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Ken Borland

Crucial time for Lions in depleted Sunfoil Series weekend

Posted on March 10, 2015 by Ken

The four franchises in Sunfoil Series action from today are all disappointingly depleted due to the withdrawal of the Proteas and the South Africa A squad, but the bizhub Highveld Lions are targeting this weekend as a crucial time in their quest for their first four-day title.

The Lions are second on the log, just 2.72 points behind the Titans, who are not in action this weekend, and victory over the Nashua Cape Cobras in Potchefstroom will put them in prime position as the competition nears the halfway mark.

Lions coach Geoff Toyana is missing seven frontline players, but most of the replacements are well-versed in franchise cricket and he is aiming high against the defending champions.

“It’s always tough missing players, but I’m happy with the depth we have and we still have quite an experienced top six. This is a big game for us, it will define our season this competition. We beat the Cobras at Newlands in our last game, so our confidence is high and I just hope our skills match that,” Toyana told The Citizen yesterday.

Gulam Bodi, Dale Deeb, Vusi Mazibuko, Pumelela Matshikwe, Sean Jamison and Devon Conway are the players called up by the Lions, while the Cobras also have a host of players excluded by national commitments or injury.

Cobras coach Paul Adams has, however, been able to call on players from his RamSlam T20 Challenge winning team like Sybrand Engelbrecht, Dane Paterson, Lizaad Williams and George Linde, while much is expected of two players from the Western Province side – batsman Keegan Petersen and all-rounder Shaheen Khan.

Adams said he is looking for more partnerships from his top-order batsmen as the Cobras aim for their first win in their third match this season.

The Dolphins have made a strong start to the competition with 27.08 points from two games and they travel to East London to take on the struggling Warriors.

The Warriors have probably been the least affected by national call-ups with just Simon Harmer and Wayne Parnell unavailable and the Eastern Cape side have called up Border off-spinner Gionne Koopman, while the pace bowling duties will be in the hands of Andrew Birch, Basheer Walters and Aya Gqamane.

The healthy covering of grass on the Buffalo Park pitch will test the Dolphins, who have lost three key batsmen in Morne van Wyk, David Miller and Khaya Zondo, while bowling spearhead Kyle Abbott is also unavailable.


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