Ram Slam T20: Multiply Titans vs bizhub Highveld Lions Preview

Batsman Hits Ball

We round off the weekend's Ram Slam T20 Action with a tasty clash that pits the Multiply Titans against the bizhub Highveld Lions at Centurion. 

The second match of Sunday’s double header will see a star-studded Multiply Titans outfit take on their Highveld adversaries at SuperSport Park Centurion.

While not nearly as strong on paper, the bizhub Highveld Lions are more than capable of holding their own against the Pretoria outfit. It’s shaping up to be an absolute cracker, let’s take a look.

Titans vs Lions | Sunday 12 November | SuperSport Park Centurion | 16:00

To Win Match
Titans 52/100 | Tie 35/1 | Lions 31/20

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Multiply Titans
Where to start with this Titans team? Mark Boucher really does find himself in an enviable position with no fewer than eight CSA Contracted players available to him throughout the course of this tournament.

Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Morne Morkel, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn and Chris Morris will all be available for the franchise, with Boucher sweating on the fitness of the latter two. Unfortunately, Protea skipper Faf du Plessis will miss the competition with a back injury picked up against Bangladesh.

Of course there will always be a lot of noise made about the contracted players. However, guys Heinrich Klaasen, Heino Kuhn, Aiden Markram, Albie Morkel, Lungi Ngidi and David Wiese would likely get into any of the other squads around the country. One or two of them, especially Klaasen and Kuhn might battle to get extended runs in the team with all of the contracted players available.

While it may not be ideal for the players, this depth speaks volumes for the Titans’ chances this year. Although it would be wise to wait and see how they perform in their first few matches before getting carried away. The most expensively assembled (and most talented on paper) squads don't always set these T20 competitions alight. Just think back to the Royal Challengers Bangalore and their calamitous IPL campaign.

Looking ahead to the clash, I think the Titans’ top order should see them home pretty comfortably. All of the their top batsmen love the ball coming onto the bat, and with guys like Hardus Viljoen and Kagiso Rabada set to open things up for the Lions, we could see a fair bit of carnage early on.

I very much doubt the middle order will even be called into action with Markram, de Kock, De Villiers and Henry Davids likely to get the bulk of the runs. At the very least they’ll be expected to lay a solid platform for the likes of Albie Morkel and Behardien to finish things off. 

bizhub Highveld Lions
The Lions certainly aren’t without their share of quality players, although I don’t seem them being able to amass enough runs to defend or chase down effectively against their Sunday opposition. Stephen Cook and Reeza Hendricks will open things up at the top of the order, and will need to attack from the off.

Rassie van der Dussen will likely be the key man with the bat. The 28-year-old top scored for the franchise last season, bagging 345 runs at an average of 31.36. What was most impressive, however, was his strike rate of 145.56. If he fires and gets a big score, the Lions have every chance of winning this game. The young Wiaan Mulder will also have a massive role to play and will want to impress having been called up to the national side recently.

While there is plenty of batting talent in the Lions' team, I feel that their biggest strength is with the ball. Rabada and Viljoen make up a fearsome opening duo with Bjorn Fortuin, Dwaine Pretorius and Aaron Phangiso making up the remainder of a very accomplished attack. All five will need to be bang on from the start of proceedings if they are to limit the damage done by the Titans big-hitting line-up.

While the Lions will by no means be rolled over, I think that they may well struggle against the Titans, especially with the ball. Centurion is a batsman’s paradise and I simply can’t see them doing enough to keep de Kock, Markram, Davids and de Villiers quiet enough to pick up a win.

Verdict: Multiply Titans 52/100
The Lions will face an uphill battle against the Titans on Sunday and I just don’t see them coming close against de Villiers and co. Back the men from Pretoria to get their campaign off the perfect start with a solid win. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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