The Knights will have to cause an upset of biblical proportions to win the Ram Slam T20 final at Newlands on Friday.
The men from the Free State started the campaign as likely wooden spoon contenders. They lacked players with international experience and two of their stalwarts, Ryan McLaren and Dean Elgar, left the franchise for greener pastures. Their impressive run, which has seen them book their flights to the Champions League next year is nothing short of a fairy tail story. The only question remaining is: will it have a happy ending?
By contrast, the Cape Cobras came into the competition packed with match-winners. They narrowly lost a home final, by two runs, last season and therefore have a burning desire to make things right. They have looked the real deal throughout the Ram Slam T20 Challenge, but that will count for nothing when they take on the Knights in front of an expectant home crowd.
Players to watch:
Richard Levi stands tall at the top of the order and is probably the most imposing of all the Cape Cobras stars. He is the leading scorer in the competition and has set up a number of his sides wins. One more good performance, on the big stage that is the final, would almost certainly secure the silverware as well as a return to the Proteas T20 squad. For the Knights, Andre Russell has galvanised an unfancied bunch of players into title contenders. He’s given his teammates the self-belief that they can beat anybody of their day and a special performance with bat or ball from the West Indian all-rounder give the franchise the perfect farewell gift.
It’s a final and the tension experienced by both teams should make it a tight contest, but the Newlands faithful shouldn’t be disappointed for the second year in a row.
Preview compiled by Gareth Stevens.