About the Match
As the Ram Slam T20 Challenge nears its final stage, teams will grab this last opportunity to make it to the playoffs; currently in the 3rd place, Cobras suffered a setback when their recent match was washed away by rain but will try to make a dash for the qualifiers when they meet 4th place holders Lions on 11th December at Paarl. While Cobras have 17 points, Lions are breathing down their necks with 16 points in their bag, and will leave no stone unturned to surpass them to the next stage. It is going to be a tough fight between these two contenders; when they met previously, the Lions had emerged victorious and will now try to keep their hopes alive with another win here. On the other hand, the Cobras did very well to win their last two games and will put up a tough fight again.
The team has a strong pace attack in Wayne Parnell, Kieron Pollard and Rory Kleinveldt, who have been in tremendous form; Dane Paterson and spinners like George Linde and Serame are vital to the squad, and can surprise the opponents with their clever variations. Against Knights, they bowled first and restricted the opposition to 146 runs, which the top-order batsmen chased down easily.
Richard Levi has played useful contributions in recent games, and his power-packed 58 off 32 built a good foundation against Knights; Kieron Pollard, Wayne Parnell and JP Duminy are strong all-rounders and they kept the scoreboard ticking to help win the match by 8 wickets. Previously against Dolphins too, the batting line-up put up a good show chasing down 179 runs convincingly; while Richard Levi and Dane Vilas posted half-centuries, Pollard, Justin Ontong and Parnell supported well.
The bowlers and batsmen are in good form and can be a formidable force to reckon with; they have a lot to lose here and can put their best foot forward to make it to the playoffs.
Batsmen like Reeza Hendricks, Mangaliso Mosehle and Rassie van der Dussen failed to fire with the bat when playing against Knights; middle-order batsman Wiaan Mulder was the top-scorer with 35 while fast-bowler Dwaine Pretorius came up with a good 22-run knock to get them to 125 runs. However, with D/L method in play, they couldn’t defend the reduced target of 112 runs for the opposition in 18 overs despite an economical spell by spinners Phangiso, Eddie Leie and Fortuin.
Against Titans too, the speedsters put up a lacklustre performance with players like Viljoen, Pretorius and Matt McGillivray giving away more than 12 runs per over; although Fortuin and Phangiso took 3 wickets between them with their spin skills, they couldn’t stop the opponents from scoring a massive 230 runs. The batsmen combined their talents to get the scoreboard ticking but it was an uphill climb and they lost the match by 46 runs.
They have been on a losing spree but will draw inspiration from their win against Cobras earlier thanks to a rain-affected game; they have good resources with bat and ball to make a comeback.
The Cobras have done extremely well in recent matches and will be eager to continue winning; the Lions are no doubt a tough nut to crack but going by their recent form, we feel that Cobras are well set to emerge victorious and make it through to the playoffs on Sunday