Our prediction is Cape Town Blitz to win.
PAARL ROCKS PREVIEW
Paarl Rocks were the last team to make their tournament debut and came agonisingly close to starting with a home win when they fell one run short chasing 204 against Tshwane Spartans. Despite the defeat, there was plenty of encouraging signs. However, they followed up with a 60-run thrashing at the hands of Jozi Stars. They clearly missed Dwayne Bravo and Cameron Delport, who are now away playing in the T10 in the Emirates.
They do have strong players to come in for this match as their Proteas are now available. Faf du Plessis will come in as captain while Aiden Markram and Tabraiz Shamsi may also find a place in their line-up. Henry Davids showed some good form against Jozi but they badly need to improve their bowling having only taken seven wickets in the tournament so far.
CAPE TOWN BLITZ PREVIEW
Cape Town made a flying start to the tournament with three wins out of three and then followed that up with an outstanding 62-run win over Jozi Stars in their most recent match. In the middle of a run of away games, this one could determine whether they remain the team to beat in the coming days.
Everything has been working well for them and in Janneman Malan they have one of the early stars of the tournament. His fast starts is setting the platform for the likes of Asif Ali and Andile Phulekweyo to come in and score quickly. On the bowling front, both pacers and spinners have performed well to keep their opponents in check.
Farhaan Behardien and Quinton de Kock are now back in the side and have hit the ground running with the latter striking a brilliant half-century against Jozi. After such a strong start it seems unlikely that Cape Town will make many - if any - changes for this match. They are unlikely to change a winning combination unless the management feel anybody needs a rest or suffer any injury problems.
Expect more of the same from Boland Park, where three of the four innings in the tournament so far have been above 200. It’s a T20 wicket that produces entertainment – if you like watching boundaries, that is. It is forecast to be warm, dry and with little wind, so the chances of rain interruptions are very slim.
Boland Park is a small venue and therefore it is one on which batsmen can often prosper. It is already proving itself as a bowlers’ graveyard with the tournament’s highest score of 91 by Jozi’s Ryan Rickelton - plus two more in the top four - coming here earlier in the competition. Nevertheless, accurate bowlers can perform well – Bravo and Simon Harmer have taken three wickets in an innings already – but generally, expect high scoring.
In both games here so far, Paarl have won the toss and chosen to field first. It is hard to see why they would change that approach given how close they came against Tshwane to chasing down a 200-plus total. Cape Town have chosen to field more often than they have chosen to bat, so it looks likely that the captain calling correctly will ask his opponents to bat first.
Paarl badly need a win as due to the way the fixtures are lined up, they are already playing catch up with the rest of the field. However, they face an uphill struggle against a Cape Town team that looks strong, balanced and capable of winning anywhere. It doesn’t seem to make any difference whether they win the toss or lose the toss which makes them overwhelming favourites for this match.
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