Cape Town – The Ram Slam T20 Challenge double-header the weekend hosted by the Cape Cobras at PPC Newlands on Friday against The Unlimited Titans and on Sunday at Boland Park in Paarl against the VKB Knights will feature several world-class performers who can ignite any crowd with their explosive shot-making or sensational bowling.
The double-header, however, will also be a dogfight about the summit of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge log and about who will consequently host the final of the domestic T20-showpiece in December.
The Titans are currently occupying top-spot. The Cobras are placed third on the log, and could leapfrog the Hennops River-team if they achieve bonus point-wins in both matches during the weekend.
Richard Levi, Kieron Pollard, Justin Ontong and Wayne Parnell are four of the Cape Cobras stalwarts who come to mind as game-changers. And Rory Kleinveldt is not far behind them, as his belligerent hitting and ability to strike regularly, propelled him into the national spotlight from 2012 to 2014.
The Titans have a top- and middle-order with an international flavour who can change the game in the blink of an eye, including Quinton de Kock, Albie Morkel, Farhaan Behardien, David Wiese and Chris Morris.
The only way to extinguish their fire is through the prodigious swing bowling of Parnell and Kleinveldt, the ingenious change of pace of Pollard and the seam bowling of Dane Paterson.
The Cobras have identified the middle-period as a weakness with the bat, but can rectify this if the talented Omphile Ramela reproduces the form that made him an irresistible force in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge final in December 2014.
Pollard, Ontong and SA Engelbrecht will play pivotal roles in building on sound starts by Levi and Andrew Puttick.
The Knights have flattered to deceive in the 2015/2016-season, but in Reeza Hendricks and Andre Russell they possess potential world-class T20-players.
The Cobras coasted to a four-wicket win against the men from Bloemfontein thanks to arguably their best, most cohesive batting display of the 2015/2016-season.
Paul Adams, the Cape Cobras coach, spoke about winning the key moments.
Pollard, the T20-stalwart of the West Indies, has said: “He who blinks first, will lose. It is about keeping your composure.”
His inspirational presence might just be the X-factor that powers the Cobras to the top on Sunday.
The Cape Cobras team for the Ram Slam T20 match against the Titans at PPC Newlands on Friday 20th November 2015:
- Justin Ontong (Captain)
- Sybrand Engelbrecht
- Rory Kleinveldt
- Richard Levi
- Lesiba Ngoepe
- Wayne Parnell
- Dane Paterson
- Keegan Petersen
- Kieron Pollard
- Andrew Puttick (W/Keeper)
- Omphile Ramela
- Mthokozisi Shezi
- Siya Simetu