Preview: NSW Blues favourite in clash against Cape Cobras

New South Wales Blues will be wary of the South African champions Cape Cobras Getty Images

By Arun Pradeep

Chennai: Sep 22, 2011

Underdogs Cape Cobras will aim to rock the boat of a young New South Wales team when they clash in their Group A match of the Champions League T20 on Saturday.

Cobras have two former Champions League T20 titlists — Chennai Super Kings and New South Wales — in their pool and captain Justin Kemp has admitted that his team is not as fancied as the others.

“The other teams have players, who have done exceptionally well in the last few years. But we’re confident and if can play good cricket and able to put up a good performance, it would be a great opportunity for a lot of young guys as well as the older ones,” Kemp had said.

However, Cobras enjoy the advantage of having a clutch of experienced campaigners to rely on, including speed demon Dale Steyn, allrounder J P Duminy, the supremely gifted Herchelle Gibbs, English batsman Owais Shah and Kemp himself.

The South Africa-based unit also has good spin options in Robin Peterson (left-arm orthodox), Duminy (offbreak), Justin Ontong (offbreak) and 19-year-old Michael Rippon (chinaman).

Former champions New South Wales, back in the competition after a hiatus of one year, are basically a young side with a few experienced players in their ranks.

Skippered by battle-hardened Australian opener Simon Katich, the team finished second in the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash to qualify directly for the group stages.

The Australian side’s trump card will be Shane Watson, the burly allrounder with whom Katich used to open the batting for his country.

The Sydney-based side also has some promising youngsters in their ranks — Pat Cummins (fast bowler), Josh Hazlewood (fast medium), Nic Maddinson (slow left-arm orthodox) and Mitchell Starc (fast medium) — all aged 21 or below.

Katich, meanwhile, said he is enjoying playing for his state team and has put behind the humiliation of being dropped by Cricket Australia from the list of contracted cricketers.

“I am happy playing for NSW. What has happened is done and dusted and I am now preparing myself for the hard grind,” he said. (PTI)


Cape Cobras: Jean-Paul Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Justin Kemp (c), Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Richard Levi, Johann Louw, Justin Ontong, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Andrew Puttick, Michael Rippon, Owais Shah, Dale Steyn, Dane Vilas.

New South Wales: Stuart Clark, Pat Cummins, Nathan Hauritz, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Simon Katich (capt), Nic Maddinson, Steve O’Keefe, Ben Rohrer, Daniel Smith, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson.

Time: 16.00 local (10.30 GMT)