In desperate need of a victory to keep their Ram Slam T20 campaign alive, the Highveld Lions are hoping to catch the Titans on an “off-day” when the two teams meet at Willowmoore Park on Friday night. While the Titans have already guaranteed top spot and a home final, the Lions need to win their two remaining games to stand any chance of finishing in the top three and qualifying for the play-off. That looks to be an unenviable challenge given that the Titans have won their last seven games on the trot, especially as the Lions have lost their last two.
Lions coach Geoff Toyana says: ‘It will be tough for us, but we’ve chatted as a group and our equation is quite simple. We have to go to Benoni and beat them on the day. Hopefully they have one of those off-days, because in competitions like this you can’t go six, seven, eight wins on the bounce as they have done. So let’s hope they have an off-day, but that said it’s key that our group have belief in themselves.’ While the Lions bowling attack have often been impressive, the side have generally been short on runs and so Stephen Cook and Dominic Hendricks have been drafted into the squad as the selectors mull changes.
As they look to maintain their winning run in the lead-up to next weekend’s final, the Titans have opted for consistency with their selection and are in no mood to relax. Titans’ Mangaliso Mosehle says: ‘We’ve sat this week and spoken about the weekend, and the importance of not taking our foot off the pedal. We want to make sure that when we go into the final next week that we have some momentum. If we lose these two games then we might find ourselves in trouble. The Lions have a lot of inexperienced players, so we’ll be looking to pick up some early wickets, which is something that we’ve done very well, to put the middle order under pressure.’
Titans squad: Albie Morkel (Capt), Qaasim Adams, Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, Henry Davids, Quinton De Kock, Heino Kuhn, Sammy Mofokeng, Chris Morris, Mangaliso Mosehle, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Graeme Van Buuren, David Wiese.
Lions squad: Thami Tsolekile (capt), Stephen Cook, Rassie Van Der Dussen, Dominic Hendricks, Alviro Petersen, Devon Conway, Dwaine Pretorius, Hardus Viljoen, Aaron Phangiso, Eddie Leie, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Bjorn Fortuin, Nicky Van Den Bergh.