The SOS-call to Robin Peterson wasn’t necessary after all, as Sybrand Engelbrecht has ensured the team-management that the infection that has caused discomfort in his jaw-area has improved and that he will be ready for the Ram Slam T20 Challenge clash against the Chevrolet Warriors.
Engelbrecht will be one of the two spinners of the Nasua Cape Cobras who could play a pivotal role against the Warriors on what is expected to be a slow wicket at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
The off-spinner said he had ear infection about a month ago, and has recently experienced head aches and some pain the area of his jaw. He has sufficiently improved to fly to Port Elizabeth.
Engelbrecht has been a revelation for the Cobras since replacing JP Duminy as all-rounder during the Champions League Twenty20 in India.
Peterson, who has just returned from the One Day International series against Australia where he nabbed out four Australian batsmen for 32 runs in the fifth and final match, was on standby to replace Engelbrecht.
He will possibly play on Sunday in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge clash against the Chevrolet Knights at Chevrolet Park in Bloemfontein.
Rory Kleinveldt, a national fast bowler, will replace Shaheen Khan in the thirteen-man squad for the match against the Warriors. Khan injured ankle-ligaments during the warm-ups at the Newlands Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Stiaan van Zyl can still not force his way into the team, which is a testimony to the current form of the top-of-the-table Cobras. Van Zyl was a member of the national test squad for the test series against Sri Lanka and the one-off test against Zimbabwe, and had been in scintillating form with the bat in the Sunfoil Series in the 2013/2014-series.
He also produced a splendid performance for the Cobras against the bizhub Highveld Lions in a Momentum One Day Cup match at Paarl before injuring his leg.
“It is a very difficult situation. I presume it is a pleasant selection-poiser,” said Ontong. “You don’t want to change a winning combination and scratch unnecessarily.”
“We discussed our performances and the requirements at the back-end of the competition. We realize we cannot become complacent. Two or three excellent performances by the Warriors and we will be on the losing end.
“We are about 20 % off the performances of teams who are considered heavyweights in the Champions League Twenty20. We have made great starts, but the middle-order is still not doing that well.
“I am one of the players that need to stick up his hand,” said Ontong.
The skipper said the fielding is still a problem area. “To be honest, it is a worrying aspect of cricket domestically.
“It is not only the case in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge, but it was also disappointing in the Momentum One Day Cup competition,” he said about the many catches that have been dropped the past two months by all franchises.
The Cobras-squad for the match against the Warriors is:
The Cobras squad for the match against the Chevrolet Warriors on Friday is: Justin Ontong (capt), Andrew Puttick, Dane Paterson, Dane Vilas, Ferisco Adams, George F Linde, Kieron Pollard, Lizaad Williams, Mthokozisi Shezi, Omphile Ramela, Richard Levi, Rory Kleinveldt, Sybrand Engelbrecht.