Johannesburg – The quarter-finals of the Provincial T20 Knock Out competition take place in Kimberley from Tuesday.
South Western Districts face the Titans in the first game on Tuesday, and the Knights take on Western Province in the other. On Wednesday, the Dolphins and the Warriors go toe-to-toe in the first game, and North West Dragons take on Boland Rocks in the day’s second game.
Stuart Hess provides a forecast for all four matches.
Oct 19, 10am: Six Gun Grill South Western Districts vs Multiply Titans
South Western Districts is the only Division Two team to qualify for the play-offs, doing so by finding a good balance between circumspection from their top order, with Yaseen Vallie and Jean du Plessis playing anchor roles, some explosive hitting in middle from young Heath Richards and outstanding bowling from Herschell America, Renaldo Meyer and Onke Nyaku. Their opponents have studied them now, so how they adjust when their strengths are put under pressure is intriguing. For the Titans, it’s about being more aggressive with the bat. For a side that was once the leaders as far as limited obers play in the country was concerned, they looked behind the times during the Pool phase. Theunis de Bruyn will provide a helpful hand with the bat, as will Simon Harmer, despite it not being his main forte. Dean Elgar’s hamstring keeps him out of this week’s matches, with Aaron Phangiso captaining the side in Kimberley.
Prediction: Titans - they have more experience, they’re well led by Phangiso, and should have learned from their mistakes in the pool stage.
Oct 19, 2.30pm: ITEC Knights vs Six Gun Grill Western Province
The Knights were superb in Bloemfontein; dominant with the bat, while the pressure Gerald Coetzee, Mbulelo Budaza and Migael Pretorius created with the ball, proved too much for their opponents in the pool stage. Rilee Rossouw is crucial with the bat, as he gives their innings impetus, while Farhaan Behardien remains one of the best finishers in South Africa. Western Province has a very good all round team and their batting is strengthened by the return of David Bedingham. The bowling on paper is strong led by skipper Wayne Parnell and Beuran Hendricks. The trouble is consistency. If they miss their mark against Free State, Rossouw will hammer them.
Prediction: Free State, because their bowling is marginally steadier than WP
Oct 20, 10am: HollywoodBets Dolphins vs Gbet Warriors
The Dolphins gradually improved over the three days in Pool C and have a well rounded side with experience with both bat and ball. Sarel Erwee is key at the top of the order, and in Marques Ackerman and Grant Roelofson, they have two batters who provide good support. It will be interesting to see if they can fit all-rounder Ruan de Swardt into their starting XI, because he’s an excellent two way player. The bowling is well stocked with Daryn Dupavillon and Ottniel Baartmen, a pair of fabulous seamers, while skipper Prenelan Subrayen - provided he is over his injury, is a crafty spinner. The Warriors are the most aggressive team in the country. From Matthew Breetzke, to JJ Smuts, skipper Sinethemba Qeshile and young Tristan Stubbs, they keep coming at you with the bat. Smuts, leg-spinner Kyle Jacobs and the pacers; Glenton Stuurman and Tiaan van Vuuren, provide variety and attacking impetus with the ball.
Prediction: Warriors. The aggressive mindset can be overwhelming and they seem to have too many weapons.
Oct 20, 2.30pm: North West Dragons vs Gbet Rocks
North West rely heavily on their skipper Senuran Muthusamy on both sides of the ball. With the bat, it's Wesley Marshall who is responsible for quick starts, so the Rocks must focus on getting him early, because then they can control the Dragons thereafter. Eldred Hawken is vital with the new ball for North West. The Rocks, already a very strong team, has been boosted by the inclusion of Stiaan van Zyl and Hardus Viljoen. They rely heavily on their spinners; Siyabonga Mahima, Imran Manack and Shaun von Berg, while Ziyaad Abrahams and Ferisco Adams are two excellent death bowlers.
Prediction: Boland to win comfortably. Too many weapons with both bat and ball.