About the Match
Ram Slam 2017 or the CSA T20 2017 T20 competition, depending on how you want to call it, has been a competition full of surprises. Apart from the Titans who have swept away everyone who has come into their way, all the other teams seem capable of beating each other. The Warriors may have lost both their matches in the tournament so far but it is not a team to be taken lightly.
The Dolphins were part of an extremely intriguing and exciting match against the Lions in their last encounter where they almost came back from an unwinnable position. Defending 169, the Dolphins had only 15 runs to defend from 12 balls with all 10 wickets intact for the Lions. This somehow became three runs from 1 delivery for the Lions which they managed to score and close out an incredible match.
That showcased the never say die attitude the Dolphins have displayed in this tournament. Their squad is extremely talented and contains plenty of match winners.
One of them is probably the most talked about batsman in South African cricket right now: Sam Erwee. After scoring a phenomenal century in the opening match of the tournament, Erwee was sharply in focus but failed in his second outing. He will once again be expected to lead the charge for the Dolphins. His excellent form through the summer has transcended formats and we are backing him to get away to another good start.
With players like Morne van Wyk, Dane Vilas, Khaya Zondo, and Makhanya in their lineup, the Dolphins can be expected to score plenty of runs in most matches. Frylinck in the lower middle order is also a dangerous hitter and capable of contributing with the bat consistently.
The Dolphins also have an excellent bowling attack comprising of Imran Tahir, rated as one of the best T20 bowlers in the world, Keshav Maharaj, Andile Phehlukwayo (both South African internationals), and some very competent domestic bowlers.
The going has been tough for the Warriors this season. They knew they were going to be up against it because of the lack of any international players contracted by the franchise but the manner of defeats would be sapping their morale none the same.
For the Warriors to perform, they need more than one of their players to have an exceptional outing every time. One of the players who can fulfill that role is JJ Smuts, the opening batsman, and someone who can score big runs at a fast clip.
His two matches so far have only bright him 38 runs. The positive is that a player like that is likely to capitalize once he gets the starts he has been. Cloete showed some good form as well in the last match, Jonker has been in the runs, but the others also must start contributing in a meaningful manner soon.
It is not entirely unfair to say that this Warriors team currently has the worst batting lineup in the entire tournament.
Things don’t get too much better in the bowling department either. Birch, Walters, and Magala are the lead bowlers for the side with all of them boasting of impressive domestic records. The quality of opposition has been increased dramatically and that is possibly exposing some weaknesses in their armory.
Unless one of these bowlers does something remarkable the Warriors may again find themselves chasing some huge totals.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at Durban is always fast, bouncy, and offers plenty of carry. Both the bowlers and batsmen will enjoy playing on this surface. The nature of the T20 game means that we should be looking at some huge scores once again, particularly if the Dolphins bat first.
The weather is forecast to be wet and we could well see a reduced match play out.
The Dolphins to win