About the Match
The Warriors have had a bit of a break after playing the opening match of the Ram Slam/ CSA T20 2017 tournament. They ended up on the losing side on that one and will be looking for their first win against the Titans, a team that currently sits on top of the table with two wins out of two. This will be a clash between a team that depends completely on domestic talent while the other is stacked with some of the best South African international talent.
The Warriors may be a team that does not have any big-ticket players on its roster but that does not mean that it should be taken lightly. Their short format form has been commendable over the last few years and they, in fact, competed in both the 50 over and the 20 over final against the Titans last season.
They ended up losing both but the margin of their loss in the T20 final was very narrow.
The Warriors have a very respectable batting lineup with proven performers like JT Smuts at the top, Colin Ingram, and Colin Ackerman in the middle order, and Christiaan Jonker providing the support just below them.
All four batsmen are capable of clearing the boundaries with regularity and providing their team the runs needed to compete effectively. Unfortunately for the Warriors, only Jonker could get going in the first match as he scored 61 from 38 balls with 4 sixes to his name and so they ended up well short of a par total.
We are backing Ingram to make use of the good form he has shown in T20 leagues around the world and score some big runs in this match.
Their bowling attack also boasts of three bowlers that were in the top-10 bowlers across the tournament last year in Magala, Birch, and Walters. The first match saw Magala end with a phenomenal economy rate of 5.75 while the other two bowlers picked a wicket each.
Give this lineup some runs to defend and they can really make things difficult for the opposition.
There has been plenty to cheer for both the Titans fans and those of South African cricket in general as players like AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Albie Morkel, and Tabraiz Shamsi have started the tournament strong.
One name missing from this list is that of Quinton de Kock who has missed out in both the matches so far. He is easily among the most talented batsmen of his generation and we think it is just a matter of time before he starts to make full use of the excellent batting conditions on offer as well.
His opening partner, the young Henry Davids had an excellent game last time around as he hit fifty from 42 balls, as did Aiden Markram who scored fifty from 34 balls. The chief enforcer from the first game, Albie Morkel, was not needed to score too many as AB de Villiers and Farhaan Behardien also scored runs with a strike rate well in excess of 200.
This means that every batsman in the Titans top-6 has hit form except for Quinton de Kock.
The bowling also saw the return of Dale Steyn from a long injury layoff and he settled in quite nicely to bowl three overs without too much fuss. With Albie Morkel, Ngidi, Shamsi, and Dala for company the Titans are boasting of an excellent bowling attack as well.
It is difficult to find too much of a weakness with this team at the moment and this international quality batting lineup should be more than a handful for anything that the Warriors have to offer. The T20 format is a funny one, however, and taking the opposition lightly seems to be the biggest threat that faces the Titans at the moment.
Pitch and Conditions
Rain has been around the parts in East London, however, the current forecast for the match is for cloudy weather with only 10% chance of rain. That should hopefully mean that the teams can get in a full match without any interruptions.
The pitch is expected to offer some assistance to the seamers initially and the contest between the bat and ball could be much more even. Scores of around 160 should be considered par.
Back the Titans to win