Ti­tans v Knights is go­ing to be a spec­ta­cle

Pretoria News - - SPORT - STU­ART HESS stu­art.hess@inl.co.za SCHED­ULE Today (1.30pm): Potchef­stroom To­mor­row (1.30pm): War­riors vs Cape Sunday (10am): Cen­tu­rion

ONLY the Dol­phins and Cape Co­bras know ex­actly what they will be do­ing and most im­por­tantly where they will be do­ing it next week when the One-Day Cup semi-fi­nals take place.

The Dol­phins, as a re­sult of top­ping the com­pe­ti­tion’s stand­ings will be play­ing in one of those semis at Kingsmead. The Co­bras will be watch­ing ev­ery­one else bat­tle it out af­ter fin­ish­ing last.

The other four teams face a fi­nal round of matches of vary­ing de­grees of ten­sion.

The high­est lev­els of anx­i­ety will be at Cen­tu­rion on Sunday, where the Ti­tans cur­rently in fourth – the last semi-fi­nal spot – face the Knights, who are fifth, one point be­hind them. It’s a knock­out game in all but name.

It should be a spec­ta­cle as both teams have been in good form lately. The Knights have won three of their last five matches, and were hav­ing the bet­ter of their last match against the Highveld Lions when rained ended it in the 43rd over of the Lions’ in­nings with the vis­i­tors on 188/7 at the Man­gaung Oval on Tues­day.

Open­ers An­dries Gous and Jac­ques Sny­man have found some hot form in the last few weeks to help pro­pel the Knights from the ranks of also-rans to play­off con­tenders. Their ap­proaches dif­fer; Gous adopts a more clas­si­cal ap­proach, happy to build an in­nings and score runs in the man­ner found in a text book, while Sny­man, utilises his power and seems de­ter­mined to bash a cricket ball to smithereen­s.

When the two teams met in Kim­ber­ley two weeks ago, it was Gous who starred mak­ing an un­beaten 163 off 145 balls as the Knights suc­cess­fully chased 308. The Ti­tans’s bowl­ing let them down in that game, but so did their bat­ting with the mid­dle or­der not build­ing on the ex­cel­lent start that had been pro­vided by cen­turies from Ai­den Markram and Diego Rosier.

In the last cou­ple of matches, that changed and the Ti­tans achieved two cru­cial vic­to­ries as a re­sult. The bowl­ing was much bet­ter against the Lions and Co­bras, with off-spin­ner Im­ran Manack con­tin­u­ing to take wick­ets and on Wed­nes­day, seamer, Dayyaan Galiem bowl­ing with ac­cu­racy and ag­gres­sion. Dean El­gar, Grant Thom­son and Farhaan Be­har­dien in the TI­tans’s mid­dle or­der all made cru­cial con­tri­bu­tions with the bat in those two wins.

For the Lions and War­riors, the pres­sure in their fi­nal matches won’t be as in­tense. The Lions, af­ter a hot start to the com­pe­ti­tion, have stum­bled into the semi-fi­nals, and there is a chance they could miss out on a home semi if they lose to the Dol­phins in Potchef­stroom today and the War­riors beat the Co­bras with a bonus point.

Their main fo­cus will be on get­ting some form back into their bats­men be­fore the semi-fi­nals.

The War­riors could miss out on the semis if they lose to the Co­bras, a highly un­likely out­come how­ever given the Co­bras’ col­lec­tively poor bat­ting dis­plays in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Lions vs Dol­phins,

Co­bras, East Lon­don

Ti­tans vs Knights,

MUZI NTOMBELA

FARHAAN Be­har­dien has made cru­cial con­tri­bu­tions in the Ti­tans’ last two games. | Back­pagePix

Back­pagePix

IVAN van Rooyen has taken some dras­tic steps in an ef­fort to turn his team’s Su­per Rugby sea­son around. |

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.