The sun will set on the Chevrolet Warriors hopes in the Momentum One Day Cup for 2012/13 as they take on the Sunfoil Dolphins at East London on Wednesday. One is tempted to add the qualifier ‘weather permitting’ as the Dolphins have suffered three wash-outs and the Warriors two this season, including their first round match against each other in Durban. The Dolphins could suffer the same fate, as nothing less than a win will see them with a chance of advancing to the play-off, and even that depends on the results of the matches between the Cape Cobras and the Titans in Paarl, and the encounter between the Knights and the Lions in Kimberley.
Warriors coach Piet Botha stressed the importance of not allowing the disappointing results in the 50 over format to overshadow the remainder of the season. A victory in this match might not make any difference to the final place for the Warriors, as even a win with a bonus point will still see the men from the Eastern Cape finish last in the league standings. “It is important for us to keep our momentum going,” he said, mindful of the resumption of the Sunfoil Series later in the month and the season-ending T20 series.
Davy Jacobs has been the best of the batsmen, accumulating 268 runs at an average of 38 and a useful strike rate of 92. While he has been the most consistent performer with the bat for the Warriors, his team might have wished he had been able to make some more of several good starts. The picture might have been even bleaker had not Wayne Parnell started showing some glimpses of the all-round form he was always known to possess. The bowlers have toiled away. Andrew Birch has been the star turn with the ball, capturing nineteen wickets at a highly commendable average of 18 and an economy rate of 4.8. He is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, and would like to end his season on a high note. A disappointment has been the lack of success for the spinners. Simon Harmer has been unable to take up the lead of Johan Botha, and the Warriors played their last few matches without a specialist spinner.
The Dolphins still have a ghost of a chance of reaching the play-offs. They will need a win, and a bonus point will do no harm; but their fate is not in their own hands as they lie fifth in the log and will depend on things going their way at the other matches. Vaughn van Jaarsveld has been the backbone of the batting, scoring 302 runs at an average of 60. His strike rate is relatively low at a modest 73, but even a career best knock of 116 at Newlands was not enough to earn a result for his team. Imraan Khan hit a century in the win against the Titans, but has added just 43 runs in his other three innings. Cody Chetty and David Miller have also chipped in with some useful innings, the latter playing some attractive cameos in reaching a tally of 151 runs at a strike rate of exactly 100. The bowlers have chipped in, with Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Kyle Abbott and Robbie Frylinck all producing similar figures. Craig Alexander had some useful outings before being injured.
Play is scheduled to start at 15h00, but with more rain forecast for Wednesday, the weather might be the winner yet again.