Lions v Titans RamSlam Betting: Lions can bare teeth

Petersen has been in great touch
Petersen has been in great touch

Ed Hawkins previews Friday afternoon clash at Potchefstroom and reckons the Lions are not as bad as the market suggests...

"In an ideal world they Lions would bat first and be able to rely on scoreboard pressure"

Recommended Bet
Back-to-lay Lions at 2.427/5 to 1.9210/11 if they bat first

Lions v Titans
Start time: 16.00
TV: live on Sky Sports 5


The Lions are middle-ranking in the outright market at 6.25/1, although they remain an unfashionable outfit for punters because of few stars names. Still, they didn't need any when downing the Cape Cobras in their opening fixture at odds against.

They also bucked a toss bias at Newlands. They restricted the Cobras to just 125 off their 20 overs. It was thanks to Dwaine Pretorius and Aaron Phangiso who took two wickets apiece with economy rates of 5.25 and 2.66 respectively.

Indeed, the Lions are probably stronger with the ball. Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Eddie Leie are South Africa internationals. With the willow Alviro Petersen, who has been in sensational form in the domestic one-day cup, and Rassie van der Dussen are key.


The Titans are aptly named - but only on the rare occasion they have all their South Africa players. AB De Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar and Morne Morkel turn out for this lot but, of course, they are away with the national team.

They can still boast some big hitters, however. Quinton de Kock, a former Lion, made the switch in the close season and he should open the batting with Henry Davids. Farhaan Behardien, the steady hand in South Africa's middle order, does the same here while Chris Morris (another ex-Lion), and Albie Morkel are two fine all-rounders.

All were present and incorrect, though, on opening weekend. The Titans were downed by the Dolphins by six runs. It was closer than it should have been considering they were 81 for five at one stage.

First-innings runs

In the last ten T20 matches at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom the first-innings scores read (most recent first): 167-181-104-134-154-172-179-149-161-194. That is an average of 160.

Match odds

The Lions are big outsiders to make it two wins from three. They are rated as 2.427/5 shots with the Titans 1.664/6.

It is rare indeed that we would consider backing a side at such short odds in T20 and the Titans would have to be a very good side to warrant support. At the moment there is precious little evidence we should bet them.

So the Lions are the value. Whether they can pull off the win remains to be seen but there should at least be some room in their price for a trade. In an ideal world they would bat first and be able to rely on scoreboard pressure.

If the Titans bat first any sort of start from the power of the blades of De Cock and Davids wold see their odds tumble quickly so it would be wise to wait for the toss.

There is a hint of a toss bias in the last ten. Six have been won by the side batting first and one was tied, although of those games only three were day-night. The split under lights is in favour of the side batting first by the odd game. The weather forecast is good.

Top Lions runscorer

Centuries in T20 matches are rare. But Van der Dussen has three of them. Incredibly they all came on this ground, including 101 off 61 balls on this ground versus the Titans last year. Given that he looked in decent touch in the opener he looks a fair shout at 3.7511/4.

Top Titans runscorer

De Kock, who was in excellent form for South Africa in India, also has a century on this ground. He is 3.7511/4. Davids is 4.57/2 and Behardien is 7.06/1.

Recommended Bet

Back-to-lay Lions at 2.427/5 to 1.9210/11 if they bat first

Ed Hawkins P/L

2015: +£377.80
2014: +315.10
2013: +250.80
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.
Follow Ed on Twitter @cricketbetting

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