The Ram Slam T20 Challenge kicks off with all six franchises involved in a triple-header at the Wanderers on Sunday.
The event starts at 10:00 with the Knights and Warriors doing battle. These are probably the two least fancied sides in the tournament and it will be vital for both to get off to a winning start in their attempt to cause an upset and qualify for the knockout phase.
The Cape Cobras then take on the Titans at 14:00. This encounter places first against third from last year’s points table. They are both proud unions who will expect to be involved at the business end of the competition.
The Lions take on the defending champion Dolphins in the last match of the day, starting at 18:00. The hosts got off to a terrible start last year and never recovered, finishing last with just one win out of 10 fixtures. They will be determined to right the wrongs of last season by starting their campaign on a positive note.
Players to watch:
Gerhardt Abrahams is a great prospect at the top of the Knights order. He will have to fire if the men from Bloemfontein are going to be competitive. The Warriors are hopeful that Rusty Theron will be fully recovered for their opener. He is arguably the premier death bowler in the country and could make the difference if things get tight.
If Richard Levi gets going then the Cobras will win. He scores at a rapid rate and has matured over the last few seasons into a player that is not longer happy with flashy 30’s and 40’s. Roelof van der Merwe will lead the Titans bowling attack. He is an experienced campaigner and could make the crucial difference in any of the three disciplines.
Chris Gayle will want to give his newly adopted home crowd something to shout about. It will be the West Indians first appearance for the Lions and he will want to stamp his authority on the tournament. Cameron Delport will be tasked with canceling the Gayle effect when he opens the Dolphins innings. The left-hander is far from reliable, but can take an attack apart on his day.
The Warriors are a decent T20 side and should be too good for a Knights side that have lost two of their major stars from last season.
The Cobras only loss of the Momentum One Day Cup came against the Titans and the men from the Cape should get their revenge in this fixture.
Home ground advantage should get the Lions over the line in a very close match.