MSL T20 2018: Prince plans for Blitz to peak in Western Cape derby
Cape Town Blitz coach Ashwell Prince believes they have yet to hit peak form ahead of the much-anticipated Western Cape derby against the Paarl Rocks at PPC Newlands on Friday.
The Blitz are currently top of the MSL T20 log with 25 points from eight matches, but have hit a speed wobble of late. After a blazing start to the competition when the Blitz won their opening four matches on the trot, they have only managed one victory in their last four games.
“I honestly feel that we are only operating at 60-70% at the moment. If we play at 80-95% somewhere along the line then that's going to stand us in good stead,” Prince said after a lengthy training session on Thursday
“We haven't peaked yet but obviously people see results and think that we have peaked but if you look at form, it clearly indicates that we haven't peaked yet and I still feel that we have a good couple of performances in the bag and that it will come out soon.”
The Blitz are also keen to avenge their defeat in the maiden Western Cape derby at Eurolux Boland Park after only landing back in Cape Town on the morning of the contest.
“It was a tough challenge playing until 11pm the night before then having to fly the next day and play again - that was tough. We have had a good build-up to the game, so we should be a little bit fresher. We are looking forward to a good game tomorrow,” Prince said.
A victory over their neighbours could also see the Blitz secure the much-coveted home final ahead of Sunday’s final league encounter against the Durban Heat.
“If we win our games, we will end on top but of course you look at the other results. If the teams that are chasing don't win their matches, it makes things a little easier for us but if they do win their matches then we have to go out and do our business,” Prince said.
In contrast, the Paarl Rocks are virtually in a do-or-die situation to progress to the play-offs. The middle of the MSL T20 log is congested with only the Durban Heat ruled out of contention for a play-off spot.
Although the Rocks lost their previous match against the Tshwane Spartans in a low-scoring thriller at SuperSport Park, Standard Bank Proteas spinner Tabraiz Shamsi believes his team are raring to go in the derby on Friday.
“There is no pressure,” Shamsi said. “In fact, I see a lot of positives. It was such a small target and we took a strong batting line-up into the last over. Because the log is so jam-packed, it gives us a confidence booster that we took the game into the last over.”