South Africa’s Cape Cobras will take on Australia’s New South Wales Blues in a potential Champions League thriller at Chennai, on Saturday, September 24.
Led by Justin Kemp, Cape Cobras are a team to reckon with, comprising the likes of Dale Steyn, Owais Shah, Duminy and Hershelle Gibbs. these stars underperformed in 2009 and will want to compensate with interest, this time round. Carl Langeveldt and Robin Peterson add teeth to the bowling spear-headed by Steyn.
NSW Blues have been much more consistent; with the inaugural Champions League title under their belt, they also won the 2008 Big Bash tournament, down under. Apart from Shane Watson and David Warner, the NSW arsenal includes the likes of Steve Smith and Mathan Hauritz, who give the team spin options in their bowling.
The Cobras are a great fielding unit, as is to be expected from South Africans, and wicket keeper Andrew Puttick adds strength to the batting middle order which goes on to Kemp and Philander, who also add variety to the bowling which is further bolstered by Michael Rippon.
NSW share agileness in the field with their South African rivals and are characterised by specialist players who deliver consistently. Watson and Warner are arguably the most explosive opening pair in T20 cricket; the middle order has the likes of Simon Katich and Phil Hughes, the latter in particular showing great form recently, with a century in the second test, versus Sri Lanka.
NSW’s bowling has the likes of Stuart Clarke, known for his frugal economy rate, alongside Steve O’Keefe and Moses Henriques. Watson chips in with his wicket taking ability and that gives great balance to a side that’s strong in all departments. Smith and Hauritz should pose the greatest threat to the South African rivals on sub-continental wickets that aid spin. The slow turner expected at Chennai should particularly please these bowlers as much as it will bring a smile to Robin Peterson’s face in the Cobras’s squad.
Dale Steyn should give Cobras an edge in fast bowling but he is likely to be up against one of the finest batting line-ups in T20 cricket, led by the explosive Shane Watson. The fate of the match is likely to hinge on the nature of start the Australian outfit get from their openers — neither of whom takes much time to settle down — and if they fire, Cobras are likely to batted out of the game.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.