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The Knights finally got off the mark in the Momentum One Day Cup not with a win, but a no-result. While they are still a long way off from the team above them, having a point to their name is better than having nothing at all. Cobras, the team right above them, is still in contention to get in the top four and will be looking for just that in their upcoming match. They play their next match against the Dolphins and considering the way the Dolphins have played in the tournament so far, it is not going to be an easy task for the Cobras. The two teams are set to lock horns at the Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town.
Cobras have done a decent job up until now and they would not be wrong to blame their luck for the position they are in. After getting off to a superb start to the tournament with a win over the Warriors, a couple of close defeats along with a colossal one has put the Cobras in a spot of bother. They currently have eight points to their name with a net run-rate of - 0.459.
They are coming off a heart-wrenching defeat at the hands of the Lions, the match wherein their batsmen as well as the bowlers both did pretty well, but just could not get their side over the line. Batting first on an excellent wicket to bat on, Janneman Malan and Pieter Malan got them off to a fine start as the pair added fifty runs for the first wicket before Jannemann Malan was dismissed. Pieter Malan soon followed him back to the pavilion leaving Cobras in a spot of bother. Zubair Hamza, who had been in terrific form, then combined with Jonathan Bird to take Cobras into a position to dictate terms. With 202 for 2 on the board and plenty of overs to go, the Cobras looked like scoring a total well in excess of 330. However, the wicket of Bird triggered a collapse as the Cobras ended up scoring only 304 with only 102 runs coming off the last 13.3 overs despite having wickets in hand.
With the surface beginning to slow down, 304 was still a pretty good total. Although the Lions got off to a quick start, Cobras picked up key wickets and were once in a pretty good position with Lions having three chips down for just 75. The Cobras, however, failed to pick wickets in the middle overs as with Lions eventually crossed the line with just one wicket in hand. Ntini was the pick of their bowlers as he returned with impressive figures of 4 for 62 in his 10 overs.
Despite the defeat, the Cobras will take confidence from the kind of performances they have been putting in, in the tournament. The are the only team who have defeated Dolphins in the tournament so far and will be confident to repeat the feat.
Janneman Malan, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza, Jonathan Bird, Kyle Verreynne, George Linde, Aviwe Mgijima, Rory Kleinveldt, Dane Paterson, Thando Ntini, Akhona Mnyaka.
With a net run-rate of 1.491, 14 points, and consequently the top of the table position, the Dolphins have been the best team of the tournament so far. They have lost just one game, in which the loss wasn't as brutal as the wins they have posted. Their stupendous net run-rate speaks volumes about the margins of wins they posted in the three wins they posted.
The Dolphins are coming off a relatively easier assignment wherein they defeat Knights by six wickets. Considering that their win came in just over 21 overs, the dominance they showed in that match was a lot more than what the margin of their win suggests. While it was a poor display of batting by the Knights, the Dolphins' bowlers were spectacular as they entirely dismantled the Knights for a total of 139. Their batsmen didn't have to work hard as they cruised to the total with six wickets in hand and plenty of wickets to spare.
Grant Roelofsen, VBV Jaarsveld, Sarel Erwee, Senuran Muthusamy, Khaya Zondo, P Subrayen, R Frylinck, Sibonelo Makhanya, Okuhle Cele, K Maharaj, D Dupavillon.
The Cobras are the only team who have defeated Dolphins and the Dolphins will be wary of that. Also, the Cobras are placed at the fifth spot currently, but that position doesn't truly reflect the way they have played in the tournament. Dolphins, on the other hand, have been the best side of the tournament and are rightly placed at the top. Comparing the two sides on the basis of performances and on-paper composition, the Dolphins are a better side and, therefore, firm favorites to win the upcoming encounter.
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