Sunfoil Series

Lions relishing fresh start

2013-11-19 17:05
Geoffrey Toyana (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Thursday's Sunfoil Series match between the Titans and the Highveld Lions at SuperSport Park may just be the first of 10 four-day games for each team, but Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana sees it as possibly the most important.

The Lions endured a hugely forgettable One-Day Cup, finishing bottom of the table, and one of the key lessons that Toyana has taken from the experience is the importance of beginning a campaign on the right note.

“How we start is very, very important,” he said.

“If you look at the One-Day Cup, we didn’t start well and it just became too hard to play catch-up cricket.

“We realise that we didn’t play well, and I think it’s time for us to make amends and play well for the remainder of the season.

"There’s still a long way to go, so we’re looking forward to a fresh start.”

The feeling in the Titans camp is quite different after they put together the One-Day Cup’s best run on their way to an unexpected final, which coach Rob Walter expects will be beneficial as they head into the four-day tournament.

“There are two sides to it: one is that you have momentum from a winning and a performance kind of view, and the other is that I guess in some ways sharing the trophy as opposed to winning it (outright) might just keep us grounded,” he said.

“Because often when you win a trophy, to compete three or four days later in another competition can be tough.”

The Lions will be missing four players who are part of the South African T20 squad - Quinton de Kock, Imran Tahir, Aaron Phangiso and Lonwabo Tsotsobe - but Toyana is pleased to have Alviro Petersen available to lead the side.

Although Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel are unavailable for the Titans, that is something the franchise are accustomed to and so the absence of Henry Davids and David Wiese is no doubt slightly more frustrating.

Last season saw the two sides draw at Wanderers, before the Lions triumphed by six wickets at Willowmoore Park the following week.


 

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