fast little loans
Johannesburg – As the Ram Slam T20 Challenge heads into the home straight, every game has taken on more significance, with five of the six franchises still in with a chance to make the play-offs.
The table-topping Highveld Lions are a win away from securing a home final, despite falling seven runs short against a fired-up Titans outfit in midweek.
Lions coach Geoff Toyana said the side did not take their chances against the Titans and hoped his side would get back on the horse in their next game, away to the Warriors, at Buffalo Park, on Friday evening.
“I think that I probably made the mistake of holding Sohail Tanvir back for too long,” Toyana said.
“He has been finishing games off for us well this season, and it was a lesson learnt, definitely.”
However, Toyana said there were encouraging signs as his charges came close to winning the match.
“The good thing is that we came very close in that game,” he said.
“We were in control for a long time, and just didn't finish it off.
“The morale in the camp is still very high, and we are looking forward to East London.”
While the Highveld Lions fell just short, the game saw another gem of an innings from their budding star, Quinton de Kock, who pummelled 73 off 40 balls before holing out.
“He was actually in tears at the end, because he felt that he should have taken us home,” Toyana said.
“That's the standards he sets, and he is already a leader within the team in his own right.
“I've seen Quinton develop over a number of years, having worked with him at SA under-19 as well. He is a massive talent, and I have seen him destroy attacks.
“I am sure he will play for South Africa for many years to come, and we take pride in producing national players.”
De Kock and Aaron Phangiso will be made available to the Lions for Friday night's clash against the Warriors, but Toyana was sweating about the availability of Tanvir, who has been called up by the touring Pakistanis.
“If he plays on Thursday (against South Africa), then I doubt that he will play for us, but we will have to wait and see,” the Lions coach said.
“If he doesn't, it also gives an opportunity for the other guys to get more involved.”
While the Lions were still sitting pretty, Warriors captain Davy Jacobs said they could ill-afford any more mistakes.
“We finished our last match against the Knights badly,” Jacobs said of his side's loss last week.
“We actually stopped playing, because we had been cruising in the first 12-13 overs.
“We have discussed it, and we will take it as a lesson. This last week of the pool stages will be a lot of fun, and it is always exciting, and we really want to finish strong.”
Jacobs welcomed the prospect of Colin Ingram being back for Friday's clash, as it would spread the load across the middle-order.
“Colin coming back allows all of us to shift one down the order, which is ideal,” he said.
“His experience at this stage is also crucial, and we saw the importance of that during the Knights' game.”
Jacobs also admitted he was looking forward to playing at the Warriors' second home.
“East London has been a good venue for us, and we have a good record there.
“So we are hoping to go there and get a good win on Friday night.” – Sapa