About the Match
Both the Knights and Lions have been on a losing streak and currently occupy 5th and 4th place respectively with 10 points each in their bag; these two teams will lock horns on 1st December at Bloemfontein for the 19th match of the series. While Knights lost to Cape Cobras by 3 wickets after failing to defend 159, the Lions’ last game was washed away by rain and lost the match against Warriors by 4 wickets before that. Both sides are desperate for a win now and we could see a tight clash between them on Friday.
David Miller posted a smashing half-century batting first against Cobras while captain Theunis de Bruyn supported well with 40 off 21. All-rounder Ryan McLaren came in at No.6 to pitch in with 31 runs; however, they could muster only 159 runs in the end. The bowlers put up a good show with McLaren and spinner Eddie Leie taking 2 wickets each; Schalkwyk, Merchant de Lange and Budaza removed one opponent each but they couldn’t stop Cobras from scoring the winning runs.
Against Warriors, the batsmen had a field day chasing 156 runs and won the match by 4 wickets. David Miller top-scored with 48 off 37 while McLaren, Theunis de Bruyn, Grant Mokoena and Patrick Kruger did well to keep the scoreboard ticking. Earlier, fast-bowlers Mbulelo Budaza and Schalkwyk dismissed 2 wickets each while Eddie Leie and Merchant de Lange removed one opponent each to restrict Warriors to 155. They have variety of options with the ball to repeat the performance again here.
The batting line-up has experienced players who can steady the innings while batting first or during a chase; they could come up with a good strategy to stifle the Lions on Friday.
Despite a powerful show by the batsmen against Warriors wherein they posted 182 runs batting first, they couldn’t turn their efforts into victory as the opposition galloped to a win with one over to spare. Fast-bowler Kagiso Rabada was the most economical of the lot claiming 3-25 while others like Hardus Viljoen and captain Aaron Phangiso took a wicket each. However, some players proved to be expensive and they failed to defend the total.
Earlier, Reeza Hendricks continued with his good batting form, scoring 81 off 63 while opener Rassie van der Dussen posted 45 runs. Ryan Rickelton also contributed with 41 and helped take the total to 182. The top-order players have been performing well but they haven’t been able to pull off an all-round show to win matches. Against Cobras, they failed to chase down 146 runs despite a good show by Rassie van der Dussen and Reeza Hendricks, who posted a 52-run opening stand.
The middle order batsmen need to pull up their socks and help keep the scoreboard ticking while the bowlers could do better by putting up a disciplined show.
Both teams have good resources with bat and ball, and the contest could go down to the wire; however, we feel that the Lions' batsmen could reign supreme here and help them win on Friday.