Lions target silverware
Alviro Petersen (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Highveld Lions captain Alviro Petersen says they are determined to show their class as they go in search of silverware in the upcoming domestic cricket season.
The Lions host the Cape Cobras in their first match of the 2012/13 campaign, a four-day Sunfoil Series clash, starting in Potchefstroom on Thursday.
"What we've done in the last couple of years is try to build a team that can win this competition," Petersen said on Monday.
"Our batting has always been up there and I think we've got the squad now.
"There's a good vibe around the team and, to be honest, our goal is to win this (four-day) competition and nothing less."
The Lions have not won the domestic first-class title since the franchise era was formed in the 2004/05 season, picking up only one T20 trophy in 2006/07.
Petersen said he was excited to get the four-day competition underway, as the team had reinforced their ranks with the signing of some top-class bowlers.
"We certainly have done well in the batting department," he said.
"The bowling was probably an area we could improve on.
"We brought in Hardus Viljoen, who is a strike bowler, and we brought in (Imran) Tahir, who is a strike bowler, and we've got young Chris Morris, who is also a strike bowler.
"Our whole format and the way we are going to play four-day cricket is changing because we'll be playing three strike bowlers now and probably a holding bowler.
"We've also got Zander de Bruyn who will do some bowling, so I think from a bowling point-of-view, we felt that was probably going to be the area, because in four-day cricket you have to take wickets to win matches."
The Johannesburg side will start their season with two first-class matches before shifting their attention to the Champions League T20 tournament, which features top provincial teams from around the world.
"I think it's quite good for us because we play the two four-day games, which gives us some sort of a base going into the T20 competition," Petersen said.
"We take this competition very seriously and when the T20 comes around, everyone wants to play.
"The four-day competition is really the one where we have to measure ourselves.
"I think the players understand that we need to play cricket and we need to focus on cricket and that's exactly what we are doing."
The Lions have welcomed new coach Geoffrey Toyana to the fold, after the former Titans player took over from Dave Nosworthy, who resigned from the post in June.
"Geoff's a little bit different. He's a bit more relaxed, which is a good thing, I think," Petersen said.
"Lions cricket has matured over the last couple of years.
"I think the coaching style is different to Dave Nosworthy's, and with every coach they have their own ways of going about it.
"He is a hard worker, which is always great, and the young players can communicate with him.
"We are mature players and Geoff provides exactly that, for the guys just to express themselves, and we look forward to it."