Ed Hawkins previews the first semi-final of South Africa's domestic Momentum One-Day Cup from Durban on Tuesday
"If there is juice in the Kingsmead pitch, they are going to need to bowl first to make use of it and hopefully bring their price down to the 10/111.91 region for our trade"
Dolphins v Knights
Tuesday 17 March, 11:30
Live on Betfair Video
Dolphins need Maharaj
Dolphins topped the group with seven wins from ten matches. They boast the meanest cumulative average bowling economy and equal-best average run rate alongside the Lions of the four semi-finalists. Only Titans scored runs more quickly, although fat lot of good it did them.
In the shape of Grant Roelofsen, Dolphins boast the leading runscorer in the tournament. He has whacked 588 runs at a strike rate of 97. At the age of 23, he will soon expect international recognition. Veteran Sarel Erwee is proving a decent foil and is fifth on the overall list.
Their bowling unit is reliant on the wily spin of Keshav Maharaj, however. His 16 wickets have been crucial. With South Africa's tour of India postponed one would expect him to return to the XI. We note Dolphins have lost their last two, both without Maharaj.
Probable XI Erwee, Roelofsen, Ackermann, Chetty, Zondo, Makhanya, Muthuswamy, Frylink, Subrayen, Maharaj, Dupavillon,
The Knights have bowling strength and they squeezed perfectly the Titans to confirm their position in the last four on Saturday.
They knocked their rivals over for just 138 in what was, essentially, a quarter-final. Shaun van Berg, a leggie, produced an extraordinary performance, claiming five wickets.
In reply, the Knights' weaknesses was exposed. They had a wobble or two, losing seven wickets. They have struggled for runs and the Titans consistent leaky bowling suggested they were ideal opponents. Keep an eye on opener Andrie Gous, who is having a terrific season, though.
Probable XI Gous, Snyman, Petersen, von Tonder, Mokowena, Makwetu, von Berg, Jansen, Budaza, Baartman.
Hosts hard to beat
The first-innings scores (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second) in the last two editions of the tournament at Kingsmead read: 244-2/308-1/209-1/119-2/300-1/254-2/244/2.
It looks like an even contest between bat and ball. One not particularly surprising trend is the Dolphins;' good record - they've lost just two of those. They also dished out two heavy beatings to Knights, including this term when the batting was razed.
Visitors need to bowl first
Dolphins are 4/61.65 with Knights 7/52.42. It's the sort of gulf we expected but there is reason to believe the visitors can be competitive.
Whatever the format, we are always enamoured with a strong bowling group. If you had to pick a specialism as a team, you'd plump for it every time. But they will have to bat out of their skin. If there is juice in the Kingsmead pitch, they are going to need to bowl first to make use of it and hopefully bring their price down to the 10/111.91 region for our trade.
The notoriously tricky Durban weather, at the moment, appears to be fine. No rain is currently forecast.
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Erwe has a 36.8% win rate on top bat over the last two editions, suggesting Sportsbook 7/2 is value. Roelofsen has a 33.3% win rate this year so the 11/4 will please many. We'd prefer a longer study period though. Erwe is the only batter on both sides who give punters an edge. The study sample for Gous (33.3%) is also not long enough for a 16/5 chance.
On top bowler, Sportsbook have not listed Maharaj. Not that we'd have betted him anyway with only an 18.1% hit rate. Robbie Frylink is the right jolly at 3/1. That gives us 3.1 implied probability points in our favour.
Trade Knights bowling first 7/52.4 to 10/111.91