Cobras coach Ashwell Prince believes Hashim Amla just needs a bit of time in the middle with the bat to find his groove and his inclusion in the team to play in the CSA T20 Challenge will afford the Mighty# that opportunity. Backpagepix
Hashim Amla’s return will be the main focus of attention when the Highveld Lions and the Cape Cobras start their T20 Challenge campaigns at the Wanderers today.

Amla last played a month ago, in a 50-over clash for the Cobras, but has since been by his father’s side during his illness.

Cobras coach Ashwell Prince this week said that Amla had chosen to forego a stint in county cricket - apparently something Cricket South Africa wanted him to do - to play for the Cobras in the T20 competition, as part of getting some game time with an eye on the upcoming World Cup.

The shortest format hasn’t always been to Amla’s liking, but just being on the field and batting in a competitive game can only be beneficial for the 36 year old.

He and the Cobras will certainly face a stern examination against a Lions team brimful of experience and explosiveness.

Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius who are all in the frame for World Cup selection will be available for the home team.

In addition, Temba Bavuma, Beuran Hendricks, Wiaan Mulder, Aaron Phangiso and Mangaliso Mosehle add more international credentials, while youngsters like Nandre Burger and Ryan Rickleton will be looking to add to their burgeoning reputations.

“We didn’t have a great Momentum One-Day Cup from a results perspective but we still managed to play good cricket and there’s a lot of positives that we can take into our T20 campaign,” said Lions head coach Enoch Nkwe.

Their One-Day Cup campaign did see their form fluctuate but a lot of that had to do with four of their matches being curtailed by rain, making it hard for them to build any rhythm.

Far from being satisfied that they already have the Four-Day Series trophy in the cabinet, the Lions are greedy for more.

“In pre-season, we made winning three trophies a goal, we are definitely not happy with just that one trophy,” said Mosehle.

Mosehle has tasted success in this competition before, playing a match-winning knock in the final against the Dolphins in the 2015/16 tournament.

“Yeah, the time’s gone quickly. I’m a changed man, I’d like to think I’m a better player, I’d still like to be more consistent. Also I’m a senior player now, and that means I have to take more responsibility,” said Mosehle.

Today’s match starts at 2.30pm.


Sunday Independent

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