T20 semis ask intriguing questions

12 December 2017 - 15:36 By Telford Vice‚ Cape Town
The Warriors head coach Malibongwe Maketa during the opening function of the Powerade men's National Academy at Cricket SA Centre of Excellence on May 24, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.
The Warriors head coach Malibongwe Maketa during the opening function of the Powerade men's National Academy at Cricket SA Centre of Excellence on May 24, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Does Malibongwe Maketa have one or two games left as the Warriors’ coach? And what’s the weather doing in Durban?

The T20 semifinals‚ between the Titans and the Warriors in Centurion on Wednesday and the Dolphins and the Cobras at Kingsmead on Thursday‚ throw up some intriguing questions.

But here’s one that has already been answered: AB de Villiers is part of the squad the Titans named on Tuesday.

That might seem obvious considering who we’re dealing with‚ but De Villiers did not feature in the games against the Cobras at Newlands on Friday and the Dolphins at Kingsmead on Sunday.

And the Titans lost both to record their only defeats in 10 matches in the competition this season.

The other side of that equation is that the Centurion side reeled off six wins in their first eight games — the remaining two were washed out — and so were assured of a home semi before the last two league rounds.

That showed in their selection of what amounted to a B side at Kingsmead on Sunday‚ when they were sent packing for 79 and lost by 89 runs.

Which could cause unhappiness in the Cobras’ camp because the bonus point the Dolphins earned on Sunday put them ahead of the Capetonians by a single point and thereby denied the latter the right to play their semi at home.

As for Maketa‚ the Warriors coach‚ he will take his leave of the team after the tournament to assume a new role as Ottis Gibson’s assistant with South Africa.

That could add to the pressure on the Warriors to win on Wednesday or inspire them to keep their popular coach around for a few more days and one more game. Or both.

If you’re among Durban’s cricket-minded folks you probably have a crick in your neck from gazing skywards too much in the past few weeks.

All but one of the Dolphins’ five matches at Kingsmead have been washed out‚ and they suffered a fifth weather bomb against the Titans in Benoni.

But all that rain was likely to have helped them not slip to defeat more often than they might have.

Like the Titans they were downed only twice to finish second in the standings even though they won only four games — fewer than the Cobras and the Warriors.

And‚ yes‚ rain has been forecast for Thursday. As well as for Tuesday and Wednesday …

Should Thursday’s game not reach a conclusion the Dolphins will advance to Saturday’s final by future of their log position.

There would be something poetic about that‚ should it come to pass.

For KwaZulu-Natalians‚ at least.

Ram Slam semifinals:

Wednesday:

Titans v Warriors (SuperSport Park‚ Centurion‚ 6pm)

Thursday: Dolphins v Cobras (Kingsmead‚ Durban‚ 6pm)


X