About the Match
The Ram Slam 2017 continues to roll on as teams try and vie for spots in the knockouts. It looks like it will be a tight fight between the five teams other than the Titans who have just dominated this tournament completely. This match will see two of the contenders, the Knights and the Dolphins, lock horns in an important encounter for both the teams.
The Knights had an excellent opportunity to try and beat the Cape Cobras in their last match after keeping them to a par total and getting off to a good start. David Miller looked set to play a match-winning hand but Dane Paterson took four wickets to stop the Knights just short of their target.
A few troubling things stood out from this Knights loss. The batting is just too dependent on the likes of David Miller and Theunis de Bruyn to make a contribution. Both of them played good hands in this match with Miller top-scoring but the other batsmen failed to make a dent.
Only Ryan McLaren and Swanepoel reached double figures but could not provide the support needed in the end.
Can David Miller continue to perform with the freedom he needs knowing that his wicket is likely to signal the end of the Knights challenge? Possibly, but the likelihood diminishes with each loss.
The Knights also displayed a distinct lack of big hitting ability in this match. Only David Miller managed to clear the boundary from the entire team. A tense chase which could have benefitted from some big hits eventually proved too much because there was no player to bridge the scoring gap.
The bowling for the Knights was improved with good performances from Olivier, Schalkwyk, McLaren, and Budaza. Expect the same bowling attack to take the field in their upcoming match as well.
With Swanepoel and Leie also capable of bowling regularly, the Knights seem to have figured out their bowling lineup quite well.
Terrible weather continues to haunt the Dolphins as they continue to wait for their turn to actually play cricket. They have now played only three matches out of their scheduled 8 with the others being washed out.
It is certainly difficult for a team to get some momentum and really get into the tournament when they are sitting on the sidelines for extended periods of time. They will not be short of motivation, though, as they continue to find themselves right in the thick of things with a place in the knockouts well within their grasp.
There are plenty of questions to be answered for the Dolphins as well. They won their first match on the back of a brilliant Sarel Erwee century but have since their next two complete matches. Erwee started the tournament with a bang but had done little in the opportunities he has received afterward.
A lot more runs will be needed from Dane Vilas, Khaya Zondo, and Morne van Wyk in the upcoming matches. Frylinck, we believe, could provide the big hits coming late down the order and hopefully boost the score beyond the opposition’s reach.
The biggest strength for the Dolphins, though, is their bowling. The likes of Imran Tahir, Keshav Maharaj, Andile Phehlukwayo, and Robbie Frylinck constitute an international quality attack.
In fact, the contest between Imran Tahir and David Miller could be decisive to both the teams’ fortunes in this match. The Dolphins are going to be tough to chase against but they really need their batsmen to step up their game and give the bowlers something to work with.
Pitch and Conditions
Unsurprisingly, the weather forecast for the Dolphins match continues to be poor. The current likelihood of rain is being forecast as 80% with a chance of scattered thunderstorms as well. Both the teams and their fans will be hoping that the rain comes either side of the match but we should be prepared for a reduced overs match, if at all.
The pitch at Bloemfontein usually has something in it for the bowlers and should provide for an even contest between the bat and ball.
While the most recent match between the Dolphins and the Knights was washed out, the previous four saw the teams sharing honors with a 2-2 record. For this match, though, we are backing the Dolphins to come good and extend their winning record.
Back the Dolphins to win.
Winner: Dolphins, 1.91 @ Bet on Dolphins now