We’re heading into the business end of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge and the games are coming thick and fast. This Sunday’s action will see the Cape Cobras looking to bounce back after a narrow defeat to the Titans when they host the winless VKB Knights. The second game of the afternoon sees the second-placed Dolphins head to the Wanderers to take on the bizhub Highveld Lions.
Cape Cobras 9/20
For all of their quality on the paper, the Cape Cobras haven’t got off the best of starts this season. They currently occupy third position on the log after narrowly going down to an in-form Titans side on Friday evening.
Having been set 178 to win, the Cobras were always in the game up until around the start of the 18th over when they lost their talismanic West Indian all-rounder, Kieron Pollard for 44 off just 23 balls which included three consecutive sixes. Although they could not secure the victory, Paul Adams will be pleased with the way his team have improved as the competition has progressed. Richard Levi and Andrew Puttick remain one of the best opening partnerships in the competition while they have plenty of firepower lower down the order in the form of Pollard, Justin Ontong and Rory Kleinveldt.
Last season’s losing finalists, the VKB Knights have endured a torrid campaign and have yet to register a log point heading into this game.
They were last in action last Sunday when they hosted the bizhub Highveld Lions. They produced an outstanding bowling performance to dismiss the Lions for 112, however, their chase never really got going. The Free State franchise would eventually be skittled out for 92, losing the game by 20 runs.
Although their results haven’t been the best, the Knights do still possess more than enough talent in their squad to mix it up with the Cobras. The likes of Reeza Hendricks, Riley Rossouw and Andre Russell can take the game away from you in the blink of an eye
Verdict: Cape Cobras 9/20
The Cobras have come into form at the right time of the season and they should prove far too strong for a poor Knights side.
bizhub Highveld Lions 11/10
Sunfoil Dolphins 7/10
The Lions were lucky to get away with a win in their last match against the VKB Knights. A sub-par score of 122 was defended easily in the end thanks to some excellent bowling from Eddie Leie (4-15-5) and Aaron Phangiso (4-12-0). The Lions’ spin duo have been in scintillating form this season, often taking vital wickets while restricting the flow of runs in the middle overs.
The men from the Highveld have now won two and lost three of their last five matches. Failing to pick up the win against this Dolphins side will leave them with a mountain to climb if they are to have any chance of finishing in the top three.
The Dolphins have lost their last two games after near perfect start to their campaign. The KZN franchise benefitted from Kevin Petersen who was in astonishing form, scoring 364 runs from five innings at an average of 121.33. Lance Klusner will be looking to senior players like Morne van Wyk, David Miller, Dwayne Bravo and Ryan McLaren to make more meaningful contributions with the bat in order to fill the void left by Pietersen’s departure.
Verdict: Sunfoil Dolphins 7/10
The Dolphins will be looking to bounce back after two disappointing defeats to the Cobras and the Titans. They have the perfect opportunity to do so against a shaky looking Lions outfit – back the men from KZN to get the job done at 7/10.
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