A quick look at what lies ahead in the latest Sunfoil Series matches starting Thursday.
Benoni: Titans vs Highveld Lions
Highveld Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana has come down hard on his young players, despite their superb effort in demolishing the Cape Cobras last time out. ‘These youngsters can come in and have one good game and think that the season is done,’ said Toyana. ‘It’s important that we put their feet back on the ground and make them start again because it’s a new day and a new game.’
The new game is a top of the table clash against the Titans, who led the series until they were given a weekend off and the Lions got to work on the Cobras, gathering almost 18 points. They now lead by 16.22 points after four games. And the Lions hope they will have Hardus Viljoen and Lonwabo Tsosobe back in the line-up to add even greater firepower to their attack.
The Titans, though, are without some of their big guns: Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Farhaan Behardien, David Wiese and Marchant de Lange are all unavailable due to Proteas and South Africa A call-ups.
They will be looking to blood new talent, but as the Lions showed last weekend, that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Port Elizabeth: Warriors vs Cape Cobras
It’s getting serious for the Cape Cobras, looking anything but reigning champions. They have a game in hand, but two losses and a draw have left them firmly embedded at the bottom of the table. Added to which, they were penalised a point for slow over-rates in the game against the Lions at Newlands.
The Warriors were similarly disadvantaged until they clicked and gave the Dolphins an almighty walloping in East London last weekend, which indicated they may have turned the corner. They really need to kick on to prove this, to themselves as much as anyone else.
The Cobras are still without their senior players, which is not helping the situation at all. BUt at least their captain, Justin Kemp has recovered from injury and will back in the side.
Kimberley: Knights vs Dolphins
The Knights are also burdened by the loss of senior players Gihahn Cloete, Rudi Second and Reeza Hendricks, and are rebuilding at a difficult time. At least they have good competition in the bowling department: Dillon du Preez has recovered from injury and will challenge Corne Dry and Quinton Friend for a place in the line-up.
The Dolphins need to bounce back from a torrid time in East London, but coach Lance Klusener is still considering resting a couple of players ahead of the Momentum One-Day Cup which starts again next week.
‘It’s quite tough playing two weeks in a row and it looks like it’s going to be a hot week in Kimberley, so we might just freshen the side up a bit,’ he said.