CAPE TOWN. – A bulging disc has ruled out Dane Paterson for one, and possibly two Ram Slam T20 Challenge matches.

Paterson (26) was the Cape Cobras’ spearhead the past season and a half. He captured 42 Sunfoil Series wickets last season  and nipped out 13 batsmen in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge in 2014/2015.

This season he has removed 10 batsmen in the domestic T20-showpiece. His 2-24 on Sunday was a major factor in the four-wicket win against the VKB Knights.

Paterson is a lion-hearted and committed performer, but the Cape Cobras’s strength in depth will now be tested due to several injuries which have left them vulnerable.

The experienced Kieron Pollard had already been ruled out for the remainder of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge due to a knee injury, while the left-arm swing bowler Wayne Parnell has a swollen foot and has not taken part in any net practices this week.

“I think the attack we have right now, is more experienced than the one we had last season,” said Paterson.

“Kemp (Justin Kemp) is also very experienced and could play a role (if called upon to replace Pollard),” said Paterson.

It will be vitally important for the Cobras to find the right balance in the lead-up to Sunday’s match against the bizhub Highveld Lions at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

Paterson captured 4-33 in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge final last season.

The Cape Cobras will draw inspiration from the fact that the team that won the T20-tournament last season featured at least two greenhorns in the bowling department in GF Linde and Ferisco Adams.

It is vital, though, that the senior bowlers, Parnell,  Rory Kleinveldt and Peterson, are at their peak to lead the Cape Cobras’ quest for a home play-off.