About the Match
Reigning champions Titans will take on Lions in their opening game of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge at Johannesburg on 12th November and try to kick-start their campaign on a winning note. With several South African international players set to miss out the beginning part of the series due to national commitments, youngsters from both squads will get a shot at proving their mettle. The Lions had failed to qualify for the semi-finals last season but they will be determined to do well this year; it needs to be seen which team can keep a cool head above its shoulders and win on Saturday.
The batting line-up consists of players like Alviro Petersen, Dominic Hendricks and Mangaliso Mosehle, who had put up a title-winning performance with the bat for the Titans last season by scoring a superb 87 from just 39 balls. Nicky van den Bergh, Rassie van der Dussen and Reeza Hendricks can add depth to the batting squad, and they can combine with all-rounders like Wihan Lubbe and Hardus Viljoen to stabilize the middle-order.
Bowlers like Aaron Phangiso, Bjorn Fortuin and Eddie Leie can provide their spin skills to demolish the opponents while speedsters like Matt McGillivray, Nono Pongolo and Sean Jamison will try to stifle the Titans in the upcoming match. They have all-rounders who can bring in variety to the bowling attack, and if the batsmen set up a solid target while batting first, it will give sufficient room for the bowlers to defend with their combined skills.
Overall, the Lions will be eager to start with a win against the popular team, and we could see them come out with all their firepower on Saturday to do so.
Having won the title last season, the Titans will be pumped up about their chances this year too. They have a start-studded bowling unit with speedsters like Morne Morkel, Albie Morkel, Chris Morris and David Wiese; Siboto, Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, Rowan Richards and other all-rounders can try to provide regular breakthroughs and support the pacers in stifling the opposition.
Batsmen Henry Davids, David Wiese, Behardien, Qaasim Adams and Heino Kuhn can try and set up a good foundation by building partnerships while others like Lungisani Ngidi, Shaun von Berg, Heinrich Klaasen, Jonathan Vandiar, Grant Mokoena and Aiden Markram add depth to the squad, and can keep the scoreboard ticking in a sensible way.
The middle-order is solid with experienced players who know the conditions well here; the bowling attack is also exhibiting variety and precision, which can help them dominate on the field.
The opening game for Titans and Lions will see a lot of heated moments on the field, with players trying to execute their game plan to perfection; while Titans being the ruling champions go in clearly as favourites to win, we feel that the Lions with a solid batting line-up and experienced bowlers, is more likely to celebrate a victory on Saturday night