THE Chevrolet Warriors will be hoping for a reversal in fortune when they host the Dolphins in a Sunfoil Series fixture in East London, starting today.
The Eastern Cape franchise has slipped to two defeats in as many matches and their last victory, a thumping of the Titans, in Port Elizabeth in December, must seem like a distant memory.
But it is exactly that kind of performance the Warriors should be looking to draw inspiration from.
Admittedly Wayne Parnell, who is not playing this weekend due to injury, played a major role, taking eight wickets in that 225-run victory.
But the batsmen in the side also produced in that match and they will look for a repeat performance at Buffalo Park.
David White was a shining light in the 10-wicket defeat at the hands of the Knights, making 112 and 89.
His form is encouraging for a young player who promised much for a long time.
The Warriors will be without captain Davy Jacobs, who has a toe injury, and Athi Dyili has been brought into the squad to keep wicket.
The experienced Ashwell Prince will captain the team and batsman Colin Ackermann has also been drafted into the squad and could replace Vuyisa Makhaphela, who has been struggling for runs.
ýThe Knights will go into their clash against the Highveld Lions in Johannesburg without the services of captain Johan van der Wath after the all-rounder failed to overcome a hamstring problem.
However, they are arguably still better off than the Lions, who have lost Quinton de Kock, Imran Tahir and Lonwabo Tsotsobe to the South African T20 squad.
The Lions have drafted Eddie Leie, Pumelela Matshikwe and Zander de Bruyn into their squad to replace their Proteas trio, but coach Geoffrey Toyana’s biggest concern is the weather, which has left little time for the groundsman to prepare the pitch.
ýProteas seamer Rory Kleinveldt will return to action after a month’s absence due to a calf injury when the Cobras face the Titans in Paarl.
Kleinveldt missed out on selection for the third test against Australia because he had not played since the practice match between South Africa and an invitational 11 prior to the series, but will make his comeback in franchise cricket this week.
However, Robin Peterson was ruled out of the four-day fixture after picking up a shoulder injury while fielding for the Proteas as a substitute at Newlands.
Beuran Hendricks will also be unavailable as he goes into camp for the T20 series against Australia.
The squads for Buffalo Park are:
Warriors: Michael Price, Ashwell Prince (capt), Ryan Bailey, Colin Ingram, Jon-Jon Smuts, Simon Harmer, Athi Dyili, Andrew Birch, Rusty Theron, David White, Colin Ackermann, Basheer Walters, Vuyisa Makhaphela
Dolphins: Imraan Khan, Divan van Wyk, Khaya Zondo, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Cody Chetty, Morne van Wyk, Daryn Smit, Keshav Maharaj, Mthokozisi Shezi, Robbie Frylinck, Daryn Dupavillon, Craig Alexander.
- The latest log, after six matches each, is: 1 Cobras 75.02, 2 Knights 69.36, 3 Lions 61.66, 4 Dolphins 58.08, 5 Titans 46.42, 6 Warriors 45.40 – Alvin Reeves