Dale Steyn is set to take to the field once more when the Titans meet the Warriors in the eighth round of the Sunfoil series.
The Titans match is being used to test Dale Steyn’s rehabiliation after a heel injury cut short his international comeback in the first Test against India in January. And that followed a lengthy lay-off for a shoulder injury. Even that was not properly tested, as Steyn bowled just 17.3 overs before hobbling off. So the Proteas selectors be watching his progress with interest and expectation.
Steyn is desperate to get back into the Test arena, where he needs just three more wickets to become South Africa’s most prolific bowler.
This could be a pivotal moment not only for the fit-again player, but for both the Titans and the Warriors: They are two of just three franchises to have won a match this season, and with 16 points riding on a victory, the price of failure is high. And East London, scene of the clash, is the ground where the Warriors savoured victory over the Lions.
Titans lead the log on 104.5 points, boosted by victory over the Lions back in October, only 11.72 points ahead of the Knights. The Bloem boys are riding high on bonus points, for they have yet to win a match.
But such is the strange nature of the series, only 13.64 points separate the Titans from fifth-placed Cobras, another team who have yet to win a game.
Much rests on the Dolphins-Lions match at Pietermaritzburg. The Dolphins would be hugely boosted by a second victory, while defeat for the Lions would pretty much wrap up their unproductive season. But the Dolphins are without Test-bound Keshav Maharaj, whose career-best figures of 7-76 gave them their victory over the Warriors.
The Knights take on the Cobras at Bloemfontein, with both looking for their first win.
Fixtures: Warriors v Titans (East London), Knights v Cobras (Bloemfontein), Dolphins v Highveld Lions (Pietermaritzburg).
Log: Titans: 104.5 (won 1, drawn 6, lost 0), Knights 97.38 (0-7-0), Warriors 92.78 (1-5-1), Dolphins 92.70 (1-6-0), Cobras 90.86 (0-7-0) Lions 73.48 (0-5-2)