Coach Paul Adams told Independent Media that bowling all-rounder Parnell has recovered from the rib injury he sustained while fielding for the Proteas in the second ODI against Australia at the Wanderers on October 2, which has kept him on the sidelines for six weeks.
Parnell was just settling into the national team again, and bowled some sharp spells where he reached speeds of above 140km/h. So the injury came at a bad time for the 27-year-old from Port Elizabeth, as well as the Cobras, who have yet to win a match this season in the Sunfoil Series and T20 Challenge.
But his return gives Adams a number of options, as Parnell even opened the batting with great success last season. “Last year, Wayne was our player of the season. He brings explosiveness in all departments and his experience will be invaluable,” the coach said.
It’s not clear exactly who Parnell will replace from the team that lost by six wickets in dramatic fashion to the Titans in Paarl on Wednesday.
The slow surface at Boland Park saw Adams and the Cobras selectors opt for two specialist spinners in George Linde and newcomer Nkululeko Serame, who plays out of the South Western Districts province.
But Newlands should provide further assistance for the fast bowlers, especially with a 6pm start, so Parnell could come in for Serame, while Tshepo Moreki may also get another opportunity.
Having a left-arm quick in your attack will also provide some variety to a Cobras bowling line-up that had four right-arm seamers in Dane Paterson, Rory Kleinveldt, Kieron Pollard and Jason Smith operating against the Titans.
The Cobras looked well on their way to breaking their winless streak as they had the visitors at 90/4, with 52 runs required off 32 balls, but Titans captain Albie Morkel laid into the bowlers – and was also dropped by substitute fielder Zubayr Hamza on the mid-wicket boundary – to score 34 not out off just 16 balls (6x4) and take his team home with seven balls to spare.
Adams felt that his team didn’t score enough runs, but feels that there was progress. Smith and Cebo Tshiki laboured in their partnership of 84 off 75 balls, and that is where someone like Parnell could come in earlier and get quick runs against the Warriors.
“It was a big improvement from our previous game. Obviously the result didn’t go our way, but there were lots of encouraging signs,” the coach said.
“We had two young batsmen (Cebo Tshiki and Jason Smith) do exceptionally well. The bowling, the fielding…there was lots energy, we were right in it. We were probably 20 runs short, but I think the signs are all there to suggest improvement.
“We have just got to keep building on it and as the tournament goes on, hopefully get that win and then latch on to that momentum that comes with it.”
Meanwhile, the Cobras’ captain in the four-day Sunfoil Series, Omphile Ramela, has answered an SOS from the Highveld Lions and will join them for the rest of the T20 Challenge.
Left-hander Ramela is considered more of a longer-format player as he is not renowned for scoring quick runs, and seldom features for the Cobras in T20 cricket. The Lions announced yesterday that an injury crisis saw them approach the Cape side for Ramela’s services on a loan basis.
Ironically, the 28-year-old – who hails from Johannesburg and has previously played for Gauteng – could make his Lions debut against the Cobras in Potchefstroom on Sunday (2.30pm start).
“We have been unfortunate due to some players within the existing squad incurring injuries as of late (Reeza Hendricks and Yassar Cook). Added to this are our players currently on national duty in Australia (Stephen Cook, Temba Bavuma and Dwaine Pretorius), and we have identified the need for a specialist opening batsman,” Lions chief executive Greg Fredericks said.
“We are happy to welcome Omphile to the Lions family for the T20 competition and believe that a player of his calibre will strengthen our existing side.”
Adams added: “A request came in from the Lions for Ramela. If players in your structure are not playing in your XI, then a franchise can ask to loan him for a period.”
Original source: Parnell back for Cobras