About the Match
Warriors defeated Knights by 18 runs to secure a place in the finals of the prestigious Momentum Cup against Titans, which will be held on 31st March. Titans had topped the table and earned a home final after defeating Cape Cobras in their last league game; they are a formidable force to reckon with this season and will leave no stone unturned to bring home the trophy. Warriors, on the other hand, fought hard throughout the league and have done well to make it through; it needs to be seen which of the two best teams will keep a cool head above its shoulders and emerge victorious on Friday.
The bowlers put up a sensational performance in the game against Cobras, restricting them to 184 all-out after spinner Shamsi and speedsters Dala and Ngidi took 2 wickets each. Others like Markram, Siboto and Chris Morris dismissed one opponent each and they contained the Cobras in their run-flow. The batsmen, led by Vandiar and Markram’s 75-run opening stand, then chased down the total comfortably in just over 31 overs and won the match by 6 wickets to register a home final.
AB de Villiers is also in good form and his sturdy 75 off 62 steered the team to a 7-wicket victory against Warriors in the previous game. Markram, Kuhn and Behardien contributed well to chase down 148 runs in 28 overs. Earlier, fast-bowlers Ngidi and Morris took 3 wickets each to demolish the Warriors’ batting line-up; Markram, Siboto and Dala took 4 wickets between them in regular intervals and stunned the opposition.
They are a well-balanced squad of pace and spin that can repeat the good performance here in crunch situations. The batting line-up has strong players like AB de Villiers, Vandiar, Markram, Kuhn and all-rounder Behardien, who could build strong totals or chase a tough target with ease.
They defeated Lions by 36 runs through the D/L method after getting the opponents all-out for 154 in 43 overs and chasing down the reduced target of 88 from 32 overs easily. JJ Smuts, who has done well throughout the league, opened the innings with a well-made 51 while his partner Cloete chipped in with 41 runs; the duo ensured they got enough on board to make it through to the finals.
Earlier, Smuts had showcased his all-rounder skills by taking 4-25 in his 10-over spell and helped stifle the opposition; he has proved to be a strong pillar of the team and can come out with all firepower here too. Magala and Ingram also provided 2 breakthroughs each and they add depth to the attack along with others like Andrew Birch and Ackermann.
When they met Titans recently, the top-order had failed to impress with the bat except for Smuts and Vallie, who scored 39 and 44 runs respectively. Although Birch and Gqamane took 3 wickets between them, they couldn’t defend a lowly 147 against a determined Titans’ batting line-up. They have the resources and experience to take on the might of Titans here and avenge their defeat.
The long domestic season has come to its end and the finals will surely be a thorough entertainer here on Friday; Titans have an upper hand due to their recent win against Warriors but it could be anybody’s game as is seen in most T20 thrillers. While Warriors have a well-rounded batting and bowling squad, we feel that Titans with the home advantage are better placed to lift the trophy