Franchises across the country are gearing up for the Ram Slam T20 Challenge, which starts at the Wanderers on Sunday.
Sammy arrives in SA
The West Indian T20 captain arrived in South Africa on Thursday ahead of his first match for the Titans. They take on the formidable Cape Cobras in their first encounter.
Darren Sammy is one of five West Indians who will be in action during the tournament’s opening triple-header on Sunday. He gave his thoughts on why his countrymen are so sort after in the T20 format.
‘T20 cricket is something we enjoy. My teammates and I are excited to be here. Who wouldn’t be? South Africa is a wonderful place to play cricket,’ Sammy told the Titans official website.
‘T20 cricket is all about expressing yourself. The West Indians have taken this style on board.
‘I think I will like to play in South Africa, where the ball comes onto the bat quicker.’
Sammy is a miserly bowler and a strong hitter at the back end. He feels that he will be able to play his natural game for the Titans and emphasised that his real strength with the ball is his patience.
‘I have always tried to bowl dot balls. As we say: a dot is as good as gold in T20-cricket. If I bowl dot balls, I build pressure,’ he explained.
Cobras get into T20 mode
The Cape franchise played two practice games at Newlands on Tuesday, but the captain Justin Ontong, warned that the team’s skills in the shortest format are still a work in progress. He feels they need to improve by 30 % in order to get off to a flying start in the T20 competition.
In the practice match Cobras 1 chased down that target of 139 for five set by Cobras 2. They reached 141 for four in 18.5 overs, thanks to Yaseen Vallie’s 35-ball 49 and Ontong’s measured 26 off 19 balls.
Ontong said after the match that although the wicket favoured the bowlers, he would have been happier with scores in the region of 165 to 170.
‘Some players got in and managed 30’s, but failed to convert those scores into 70’s and 80’s,’ Ontong told the Cape Cobras website.
‘We also missed our lengths a bit and still need to improve the Yorkers.
‘Some hard work needs to be done before the opening match on Sunday,’ added the skipper.