World Sports Betting Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince is preparing his side for the next three crucial Momentum One Day Cup matches as he calls on his team to step up and secure a semi-final spot in the competition.

With the team currently sitting last on the table, Prince is under no illusions as to the task ahead after a disappointing campaign to date. “We’ve had a couple of weeks off and maybe not at a bad time for us as we’ve been through a bit of a bad patch in terms of results, so we had a warm-up match yesterday to get the guys back into the groove before we headed off to Oudtshoorn.

“A couple of guys like Zubayr and Jono Bird are still playing good cricket, hitting the ball nicely, so I’m hoping one or two guys can find a bit more touch before the next game. The next week or two that’s coming up are quite important to us because they are all must-win games. We’ve got the Knights coming up first in Oudtshoorn on Saturday. We’ve had a good few results over there over the last couple of years, it’s been a good ground for us so we’re looking forward to playing there again.

Prince will have to do without Proteas trio Janneman Malan, who scored his maiden ODI century in a match-winning effort over Australia on Wednesday, Kyle Verreynne, who has shown impressive maturity in his opening two international matches which earned him a spot in the squad to tour India next week, and George Linde who received his first call-up to the ODI squad, but Prince is encouraging the new players in the squad to take their opportunities.

“This squad has been hit by some call-ups to the national team which is always a positive, but obviously missing Kyle Verreynne, Janneman Malan and George Linde leaves a big hole in the team, but that gives an opportunity to other people to stake a claim and cement their place in the Cobras and look to emulate others who have gone on to get call-ups to the national team.”

A few of those beneficiaries of the national call-ups include SWD spinner Tsepo Ndwandwa who returns to the Cobras squad after playing last season for Prince’s squad, whilst wicket-keeper batsman Mangaliso Mosehle will be looking to make an immediate impact for the side he joined on loan this week. There is also a first call-up to the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad for WP hard-hitting batsman Tayo Walbrugh, who is rewarded for some good form for Paul Adams’ WP side and could get the chance to make his franchise debut against the VKB Knights.

The match at The Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn starts at 10h00.

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad: Zubayr Hamza (Captain), Ferisco Adams, Jonathan Bird, Rory Kleinveldt, Aviwe Mgijima, Akhona Mnyaka, Mangaliso Mosehle, Pieter Malan, Tsepo Ndwandwa, Thando Ntini, Dane Piedt, Jason Smith, Tayo Walbrugh, Lizaad Williams