The start to the Sunfoil Series match between the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras and the visiting bizhub Highveld Lions, who won the toss and decided to bowl first, had been delayed by 20 minutes due to a light rain and overcast conditions at Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town on Thursday.
This match is vital to both teams as the hosts seek to increase their lead at the top of the Sunfoil Series log, while the visitors look to close the gap on the Cape side.
The opening batsman of the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras, Andrew Puttick and Alistair Gray, occupy positions three and four on the runs table. Puttick has 420 runs at an average of 84, while Gray is just three runs behind, averaging 83.40. Quinton de Kock is the leading run scorer for the bizhub Highveld Lions, with 451 runs, while averaging 56.37. Neil McKenzie slots into fifth with 412 runs at an average of 45.77.
Johann Louw and Imran Tahir lead the wickets column for their respective sides, as the two exprerienced men look to lead from the front. Louw has claimed 18 wickets in his last two outings, while Imran Tahir bagged 12 wickets against the Sunfoil Dolphins in his last outing.
The hosts have made two changes to their team that defeated the Nashua Titans at Sahara Park Newlands in December. Richard Levi replaces the injured Yaseen Vallie while Lizaad Williams comes into the team to replace the injured Proteas opening bowler, Vernon Philander.
The bizhub Highveld Lions have made three changes themselves from the team that beat the Sunfoil Dolphons. Thami Tsolekile comes into the team at the expense of Gulam Bodi, while Cliffe Deacon and Hardus Viljoen replace Pumelela Matshikwe, who is 12th man, and Dieter Klein.
Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras: Andre Puttick, Alistair Gray, Stiaan van Zyl, Richard Levi, Justin Ontong (capt), Qaasim Adams, Dane Vilas (w/k), Johann Louw, Lizaad Williams, Charl Langeveldt, Beuran Hendricks.
bizhub Highveld Lions: Stephen Cook (capt), Quinton de Kock (w/k), Temba Bavuma, Neil McKenzie, Zander de Bruyn, Thami Tsolekile, Brett Pelser, Cliffe Deacon, Imran Tahir, Hardus Viljoen, Ethan O'Reilly.