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|Marchant de Lange||10.0||0||58||0||5.80|
|Shadley van Schalkwyk||9.0||1||24||1||2.67|
|Marchant de Lange||11||5||1||1||220.00|
|Shadley van Schalkwyk||28||43||3||0||65.12|
|PJ van Biljon||14||40||1||0||35.00|
We are just five matches away from the semifinals in the ongoing Momentum One Day Cup and there is going be a hard tussle between the five teams for the remaining three slots. The result of the match between Warriors and Dolphins will govern the second-finalist whereas in the match to follow, between Cape Cobras and Titans, the situation will, in all probability, become clearer. Cape Cobras and Knights will take on each other at Cape Town on Thursday, 21st March.
The Cobras have had an up and down tournament thus far and are at the fourth spot with four wins in eight matches amounting to 16 points. A win here will take them to at least 20 points which should be enough to ascertain a playoff spot.
The Cobras are coming into the upcoming fixture with an annihilating loss behind them, to Titans. While the loss against the Titans would have hampered their morale, they did reasonably well in the matches preceding their last game.
Batting first against the Titans, Cape Cobras probably aimed too high and folded for a lot less than the par score. Taking nothing away from the Titans bowlers who bowled well on a lifeless surface, most of their dismissals were accounted for by the poor short selection. As many as three batsmen - PJ Malan, Zubayr Hamza, and Mgijima were dismissed for a personal score of 30, in a bid to push the scoring rate. There was hardly any fight exhibited by their lower order as they were all dismissed for a cumulative score of 151.
The total of 151 was at least half than what they aimed for and defending it wasn't going to be easy and Titans' aggressive approach early in their innings only made it difficult. Barring Bokako, who was their only bowler to bowl with an economy rate of less than six, none of their bowlers looked like stopping the flow of runs let alone wickets. Bokako conceded just 22 runs off his 5.1 overs as Titans cruised to the total without any loss.
Janneman Malan, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza, Aviwe Mgijima, Kyle Verreynne, Dayyaan Galiem, VD Philander, Rory Kleinveldt, Dane Piedt, Akhona Mnyaka, Tsepo Ndwandwa.
The team which looked down and out at the halfway stage is all of a sudden back in contention for a semifinal slot. The Knights have the same number of wins as the Cobras with two fewer points (14) and will be looking to salvage a win and move to the second spot. They have a terrific net run rate of 0.243 which is second only to Titans' 1.231.
After having a winless streak lasting for six matches, the way Knights have bounced back is commendable. While their win against the Warriors could be termed as a laborious effort, they looked fairly fluent against the Dolphins.
Batting first on a sticky sort of surface wasn't going to be easy for Knights especially after the early loss of Gous, but a fabulous innings from Patrick Kruger not only helped them negotiate the tricky time but also allowed them to post an imposing total. With small but useful cameos from RS Second and Ryan McLaren pushed them across the 200-run mark.
After the brilliant performance by Kruger and Co. with the bat, van Schalkwyk did wonderfully wreaked havoc on Dolphins' batsmen as he picked five wickets at the expense of just 25 runs in his four overs. Marchant de Lange was a little expensive but picked up the important wicket of Khaya Zondo. Kruger also picked up a wicket and was adjudged man of the match for his all-around performance.
Patrick Kruger, AGS Gous, Keegan Petersen, PJ van Biljon, RS Second, Grant Mokoena, Ryan McLaren, Marchant de Lange, T Ntuli, Shadley van Schalkwyk, Mbulelo Budaza.
The competition is intensifying in the competition as we are approaching the playoff stage. Both the sides are now in a position where a win should be enough to ascertain their qualification to the next round. The Knights have scripted an incredible turnaround after being down and out for the most part of the competition and will be looking to continue to build on the momentum. With a bowling unit that has been consistently doing well in the tournament and the likes of Kruger, McLaren, and Second doing well with the bat in the last few games, the Knights are in a better position to win the upcoming encounter.
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