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Questions must be asked about the state of the mind of the Knights team players at this stage because the CSA T20 Challenge has nothing left in it for them. The Knights are still without a single win after six matches and they are now going to face the Cape Cobras.
With four wins from six matches, there is no side that has won more matches than the Cape Cobras. However, they are still only tied for the top spot with the Lions on points and actually a little behind on net run-rate.
This makes this an important match for the Cape Cobras. They don’t want to be the only team that has not been able to get points against the Knights because that could prove to be a disadvantage later down the line.
For the Knights, we would say that they have their pride left to play for but we are not sure about that also at this stage of the tournament.
The Knights could not do anything but watch helplessly as the rain pounded down and made play impossible at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley. Their last match as their third rained-out game of the tournament, a problem that most of the other teams have also had to face.
It can be very difficult to get going in the tournament when there is a constant stop-start cadence and that is understandable. So many rained out matches also make the ones where you actually get a result that much more important.
The last match that the Knights actually played was against the Cape Cobras which they narrowly lost by 5 runs. They have the opportunity to make amends in this match and would be desperately hoping to see some of their senior players turn things around.
Ryan McLaren, Shadley van Schalkwyk in the bowling department and Patrick Kruger, Petrus van Biljon in the batting department are the players that must put in some inspiring performances to lift the team. Neither of them is recognized as a world-class T20 player but they all have some very impressive domestic performances behind them and must take confidence from those.
The Cape Cobras have a very strong batting and so the Knights bowlers should try and keep disciplined line and lengths to be able to keep them in check. Frankly, we don’t think the Knights are going to be able to do that for the second time running against the Cape Cobras.
The confidence is low in the camp and coming up against a strong side like the Cape Cobras is not going to be easy at all.
Playing 11 not yet available.
The Cape Cobras are the only side in the CSA T20 Challenge that has not yet faced a single rained out game. Playing cricket on a more consistent basis than the other teams is a big advantage because it allows momentum to be built up within the camp and also for any selection mistakes to be rectified during the tournament.
The Cape Cobras may have won more matches than any other side in the tournament but we don’t think they are playing at their best just now. Senior batsmen like Hashim Amla and Janneman Malan have not had the return that they would have liked.
In the case of Hashim Amla, the pressure must surely be showing. He has been picked for the ICC World Cup 2019 South Africa squad even though his ODI form has been patchy ahead of someone like Reeza Hendricks, who has been scoring more runs.
Amla is clearly near to the end of his career but constantly failing to score in domestic competitions he has dominated in the past is not a very good sign.
The Cape Cobras still have a very strong batting lineup thanks to the presence of Kyle Verreynne, Jason Smith, George Linde, and David Bedingham in the side. There is a lot of power to call upon and a lot of depth in case some early wickets are lost.
The biggest advantage for the Cape Cobras has been their bowling. Rory Kleinveldt may have had a poor match against the Warriors but he has been in good form this season and has helped the Cape Cobras win a couple of matches already. Vernon Philander took five wickets to show that his class is permanent. Tladi Bokako, Geroge Linde, and the fifth bowler have also been quite dependable in tricky situations.
On paper, the Cape Cobras certainly have the better lineup than the Knights
Playing 11 not yet available.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to chase because of all the rain around
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The CSA T20 Challenge match between the Knights and the Cape Cobras is going to be played at the Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein. The rain seems to be following the Knights around and we are afraid the forecast if not good for this match. There is plenty of rain around in Bloemfontein and we are going to be extremely lucky to get any sort of cricket on match day.
A rained out fixture is the most likely outcome.
Incessant rain means that the points will be shared in the most likely scenario. However, if by some miracle the rain does stop, we advise sticking with the Cape Cobras in this match. The Knights have been terrible in this series and have done nothing to show that things are about to change.
Back the Cape Cobras to win.
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