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|Tony de Zorzi||6||13||1||0||46.15|
|Shaun von Berg||10.0||0||61||1||6.10|
We are almost midway through the Momentum One Day Cup and as far as the qualification scenarios are concerned, things still look far from settled. Surprisingly, Titans, the defending champions, are languishing in the bottom half of the table and would need to make a move on to assert their dominance. Their upcoming match, which they are set to play against Knights, provides them with an opportunity to not only put four important points besides their name, but also get back to the winning ways and add some momentum. The Knights, on the other hand, have been the worst performing side of the competition so far and will need a miracle to qualify for the playoffs from here. They would need to win almost all their matches and considering the form they are in, that proposition seems rather unlikely. The two sides are set to meet at the Diamond Oval, Kimberley on Sunday, 1st March.
The Titans were one of the favorites to finish at the top of the table before the tournament began, but they haven't performed like one. Much of that has been due to the fact that most of their players have been away on international duty with South Africa playing against England and Australia respectively. As it stands, the Titans are placed at the fourth spot with 11 points to their name. They still have a pretty good net run-rate of 0.207. The fact that they have played only five matches in the tournament works in their favor.
The Titans are coming off a poor performance in both the departments of the game as they faced a heavy defeat at the hands of Dolphins in their previous match. Bowling first on a good surface to bat on, Titans' bowlers failed to make early inroads as Erwee and Roelofsen got Dophins off to a terrific start. Titans had a depleted bowling attack, which couldn't keep Dolphins' run-rate in check. Junior Dala picked but three wickets, but he was too expensive as he gave away 78 runs in his 10 overs. Aiden Markram, much to everyone's surprise, was the pick of their bowlers as he returned with three wickets to his name at the expense of 49 runs in nine overs.
While the total of 308 was tall, Titans had a lineup to chase it down. With the likes of Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, and Farhan Behardien, the match was poised evenly at the halfway stage. However, the Titans' batsmen failed to perform to their potential and eventually lost the match by 34 runs. The revised target after the rain shortened the match was 295, which proved to be too much to handle for the Titans. Tony de Zorzi scored 54 off 46 deliveries and was the top-scorer for the Titans.
Keegan Petersen, PJ van Biljon, AGS Gous, Grant Mokoena, Patrick Kruger, G Jacques Snyman, Shaun von Berg, Ottneil Baartman, Mbulelo Budaza, Marco Jansen, Wandile Makwetu.
While Knights were never the favorites to win the title, their bottom of the table position wasn't expected as well. Currently, the are placed at the sixth spot with only six points to their name and a poor net run-rate of -1.541. Their only win in the tournament came in just a couple of matches ago when they defeated Cape Cobras by three wickets.
They, however, failed to turn the tide in their favor as they lost the next match to Lions by a considerably big margin. It was once again their batting to blame as they failed to come even close to the target, let alone chasing it. Chasing a total of 275, Knights crumbled for a total of 188 as Lions won the match by 87 runs.
With Pieter van Biljon playing for South Africa, Knights are clearly short on experience as well as talent. Their batting has performed the worst in the tournament so far as they have exceeded the total of 200 only once in this competition. Their bowling, however, has done pretty well and it was their bowling that won them the match against the Cobras. It is now or never kind of situation for the Knights and their batting would need to step up. If their batting manages to do that and bowling continues to be on song, the Knights could pose a real threat for all other teams in the competiton.
Rivaldo Moonsamy, Aiden Markram, Farhaan Behardien, Dean Elgar, Tony de Zorzi, DS Rosier, GM Thomson, Corbin Bosch, Junior Dala, Alfred Mothoa, Imran Manack.
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The Knights and the Titans are both languishing at the bottom of the points table, but their is a daylight of difference between the performances of the two sides in the tournament so far. While the Knights have struggled in all their matches they lost and their win wasn't as convinving either, Titans have done well, but have been on the receiving end of the luck. Their superior net run-rate is an evidence of that. While there is hardly anything to separate the two sides based on the standings on the ladder, the on-paper and on-performance comparison between the two sides gives it away. Titans are a better-balanced side on all accounts, and are, therefore, our pick to win this match on Sunday.
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