The Warriors will attempt to build on their perfect start in the Momentum One-Day Cup when they face the Cape Cobras in Oudtshoorn today (10am start).
The Eastern Cape franchise produced a consummate performance in their opening game of the competition by crushing the Highveld Lions by six wickets in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Chasing 210 for victory, the Warriors recovered from some early setbacks to have Jon-Jon Smut (70 not out) and Christiaan Jonker (55 not out) share an unbeaten stand of 131 for the fifth wicket, which saw their side to a bonus point win with all of 13 overs to spare.
Having Smuts bat at number five, as opposed to opening, was a masterstroke by team management and it brought stability and experience to the middle order.
“We’ll take that first game any day,” Smuts said. “It worked for now and looked like a great decision for me to bat in the middle.
“But I thought the partnership between Christiaan and me was really good.
“He came in and played from ball one and put the pressure back on the Lions. We just managed to build it up and keep going.
“The guys were really special. The bowlers executed their plans and the fielding was really outstanding. “It’s kind of what you ask for at the start of a campaign and I could not ask for any more , ” Smuts added.
Seamer Sisanda Magala had an up-and-down campaign in the tough arena that was the Ram Slam T20 Challenge, but showed signs of being back to his best towards the end of that campaign.
He carried that form into the 50-overs competition and produced a man-of-the-match performance against the Lions, taking three important wickets for 28 runs. “Going into the game I knew I was going to be given the new ball,”Magala said.
“I just prepared well and ticked all the boxes. I went into the game pretty confident.
“Things in the T20 were definitely tough, but I stuck to the processes and kept believing in what I was doing.”
He and his teammates will need to be at their best again today as the Warriors come up against a Cobras side searching for redemption after their 26-run loss to the Dolphins in Durban on Thursday evening.
The Cobras chased 316 for victory in that game, but once they had lost Richard Levi (68) and JP Duminy (58) they appeared to be one step behind the pace required. Jason Smith did contribute a further half century to their cause and will be another danger player for the Warriors today.
The squads for today are:
Cape Cobras: JP Duminy (capt), Ferisco Adams, Qaasim Adams, Rory Kleinveldt, Carlos Koyana, Richard Levi, George Linde, Pieter Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Tshepo Moreki, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, Jason Smith
Warriors: Gihahn Cloete, Matthew Breetzke, Jon-Jon Smuts (capt), Colin Ackermann, Yaseen Vallie, Christiaan Jonker, Lesiba Ngoepe, Andrew Birch, Sisanda Magala, Aya Gqamane, Clayton Bosch, Anrich Nortje, Marco Marais.