After what seems like an absolute age, the Momentum One Day Cup returns to our screens with all six franchises in action this Friday. The tie of the round sees the Cape Cobras host the Sunfoil Dolphins.
Elsewhere, The bizhub Highveld Lions welcome the Chevrolet Warriors to the Wanderers while the VKB Knights make the trip to Pretoria to play the Unlimited Titans.
Cape Cobras 7/10
Paul Adams and his Cape Cobras side will be looking to consolidate their spot at the top of the Momentum One Day Cup standings when they welcome Lance Klusner and the Sunfoil Dolphins to PPC Newlands. Both sides have lost players to the South African ‘A’ team with Dane Vilas and Wayne Parnell absent for the Cobras along with Khaya Zondo and Andile Phelukwayo for the Dolphins.
Both sides have been involved in four-day action and will be looking to transition back into 50-over mode tomorrow. The Cobras will be able to call on the likes of Stiaan van Zyl, JP Duminy and Dane Piedt. Richard Levi – one of the tournament’s most destructive batsmen – is currently away in the UAE where he is taking part in the Masters Champions League.
The Dolphins’ ranks will be bolstered by the return of Morne van Wyk who will slot back into the side following his recovery from a wrist injury. David Miller, Imran Tahir and Ryan McLaren (who is also contracted to a Masters Champions League side) are all apparently available for the KZN franchise.
It’s been a while since either of these sides have played limited-overs cricket. As such, calling a winner is proving quite difficult. As such, I’m going to back the returning Morne van Wyk to top score for the Dolphins at 233/100. His experience at this level makes him an incredibly difficult batsman to remove once he gets settled, don’t be at all surprised if he steals the show tomorrow.
Our next match will see the third-placed bizhub Highveld Lions welcome the second-placed Chevrolet Warriors to the Wanderers. Geoffrey Toyana and his charges have been in immaculate form in the domestic First Class four-day competition where they lead the way, having not lost a game yet. The Warriors will be more than happy to swap their whites for their coloured kit as they’ve endured a torrid Sunfoil Series campaign thus far, losing four out of their five games.
The Lions will be without a number of high-profile players through injury and South Africa ‘A’ duty. Hardus Viljoen and Aaron Phangiso are both set to feature for the country’s second side against England while Dwaine Pretorius is out injured. They will also have to do without skipper, Thami Tsolekile who is currently under investigation for his role in the recent match-fixing scandal that rocked South African cricket.
Both Stephen Cook and Temba Bavuma – both of whom did Test duty against England in the recently concluded Test leg of the series – are in contention for starts
News from the Warriors’ camp with regards to their side has been virtually non-existent. We don’t have any reason to believe that they’ll be without any of their players for Friday’s match. They will, however, welcome back shorter format specialists, Jon-Jon Smuts and Christiaan Jonker back into their side.
The Lions look as though they simply have too much quality for this Warriors side to deal with. Couple this with both teams’ contrasting form in the Sunfoil Series, and the Johannesburg franchise suddenly look excellent value at 9/10 – back them to get the job done!
The Unlimited Titans, who have had a magnificent season all round, will welcome the VKB Knights to Willowmore Park in Benoni on Friday afternoon. The Pretoria-based franchise will be buzzing after being crowned Ram Slam T20 Challenge Champions at the end of last year, however, coach Rob Walter is now focussing solely on improving his side’s position on the Momentum One Day Cup log.
They will be able to field the likes of Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Chris Morris and Farhaan Behardien for the clash before they meet up with the Proteas’ One Day International squad on Sunday morning.
Rilee Rossouw will be available for the Knights before he too joins up with the national side. Corne Dry and Tumelo Bodibe will travel with the squad to Gauteng, however, Dillon du Preez remains sidelined through injury. The Titans simply possess too much quality for the Knights and shouldn’t have any trouble claiming victory. Add them to your weekend multiple at 7/20.