The Ram Slam Challange has already thrown up some fantastic matches and we're set for more pulsating action this Sunday. The Dolphins take on the Warriors at Sahara Park Kingsmead while the Titans battle it out with the Cobras at SuperSport Park.
Sunfoil Dolphins 9/20
Chevrolet Warriors 18/10
He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for Dolphins supporters, Kevin Pietersen has become somewhat of a cult hero - and for good reason. The Maritzburg College old boy has produced two stellar displays with the bat for the KZN franchise. Back to back centuries are not easy to come by in this tournament but KP’s stats would lead you to think otherwise. His 115 run knock against the Lions last Wednesday set up the Dolphins narrow opening round victory. He then followed that innings up with another ton against the Knights on Friday evening.
While Lance Klusener will be hoping Pietersen continues his purple patch, the Dolphins mentor won’t be too vexed if Pietersen does fail to produce this Sunday. The reason for this is the quality of the Dolphins top order. The likes of van Wyk, Miller and Delport are capable of emulating Pietersen’s displays while Khaya Zondo just gets better and better with each passing match.
While I could harp on about the quality of the Dolphins top five for days on end, I think it’s time to turn our attention to their opponents for this weekend. The Warriors started their campaign with a nail-biting, super over, victory against the Knights. Their second fixture saw them travel to Cape Town to take on the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras. The trip ultimately proved a bit of a disappointment as the visitors went down by five runs. The result has left the Warriors level on points with the second-placed Titans, although their less than impressive run rate means that in reality they actually occupy fifth spot on the log.
Key to the Warriors hopes of pulling off a victory in Durban will be Colin Ingram and MJ Vallie. Ingram has an average of 42.5 in the competition thus far and is capable of being the bedrock in the Warriors innings. Vallie on the other hand, is yet to fire but when he inevitably does it’s likely to be in the form of a match winning innings.
Verdict: Dolphins 9/20
My money is on the hosts continuing their hot streak with another victory on Sunday. Back the Dolphins at 9/20.
Unlimited Titan 9/10
Cape Cobras 9/10The Fourth-placed Cobras travel to SuperSport Park to take on the second-placed Titans on Sunday afternoon. With both sides so evenly matched and desperate for points, this game is certain to be a cracker.
The hosts were defeated by the Dolphins in the first round of the competition but bounced back in the second round by claiming a four-wicket victory over the Lions. Quinton de Kock made 36 runs in the low scoring affair and will be vital for the Titans on Sunday. Another man who could play a key role is Heino Kuhn. The Titans number four was in decent nick during the Momentum One Day Cup. If de Kock and himself get going at SuperSport Park, the Cobras bowlers could find themselves chasing leather for 20 overs.
The Cobras come into this game off the back of a five-run victory over the Warriors and should be in good spirits heading into this fixture. While their top order has struggled to produce in the tournament thus far, their bowlers have been in fine form. Parnell and Paterson have been effective with the new ball while Kieran Pollard has helped keep the runs down midway through the innings. The big West Indian is also capable of bludgeoning opposition bowlers to all parts of the stadium.
Verdict: Titans 9/10
My money is on a big innings from Quinton de Kock seeing the Titans to victory.