Titans look to inch closer to semi-final spot!
Titans are our favorites going into this game!
We are heading to the business end of the tournament and all sides have either one or two games left in the league stages. Dolphins are through to the semi-finals while Lions and Warriors are almost through as well.
Meanwhile, Titans and Knights still have a chance but Cape Cobras are out of the race. Titans have had a very up and down tournament. They’ve had a string of losses before consecutive wins before another losing streak and now they’ve won a game again. With three wins from eight games along with a couple of bonus points, Titans are currently fourth on the points table. If they win both their games, they will be through to the semi-finals. However, if they win just one, they will have to depend on other results.
On the other hand, Cape Cobras can get to a maximum of 18 points which includes two bonus-point wins. Hence, there is no way they can get to the semi-finals. They’ve been arguably the most disappointing side of this competition. After winning two out of three games, they have now lost five games on the bounce.
Aiden Markram’s addition at the top of the order in the last few games has bolstered the Titans batting line-up. The 25-year-old opener has already smashed a couple of hundreds and has also picked up six wickets from four games. Tony de Zorzi and Dean Elgar have been in very good form as well. Each of them has scored one century and two fifties in this tournament. While Elgar has scored 338 runs, de Zorzi has made 396 runs.
Farhaan Behardien and skipper Grant Thomson have been in some decent form and have been key parts of the middle order. Behardien has remained unbeaten in four out of the seven innings he’s played while scoring 157 runs at a strike-rate of 117.18. Thomson has got 233 runs at an average of 38.83 in this Momentum One-Day Cup.
The bowling charge has been led by Imran Manack who has been impressive in this tournament. He has picked up 10 wickets from seven games and has an economy of 5.13. Dayyaan Galiem has done well too. The 23-year-old fast bowler has taken seven wickets in four matches.
Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Farhaan Behardien, Grant Thomson (c), Dayyaan Galiem, Rivaldo Moonsamy (wk), Khwezi Gumede, Matthew Arnold, Imran Manack, Alfred Mothoa
Khwezi Gumede, Alfred Mothoa, Dean Elgar, Imran Manack, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Farhaan Behardien, Dayyaan Galiem, GM Thomson, Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Matthew Arnold
Batting hasn’t really been the problem for Cape Cobras. It has been slightly inconsistent but they have got big runs at times as well. Pieter Malan has scored 284 runs, including a ton and a half-century. Skipper Zubayr Hamza has led from the front and has been in brilliant form with the bat. He has amassed 530 runs at an average of 66.25 and at a strike-rate of 102.91. He has smashed two hundreds and three fifties so far in this tournament.
It is the middle order that hasn’t been up to the mark and has been pretty inconsistent. The likes of Jonathan Bird, Jason Smith and Aviwe Mgijima – all of them have scored in excess of 100 runs and average more than 30 but they’ve blown hot and cold. Moreover, only Smith has a strike-rate of over 80.
Akhona Mnyaka has come in and has done well with the ball, picking up six wickets at an average of 18.66. Rory Kleinveldt, Thando Ntini and Goerge Linde have been the chief wicket-takers but they didn’t play the last game. Dane Piedt’s performance has been disappointing in this tournament, having returned with three wickets from five games.
Pieter Malan, Tayo Walbrugh, Zubayr Hamza (c), Jonathan Bird, Jason Smith, Aviwe Mgijima, Ferisco Adams, Mangaliso Mosehle (wk), Dane Piedt, Akhona Mnyaka, Tsepo Ndwandwa
Thando Ntini, Zubayr Hamza, Dane Piedt, Jonathan Bird, Lizaad Williams, Tayo Walbrugh, Mangaliso Mosehle, JF Smith, Akhona Mnyaka, Pieter Malan, Aviwe Mgijima
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||16||0 mm.||3.36 k/h||From: N||8%|
|03h||13||0 mm.||0.65 k/h||From: ENE||1%|
|06h||19||0 mm.||1.96 k/h||From: N||1%|
|09h||26||0 mm.||3.36 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|12h||28||0 mm.||2 k/h||From: WNW||8%|
|15h||24||0 mm.||2.5 k/h||From: S||100%|
|18h||21||0 mm.||1.79 k/h||From: E||100%|
|21h||20||0 mm.||2.04 k/h||From: ENE||100%|
The pitch at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni will likely be a good one to bat on. The ball should come on to the bat nicely and the batters will be able to play on the up. The weather in Benoni is expected to be slightly cloudy and there is about 10-12% chance that rain might play spoilsport. The temperatures will range between 21 and 26 degrees during the game.
The Willowmoore Park in Benoni produced a nail-biting encounter when the Titans faced Warriors in the last game at this venue. More than 660 runs were scored and the game went down to the wire. It is a common white-ball venue in South African cricket. Moreover, it even hosted a few Under-19 World Cup games earlier this year.
It might just be a tricky decision. It is a high-scoring venue and teams may just want to field first and chase down a total. However, with the possibility of the ball nipping around under lights, both captains might ponder hard on batting first as well and they may well go that way.
Titans seem to be in a better position than the Cape Cobras at the moment. With a win over the Lions in the last game, they are building some nice momentum and will be looking to win this game and inch closer to a semi-final spot.
Titans are our favorites going into this game!