Justin Ontong has admitted he has a point to prove in white-ball cricket, and his determination to improve in the shorter formats in the 2017/2018 season starts at the Africa T20 Cup for Boland at Buffalo Park on Friday.

His World Sports Betting Cape Cobras colleague Simon Khomari said the Boland team playing in East London possesses the best slow bowling attack in the country and the team has the firepower to go very far.

“If we want to advance, the Cobras players must be dominant,” said the experienced Ontong.

“I have disappointed myself a bit in white-ball cricket in the past and I have not been consistent enough. I want to change that this season,” Ontong remarked.

“My form has been good. I struck 40 in the warm-up game for the WSB Cape Cobras against the Warriors,” he added.

Khomari said Ashwell Prince, the WSB Cape Cobras coach, and JP Duminy have both been magnificent in assisting him pre-season in the nets at PPC Newlands. The senior players also played a part.

“I worked with Ashwell on tightening up my technique.

“With JP, I focused more on the mind – on strengthening the self-belief that I can bat at the franchise level. I spoke to him about my own batting insecurities. It was about polishing my game up mentally,” Khomari added.

“Batting at number five in the Africa T20 Cup, my role will be to rotate the strike against the slow bowlers at Buffalo Park.

“Previously, our balance was not quite up to standard, but now it is different at the Africa T20 Cup. We have the team to go very far. Our slow bowlers are the best in the country.

“Pieter Malan will give us solidity at the top of the order and Justin will strengthen us at number four,” he adds.

Johann Louw, the Boland coach, is upbeat about the fact that Boland played in six T20 matches in the South Western Districts and Piketberg in the off-season, which gave them some exposure with the blade.

Four World Sports Betting Cape Cobras’ players, Malan, Ontong, Khomari and Lizaad Williams, also played in a pre-season warm-up game against the Warriors in Oudtshoorn.

“I am very grateful that we have Pieter, who scored 72 against the Warriors. And the experience of Justin you cannot buy,” Louw said.

The coach added that the team is blessed with all-rounders who can potentially be devastating down the order.

Ferisco Adams, the skipper, struck 615 runs last season at an average of 41 for Boland in the Sunfoil Three-Day Cup and is considered a batting all-rounder right now.

Niel Botha, an off-spinner, can hit a long ball. In his only match for Boland last season, he captured six wickets.

The left-arm spinner Simmonds was at his best for the national Academy team against Zimbabwe, blasting centuries in both a four-day match and in a List A match.

Simmonds was Boland’s leading wicket-taker in the previous season, capturing 34 wickets in eight three-day matches.

“I think we have all the basis covered. We have three spinners in the squad in conditions that can assist the slower men,” Louw said.

Serame Mafinki, an off-spinner, is in the mix with Simmonds and Botha to be in the starting line-up.

“I cannot say enough how much potential spinners like Botha and Simmonds have,” Louw added.

Williams, who grew in stature as a Cape Cobras’ fast bowler last season, Adams, Ziaad Abrahams and Zakhele Qwabe will carry the new ball.

Adams will open the batting with Malan. The latter is in excellent form, but Adams will be entrusted with the responsibility of getting Boland off to a rollicking start.

Botha and Simmonds will only slot in at seven or eight.

Boland starts their campaign in Pool D on Friday 15th September at 13:00 at Buffalo Park in East London against Border.

It is followed by a clash with KwaZulu-Natal Inland at 09:30 on Saturday 16th September. Their last round-robin match in Pool D is on Sunday 17th September against Zimbabwe, commencing at 09:30.

Boland: Ferisco Adams (capt), Pieter Malan, Ricardo Vasconcelos, Justin Ontong, Simon Khomari, Cebo Tshiki, Niel Botha, Kyle Simmonds, Curtley Louw, Serame Mapinki, Ziaad Abrahams, Lizaad Williams, Zakhele Qwabe