Ram Slam T20 Challenge Final: Multiply Titans vs Hollywoodbets Dolphins Preview

Batsman Hits Ball

We preview the final of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge set to be contested between the Multiply Titans and the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at SuperSport Park Centurion.

The all-conquering Multiply Titans and the Hollywoodbets Dolphins go toe to toe in what will be an enthralling Ram Slam T20 Challenge final at SuperSport Park Centurion on Saturday evening.

Can the Dolphins beat the Titans for the second time in the space of seven days or will the Pretoria franchise successfully defend their title? Let’s take a look:

Titans vs Dolphins | Saturday 16 December | SuperSport Park Centurion | 18:00

To Win Match
Titans 42/100 | Tie 35/1 | Dolphins 19/10

Multiply Titans
The Titans have started to show a few signs of frailty in the latter parts of the tournament. They were almost at full strength when they lost against the WSB Cape Cobras on 8 December before a second string side was comprehensively thumped by the Dolphins last weekend [10 Dec].

Against the Warriors, there was a period where the match looked as though it was getting away from them [Titans]. Colin Ingram and Colin Ackermann were going well before their dismissals triggered a spectacular collapse which saw them dismissed for a paltry 143 with 11 balls to spare.

While they were unsurprisingly carried over the line in that semi-final by AB de Villiers and Aiden Markram with scores of 54* and 56 respectively. The real surprise came in the form of yet another Quinton de Kock failure. The South African wicketkeeper has endured a torrid run in the tournament, scoring just 79-runs at an average of 11.28.

The wicket-keeper will no doubt be afforded another run, especially if Henry Davids’ injury sustained in the warm-up against the Warriors keeps him out once again on Saturday. I’m not really sure whether or not Mark Boucher will tinker with the team that took to the field on Wednesday evening.

The attack did its job in the semi with the whole team – with the exception of Malusi Siboto – returning solid figures. Tabraiz Shamsi was once again the pick of the bunch as he ripped through the Warriors’ middle order finishing on figures of 4-0-32-4.

Shamsi has been incredible so far and is well out in front on the wicket-taking table, sitting on 16 scalps from his 31 overs. He is, no doubt, keen to upstage senior Protea, Imran Tahir on the biggest domestic stage, forcing his way into the forefront of the selectors' minds.

Hollywoodbets Dolphins
Who would have thought that the Hollywoodbets Dolphins would have gone all the way to the final this season? Certainly not the bookies who priced them out as 8/1 outsiders to lift the trophy at the start of the campaign. Three wins, two narrow defeats and five no results were enough for the Durban franchise to get into the play-offs.

The rain which has blighted their season has in many ways been a blessing. Indeed, the heavens opened on Thursday evening where they were scheduled to play the Cobras in the second semi-final. No play was possible which meant the KZN franchise went through to the final after finishing above the Cape franchise on the log.

Looking ahead, I’m not really sure the Dolphins have the right sort of attack for Centurion. They lack the genuine pace that is normally rewarded in the High Veld, but, Robbie Frylinck and Mthokozisi Shezi have plenty of tricks up their respective sleeves.

Variations will be the name of the game for the seamers while the spinners will need to be deadly accurate against a destructive top and middle order. Prenelan Subrayen and Keshav Maharaj will need to be at their economical best while Grant Morgan will hope Imran Tahir finds a bit of form and can strike regularly during the middle overs.

While there will be pressure on the bowlers, the batsmen know that they’ll need to either set a big total or be required to chase down something in excess of 180. Morne van Wyk and Vaughn van Jaarsveld will key. If the two openers can get off to a good start then Dane Vilas, Khaya Zondo and Sibonelo Makhanya can all attack without too much pressure in the middle overs and toward the back end of the innings.

Verdict: Multiply Titans 42/100
You simply can’t ignore the strength of this Titans line-up. I’ve said it a couple of times throughout this season: they could win just about any of the franchise T20 competitions around the world. The Dolphins will put up a good fight, but will ultimately fall short. 

Value Bet: Highest Opening Partnership: Dolphins 12/10
With Quinton de Kock in such poor form, you wouldn’t bet against him getting out early once again on Saturday. Van Wyk and van Jaarsveld on the other hand are in good touch and are tipped to outscore the Titans opening duo at 12/10.

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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