Cobras batting at Newlands on a pitch that offers bowlers something, can be crucial, says curator

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The intimate awareness and professional insight of how to bat at their beloved Newlands have served the Nashua Cape Cobras well, and the number-3 strip might require a similar knowledge when the Ram Slam T20 Challenge final is played on Friday against the Chevrolet Knights.

Evan Flint, the curator of the Newlands Cricket Ground, said a reason why the Cobras have done well on this ground is that visiting teams have erroneously tried to hit the ball hard from the start.

They have attempted to hit on the proverbial up or through the line, instead of watching the ball onto the bat.

“I expect the pitch to be flat, but I cannot eradicate all movement, and the bowlers, whether fast bowlers of spin, do get something out of this wicket,” said Flint.

He says a score of 145 will be about par on the wicket.

Interestingly enough, the Cobras have been in fine form on the number-3 strip this season.

They thrashed the Chevrolet Knights by 73 runs in October in a Momentum One-Day Cup clash.

Dane Vilas scored 77 and SA Engelbrecht struck 68 in a sensational batting display to guide the Cobras to 285 for five.

The Knights could only muster 213 runs in reply.

Mthokozisi Shezi took four for 38 and Rory Kleinveldt captured one for 29 in nine overs. The left-arm spinner Robin Peterson only managed one for 46, but bowled well at a crucial stage to remove the hard-hitting Gerhardt Abrahams.

The Cobras registered another bonus-point win on that wicket in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge against the Sunfoil Dolphins. The visitors only scored 127 for nine as Shezi (three for 23) and Engelbrecht (three for 16) were the destroyers-in-chief.

The hosts won by eight wickets.

“The Cobras know how to bat on this wicket, and they have underlined it this season,” said Flint.

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