About the Match
The competition for the knockout stages in the Ram Slam 2017 has become intensified due to a combination of poor weather and some inconsistent performances by the teams. Apart from the Titans who are well and truly a class above everyone else, all the remaining teams could theoretically still make it to the semi-finals.
The Cape Cobras are finally playing true to their pre-tournament billing and winning regularly. They will take on the Knights in this match between the current second and third-placed teams on the table.
The Knights would have felt that they are in with a chance against the Titans who were chopping and changing their team once again but they did not score enough runs with the bat and then did not have the bowling to put sustained pressure on the Titans.
At one point during the defense of 133, though, the Knights had the Titans at 54 for 4 thanks to some excellent bowling by Swanepoel and Schalkwyk. The backup bowling was a little loose and Behardien put them to the sword with ease.
Against the Cap Cobras now the Knights will have similar challenges to surmount. Their batting is hopelessly dependent on David Miller and Theunis de Bruyn and their bowling is also similarly dependent on just a couple of players.
David Miller has 218 runs to his name this season, de Bruyn has 185 but none of the other Knights batsmen have even crossed 100 runs in total. The Cape Cobras have a strong batting order and containing them is not going to be easy.
This means that for the Knights to be competitive David Miller has to play a match-winning innings or else they are going to struggle. There is also the possibility that the Knights bowlers have an excellent day or maybe the Cape Cobras just collapse but neither of these seems particularly plausible at the moment.
The Cape Cobras have put behind their horror start to the tournament and are now unbeaten in their last four matches. Their most recent match was rained out with the Cobras in a good position and they would have every right to feel aggrieved about the sharing of points that eventually occurred.
What was positive in that match was that JP Duminy continued to score runs at will and his 85 not out has now taken him to 308 runs for the tournament. With Hashim Amla at 263, and Temba Bavuma also enjoying his role at as opener, the Cape Cobras have an in-form batting order.
They continue to experiment with domestic players around this core but the tournament has so far been dominated by the international players and no domestic player on any team has really pushed for selection.
Vernon Philander’s freak injury off the field has meant that he will miss the next week of the competition but that still does not weaken the bowling stocks of the Cape Cobras. Dane Paterson has made an excellent comeback into the playing eleven and is bowling with pace, accuracy, and extreme hostility.
Rory Klieneldt has also been hitting his Yorkers and has a phenomenal economy rate of 6.19 from five matches this season.
If there is any team that has the capability to challenge the Titans in what seems to be increasingly likely knockout showdown then it is the Cape Cobras.
We believe the JP Duminy should resist making too many changes going into the final third of the tournament and let a winning combination settle down.
Pitch and Conditions
A lot of rain has been forecast for match day in Kimberley as of now and we fear that the Cape Cobras may once again be left wringing their hands in the changing room. It would be a shame if an encounter between two teams locked in a battle for qualification gets washed out but that is the most likely scenario right now.
The Cape Cobras have beaten the Knights four out the last five times they have played each other. If the rain gods relent then this match could also go in favor of the Cape Cobras.
Back the Cape Cobras to win