Port Elizabeth: South African club Warriors are the outright favourites to win the first game of the Saturday double-header when they take on Central Stags, who with two straight losses in their two games are searching for their first win in the tournament.
The Stags were thrashed by the Chennai Super Kings in the opening game, but then staged a strong comeback in their second match against the Australian T20 champions Victoria Bushrangers as they managed to stretch their trans-Tasman rivals.
The team has been plagued with a poor batting display and have been over-reliant on skipper Jamie How, who starred with a briliant 77 in the previous game. The knock, however, did not seem to inspire the rest of the batsmen, who will have to come good if they are to give themselves a chance of a win on Saturday.
The Stags' bowling too has been nothing to write home about. Doug Bracewell and company have seemed to be on track in the first few overs, but have buckled under pressure and have been expensive at the death. They surely are the underdogs but if they can draw on their never-say-die Kiwi spirit, they may actually be able to spring a surprise at the St George's Park.
The home side Warriors on the other hand have emerged as a contender for the title after having comprehensively beaten Wayamba Elevens in their opening game and having upset the Bushrangers in their next game. The win against the Aussie club must have given the Warriors a fillip and they will look to carry on this momentum and seal a semi-final spot with a third straight win on Saturday.
Pacer Rusty Theron has been the pick of the bowlers for the Warriors and has been superbly supported at the other end by Makhaya Ntini, Lonwabo Tstosobe and Nicky Boke.
Their batting, though, has been a bit of concern as they have looked to be over-reliant on Davey Jacobs and Mark Boucher. And Saturday's match is the perfect game to get the batting in order, especially before their final league game against the Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.