Cricket 28.11.2013 06:00 am

Partnerships the key – Cook

PROMISING. Highveld Lions batsman Temba Bavuma came to the party last week during his side's Sunfoil Series victory against the Titans. Picture: Gallo Images.

PROMISING. Highveld Lions batsman Temba Bavuma came to the party last week during his side's Sunfoil Series victory against the Titans. Picture: Gallo Images.

One of the more notable features of the Highveld Lions’ fine start to the Sunfoil Series was how a pronounced “herd-mentality” delivered them so much success in their opening victory over the Titans.

As vice-captain Stephen Cook noted, partnerships will remain vital against the Warriors in Potchefstroom today, especially in the absence of men like Quinton de Kock and Imran Tahir, who are on national duty.

“I think you have to start with the bowlers. They bowled well as a unit,” he said.

“Although you might look at it and say that Chris Morris and Hardus Viljoen broke the back, Pumi Matshikwe and Eddie Leie took some vital wickets and broke a couple of key partnerships, so the bowling unit as a whole did really nicely.”

Then again, the Lions can claim to have the pre-eminent attack in the competition, meaning that perhaps more focus can be invested in maintaining the resilience shown with the bat.

Younger members like Dominic Hendricks and Temba Bavuma were particularly prominent with Cook and their prospects become eminently rosier when it’s considered that veterans Neil McKenzie and Zander de Bruyn didn’t quite fire last week.

Meanwhile, the Titans aren’t too perturbed by their derby defeat.

There had been a sentiment that the One-Day Cup co-champions would initially struggle to make the shift to four-day action –which proved prophetic – yet captain Henry Davids believes that demand is merely mental and not technical.

But against formidable opposition like the Cobras, they’ll need to be sharp from the start.

The Dolphins’ big theme for the season has been bolstering their mental fortitude – evidenced by mental guru Christo Spies’ involvement.

After being shot out for 88 last week against the Cobras, this week’s meeting with the Knights is about showing character.

“It happens. If we have a good game or two, this will feel like it was a long time ago,” said captain Morne van Wyk.

 

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