About the Match
This Ram Slam 2017 T20 match seems like a gross mismatch on paper as the Titans take on the Warriors in a clash of the have’s and the have not’s. The Titans are unbeaten in this tournament and have used the considerable talent at their disposal to open up a comfortable lead at the top while the Warriors have won only one game up until now and are struggling to compete with their domestic players only squad.
Can the Warriors turn it around in this game or will the Titans walk all over them?
The Titans are sitting pretty on the top of the league table but their last couple of matches have been rained out and that will make them a little rusty coming into this tournament. They have also decided to rest Dale Steyn keeping the upcoming test series against India in mind and so don’t be surprised if another couple of big players sit out the next few matches.
One of the players who really should not be sitting out but instead trying to get as much match practice under his belt as possible is Quinton de Kock. 55 runs from his four innings so far is an extremely poor return for a player of his caliber that can certainly lay claim to being one of the best batsmen of his generation.
Even with de Kock in poor form, though, AB De Villiers has been in sparkling touch, Aiden Markram is currently leading the team scoring charts with 146 runs from just three innings, and both Behardien and Morkel are yet to be dismissed this season.
All of this adds to some truly awesome batting depth that will take some seriously good bowling to overcome.
The Titans also do not suffer from any lack of depth in the bowling department. Even without Steyn, they have Shamsi, Ngidi, Morkel, and Wiese to call upon.
On current form, it is difficult to see any team challenging the might of the Titans that is not to say they are unbeatable. The T20 format allows for one individual to take the game away completely and that must be kept in mind while placing your bets.
An excellent bowling performance by Birch, Walters, and Magala saw the Warriors keep a strong Cape Cobras batting down to a below-par total in their last match. It was a total that they should have reached but their batting once again let them down.
JT Smuts and Cloete lost their wickets early but the Warriors struck back through a good partnership between Ackerman and Ingram. Once Ingram got out in the 13th
over, though, it was all downhill and even Ackerman staying at the crease till the 18th
over could not do much good.
The lower order batsmen struggled to face Paterson’s pace and counter the pinpoint accuracy of Rory Kleinveldt. It was once again an issue of their domestic giants being just not good enough to combat the skill of their international player opponents.
With the kind of international quality that the Titans bring to the table, it is hard not to expect more of the same here. A lot of people have been throwing up statistics about the Warriors in their past few domestic events where they have not only competed but come close to winning the title.
This tournament is a little different in the regard that all other teams have their full roster of international stars available to them leaving the Warriors as the only team without any current international talent on-board.
So, what will it take for a Warriors win over the Titans? We can see only Colin Ingram as the player with the pedigree to really play a big inning against a quality attack. Smuts too has the potential, but his current form has been very disappointing.
The Warriors can, though, bank upon a reliable performance from their bowlers who have been very good not only in this tournament but over the last year or so across formats.
Pitch and Conditions
The current weather forecast for Benoni is for mostly sunny weather with a 20% chance of rain. We expect to see a full T20 match that should allow for a fair contest between the two teams. The pitch at Benoni is usually favorable towards the fast bowlers and so some early movement might be on offer. Expect a score of around 170 to be par.
The Titans have lost only once in their last five matches against the Warriors and expect that record to improve further after this match.
Back the Titans to win.