Champions League T20

Alviro wants more from Lions

2012-10-24 16:40
Alviro Petersen and Neil McKenzie (AP)

Durban - Captain Alviro Petersen believes the Highveld Lions were only running at 75 percent in the Twenty20 Champions League and hoped they would hit full stride when they faced-off against the Delhi Daredevils in the first semi-final here on Thursday.

The Johannesburg franchise won three out of four games to finish second in Group B behind Sydney Sixers, who meet the Titans in the second play-off game on Friday.

Proteas opener Petersen felt the team had to improve against the Indian Premier League (IPL) side if they wanted to come out on top.

"At different stages, different guys have come to the party and it’s just a matter of putting all of it together now," Petersen said.

"It’s a matter of putting that 90-95 percent together and we’ll start dominating games."

The Lions have had four days off since their last game and practised on the main field at Kingsmead ahead of the game, due to the nets being wet after some heavy rain in recent days.

Showers washed out two of the five games so far in the city, while more rain was forecast for matchday.

Another washout would mean the Lions go through by virtue of the number of wins they have had in the competition - three compared to Delhi’s two, with the initial tie-breaker being number of points.

Both have 12, although the Indians did have two washouts.

"There’s no point getting upset about the weather, it’s something we cannot control," he said.

"We’ll be ready for whatever it is we have to."

One of the star men for the Lions thus far has been slow left-armer Aaron Phangiso, who has taken eight wickets at an average of 8.87, the best return by a spinner in the tournament.

"He’s been a consistent performer for us in the last three years, so there isn’t anything that sets him apart," Petersen said.

"It’s just that people sit up and notice now because it is a big tournament.

"In this tournament in particular he’s taken control of that middle period in every single game, so he’s produced the goods."

Petersen has had a difficult time with the bat thus far in the competition, scoring just 38 in four innings, with most of the top-order scoring for the Lions coming from Gulam Bodi (152) and Neil McKenzie (130).

One of Delhi’s big stars, England batsman Kevin Pietersen, has also had a forgettable tournament with 23 in his two innings, and along with the likes of Ross Taylor, Virender Sehwag and David Warner, were due big innings.

"I’m not worried about any player in world cricket," Petersen said.

"Big games require big players, senior players to stand up. We’re hoping we get that.

"I think we’re in the same boat as them. We’ve won games, but haven’t really dominated. So it should make for an interesting contest."


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