Ram Slam T20 Challenge: VKB Knights vs Hollywoodbets Dolphins Preview

Batsman Hits Ball

We take a look at Friday's Ram Slam T20 match between the VKB Knights and the Hollywoodbets Dolphins. 

One of the three Ram Slam T20 matches taking place on Friday evening will see two of the unluckier franchises in this competition go head to head. The Knights lost both of their last two games by the narrowest of margins against the Cobras and the Titans.

The Dolphins on the other hand, have only been able to complete three of their eight matches – all of which were away from home – be due to rain. So whose luck will change on Friday evening? Let’s take a look:

Knights vs Dolphins | Friday 8 December | Manguang Oval, Bloemfontein | 18:00

To Win Match
VKB Knights 92/100 | Tie 35/1 | Hollywoodbets Dolphins 92/100

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VKB Knights
The Knights have been desperately unlucky of late. They’ve not managed to gain a single log point in their last two matches despite excellent performances against two of the competition’s form franchises.

Indeed, small moments in each of those last two matches cost them dearly. Against the Titans, Duanne Olivier was tasked with bowling the second last over with the Pretoria franchise needing 21-runs in 12 balls. Olivier would go on to bowl four wides in a 10-ball over with the final delivery being deposited into the stands square of the wicket.

On Wednesday, the dismissals of David Miller and Ryan McClaren in consecutive Dane Paterson balls rocked the Free Staters. They were never able to fully recover from that double blow as they went down by five runs.

Looking ahead, Nicky Boje’s side have to be more clinical. They’ve lost both of their last two matches from what I would consider to be winning positions. While unlucky, these defeats could have been avoided had senior players put their hands up and taken responsibility. It’s no good Miller making a half-century only to get out midway through the innings and transferring the pressure to the middle and lower order.

By the same token, it’s pointless bowling well at the start of the innings only to give away 17 runs at the death. It’s moments like these that can go on to define a season. Another loss here and the Knights could well end up finishing bottom of the standings with a difficult away trip against the Lions still to come.

Hollywoodbets Dolphins
The Hollywoodbets Dolphins come into the match desperate for a result. While they’ve had to endure five washouts – including all four of their home matches so far – the points they’ve accrued have seen them remain in the race for a semi-final berth.

Unfortunately, they came horribly unstuck last weekend against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth. Poor shot selection – particularly from Sarel Erwee and Vaughn van Jaarsveld – cost the Dolphins in the end as they fell one run short of their 153-run target.

While there were disappointing performances, there was also room for optimism as the likes of Robbie Frylinck, Mthokozisi Shezi, Morne van Wyk and Sibonelo Makhanya all delivered. The latter has perhaps impressed most this season, delivering big performances with the bat on both occasions he’s been called upon.

The 21-year-old scored an unbeaten 46 against the Lions in Potch mid-November before his excellent 33 against the Warriors on Saturday. If he continues to improve at this rate, it won’t be long before we see the youngster representing a South African ‘A’ team before breaking into the national set-up.

Looking ahead, the KZN franchise most certainly have the personnel to get the job done against the Knights. Their explosive top order will enjoy the quicker surface and relatively modest dimensions of the ground – expect plenty of runs here.

Verdict: Hollywoodbets Dolphins 92/100
There is just so much at stake here, and with both sides so evenly matched it’s difficult to call a winner. The Dolphins just shade it for me. Grant Morgan’s men will no doubt enjoy the quicker surface up in 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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