The BuildNat Cape Cobras and the bizhub Highveld Lions will square off in Momentum One Day Cup action in Paarl on Friday.
The 2016/17 edition of the Momentum One Day Cup is in full swing at the moment, with games coming thick and fast from around the country.
Friday will see all six franchises in action, however, we’ll be focussing on the only televised match of the day as the BuildNat Cape Cobras welcome the bizhub Highveld Lions to Boland Park.
BuildNat Cape Cobras vs bizhub Highveld Lions | Friday 3 March | Boland Park | 14:00
To Win Match
Cobras 8/10 | Tie 35/1 | Lions 1/1 – Forecasted Odds*
BuildNat Cape Cobras
The Cobras are lucky in many ways as they’ve not been as badly affected as some of the other franchises in terms of call-ups to the national team. Only Vernon Philander has been plucked from the squad to travel to New Zealand – and even that won’t seem like too much of a blow considering how ineffective he can be with the white ball.
Looking at the players that Ashwell Prince has at his disposal, the Cape side should prove far too strong in home conditions. They were brilliant last time out in Pietermaritzburg as they beat the Hollywoodbets Dolphins by three wickets.
Rory Kleinveldt starred in that game as his 4-48 and 15-ball 26 swung things in the Cobras’ favour. He was backed up brilliantly with the ball by Dane Piedt and Stiaan van Zyl while Omphile Ramela and Richard Levi both managed half-centuries at the top of the order.
You’ll want to keep an eye on Levi in this fixture. The big opener has just hit a bit of form and is probably due a big innings. The short boundaries at Boland Park will suit his game perfectly as he will no doubt look to get after the Lions’ bowlers.
bizhub Highveld Lions
The Lions have probably been hit hardest of all the franchises in terms of call-ups to the Test side. They’ll be without their two premier batsmen in Stephen Cook and Temba Bavuma. Having said that, they’ll welcome back Dwaine Pretorius sometime next week as he returns from one day international duty.
Bavuma and Cook’s absence was definitely felt as the men from Johannesburg were crushed by the Titans last time out. Having been set a pretty low total of 268 (by Centurion standards), the Lions could only muster 159 before being bowled out in the 36th over.
Adding to their woes was the monumental failure of the top five, who could only manage a combined total of 45. It was left to the lower middle order and the tail to add a bit of respectability to the scorecard in a game they were never going to win with the score at 52-5.
The Lions are going to need to put together a proper total if they are to overcome the Cobras in Paarl. Rassie van der Dussen and Reeza Hendricks will need to step up here and get the innings off to a good start. Failing this, they’re unlikely to get anything out of this match with their title defence going up in smoke.
Verdict: BuildNat Cape Cobras 8/10
With Levi and Ramela looking in good touch at the top of the order and a bowling attack that can really make scoring difficult, the Cobras should prove too good. Back the home side to pick up the four points here, effectively ending the Lions’ chances of defending their title.