Proteas duo return for Lions
Cape Town - Alviro Petersen and Paul Harris will make a timely return for the bizhub Highveld Lions in their first leg MTN40 semi-final against the Nashua Titans at SuperSport Park on Friday (16:00 start).
The two Proteas were key members of the Lions’ winning run in the first few rounds of the pool competition before they left for the United Arab Emirates to join the Castle Test squad for the series against Pakistan.
The duo may be just what the Lions need to revitalise their campaign after losing their last three pool games in a row. Those included a heavy defeat to the Titans last time out.
The Titans go into the semi-finals as the competition favourites. Having topped the final composite pool log they have home ground advantage for most of their remaining matches and there are very few visiting teams that leave SuperSport Park with a victory under their belt.
The Titans are the undoubted form team with six successive victories to their credit. Faf du Plessis has made centuries in his last two visits to the crease but they will be without Ethy Mbhalati who has been one of the competition’s standout bowlers.
The second semi-final on Sunday pits the Nashua Dolphins against the Chevrolet Knights at the OUTsurance Oval on Sunday (11:00 start).
The Dolphins will have to wait until the second leg next week to get two of their star performers, Hashim Amla and Loots Bosman, back in action.
Bernard Pieters, senior sponsorship manager at MTN South Africa, expressed his delight with the way the revamped format has worked so far this season and also outlined the plans they have put in place to make the semi-finals and final a special occasion for the fans.
“The second season of the MTN40 has been a testament to the benefits of the new innovations introduced to the domestic competition,” he commented.
“Furthermore, our MTN activations such as the 141 Loyalty Dancers, the MTN Digital Fan Stage, and the MTN Fan of the Day have been very well received by the fans. For the semis and the final, spectators can also look forward to the MTN World of Cricket where they can test their cricketing skills and the MTN Cricket Challenge during the innings break that will see some of the players and lucky fans compete against each other in a series of cricket challenges.
“And with the Proteas back from their series against Pakistan for the semi-final action, spectators will see some of their returning heroes in action this weekend.”