Sport / Cricket

Heinz Schenk
4 minute read
26 Mar 2019
4:48 pm

Everything you need to know about the One-day Cup knockouts

Heinz Schenk

With the Proteas dominating the headlines, this tournament has rolled along quietly. But guys like Junior Dala have tried their best to grab attention.

Junior Dala of the Multiply Titans bowling during the Momentum One-Day Cup match between Multiply Titans and VKB Knights at SuperSport Park on February 10, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images)

The domestic One-day Cup has quietly rolled on to its knockout stages starting on Wednesday.

With the Proteas’ build-up to the World Cup dominating the headlines, not much attention has been given to this feeder tournament – except perhaps when Aiden Markram was lighting it up.

The action starts with the first semi between the Titans and Cobras in Centurion, before the Dolphins host the Warriors in Durban on Thursday.

Here’s how the four teams made it to the last four.

TITANS

Position: 1st (Six wins from 10 games)

What did they do right? 

If anything, the Titans managed to get their national stars to perform at vital stages of the campaign while also inspiring the regulars around them.

Markram has been astonishing, smashing 393 runs in just three innings (including a highest score of 169 at No 5).

Dean Elgar’s first appearance delivered a knock of 137.

From there on, every one contributed at various stages, particularly young Tony de Zorzi, who made 357 runs at just under 60.

The bowling, spearheaded by the brilliant Junior Dala, was varied and reasonably potent.

Who’s been their star?

Undoubtedly Dala, who’s snapped up 20 wickets to be the leading wicket-taker in this year’s tournament by some distance.

DOLPHINS

Position: 2nd (Five wins from 10 matches)

What did they do right?

Grant Morgan’s troops were the only ones to start the campaign well, winning their first three matches and four of their first five.

Given the inconsistency of the rest, they only really needed another one to make their position safe, though a wobble certainly gave them a headache or two.

They were indebted to their Proteas – David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo and Imran Tahir – playing starring roles when they were available, before a few stalwarts carried them.

The loss of Rob Frylinck, who took nine wickets in three games, took an edge away from their attack.

Who’s been their star?

Sarel Erwee during the Momentum One-Day Cup match between Hollywoodbets Dolphins and WSB Cape Cobras at Pietermaritzburg Oval on March 09, 2019 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)

Opener Sarel Erwee has show a big temperament and big-hitting ability in making 357 runs at 91 and a strike rate of 104.

WARRIORS

Position: 3rd (Five wins from 10 matches)

What did they do right?

The Warriors have simply been the Warriors.

They still don’t boast a star-studded line-up, but they know their strengths inside out and tend to win when it matters.

Promisingly, a new generation of performers are emerging, especially in the form of opener Matthew Breetzke, wicketkeeper Sine Qeshile and quick Lutho Sipamla.

In fact, they might even be so gifted that they received far more regular national attention than their elder teammates.

Who’s been their star?

Jon Jon Smuts(C)of the Warriors during the Momentum One-Day Cup match between Warriors and Hollywoodbets Dolphins at St Georges Park on March 20, 2019 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images)

Captain Jon-Jon Smuts will go down as one of the true stalwarts of franchise cricket when he calls it a day. The underrated 30-year-old ended with 342 runs and harvested eight wickets with his more than useful spinners.

COBRAS

Position: 4th (Five wins from 10 matches)

What did they do right?

That’s a matter of debate.

In a nutshell, they won enough games.

While coach Ashwell Prince will be the first to admit that his charges have been inconsistent, the spine of his squad is very much inexperienced and upcoming.

However – much like their mentor – this group has a grittiness to it.

They won a tight game in Bloemfontein when it initially seemed they’d lose, while Akhona Mnyaka’s magnificent final over at the Wanderers turned out to be vital.

Who’s been their star?

Kyle Verreynne of the Cobras appeals for the catch during the Momentum One-Day Cup match between WSB Cape Cobras and VKB Knights at PPC Newlands on March 21, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Kyle Verreynne’s priceless ability to keep the scoreboard moving without big shots as well as his calmness have been eye-catching. 388 runs at 65 attests to that.

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