Johannesburg - Highveld Lions captain Alviro Petersen is delighted with the improvement shown by his team the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) tournament.
The Lions made their way through the group stage to the knockout matches, and qualified for Sunday's final with victory over the highly-rated Delhi Daredevils in the first semifinal in Durban on Thursday.
"We’ve won key moments in key games and up until the semi-final I thought we were running at about 75 percent," he said on Saturday, ahead of Sunday's final against the Sydney Sixers at the Wanderers.
"I asked my boys to step it up a bit for the semi-final, which we did. We improved as the tournament went on. There [was] massive confidence in our team going into that semi-final, and will be for this final as well.
"There isn't any shortage of skill in our team, it’s just about executing it on the day. We’re improving every single time, and there is still room for improvement after that semi-final."
The Proteas opening batsmen believed there was not much to choose between the two bowling attacks.
"We are pretty much the same in terms of the way our team and our bowling attack is formed so I think we’re closely matched. They [Sixers] were and are one of the better bowling units in this competition," Petersen said.
Lions’ coach Geoffrey Toyana was only appointed in July, and Petersen said their new coach fitted well into the makeup of the Lions’ structures. "He’s [Toyana] a calm sort of guy. He goes about his business. He’s a hard worker which really works well in our system and he’s really doing well for us. We’re delighted with his progress and the way he’s going about his coaching and I think he will go from strength to strength." Petersen would not be drawn into whether the Sixers were an easier prospect with Shane Watson having flown back to Australia. "I’m sure whoever steps into his shoes will try and be the best player that he can be. Shane Watson is a big player for the Sydney Sixers but honestly we don’t look at individuals, we look at teams collectively," he said.
"It doesn’t really matter who plays."
Sixers vice-captain Steve Smith said the final was about doing the basics well after their nervy last-ball victory over the Titans in Friday night’s semi-final at SuperSport Park.
"Throughout this tournament we’ve done the basics pretty well. Last night was a little bit of a slip. We’re going to learn from that hopefully and tomorrow when we come out we will go back to getting our one percenters right."