CAPE TOWN – Enoch Nkwe has also already stolen a trophy from under the noses of a Cape-based team this season.
Nkwe was, of course, coach of the Jozi Stars in the Mzansi Super League that went down to Newlands and defeated Ashwell Prince’s Cape Town Blitz to be crowned inaugural MSL T20 champions last year.
Now Nkwe and his Highveld Lions team are hauling in the Cape Cobras – also coached by Prince – right at the death of the 4-Day Domestic Series. Much like the MSL when the Blitz won their opening four matches, the Cobras raced into a healthy early lead.
However, the Lions have continued to chip away and the lead has now been trimmed to just 3.04 points heading into the last round of fixtures this week.
The Lions host the Warriors in Potchefstroom, while the Cobras are away to the Dolphins in Pietermaritzburg.
Nkwe, though, doesn’t want his team to focus on anything happening on the East Coast and had challenged his charges to take maximum points this week to leave their destiny in their own hands.
“I’m just happy with the space the guys are in,” Nkwe said. “The performance levels are excellent and this past week was, again, superb all round. It’s now put us in a position where we can still believe. Even if the Cobras win, we know we can still win it. We’ve just got to keep investing our focus and energies in what we’ve been doing well.
“The Warriors are such a phenomenal outfit, they’ve been playing good cricket the last couple of weeks, so they’ll be a really dangerous team. So, we’ve got to make sure we take care of our processes first and the result will take care of itself.”
Meanwhile, the Cobras are also adopting a philosophical approach to their final game. The weather has been notoriously fickle in KwaZulu-Natal with matches routinely affected.
Prince is well aware of this fact, but has consoled himself and his team that they cannot focus on matters out of their control.
“Conditions will play a role. It could rain, it could be bad light, but those sorts of things are out of our control,” Prince said.
“We’ve got to try to play as best we can in the time we do get to play. That’s all that matters. We respect the opposition and have to play a good game.
We’re just happy to be in with a shout. We know if we win the game, we’ll have a good opportunity to come out on top.
“There’s just a few points in it now, so it’s going to be an exciting finish. We know that we have to go out there against the Dolphins and win the game.”