Ed Hawkins previews the second televised affair from Newlands on the opening day of South Africa's domestic T20 tournament...
"Given this will be the second match of the day we would expect the wicket to be slower so a score lay is a smart move"
Lay 160 runs or more at 2.001/1
Cape Cobras v Lions
TV: live on Sky Sports
Start time: 14.00
The Cape Cobras are the holders of the RamSlam title and it is easy to see why they are short at 3.39/4 to defend their crown. They have a host of match-winners.
Richard Levi, the fast-scoring opener, Omphile Ramela, another hitter, the powerful Justin Kemp and man of the tournament last year, Kieron Pollard.
Beuran Hendricks, the left-arm seamer, is injured but Andrew Puttick and Rory Kleinveldt are fit after illness and injury respectively.
Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Jean-Paul Duminy and Stiaan Van Zyl are all Cobras by name. It would be easy to get carried away thinking they are depleted given that bunch are with the national team in India. The reality is that these franchises rarely have their stars available so they are not a big miss.
If the Cape Cobras are packed with experience and are pretty much the finished article, the Lions are the opposite. They are young and their coach Geoff Toyana says they are a work in progress.
"We sat down with the selectors, and we're basically trying to plot the way forward for Lions cricket," he said.
That way forward is selecting young bucks. Bjorn Fortuin and Shaylen Pillay (both just 21) and Devon Conway, Matt McGillivray, Andre Malan and Nicky van den Bergh (aged between 24 and 26) have limited franchise experience.
They will rely heavily on South African internationals like Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Edde Leie and Alviro Petersen.
They have lost an extraordinary amount of batting power in the shape of Chris Gayle and Quinton de Kock.
Since January 2014 there have been 11 T20 matches played at Newlands and the first-innings scores are remarkably consistent. In full they read: 151/165/158/154/127/146/146/129/140/154/153. That is an average of 148.
Note how there has been only one score of more than 160. If you had laid that mark each time you would be quids in. Given this will be the second match of the day we would expect the wicket to be slower so a score lay is a smart move.
Cape Cobras are 1.715/7 with the Lions 2.265/4. The gulf in odds would appear justified considering the respective roster strengths.
But can we make a case for the Lions? Well, we would have to pin our hopes on the toss. Batting under lights at Newlands is notoriously tough.
In the previous eight day-night affairs in T20, six have been won by the side batting first. It is a significant trend and one we have to respect.
All being equal before the toss we would lap up the price about the Cobras. If they bat first and it holds, then steam in.
Top Cape Cobras batsman
Levi not only scored more runs than any other Cobra last term, with 392 of them at an average of 39, he topped the charts for the whole tournament. As an opener he will be backed into around 3.55/2.
Top Lions batsman
Do the Lions have any batsmen left? Well, Petersen is the man who must come to the fore. He has 450 already in the one-day cup with an incredible four tons in five games.
Lay 160 runs or more at 2.001/1
Ed Hawkins P/L
To £10 level stakes (unless otherwise stated), based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate.
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