As we head into the final two round robin matches of this season’s Ram Slam T20 Challenge, the third eliminator place is still up for grabs with either the Warriors or the Cobras set to play the Dolphins. You’ll find a full breakdown of the possible scenarios below:
PLEASE NOTE THAT ODDS WILL BE UPDATED AS SOON AS THEY'RE RELEASED
- Titans have finished top of the pile and will host the final.
- The Lions and the Knights have both been eliminated from the competition.
- If Warriors beat Lions with a bonus point on 6 December they will finish 2nd and host the playoff match against Dolphins.
- If Warriors beat Lions without a bonus point on 6 December Dolphins will finish 2nd and host the playoff match against Warriors. (Dolphins will finish ahead of Warriors in that case due to their head-to-head record.
- If there is no result in the match between Lions and Warriors on Sunday, the Dolphins will finish 2nd and host the eliminator against Cobras with the Cape Town franchise finishing above Warriors as they’ve won more games.
- If the Warriors fail to beat the Lions on Sunday, the Dolphins will host the eliminator in Durban against the Cobras.
The Lions’ slim hopes of a place in the eliminator were dashed on Friday night at Willowmoore Park as the Titans secured a 68 run win in a shortened game. At the same time, the Chevrolet Warriors kept their hopes alive with an incredible victory over a VKB Knights side who have been in great form over the last two weeks.
The Lions will have been disappointed with their performance on Friday night against the Titans. In a shortened game, the Lions won the toss and sent their Highveld neighbours in to bat. Quinton de Kock smashed 88 off just 43 balls, hitting six fours and seven sixes. He was supported by Henry Davids (47) and Albie Morkel (20) who both made valuable contributions., eventually setting the Lions a target of 159 in 15 overs.
The Lions’ chase was nothing short of awful with only Dominic Hendricks managing a score in excess 20, grabbing 43 off 37 balls. They would eventually finish on 93-8 as their play-off hopes dissolved in disappointing fashion.
The Warriors, on the other hand, were sublime on Friday evening, winning by six wickets off the last ball of the game against the Knights. Having won the toss and sending the Knights in to bat, the Warriors' bowlers struggled to keep a lid on things as Rilee Rossouw (43), Theunis de Bruyn (36) and Andre Russell (52) powered the hosts to 170-5.
The Port Elizabeth franchise struggled initially, losing Colin Ingram and Gihahn Cloete inside 3 overs. With their eliminator hopes on the line, Somila Seyibokwe and JJ Smuts produced a brilliant partnership, scoring 73 and 43 respectively and keeping their side in the game. The partnership would prove decisive, and even with Seyibokwe perishing in the final over, Smuts and Christiaan Jonker guided the visitors home with the latter scoring the winning runs off the final ball of the game.
Looking at both teams’ performances over this season as well as the personnel within each squad, picking a winner for this game has proven to be extremely tricky. The Lions will no doubt want to end their season on a high, however, with so much more to play for; I’m backing the Warriors to come good and claim a narrow victory In Johannesburg on Sunday.
Sunday’s second fixture is a bit of a dead rubber with the Titans already claiming a home final and the Knights having been resigned to elimination thanks to a dire start to their campaign.
The Titan’s strength this season has been their opening partnership. Henry Davids and Quinton de Kock have been in scintillating form, laying solid foundations on which their strong middle order can capitalise on. The men from Pretoria are blessed with one of the most destructive batting line-ups this competition has ever seen with Albie Morkel, David Wiese and Chris Morris all more than capable of taking the game away from the opposition in the blink of an eye.
The Knights will be kicking themselves after a poor start to the season which saw fall well short of a place in the eliminators. Perhaps if Andre Russell and Rilee Rossouw had been available from the start of the season it’d be a different story. The two have helped galvanise the Bloemfontein-based franchise into securing three wins in their last four games. Their arrival also ushered in a turnaround from Reeza Hendricks, who has been in excellent form in the second half of the season.
I simply can’t see the Knights getting anything out of this game against a rampant Titans side. Back the men from Pretoria to claim their ninth-straight win.