Cape Town — The 4-Day Franchise Series is starting to hot up with plenty riding on the final round of games that start on Monday before the next break in the calendar - that will see the last two matches of 2019/20 to be played in late March and early April.
After the log-leading Lions were stunned by the Dolphins, who were last before the previous round of games, last week, the first-class franchise competition has taken a new twist.
All six teams now have a chance, with a good run from any of the teams in the final three rounds almost certain to give them a chance of winning the championship.
The defending champion Lions remain top of the table with 117.26 points, but their lead has been slashed dramatically to just over 13 points from the Knights (103.92).
And in total only 35.72 points separate top from bottom, with the Cape Cobras (81.54) now last.
The pick of the action in round eight is undoubtedly in Centurion where the Momentum Multiply Titans (89.02) welcome the 2018/19 winners for their Jukskei derby at SuperSport Park.
It is a crucial match for the hosts, who have not won since round one when they beat the Dolphins at home.
That remains their only win of the campaign, but a positive result against their old foes will throw the title race even more open.
Elsewhere, the in-form Dolphins (86.20), the only team that has won both their matches in the new year, welcome the second-placed Knights to Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium in Durban.
The visitors overcame the Warriors last week to move second, while the hosts had that good win over the leaders in Pietermaritzburg.
In the final match of the round, the Eastern Cape franchise, currently third on 97.38 points, entertain the Cobras at Buffalo Park in East London.
- Cricket SA