Ram Slam T20 Challenge SF 2: Hollywoodbets Dolphins vs WSB Cape Cobras Preview

Batsman Hits Ball

We take a look at the second Ram Slam T20 Challenge semi-final which will see the Hollywoodbets Dolphins take on the WSB Cape Cobras at Kingsmead this Thursday. 

Semi-final two of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge will see Sahara Stadium Kingsmead play host to “the Battle of the Bookies” as the Hollywoodbets Dolphins and WSB Cape Cobras clash.

The Dolphins come into the tie having claimed a convincing 89-run win against a second-string Titans side while the Cobras limped to a tame 18-run defeat at the hands of the Warriors on Sunday.

Dolphins vs Cobras | Thursday 14 December | Sahara Stadium Kingsmead | 18:00

To Win Match
Dolphins 82/100 | Tie 35/1 | Cobras 1/1

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Hollywoodbets Dolphins
The rain that blighted much of the Hollywoodbets Dolphins' Ram Slam T20 Challenge season stayed away for their last two matches of the round robin stage. Those two matches – against the Knights and the Titans – yielded a nine-point hall which saw the KZN franchise claim a home semi-final.

The standout performer in both of those encounters was Morne van Wyk. The evergreen opener bagged 70 in Mangaung before claiming another half-century against the Titans. Whether or not he comes off at the top of the order alongside Vaughn van Jarsveld will go a long way in determining whether or not the Dolphins march into the final.

Of course, van Jaarsveld and van Wyk aren’t the only two batsmen the Cobras have to worry about. Dane Vilas has been excellent this season and will look to make a big statement against his former franchise. The wicketkeeper scores quickly and reliably, and if allowed to settle, can go on to score big. Khaya Zondo will also look to rediscover the touch that saw him decimate this very attack in the first match of the season.

No doubt the Dolphins bowlers will have their hands full. Don’t be surprised to see yet another spin-heavy attack selected for this match. The strategy worked a treat against the Titans on Sunday, who couldn’t deal with the pace off the ball. Nobody in the attack returned an economy rate exceeding 5.00 while the Titans only found the boundary on three occasions.

Prenelan Subrayen, Keshav Maharaj and Imran Tahir will play as a three-pronged spin attack with economical trio Mthokozisi Shezi, Andile Phelukwayo and Robbie Frylinck doing the bulk of the seam work.

The KZN franchise have plenty of other bowling options. Khaya Zondo and Sibonelo Makhanya are both more than capable with the ball if required as they’ve shown throughout the season.

WSB Cape Cobras
The Cobras were disappointing against the Warriors in East London, as they fought in vain to chase down 168 on a slow, low Buffalo Park deck. Running through the Cobras top order, you worry about their ability to both chase or set big totals should Hashim Amla and JP Duminy fail to get going.

Both have been integral cogs in the Cape franchise’s campaign thus far. When they’ve come off with the bat, the Cobras have generally won matches. Amla will be viewed as the main threat by the Dolphins.

The Protea stalwart spent many of his formative years plying his trade at Kingsmead and will know the conditions all too well. He’s also pretty comfortable against the slower stuff which he will likely face a lot of at Kingsmead on Thursday evening.

The other big top order guns have failed more often than not for the Cape franchise. Richard Levi has really struggled to get out of first gear. Temba Bavuma, meanwhile, has shown what he's capable of but has lacked any real consistency.

Like the Dolphins, the Cobras will also head into this game with an attack loaded with medium-pacers and spinners. Dane Paterson should crack the nod as the only out and out quick while Rory Kleinveldt and Vernon Philander – both of whom have been excellent this season – will make up the remainder of the seamers.

Kleinveldt has been particularly impressive this season. Despite the widespread condemnation of his physical condition, the big man continues to deliver. His 27.1 tournament overs have seen him return an economy rate of 6.51 while taking eight wickets in the process.

Of course, having seen what the Dolphins’ spinners did to the Titans last weekend will put extra pressure on George Linde and Dane Piedt to deliver the goods come Thursday. If the deck is prepared to assist the spinners once again, these two will have no choice but to be economical at the very least.

Verdict: Hollywoodbets Dolphins 82/100
Home ground advantage will count for a lot here. There are few better places to play in South Africa than a packed Kingsmead. If their bowlers can nullify the threat that Amla and Duminy pose, they’d be halfway there. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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