Highveld Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana is looking forward to ending the season on a high and playing a role in deciding who wins the Sunfoil Series when they take on the title-chasing Cape Cobras in Potchefstroom from Thursday.
The hosts enter the final round of the competition bottom of the table and will finish there after a poor campaign to date.
However, they have played well in recent weeks and came close to beating the Hollywoodbets Dolphins last week, before rain stopped them on the final afternoon.
Their opposition this week are the Cobras, who are lying second on the standings and still have every chance of claiming the four-day prize should they win at Senwes Park and the Warriors lose to the Dolphins in Durban.
They will also need the Multiply Titans and VKB Knights to draw their match in Centurion or the winner to secure fewer bonus points than themselves.
It makes for an intriguing final round of competition – with the visitors amongst five teams that can still end top in 2017/18.
“We showed a lot of fight in that last game after being 140 behind on the first innings,” Toyana reflected after round nine. “It was really encouraging.
“Now we’ll hope to take those positives into this final game of the season in Potch.
“It’s a big weekend for the competition where we will find out the champions.
“Anyone of the other five teams can win making for an exciting climax. We might also have a say as well as to where the trophy will go, which is nice as well. We’ll hope to finish strong.”
Opposition coach Ashwell Prince is looking forward to the final round of the season, admitting that it is bizarre to think that no team had won more than two games so far this season.
“A couple of weeks ago I said three wins will win you the title, but instead it looks now like two wins would also be able to clinch it, in fact, even one if you think the Knights with no wins have a chance to win the competition,” Prince said. “It’s unbelievable really, but I think there’s four teams (the Warriors, Cobras, Knights and Titans) who will be particularly excited about going into the last round.”
And Prince is also wary of the threat posed by the Lions, despite their lowly standing on the log. He added: “They played well in the last round against the Dolphins and ended up dominating the game.
“They had a good chance in the end to win the game and were a little bit unlucky maybe. They’ve showed that they’re not going to just roll over.
“So again I don’t think they’re going to be a pushover, they have a lot of pride to play for so it’s going to be a tough game.”
The Lions squad is: Stephen Cook (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Omphile Ramela, Rassie van der Dussen, Dominic Hendricks, Dwaine Pretorius, Wihan Lubbe, Mangaliso Mosehle, Nono Pongolo, Aaron Phangiso, Nandre Burger, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks.
The Cobras squad is: Yet to be released.
HEAD TO HEAD – Highveld Lions v Cape Cobras
Matches Played 27
Lions Win 07
Cobras Win 10
|MATCH STATS (SUNFOIL SERIES)||LIONS||COBRAS|
|Highest Score||580/7* (Potchefstroom 2015/16)||574/8* (Paarl 2017/18)|
|Lowest Score||86 (Cape Town 2011/12)||80 (Potchefstroom 2007/08)|
|Highest Individual Score||194 Q de Kock (Potchefstroom 2012/13)||260* JP Duminy (Paarl 2015/16)|
|Best bowling in an innings||7-61 F de Wet (Cape Town 2005/06)||7-64 VD Philander (Potchefstroom 2007/08)|
Sunfoil Series table (as it stands):
Final Round fixtures
Dolphins v Warriors – Durban
Highveld Lions v Cape Cobras – Potchefstroom
Titans v Knights – Centurion
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