The Northerns Titans and the KZN Dolphins, the two teams that will contest the CSA T20 Challenge final in Potchefstroom on Saturday afternoon, both have powerful bowling attacks that should decide the destination of the trophy, or will another inspirational innings by Dewald Brevis prove the difference?
It seems that the final will be played on the same strip on which Brevis plundered 162 off 57 balls against the Free State Knights and a world record 501 runs were scored in the match. But the pressures of a final and the fact that the two best bowling attacks of the competition will be on show, suggests the ball will continue to hold sway as it has for most of the tournament.
“Both teams have really good bowling attacks and I think whoever bowls best will win the final,” Northerns coach Mandla Mashimbyi told Saturday Citizen on Friday.
“Our four spinners have really put the opposition under pressure. We have experienced campaigners in Aaron Phangiso and Simon Harmer, Neil Brand has been really good and Dewald has done well with his leggies too.
Read more: Spinners bowl Titans into CSA T20 final
“Our bowlers have put in quality performances game in, game out, and that’s why we’ve been winning,” Mashimbyi said.
The Dolphins also have quality spinners in Prenelan Subrayen and Jon-Jon Smuts, and potent pacemen in Ottneil Baartman, Eathan Bosch and fast man Daryn Dupavillon.
“Our bowling attack has really stood up, as it has done in this competition in the last three seasons,” KZN assistant coach Quinton Friend said.
“We try to simplify things and we’ve put a big emphasis on death bowling, which has been going very well. We need to keep doing what we’ve been doing with the ball.
“The confidence in our bowling unit is high, the low totals against us speaks to the quality of the guys and the way they’ve stuck to the plans put in place.
“We’ve often had to defend low scores, which adds a lot of pressure, but the guys have stepped up. Our bowling is probably our strength,” Friend said.
The Titans have an average score of 170/6 in the tournament, but if one removes their extraordinary 271/3 against Free State, then their average drops to 155/7. The Dolphins are averaging 160/5.
Northerns won six of their seven round-robin games and KZN lost twice. But the Dolphins are too dangerous to be called underdogs and Mashimbyi is mindful of how the Titans slipped up in last season’s final, having also won six out of seven to top the log, but then losing by 15 runs to the Boland Rocks.
“We have learned from last season that we have to play certain big moments a little better. Hopefuly it all clicks for us in this final,” Mashimbyi said.