With both teams sitting on a solitary win, both the BuildNat Cape Cobras and the Hollywoodbets Dolphins will need to show a bit more if they’re going to make the final come December.
Can the Cobras make home ground advantage count or will the Dolphins kick-start their season with a win at Newlands? Let’s take a look:
BuildNat Cape Cobras v Hollywoodbets Dolphins | Wed 23 Nov | Newlands | 18:00
To Win Match
Cape Cobras 8/10 | Tie 35/1 | Dolphins 1/1
BuildNat Cape Cobras
Paul Adams’ men finally got a win under their belt as they defended 163 against the Warriors at Newlands on Sunday. Wayne Parnell was promoted back up the order to open with Richard Levi following his heroics in the position last year.
The South African all-rounder didn’t disappoint as he bludgeoned his way to a 51-ball 61 at the top of the order. He batted through almost the entire innings before being caught by Christiaan Jonker off the bowling of Andrew Birch in the final over of the innings.
The only other Cobras player to offer any sort of resistance was Kieron Pollard. The big West Indian played a typically belligerent innings as he smashed his way to a 35-ball 50. In a season where the Cape side’s typically strong batting unit looks fragile, it seems peculiar to think that so much responsibility is being vested in two bowling all-rounders.
The paltry 163-8 that the Cobras made ended up being enough in the end as a top order collapse which left the Warriors reeling at 5-58. They were never able to recover from said collapse despite the best efforts of Colin Ackermann whose 41-ball 60 wasn’t quite enough, with the Cobras winning by 12 runs.
You can't really read into their last match as rain affected the game. The Lions posted a competitive 165 before the rain fell. The match was subsequently shortened and the Cobras needed 70 from just six overs. They fell four runs short after excellent efforts from Parnell and Pollard who got a combined 48 off just 26 balls.
The Hollywoodbets Dolphins were never really in their last match with the Titans as the Pretoria franchise dominated every facet of the game. The Titans were magnificent with the bat as the KZN old boy, Jonathan Vandiar smashed his way to 40 off 33 balls. His knock laid the foundations for the likes of Heino Kuhn (32 off 17) and Farhaan Behardien (65 off 33) to propel the Titans to 185-4.
The KZN side’s bowlers – despite their best efforts – were simply unable to contain an immensely strong Titans top order. Only Cameron Delport managed to return decent figures as he picked up the Vandiar wicket and conceded just 11 runs in his two overs.
The Dolphins never really looked like chasing down the total as they slumped to 127-8 in their 20 overs. Morne van Wyk top scored with a solid 33-ball 41 while Kevin Pietersen - who returns to Australia to commentate on the final Test between Australia and South Africa - never really got going in his first game of the season as he was dismissed by Lungi Ngidi for 24.
There wasn’t any resistance from the middle and lower order as Albie Morkel and co turned the screw. Grant Morgan will be looking for a better performance from a side which on paper should be competing near the top of the CSA T20 Challenge.
Morgan has been dealt a couple of serious blows in terms of the team he can put out. Pietersen will only be available for the final four games of the season while Andile Phelukwayo is out for the rest of the year. Rabian Engelbrecht returns to the squad following issues with back spasms last week,
Verdict: Hollywoodbets Dolphins 1/1
Personally, I think that this game is a bit too close to call. However, with the Dolphins being priced up at even money and considering all of the off-field issues that the Cobras are dealing with, the KZN side look good value. Look for the visiting side’s dangerous opening partnership to dominate a wobbly bowling attack from the get-go.
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.