2 minute read
28 Nov 2014
9:58 am

Gayle and De Kock join forces for the Lions

Adding spice to the home stretch of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge, the Proteas players are set to return to action in Sunday's triple-header in Bloemfontein.

FILE PICTURE: Geoffrey Toyana head coach of bizhub Highveld Lions. (Photo by Gallo Images)

One of the biggest attractions will be the first game between the Lions and the Dolphins as the Johannesburg side welcomes back Quinton de Kock.

He is fresh off his sixth One Day International ton, albeit in a losing cause, against Australia last Sunday. He pairs up with West Indian Chris Gayle to form an explosive batting combination up front for the Highveld side.

“Quinton is coming in off the back of a hundred in Australia and he’s quite confident. In the last 18 months he’s been very good for us up the order there,” said Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana.

The 21-year-old has the rare accolade of possessing a higher ODI batting average (43.58) than his domestic List A average of 37.62, indicative of his ability to perform on the big stage.

And being able to cope under pressure in the high-intensity environment of T20 cricket will be key for Toyana as the Lions look to secure their safe passage to a home final.

“In T20 cricket there’s always going to be pressure, and games can go either way.

“All the games have been quite close and if you don’t execute your skills, you can’t expect to come out with the right result.”

On the prospect of coming up against the defending champions in the Dolphins, he said the Lions would not underestimate the fourth-placed side.

“The Dolphins are a dangerous side. They just go in and play, and they back themselves.

“On their day they can make 180 or 190. Our skills have to be there upfront.”

The Dolphins started the tournament well, with two bonus-point wins from their first three matches, but have not picked up a win since then. Having match-winners Morne van Wyk and West Indian Dwayne Bravo at their disposal, a tight contest could be expected.

The other two matches of the day feature the Warriors up against the Titans and home side the Knights entertaining the Cape Cobras.

– Sapa