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RAM SLAM T20: Titans depth put to the test

The Unlimited Titans face a brutal assessment of their strength in depth when they begin their RAM SLAM T20 campaign against the Nashua Cape Cobras at Bidvest Wanderers on Sunday afternoon.

Not only will the Titans be missing their regular Proteas, AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel and Faf du Plessis, but they will also be without Farhaan Behardien, Marchant de Lange and David Wiese after the trio flew to Australia for the forthcoming T20 internationals.

With Albie Morkel also absent for the start of the competition, the Titans squad has been greatly depleted and so a big performance will be required from West Indian all-rounder Darren Sammy.

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RAM SLAM T20: Lions look to Gayle for runaway starts

The bizhub Highveld Lions are optimistic that West Indian superstar Chris Gayle can make up for one of their greatest shortcomings last season when they get their RAM SLAM T20 campaign underway against the Sunfoil Dolphins at Bidvest Wanderers on Sunday evening.

The Lions won just one game in the tournament last season, when they often struggled to make the sort of starts to their innings that could yield results.

In 10 games they only registered five partnerships for the first, second or third wicket that went past fifty, and coach Geoffrey Toyana believes that Gayle could help to buck that trend this time around.

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RAM SLAM T20: Warriors banking on Rusty to lead attack

The Chevrolet Warriors are hoping that fast bowler Rusty Theron will return to fitness in time to lead their attack in the RAM SLAM T20 season opener against the Chevrolet Knights at Bidvest Wanderers on Sunday morning.

Theron is yet to turn out for the Warriors this season due to a knee problem, and his absence has been felt - the Warriors are the only side who have not bowled an opponent out in the Momentum One-Day Cup thus far.

Theron’s return would, therefore, be a welcome one, especially if the Warriors bowl first seeing as seam movement is likely to be on offer when Sunday’s televised triple-header gets underway at 10am.

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Sammy keen to take The Unlimited Titans to victory

Excelling in the finishing role, building pressure with his dot-is-as-good-as-gold philosophy and sharing some trade secrets with a friend and team-mate from the St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League, Henry Davids, would form part of Darren Sammy’s approach to the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge.

Sammy, captain of the T20-team of the West Indian Islands, arrived in South Africa on Thursday and will feature for The Unlimited Titans in the domestic T20-competition this season.

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Strong Caribbean flavour to RAM SLAM T20 Challenge

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Cricket South Africa (CSA) will launch the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Sunday with a strong Caribbean Calypso flavour to it.

“I am delighted to announce that our Franchises have recruited some of the world’s best T20 players,” commented Tournament Director, Graeme Smith. “In my discussions with all the super stars it has been satisfying to note their eagerness to play in the RAM SLAM as they regard South Africa as one of the best cricket Leagues in the world.”

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Pandey turns into unlikely hero as KKR beat Punjab to win 2nd IPL title

The Kolkata Knight Riders have won their second IPL title by beating tournament favourites Kings XI Punjab by 3 wickets at Bengaluru on Sunday, with Bangalore batsman Manish Pandey the unlikely hero on the night. Chasing 200 for a win after Punjab made a sizeable 199/4 in their 20 overs, Pandey came in at No.3 and smashed 94 off just 50 balls to keep his side ahead of the asking rate at most times during the match.

Having been put into bat, Punjab got off to a slow start, but a stupendous 115 from 55 balls from another unlikely source in Wriddhiman Saha made sure that the men in red did not disappoint with the bat. Saha got good support from young Manan Vohra (67) who played a responsible knock after seeing early wickets fall at the other end.

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Punjab’s power house batting delivers huge win

Kings XI Punjab moved back to the to the top of the standings in IPL 2014 with a thumping  44 run win over second placed Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.

After being put into bat on a belter of a track in Cuttack, Punjab made a mammoth 231/4 in their 20 overs, courtesy another blitz from their in form big hitting batsman Glenn Maxwell. Maxwell made an astounding 90 off just 38 balls, smashing 8 sixes and 6 fours on his way to his third score of 90+ in the tournament to deflate a confident Chennai bowling attack. Good support from David Miller (47) and a late surge from skipper George Bailey (40 off just 13 balls) ensured that the home team took advantage of the fine platform set by Maxwell

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Sehwag, Raina light up Qualifier 2 as Punjab advance to first ever IPL Final

An outstanding century from the original Delhi dasher Virender Sehwag laid the foundation for the Kings XI Punjab to book a richly deserved place in the Final of the Indian Premier League despite a spirited effort from the Chennai Super Kings in the second qualifier.

It was Chennai who came into this match with all the momentum, but Virender Sehwag soon turned the tables on the former champions who had won the toss and put Punjab in on a belter of a track at the Wankhede Stadium.

Sehwag dominate a 110 run opening wicket partnership with young Manan Vohra (34) and shared that focussing on his own batting today instead of worrying about the youngsters playing alongside him made all the difference. The veteran opener smashed 122 from just 58 balls to send the Mumbai fans into delirium as he turned back the clock 10 years to the original mauler of Multan.

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Chennai batsmen deliver win in Big chase

It was the Chennai Super Kings who emerged victorious once again in Delhi as they fought off a brave challenge from the Delhi Daredevils side to register their 6th win in 7 games in IPL 2014. Delhi were put into bat by Chennai skipper MS Dhoni on a placid Feroz Shah Kotla wicket that had runs writ all over it. They managed a hefty 178/5 in their 20 overs, thanks to handy contributions from Dinesh Karthik (51), Murali Vijay (35), Kedar Jhadav (29*) and JP Duminy (28*). Duminy and Jhadav put on a charge 58 off the last 34 deliveries to give Delhi more than a fair chance in the game.

The hosts chances were reduced greatly by the dreaded Chennai opening pair of Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum though as the overseas duo were at it once again for the men in yellow. The opening stand managed a solid 82 off the first 11 overs before McCullum(32) succumbed to a bit of pressure from the Delhi bowlers.

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