We preview the two Momentum One Day Cup semi-finals set to get underway on 30 and 31 January.
The Momentum One Day Cup is nearing its climax as the best four franchises in the country prepare to do battle in the semi-finals this week.
The first semi will see the table-topping Multiply Titans host the Warriors at SuperSport Park Centurion on Tuesday before the Hollywoodbets Dolphins travel to Cape Town to face the WSB Cape Cobras.
Titans vs Warriors | Tuesday 30 January | SuperSport Park Centurion, Pretoria | 13:30
To Win Match
The Titans’ preparations for the knockout phase of the competition were dealt a pretty big blow after they were comfortably beaten by Hollywoodbets Dolphins on Friday evening. Mark Boucher won’t let his players dwell on that result though as they need to be at their best when an unpredictable Warriors side come calling on Tuesday.
They weren’t awful against the KZN franchise but needed on of Henry Davids (52), Tony de Zorzi (68), Rivaldo Moonsamy (40) and Heinrich Klaasen (52) to push on to three figures. Conversion then will be hot on the lips of the Titans’ management as they prepare for Tuesday.
The Warriors snuck into the semi-finals and will need to put a heavy 121-defeat suffered at the hands of Tuesday’s opposition a few weeks ago behind them. To be fair, they did bounce back from that loss with two excellent wins against the Dolphins in Durban and the Knights in East London.
Much of the onus will fall squarely upon Gilhahn Cloete with the bat. The Atlantis native has enjoyed a sensational season, scoring 490 runs at an average of 55.11. He remains the only Warriors player to reach triple figures in this campaign which will be of some concern. Can he carry his side to yet another victory? We’ll have to wait and see.
Verdict: Multiply Titans 42/100
You feel that the Titans simply have too much firepower in the batting department – especially against a Warriors team who have fallen short well with the bat on a couple of occasions this season. Back the hosts to come through this fixture without much fuss.
Cape Cobras vs Dolphins | Wednesday 31 January | Newlands, Cape Town | 13:30
To Win Match
Cape Cobras | Tie 35/1 | Dolphins 5/4
The Hollywoodbets Dolphins have very much been the WSB Cape Cobras’ bogey team across all formats this season, with Cape side having yet to register a win against Grant Morgan’s charges this this term.
No doubt Ashwell Prince will be hoping his side break the hoodoo when they welcome the Dolphins to Newlands on Wednesday. Both outfits head into this match off the back of impressive victories, with the Cobras beating the Warriors and the Dolphins scoring a massive win over the Titans.
Looking ahead, there will of course be a few key battles. The Dolphins’ spinners – all of whom have been excellent this season – will do well to keep Pieter Malan and JP Duminy quiet. Malan in particular has been sensational this throughout the tournament. The 28-year-old has scored 611 runs at an average of 67.88 this season and will look to extend that form into the knockout phase of the competition.
In terms of team selection, you can be sure that the finger-spin trio of Keshav Maharaj, Prenelan Subrayen and Senuran Muthusamy will all be in the side. Sibonelo Makhanya is likely to come back into the playing XI for skipper Khaya Zondo who has joined up with the national side ahead of the ODIs against India.
Verdict: Hollywoodbets Dolphins 5/4
The Dolphins have had the measure of the Cobras across all formats this season and are tipped to come away with victory again. Expect the visitors’ spinners to dominate on a conducive Newlands surface – 5/4 is a top price here.