The league phase of the CSA T20 Challenge is over and on Tuesday we will find out who the Titans will face in Friday’s final when St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth hosts the semi-final between the Warriors and the Highveld Lions.
There are no second chances for these two sides now. It is simply win and progress or your season is over. Warriors finished second in the table which means they host the third placed Lions in this match. The winners will travel to Centurion for the final.
The Warriors had their route to the final in their own hands. They only had to win their final match against the Titans and they would already be through to the championship game. In fact they were two minutes away from not even having to do that as the rain fell in East London but it stopped in time for a five over game which the Titans won leaving the Warriors to settle for this second chance.
We have seen the Warriors show their quality throughout the tournament though. Colin Ingram and JJ Smuts have been brilliant with the bat while the likes of Christiaan Jonker and Colin Ackermann have delivered at the end of innings. With the ball they have been solid too and Kyle Abbott’s return can’t be understated.
The Lions have already played one effectively knockout match in this tournament. Their game against the Cape Cobras on Sunday was a winner takes all and courtesy of a wonderful bowling performance it was the side from the capital who came through and here they are looking to build on that.
Highveld Lions have already had Temba Bavuma back for the end of the league phase and now it might be that they have Kagiso Rabada available too. That would be a huge boost for them despite their bowling attack winning them the game on Sunday. It means they could add a power batsman should they so wish.
It was a win each between these two in the regular season which suggests there isn’t a lot between them and I don’t think there will be much between them in this match either although we do have to use a bit of guesswork about how the Warriors have got over missing their first chance to make the final on Sunday.
In truth the match betting doesn’t catch my eye really. The sixes do however. St George’s Park is a pretty big ground and with this being a semi-final it is going to be all about winning rather than belting as many balls out of the ground as you can. There will be pressure and nerves around and both these sides have decent bowling attacks despite what Ferhaan Behardien did to the Warriors’ attack on Sunday.
11.5 looks like a high line to me with the quality of the bowling attacks on show but when you throw in the size of the boundaries and the fact this match was only in place two days ago which means we’re unlikely to be on a fresh wicket I’m happy to take the unders.
WON – Back Under 11.5 sixes for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with William Hill