Ramela back in Cobras mix


Ramela has been recalled to the Cobras squad for this all-important clash after middle-order batsman Lesiba Ngoepe injured his ankle last week.

The Cobras’ four-day captain though does not want to make this virtual semi-final about his return to the bright lights of the big show after spending the last couple of weeks with the Western Province semi-professional side.

“I think us getting to the playoffs in itself is a great slice of luck. I am not quite sure who we have to thank. Should it be the Lions for winning the game or the Warriors for losing it,” Ramela said.

“I am just happy to be in the mix again. I don’t think I have anything to prove to anyone. Twenty20 cricket is a bit of a lottery some times. You could be playing well, but sometimes you get out trying to push the rate along and then all of a sudden you have a string of low scores against your name.”

Ramela showed that he was not out of form when he returned to the WP team. The left-hander compiled a classy 96 in his first innings as he began preparing for the first-class season with the Cobras.

“I thought my T20 campaign was over so I went about getting ready to play some red-ball cricket. It was nice to get some runs under my belt, but T20 cricket is an entirely different ball game. Different plans and strategies are required to be successful. Hopefully I can make a contribution to the team getting to the final at Centurion,” he added.

There’s no reason to believe that Ramela is not capable of producing that match-winning innings that can swing the playoff in favour of the Cobras. He was the team’s hero in last season’s showpiece final against the Knights when he slammed an unbeaten 54 off just 34 balls.

It is that type of momentum that the Cobras have missed throughout the middle period of the innings in this season’s T20 Challenge. No batsman has been able to sustain the innings after either Richard Levi or Wayne Parnell have dominated the first six powerplay overs.

Even the promotion of captain Justin Ontong to the crucial No 3 position after Ramela was dropped has not reaped the intended dividends yet.

“We know the middle overs have been the Achilles heel of our campaign,” Ramela said. “It hasn’t been easy to accelerate once the field has been put back. We have been battling to find the boundary while playing low-risk cricket.

“But it hasn’t only been us. All teams in this season’s T20 Challenge have struggled to work out a successful formula during this period.

“I am not thinking about being a hero on Wednesday. Our whole team needs to be heroes and if we manage to put in a solid team performance in all three key areas, then we should go okay at Kingsmead.”

Meanwhile, the Dolphins have confirmed Kevin Pietersen will be available for Wednesday’s playoff.


Original source: Ramela back in Cobras mix