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Highveld Lions aim to clinch semis berth

October 19, 2012 14:17 IST

South Africa's Highveld Lions will look to inch closer to a semifinal berth when they take on struggling and injury-hit English side Yorkshire in a group B encounter of the Champions League Twenty20 in Johannesburg.

After winning both their matches in the Qualifying event, Yorkshire received a mauling at the hands of the Sydney Sixers in their first match before sharing the points against Mumbai Indians in a rained-out game.

The county side is currently placed fourth in group B. Lions, on the other hand, are placed second in the group after winning two and losing one of their preliminary games so far.

Dirk NannesPrior to the tournament, skipper Alviro Petersen, Quinton de Kock and Neil McKenzie were identified as the three main batsmen in the Lions line-up.

But all three of them flopped against the Sydney Sixers which was a major reason for the team's loss. Opener Gulam Bodi sparkled with a 61 and would be expected to carry the form into the remaining matches. Bodi had also played an fine knock against the Chennai Super Kings. The left-arm pairing of Sohail Tanvir and Dirk Nannes will continue to be at the forefront of the Lions' bowling plans.

Left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso, who spent a sleepless night after getting Sachin Tendulkar's wicket in the game against Mumbai Indians, has shown fine temperament and poses a serious threat to the Yorkshire batsmen.

Yorkshire, on the other hand, will look up to Phil Jaques, Gary Ballance and Adil Rashid to score the bulk of the runs.

The team lacks stars in the bowling department and it is important that every individual who gets to roll his arm over comes good.

With the pace duo of Ryan Sidebottom and Moin Ashraf suffering injuries in the match against Mumbai Indians on Thursday night, the task would only become tougher for Yorkshire. Yorkshire's spinners were the wicket-takers in the washed out match against Mumbai. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid, off-spinner Azeem Rafiq and Joe Root picked up wickets.

While Rashid returned with figures of two for 42, Rafiq accounted for two MI wickets. Root, who opened the bowling, conceded 26 runs in his two overs, but picked up the wicket of the dangerous Dwayne Smith.

But Lions, with their better understanding of the local conditions, would be the favourites in the match on Saturday.

Teams (from): Yorkshire: Andrew Gale (c), Moin Ashraf, Azeem Rafiq, Gary Ballance, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Dan Hodgson, Phil Jaques, Adam Lyth, David Miller, Steven Patterson, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ryan Sidebottom, Iain Wardlaw, Eddie Wilson.
Highveld Lions: Alviro Petersen (c), Temba Bavuma, Gulam Bodi, Zander de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Neil McKenzie, Pumelela Matshikwe, Chris Morris, Dirk Nannes, Ethan O'Reilly, Aaron Phangiso, Dwaine Pretorius, Sohail Tanvir, Jean Symes, Thami Tsolekile (wicketkeeper).
Match starts 5pm IST

Photograph: Carl Fourie / Gallo Images /Getty Images

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