In last week’s lucky escape against the Knights, they made 121 in their first innings and were on a wobbly 54/3 when the rain saved them.
It’s little wonder then that Proteas opener Alviro Petersen’s return is noteworthy – they need the runs.
The former captain – who resigned at the start of the domestic T20 campaign – looked quite valuable in the one four-day match he’s played this season, an authoritative 138 against the same opponents they face today in Port Elizabeth, the Warriors.
That though was compiled on a road of a track in Potchefstroom at the end of November – the Lions haven’t passed 215 in an innings since then.
The only shining light in that department has been the diminutive Temba Bavuma, whose 566 runs at an average just under 48 has gained him much praise, particularly because most of those runs have been made in those depressing batting efforts of the recent past.
Geoff Toyana’s men continue to lie respectably purely based on some penetrative performances with the ball, continuing a trend they started last year.
But they go into today’s game without Lonwabo Tsotsobe or Imran Tahir, who are both on national duty and made incisive contributions in the last few weeks as well as the injured Chris Morris.
Instead, they’ll rely on the wiles of veteran Cliffe Deacon and the pace of Hardus Viljoen, their leading wicket taker by some margin.
Late-blooming all-rounder Bret Pelser has also been useful.
Meanwhile, the Warriors won’t have spin ace Simon Harmer as he’s suspended for one match while regular captain Davy Jacobs is frustratingly sidelined.
In the other fixtures, the struggling Titans face the resurgent if young Dolphins in Benoni while the Knights engage in a top-of-the-table clash with the Cobras in Kimberley.