The Nashua Cape Cobras will welcome Richard Levi back into their side for the Momentum One-Day Cup clash with the Chevrolet Knights at Sahara Park Newlands on Wednesday, but could be without their leading scorer, Andrew Puttick.
Puttick has stroked 284 runs as the Cobras have won their opening three games of the competition - including a bonus-point victory over the Knights at Chevrolet Park in their opening fixture.
The left-hander shared a 140-run partnership for the first wicket as the Cobras beat the Warriors on Friday, but Levi was absent on Sunday when the Cobras downed the Lions in Paarl.
“He had a bad stiff neck on Sunday and couldn’t move it to the one side, but it’s a lot better now - it’s released nicely - so hopefully he’ll be back,” captain Justin Ontong said of Levi.
“The only other concern is Andrew Puttick who has a light strain on his quad, so we’re going to see how his fitness goes on the day.”
While Ontong confirmed that all of the bowlers were fit, he admitted that there would likely be a need to rotate this week as his side play three games in five days.
The Knights are coming off one of the more eventful weekends, which saw them concede the highest partnership in the history of List A cricket against the Dolphins, come close to chasing down the Dolphins’ mammoth total, and then have their game against the Titans abandoned due to a dangerous pitch.
Sarel Cilliers’ side took the points from the last fixture as a result, putting them on the board for the first time, but now they face the difficult task of taking on the table-topping Cobras.
Cilliers believes the key for the Knights is not to change the way that they play just because they are coming up against an in-form opponent.
“They’re getting good starts and then Justin Ontong and Stiaan van Zyl have looked unstoppable later on in the innings,” he noted of the Cobras batting.
“We’re looking to do our things right and bowl a bit better than we have been, but it’s not about having special plans - we just need to go about executing our skills better.”
The Knights have retained largely the same squad that was used over the weekend, but have added Johannes Diseko for their games at Newlands on Wednesday and Buffalo Park on Friday.