Lions look to consolidate, the Titans hope to kick on and the Cobras need all the help they can get in the Sunfoil Series matches starting Thursday
Lions v Dolphins, Johannesburg
The Highveld Lions lead the log by almost 16 points, but they know they cannot afford to slacken off against the Dolphins in Johannesburg. They fell away badly in their one-day and T20 campaigns, and need to make amends to salvage their season.
The one benefit of not reaching the one-day play-off was having extra time off to rest and recuperate before the final stretch, and the result is that Lonwabo Tsostobe is the only doubt for the match as he comes back from an ankle problem.
The Dolphins, currently fourth with a game in hand, have a weighty injury problem to contend with. ‘We’re struggling but we should be able to find 11 for the weekend,’ said coach Lance Klusener. To make matters worse, they now face six Sunfoil games in six weeks
Warriors v Titans, Port Elizabeth
The Unlimited Titans, emphatic winners of the One-Day Challenge, are on a roll and have their eye on a double when they meet the Warriors at St George’s Park.
After requiring injections to perform his heroics in the one-day final, Albie Morkel will sit out the fixture against the Warriors, but Ethy Mbhalati and Rowan Richards come back into the squad with some game time under their belts after turning out for Northerns in a three-day game against Namibia last weekend.
The Warriors will be without Ayabulela Gqamane because of injury and Rusty Theron due to illness, while Davy Jacobs is still making his way back from ankle surgery. But they too are on a roll, having won six of their last seven games in all competitions.
Knights v Cobras, Kimberley
The Cobras, without a win in four matches and in need of regeneration have lost three players to domestic duties: Dane Vilas, Rory Kleinvldt and captain Justin Ontong have or are expecting new arrivals in the family.
Two former South African under-19 players could make their senior debuts for the Cape Cobras .
Lesiba Ngoepe, a former SA Under-19-player and all-rounder in the Western Province amateur team, as well as Pieter Malan, former Titans stalwart and current opener of the WP team, are in the Cobras squad for their fifth Sunfoil Series match of the season. Malan has compiled 694 runs at an average of 53.38 and could open the innings.
Adding to the Cobras’ woes, Mthokozisi Shezi has a side strain and Justin Kemp a swollen ankle.
How they stand
537 runs (av 67.12) RE van der Merwe (Titans)
515 (64.37) CA Ingram (Warriors)
482 (60.25) HG Kuhn (Titans)472 (78.66) F Behardien (Titans)
388 (55.42) PJ van Biljon (Knights)
376 (53.71) SC Cook (Lions)
375 (53.57) RS Second (Knights)
353 (50.42) I Khan (Dolphins)
347 (48.19) ML Price (Warriors)
326 (40.75) TB de Bruyn (Titans)
21 (474 runs, 22.57 av) RR Richards (Titans)
21 (543, 25.85) ACR Birch (Warriors)
21 (562 26.71) SR Harmer (Warriors)
17 (513, 30.17) BD Walters (Warriors)
16 (476, 29.75) GF Linde (Cobras)
16 (525, 32.18) WL Coetsee (Knights)
15 (496, 33.06) Q Friend (Knights)