Titans will be favorites for the Win
After their recent success in Momentum One Day Cup 2019, Titans would take on Warriors at SuperSport Park, Centurion in the first game of the CSA T20 Challenge 2019. As defending champions they would go into this competition with great amount of confidence. Warriors who were semi-finalists in the recently concluded One Day Competition and won the T20 league back in 2009-10 would be eager to prove a point in their first game of this competition.
Titans have an overwhelming record against the Warriors in this format having won five out of the last six games between the two sides. It would be interesting to see if the Warriors are able to turn it around this time.
Dean Elgar would be extremely confident about the prospects of his side going into the first game of the T20 league. His side did well in the Momentum Cup and most of the players are in good form. The skipper would want his side to retain the same momentum going into this competition.
Theunis de Bruyn and Tony de Zorzi form a formidable opening pair and would be looking to give their side a good start. With Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram in the side the batting has got the required experience. Farhaan Behardien, Corbin Bosch and Jonathan Vandiar complete a strong batting line-up for the side going into this game.
Junior Dala was at his best in the recent one day competition and would look to carry the same form. Corbin Bosch also did well. With Markram having shown good rhythm and the likes of Tabraiz Shamsi, Shimane Alfred Mothoa and Tshepo Moreki add variety to the bowling attack and make it look formidable.
Dean Elgar (c), Jonathan Vandiar, Farhaan Behardien, Theunis de Bruyn, Corbin Bosch, Aiden Markram, Tabraiz Shamsi, Junior Dala, Tony de Zorzi, Shimane Alfred Mothoa, Tshepo Moreki.
Shaun von Berg, DS Rosier, TL Moreki, Henry Davids, Tony de Zorzi, Theunis de Bruyn, Junior Dala, Rubin Hermann, Farhaan Behardien, GM Thomson, Eldred Hawken
JJ Smuts’ team had a good run during the Momentum Cup but their campaign was cut short at the semi-finals. Having a good bunch of players in his side Smuts who is a veteran of many battles would be looking to pose a stiff challenge to his stronger opponents going into this game.
Matthew Breetzke and Gihahn Cloete form a good opening pair. Although they weren’t successful in Momentum Cup they would look to do well this time around. JJ Smuts, Yaseen Vallie, Christiaan Jonker, Lesiba Ngoepe and Colin Ackerman add strength to the batting order. All of them can hit the ball hard and they would be looking to take on their opponents in the next game
The side has a good fast bowling pair in Lutho Sipamla and Andrew Birch and both of them have shown good form with the ball in the recent weeks. Sithembile Langa has also done well and together with Basheeru-Deen Walters and Jonker the bowling attack looks good going into the game.
JJ Smuts (c), Gihahn Cloete (wk), Yaseen Vallie, Colin Ackerman, Lesiba Ngoepe, Christiaan Jonker, Matthew Breetzke, Basheeru-Deen Walters, Andrew Birch , Sithembile Langa, Lutho Sipamla
Andrew Birch, JJ Smuts, SSB Magala, Onke Nyaku, Sinethemba Qeshile, Lutho Sipamla, Marco Marais, Matthew Breetzke, Lesiba Ngoepe, Gihahn Cloete, Jade de Klerk
There is expected to be thick cloud cover at Centurion on April 05 with possibility of rain. The season has been long and the pitch has got slower which will make it slightly difficult to time the ball. The slow bowlers are likely to do well on this surface and score of 160 should be a challenging one.
SuperSport Park, Centurion has seen several competitive matches over the years with the average first innings score of 168 runs. Batsmen once set find it easy to score in this ground. The ball tends to stop a bit on occasions and the slow bowlers have done well in T20 games here in the past.
Though most teams prefer to bat first at SuperSport Park, Centurion in T20 games given the higher odds of rain interruption the team batting second may have an advantage. If the weather remains heavy during the game the captain winning the toss would elect to bowl first here.
It is the first game of the season and both the teams would be starting with a blank slate. Titans and Warriors have both looked good during the Momentum Cup. But Titans have a great record over the Warriors in this format and have also been the most successful team in the history of this competition. They are a confident lot with a formidable batting line-up which will make them favorites for the next game.
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