One of South Africa’s best all-rounders will boost the World Sport Betting Cape Cobras’ bowling attack in the build-up to the Ram Slam T20 Challenge matches this coming weekend.

The WSB Cape Cobras lost by 15 runs to the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in the opening Ram Slam T20 Challenge match at SuperSport Park in Centurion, according to the D/L method of recalculation.

The attack, which suffered at the hands of Sarel Erwee (103) and Khaya Zondo (67) on Sunday, will no doubt be bolstered by the return of Parnell, a fast bowler and free-flowing top-order batsman in the white-ball formats.

Parnell, when on song, is a match-winner with both bat and ball in any format of the game. He is particularly devastating when opening the innings and can also swing it both ways at pace. That explains why he has taken 166 T20 wickets and produced 4-13 as a best-ever burst.

“Wayne bowled at 80% intensity at three-quarters of his run-up last week and the idea is that he will be able to operate at 100% starting with training on Tuesday,” said Shane Jabaar, the WSB Cape Cobras physiotherapist.

Parnell was indisposed due to a groin injury, but his rehabilitation gathered steam in the lead-up to the opening match on Sunday against the Dolphins. Ashwell Prince, the coach, and the selection committee, resisted the temptation to unleash Parnell while he was not 100%. Prince said it would have been a bit of a lottery to pick Parnell for the maiden clash of the campaign.

The Cobras could not hit the right lengths – short of a length – in the first six or seven overs on Sunday – and the Dolphins were off to a flyer, striking a record score of 231 for two. Mthiwekhaya Nabe, with 1-38 in four overs, was comfortably the best of the Cobras attack.

The valiant Cobras, attempting to chase down 124 in 10 overs after lightning had forced a reduction of the overs, struck 108 for three, courtesy of the Herculean efforts by Hashim Amla and Aviwe Mgijima.

Amla (52, 27 balls, 3×4, 4×6) and Mgijima (37, 19 balls, 3×4, 2×6) produced a breath-taking rescue-attempt, sharing in an 88-run partnership off only 40 balls.

They came close to the century-stand, off only 55 balls, between Zondo and Erwee, for the third wicket during the Dolphins’ innings.

Jabaar said Tshepo Moreki, who had an injured finger, had a scan which revealed no fracture, but ligament damage. He was rested for the opening match of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge.

But he will move full steam ahead in the next few days as the Cobras prepare for the second T20 match against the bizhub Highveld Lions at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Friday.

The Cobras will then be back at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Sunday where they will meet the Mutliply Titans.