Champions League T20
Make or break for Lions
Dave Nosworthy (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - It will be make or break for the Highveld Lions when they play the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wanderers on Tuesday evening - the match has developed into a virtual quarterfinal, with the winner likely to go through to the semi-final of the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20).
“We have to win the match,” said Lions coach Dave Nosworthy on Monday. “Although we did ourselves some favours with our win over Guyana on Sunday, the Challengers are marginally ahead of us on net run rate.
“But anyway, we are not a team that worries about run rates and things like that. We are a team that plays to win.”
The Lions caused one of the biggest upsets of the tournament when they beat the star-studded Mumbai Indians in the opening match of the tournament.
The Mumbai Indians had a nailbiting two-run win over the Challengers on Sunday night, but were knocked out of the tournament because of an inferior run rate.
Nosworthy said the Lions would approach the match against the Challengers as they had done all the other matches.
“We are definitely the underdogs, and we see the match tomorrow as another hill to climb. But we will do what we have done all along, stick to our game plans and enjoy the moment.
“The Challengers have some big names, and our guys love playing against these big stars. It is also about gaining experience, and even if we don’t win tomorrow, the guys will have learnt a lot, and this will help them later on.”
He said in some ways, the match against Guyana on Sunday afternoon had been a bigger challenge.
“We were expected to win that match, and sometimes it is more difficult to live up to those expectations. But we did what we do best, and with everyone knowing their roles, we were able to get a comprehensive win.”
But Nosworthy was adamant that the Lions would be going all out to beat the more illustrious Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“We’re looking forward to it,” he said. “We will just take every over as it comes, and we know that in Twenty20, anything can happen.”
The Lions/Challengers match begins at the Wanderers at 17:30 on Tuesday evening, and will be preceded by the match between the South Australia Redbacks and Guyana at 13:30.