

Tie                                     01

No Result                          00

 

MATCH STATS (RAM SLAM T20) SUNFOIL DOLPHINS CAPE COBRAS
Highest Score 177/5 (Durban 2006/2007) 191/4 (Durban 2008/2009)
Lowest Score 88 (Durban 2004/2005) 116/7 (Cape Town 2009/2010)
Highest Individual Score 62* Devon Conway (Durban 2010/2011) 92 Herschelle Gibbs (Durban 2008/2009)
Best bowling in a match 4/25 Mthokozisi Shezi (Paarl 2011/2012) 5/17 Vernon Philander (Cape Town 2009/2010)

Michael Owen Smith

CAPE TOWN. – “If it is not broken, why fix it. I would like to continue opening,” said Wayne Parnell, batting hero of the Cape Cobras in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge. He was speaking ahead of the crucial Ram Slam T20-match against the Sunfoil Dolphins at Kingsmead on Friday that will decide whether the Cape Cobras host the semi-final play-offs at PPC Newlands or not.

If the visitors win, they will in all probability be at their home fortress for the play-offs. If they lose, they will have to rely heavily on other teams doing them some favours.

Parnell slammed an unbeaten 73 off 61 balls in a 12-run loss against the Warriors at Buffalo Park in East London on Wednesday as an opener. In his past two Ram Slam T20 Challenge matches, he struck 172 runs at the top of the order.

Therefore he wants to continue  to face the new ball for the Ram Slam T20-match against the Dolphins in Durban. There are three other potential openers available. They are Richard Levi, Andrew Puttick and Keegan Petersen.

As a fast bowler, Parnell has been a revelation and he could have been the man of the match on Wednesday, but Jon-Jon Smuts was dropped at wide long-on off Parnell in a critical moment. “I think that was the turning point. Because Smuts went on to score another 15 runs after that.

“If we had removed him there, they would have scored 135 and not 153 for eight. I always thought a score of 150 would be tricky and we would have needed a couple of big overs to reach it,” Parnell said.

He added it was difficult for batsmen to get in on that surface. Following a 46-run partnership between Parnell and Justin Kemp, the lower middle-order faded and failed to add the big boundaries needed to get the visitors over the line.

One of the Cape Cobras’ main challenges this season has been the form of their top- and middle order. Parnell is averaging 61, while Levi has slammed 226 runs at an average of 32.28 and Puttick has compiled 236 at an average of 26.22.

The rest of the support crew have battled to make an impact. It caused the Cobras’ demise on Wednesday, as the boundaries largely dried up after the 15th over when Parnell was not facing the music.

“Throughout my career as a young player, I batted up the order and I was able to score runs on both sides of the wicket,” he said.

Parnell said he was extremely happy with the quality of his bowling right now, and says one of his aims is to reach 150 kilometres per hour consistently.

Asked about his swing, Parnell said one don’t see too many bowlers around the world swinging it, because the balls itself stop swinging.

People look at statistics, but they don’t always watch the matches. “Jon-Jon Smuts was dropped off my bowling on Wednesday, and against the Lions, Dwaine Pretorius was dropped twice off me, so my figures could have been much different,” he added.

Paul Adams, the Cape Cobras coach, said about the painful defeat: “We just loss the game in a few key moments. We all know what we need to do to pick it up from here.”

The Cape Cobras squad for the match against the Sunfoil Dolphins at Kingsmead is: Justin Ontong (capt), Lizaad Williams, Dane Paterson, Andrew Puttick, Wayne Parnell, Keegan Petersen, Justin Kemp, Lesiba Ngoepe, Richard Levi, Robin Peterson, Siya Simetu, Rory Kleinveldt, Mthokozisi Shezi., SA Engelbrecht.

CAPE TOWN. – The belligerent Cape Cobras opener Richard Levi has made a significant recovery following a freak injury in the field and a blow against the temple, and is on course to represent the Cape Cobras in their final Ram Slam T20 Challenge match of the league phase against the Sunfoil Dolphins at Kingsmead on Friday.

The 27-year old, nicknamed The Bear, spent an evening under supervision in hospital following an injury while fielding when a throw from the boundary hit him against the head.

“If Andrew Puttick did not warn me beforehand, it could have been worse, but it was diagnosed as mild concussion.

“The doctors were just concerned there is a delayed effect, and therefore they kept me in hospital,” he said.

Levi had some throw-downs with Dieter Swanepoel and his team-mate Beuran Hendricks on Wednesday for about 40 minutes at PPC Newlands, and he showed no side-effects of the injury.

He was also examined by a neurologist as well as a medical doctor to ensure he is ready for action the past few days.

Levi said there won’t be any psychological or physical damage, and he feels fine.

The impact of Levi on a Ram Slam T20 Challenge match cannot be ignored, as he struck 392 runs in the campaign last year and also smashed a century in the final of the Momentum One Day Cup competition in 2014/2015.

He has struck two half-centuries in each competition this season, but has lamented the fact that he has not capitalized enough on flying starts to score big 80’s or even a century.

Levi might be given the perfect opportunity to prepare himself for the semi-final play-off match in style if he is selected for the final league-match against the Sunfoil Dolphins at Kingsmead.

Currently, the Dolphins are without a pace merchant of international class and they rely heavily on their medium-paced bowlers and spinners to inflict damage.

CAPE TOWN. – Die-hard fans of the Cape Cobras (they have a licence to thrill) and James Bond (he’s got a licence to kill) will have a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet both and mingle with the members of the Cape Champions at Cine Prestige at Cavendish Square on 5th December.

Spectre, the 24th James Bond-film produced by Eon Productions and featuring Daniel Craig in the lead role as the British agent, will be screened and supporters who would want to rub shoulders with their cricketing heroes, will have an opportunity if they arrive at 18h30.

Tickets can be purchased at Ster Kinekor Cavendish at R120 per ticket. Consumers can also buy tickets off the Ster- Kinekor website

Craig won’t be there in person (which would leave many of his female supporters slightly demoralized).

Yet, most members of the Cape Cobras team that has won so many friends and endured themselves to thousands with their explosive brand of cricket which ensured 10 domestic titles in the last seven seasons, will be at Cavendish to watch the latest Bond-film and spend some popcorn and chatter with their faithful supporters.

The Cape Cobras are currently at the summit of the Momentum One Day Cup series, and third in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge, and are in a favourable position to secure a home-semi final for the domestic T20-showpiece.

“We would like fans to secure a ticket at Cavendish and watch movies with your #ChampionsWithin!,” said Jasmiena Davids, marketing manager of the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA).