There are two more CSA T20 Challenge matches to keep South Africa's cricket-loving public occupied on Friday.
There are two more CSA T20 Challenge Clashes coming your way this Friday. The winless BuildNat Cape Cobras welcome the Warriors to Newlands while the Multiply Titans and the VKB Knights go toe-to-toe at Willowmoore Park.
It's all shaping up quite nicely as we head into the third round of matches! The two Friday matches offer some decent value with a tasty 4/1 double on the cards.
BuildNat Cape Cobras vs Warriors | Friday 18 November | Newlands | 18:00
BuildNat Cape Cobras 7/10 | Tie 35/1 | Warriors 23/20
The Warriors surprised a lot of people – myself included – with the display they put in against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins last weekend. Their performance was highlighted by tight bowling and a sound chase of a small target in tricky conditions away from home.
Simon Birch continued to build on the solid season he had with the Eastern Cape franchise last season with his 3-16 bowling figures earning him the man of the match accolade at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead.
Birch was aided by a solid support cast which included Colin Ackermann (18-1) and Solo Nqweni (14-2). They played the conditions perfectly as the big-hitting Dolphins top and middle order couldn’t get going on a slow wicket in overcast conditions.
While the bowlers will take the plaudits, let’s not forget the contribution of Mr. Consistent, JJ Smuts. The Warriors’ captain played a superb knock of 52 off 39 balls to lead his side home. Ackermann also batted well, amassing 41 in 39 balls toward the end of the innings; capitalising on a few full tosses and long hops from Imran Tahir.
While the Warriors are riding the crest of the wave, the Cobras find themselves trapped beneath the surf; getting mashed against the seabed. Off-field controversy, winless in all formats this season and big players who are struggling for form – they simply can’t make the play-offs this season unless something changes.
Richard Levi and Justin Ontong – two senior players who have been immense for the franchise in recent years have struggled to contribute. The bowlers have been unable to keep scoring rates down. The issue was highlighted in their first game against the Knights where Ontong was forced to use no less than seven bowlers as the Knights surged to 184.
Not even the mercurial presence of Kieron Pollard has managed to galvanise the side. His 19-ball 32 against the Titans was the standout performance in an otherwise poor performance. Sure, Cebo Tshiki and Jason Smith got runs, but slow scoring rates meant they ate up far too many balls, leaving too much pressure on the middle-lower order to get the job done.
I’ve changed my tune after the start of the season, the Warriors look as though they could beat anyone (bar the Titans) if they perform in same manner in which they did against the Dolphins. Back them to beat the Cobras at 23/20.
Multiply Titans vs VKB Knights | Friday 18 November | Willowmoore Park | 18:00
Multiply Titans 57/100 | Tie 35/1 | VKB Knights 29/20
The Multiply Titans further underlined their title credentials with a regulation six-wicket win against the BuildNat Cape Cobras on Wednesday evening. Albie Morkel played a gem of an innings, once again, giving national (T20) selectors something to think about with an unbeaten 16-ball 34.
This after a sublime performance in the Titans’ first match of the season against the Lions where his three wickets and 30 runs laid the platform for a convincing victory. Morkel hasn’t been carrying the team on his own, though.
There have been excellent showings from Heino Kuhn, Farhaan Behardien, Shaun von Berg, Heinrich Klaasen and Junior Dala in the first two games. The squad looks good on paper, they have a coach that’s at the highest level for the majority of his career and they’ve started the season with aplomb. Things are looking good in Pretoria this season!
The Knights are aptly priced up as second favourites to win this competition at 4/1 (the Titans currently top the outright betting at 7/4). The Free State franchise has only played one game this season, convincingly beating the Cobras by 38-runs at the Wanderers.
Patrick Kruger struck a magnificent 49-ball 74 while Rudi Second, Diego Rosier and Marchant de Lange also contributed with some hefty knocks. Nicky Boje will be hoping that his star off-season acquisition, David Miller comes to the party against the Titans this weekend. The Protea batsman can turn a game in the space of a few overs if he gets going on a quick Benoni deck.
These sides are actually more evenly matched than the betting seems to suggest. I feel as though the Titans have the edge, but I simply can’t ignore how strong this Knights side is. As a result, I’m going to stick my neck out and back the Knights at 29/20 here.
Looking for a bit more value? Why not take both of the above tips as a double at 4.27/1?
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.