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We are down to the last round in the Momentum One Day Cup and the fight for the final four spots is still on. Titans, Dolphins, and Cape Cobras are on 28, 21, and 20 points respectively and have already qualified. All the six teams will play their last game on 23rd March, and with only one spot left, the competition is going to be intense. Lions bounced back into the playoff contention with a much-needed win over Titans in their last match and will be looking to build on it in their upcoming fixture wherein they take on Dolphins who too are coming off a massive win, over Warriors.
Considering the way things had panned out for the Lions in the season prior to their last game, they looked down and out. However, they surprised one and all with an excellent performance against the table-toppers, Titans. It wouldn't be wrong to say that Lions have had some ill luck in the tournament with three of their nine matches washed out due to rain.
Lions have been all about Dominic Hendricks thus far in the tournament. He is leading run scorer for them, that too with a fair bit of margin. It wasn't any different against Titans as well as he played an excellent role of sheet-anchor, scoring 93 runs off 110 runs. Lubbe contributed well to keep the scoreboard ticking over with a well-made 51. Even though they lost as many as five wickets in the last ten overs, they managed to crawl across 300-run mark which just proved to be more than enough.
It was an all-around effort from the Lions with the ball as almost everyone contributed well. Fortuin, Burger, and Mulder all picked up a couple of wickets each with Mulder being responsible for the important dismissal of GM Thomson. Although Lubbe bowled on four overs and expended 28 runs, he broke the vital partnership between Dean Elgar and Jonathan Vandiar which proved to be the turning point of the match.
Dominic Hendricks, Kagiso Rapulana, Temba Bavuma, Wihan Lubbe, PWA Mulder, Ryan Rickelton, Delano Potgieter, Bjorn Fortuin, MP Siboto, Nandre Burger, Aaron Phangiso.
After going through a slump in the middle of the tournament, Dolphins will be relived after finally register a win and ascertaining a spot in the playoffs. This has been a long tournament and it is highly probable that Dolphins rest a couple of key players before the playoffs.
It was a clinical performance from them in both the departments against Warriors in the last match where they first wreaked havoc with the ball and later chased the target with plenty of overs to spare. Chasing a modest total of 224, their openers never allowed the game to slip away as the duo put on a massive partnership of 147 runs for the first wicket. With only formality remaining, Ackermann and Erwee finished the chase with no further damage.
Although the openers batted brilliantly, their win was primarily set up by their bowlers who bowled their hearts out in the first innings. Bosch kept it tight from one end while O Cele chipped in with the wicket of Moore from the other end. Keshav Maharaj was the standout bowler for them who not only was extremely economical but also picked up an important wicket of Marais in process.
VBV Jaarsveld, Sarel Erwee, Marques Ackerman, DJ Vilas, Khaya Zondo, Sibonelo Makhanya, Senuran Muthusamy, K Maharaj, Eathan Bosch, Okuhle Cele, P Subrayen.
It's an important game for the Lions with a playoff spot hinging on the result. Even though a positive result won't ascertain their spot, it is definitely a prerequisite. Although the match does not carry the same importance for the Dolphins and might decide to rest a couple of players, they wouldn't really want to lose the momentum. The Dolphins have had a better tournament on the whole as compared to the Lions and are a better balanced team, at least on paper. Therefore, we expect Dolphins to register a win here and knock Lions out of the competition.
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