Pitch the ball up, test batsmen’s defences and produce big partnerships – that is at the core of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras’ renaissance this season, says Dane Piedt, the skipper, about the 4 Day Franchise Series match against the VKB Knights at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein from Friday 4th January.

“The Knights have won two out of six matches. We respect the opposition. They have a couple of good bowlers in the  absence of Duanne Olivier, Ottniel Baartman has been good, Shadley van Schalkwyk has been solid, Ryan McLaren is experienced and Tshepo Ntuli has done well.

“Andries Gous has scored a couple of runs, Pite van Biljon, Rudi Second and Grant Mokoena have been good.”

“The approach to the match will be to have good plans, clear minds and take good catches. That is part of the success formula so far in the 4 Day competition,” says Piedt.

In 105 first-class matches played for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, he has always put his hand up and stepped up if somebody else has been injured or forced out of a match. That happened in the previous match against the Warriors when Tladi Bokako got injured.

Bokako nurses a left ankle injury and won’t make the trip to Bloemfontein.

Piedt says one of the reasons why the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras are second on the table in terms of batting bonus points scored with 22.18, has been the Malan brothers, Janneman and Pieter, who occupy two of the three top spots in the run scorers list.

He added that they owe their 24 bowling bonus points to Bokako and Dane Paterson who are in the top-five list of bowling averages in the competition.

Ashwell Prince, coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, said Bokako has been a brilliant signing, while Paterson is a bowler of test match quality, and Piedt is at the summit of the wicket-takers list. These three bowlers have been the mainstays for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

“Mthiwekhaya Nabe produced his best bowling in an innings for the Cobras in the first innings against the Warriors,” said Prince.

Lizaad Williams returns to the squad for the clash against the VKB Knights. “Every time he has played for us, he has produced 120%,” said Piedt.

Aviwe Mgijima also returns to the squad of thirteen.

Prince said the rest of the batting order have also contributed brilliantly so far this season. David Bedingham scored a century in only his second match for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras and Jason Smith produced a 90-odd against the Multiply Titans, while Kyle Verreynne has also richly contributed.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras won’t suffer from complacency despite the healthy lead at the summit of the table. That is because of the nature of the point system and the massive swing if one team wins and gets 16 points, while any beaten opponent walks away with zero (apart from batting and bowling bonus points).

So don’t expect the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras to be complacent or suffer from a lack of intensity against a good team. “You have to start from scratch and earn the right to get a lead in every match,” Prince concluded.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad is: Dane Piedt (capt), Janneman Malan, Pieter Malan, David Bedingham, Aviwe Mgijima, Jason Smith, Kyle Verreynne, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Lizaad Williams, Dane Paterson, Simon Khomari, GF Linde, Zubayr Hamza