New South Wales, Cobras bring pace to CLT20

Updated: 27 September 2011 01:40 IST

The clash between the South African champions and the Australian runners-up will involve a contest between arguably the most exciting opening combination and the best pace attack.

Match facts

Cape Cobras v New South Wales, Chennai
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big Picture

This tournament has so far been about slow tracks, and even slower bowlers slowing things further down. The low scores haven't been a product of great spin bowling - well, there has been hardly any turn - but of slowness and lowness.

The state of affairs could change when the South African champions and the Australian runners-up go against each other. The clash will involve a contest between arguably the most exciting opening combination and the best pace attack. Shane Watson and Dale Steyn will duel in a much more inviting contest in Tests later this year, but this is not half bad as an appetiser. If Test cricket calls for more adjustments from Watson, Steyn will be the one trying harder to fit in in the shortest format on slow Indian tracks. David Warner and Charl Langeveldt should make it a right contest between the explosive batsmen and fast bowlers. Now if only the Chennai pitch plays ball.

Watch out for..

With Watson and Warner promising much as openers, it can be easy - and hazardous - to overlook Herschelle Gibbs. He might be out of international cricket, but along with Richard Levi - they added 88 to set up the South African domestic final win - he forms a potentially dangerous combination.

With his Michael Kasprowicz-like cutters, Stuart Clark could be a handful in Indian conditions. Even in the Big Bash, he went for under six an over in the seven matches he played, taking nine wickets at 17.22.

Team news

Cape Cobras have lost Claude Henderson from the side that won the domestic final - he played for Leicestershire - but Steyn is a welcome addition.

New South Wales have three spinners in their ranks - Nathan Hauritz, Steve O'Keefe and Steven Smith - which gives them ample options should the pitch be a turner. Watson is a big addition to the side that lost the Big Bash final.

Stats and trivia

Warner has hit 304 fours and 116 sixes in Twenty20 cricket. He is ninth on on the overall six-hitters' list, and only three men have hit more fours than him.

This is the first time these two teams are playing each other

Quotes

"I think we are underdogs. The other teams have some players who have done exceptionally well in the last few years, but we are confident and can play good cricket." Justin Kemp is not talking big before the event

"The ball seems to keep low here and spin is the order of the day. We played a practice game at Chepauk and that was helpful. Since we have three good spinners in the squad, we will not be afraid to experiment." Simon Katich believes he has the horses for this course

Topics : Cricket Cape Cobras New South Wales Champions League Twenty20, 2011
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