Ram Slam T20 Challenge: Hollywoodbets Dolphins vs Warriors Preview

Batsman Hits Ball

We preview the Ram Slam T20 Challenge clash between the Hollywoodbets Dolphins and the Warriors. 

The Ram Slam T20 Challenge continues this Wednesday as the Hollywoodbets Dolphins go toe to toe with last season’s beaten finalists, the Warriors.

The hosts were narrowly beaten on Sunday by the bizhub Highveld Lions while the Warriors were soundly swept aside by the Multiply Titans. With both sides desperate for a win, this should be a cracker!

Dolphins vs Warriors | Wednesday 22 November | Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban | 18:00

To Win Match
Hollywoodbets Dolphins 63/100 | Tie 35/1 | Warriors 27/20 

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Hollywoodbets Dolphins
It wasn’t a particularly good weekend for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins. Friday evening saw a wonderful crowd of around 6000 filter into Sahara Stadium Kingsmead only for the match to be abandoned because of rain.

Fast forward two days and they narrowly lost out against the bizhub Highveld Lions up at Senwes Park. The Dolphins stuttering innings was rescued by excellent knocks from Morne van Wyk (42) and the ever-improving Sibonelo Makhanya (46*) as they finished on 168-6.

Unfortunately the plan to open the bowling with Keshav Maharaj didn’t quite work, as the Protea spinner conceded 15 off the first over and was effectively hit out of the attack by Reeza Hendricks. The Lions opener would go on to record his maiden T20 century with the Dolphins defence of their total crumbling.

He was supported at the top of the order by Rassie van der Dussen who grabbed at 42-ball 57. The Dolphins did well to give themselves a chance toward the end thanks to some tight bowling from the likes of Andile Phelukwayo, Robbie Frylinck, Mthokozisi Shezi and Makhanya.

With three to win, Wiaan Mulder showed composure beyond his years clipping the final delivery of the match to the mid-wicket boundary for four. Still, coach Grant Morgan would have been encouraged with what he saw up in the Highveld.

Of course, he’ll need his top order to contribute more. With a longish tail, you want Sarel Erwee, van Wyk, Khaya Zondo and Dane Vilas to be in the runs. I very much doubt we’ll see any changes to the side going into the next match, with this group of players well capable of beating anyone on their day.

I actually thought the Warriors bowlers did an excellent job of restricting the Multiply Titans to 172-4 on Friday evening. Basheeru-Deen Walters and Andrew Birch were outstanding, recapturing their form from last season as the Buffalo Park crowd began to believe. 

Their collective eight overs only yielded just 37 runs for the Titans. Unfortunately, none of the other bowlers could follow it up and were carted to all corners of Buffalo Park. Jon-Jon Smuts and George Cloete got their chase off to the ideal start with the pair putting on 50 in the first five overs before Lungi Ngidi picked up the first of his four wickets, clean bowling the dangerous Smuts with for for 20.

From then on, the Warriors lost wickets far too regularly to mount any sort of challenge against a loaded Titans XI. I’m not really sure what they can do to change things up before coming to Durban. For started, Birch and Walters will need a bit more support from the other bowlers.

In terms of the batting, they still lean too heavily on Smuts. If he doesn’t come off, it puts massive pressure on Colin Ackermann and Christiaan Jonker to carry the team. You just don’t see where else the runs are going to come from.

I do worry that they won't bat their full 20 overs, especially against the attack that the Dolphins employ. They've got wicket takers aplenty - think Tahir, Frylinck and Phelukwayo - and will be confident of keeping the Warriors' score down... especially if Smuts and Cloete don't come off.

Verdict: Hollywoodbets Dolphins 63/100
The Warriors have looked well off the pace so far this season. Meanwhile, the Hollywoodbets Dolphins continue to impress, even if their last match didn’t quite go according to plan. The hosts should be far too strong and are likely to pick up the points… that is of course if the weather decides to play ball.  

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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