About the Match
The series has entered the semi-final stage and we will see second and third place finishers, Leo Lions and Virgo Super Kings battle it out for a berth in the final in the 2nd Semi-Final match on 12th February at Dubai. While the Lions won two consecutive games recently, the Super Kings had received a setback against Arabians but bounced back with a win against Commanders to make it to the top four. The upcoming match will be interesting as the Lions will be eager to avenge their league-stage defeat against the Super Kings with a better performance here on Friday.
Virgo Super Kings
They have overcome the Lions once before this season and will be eager to repeat the winning performance in this do-or-die contest; Murali Kartik brings his spin tactics to the table and he was successful in taking 3 wickets, giving away only 18 runs in his 4-over spell against Lions. Azhar Mahmood also has taken wickets regularly and along with others like Bandara, Batty, John Mooney and Brett Lee, the Super Kings definitely have the variety and depth in their bowling attack.
The batting line-up consists of players like Mohammad Yousuf, Neil McKenzie, Owais Shah and Azhar Mahmood, who top-scored against Lions by hitting a powerful 48 off just 28 balls. James Foster also is in good nick with the bat and overall, they have a good middle order.
Their recent victory against Commanders by 12 runs was mainly due to a power-packed bowling performance wherein Bandara registered an astounding 4-16 figure, annihilating the opposition with his legbreaks. Brett Lee picked up 2 wickets while Azhar Mahmood dismissed Abdul Razzaq to help win the match. The win has boosted their morale and they will surely come back stronger here.
When they had met Super Kings on 4th February at Sharjah, the batsmen had crumbled under pressure, being able to muster only 146 runs; Franklin, Styris and Streak had combined well to take the total to a respectable one after the top order collapsed barring Johan Botha, who managed 27 runs. Botha displayed his all-rounder skills as he came back to take a wicket and give away only 4 runs per over in the 2nd innings; Jarvis claimed 2 wickets while Streak and Peterson took 3 wickets between them but they failed to defend the total and lost the match by 4 wickets.
In their match against Sagittarius, the bowlers had stunned the opposition with quick wickets and restricted them to 151 runs; Jarvis took 3-33 while Fidel Edwards took 2 wickets in the slog overs. Botha, Powar and Peterson were successful in removing the top order and look good to continue with their wicket-taking abilities in the upcoming match.
Botha has been in good form both with bat and ball; he scored 70 off 60 balls against Sagittarius and along with others like Brendan Taylor, Franklin and Styris, they should be able to build a good total against Super Kings.
While the Lions have performed well all through the series, they have suffered defeat at the hands of Super Kings earlier; the contest could swing either way but we feel that Super Kings will emerge victorious once again