Opener Ryan Rickleton made 62 and Dom Hendricks 48, but the Lions’ middle order crumbled, leaving them in a lot of trouble until the rain came to their rescue. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix
Opener Ryan Rickleton made 62 and Dom Hendricks 48, but the Lions’ middle order crumbled, leaving them in a lot of trouble until the rain came to their rescue. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

Lions' batting is a real worry ahead of MOD Cup play-offs

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Mar 12, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG 
 The rain in Bloemfontein on Tuesday ensured that the Lions can go into their final league match in the Momentum Cup, without any stress, having secured their spot in the semi-finals, a match they will almost certainly play at home.

The Lions were in a precarious position at 188/7 against the Knights when the rain ended the match in the 43rd over of their innings at Mangaung Oval.

Opener Ryan Rickleton made 62 and Dom Hendricks 48, but the Lions’ middle order crumbled, leaving them in a lot of trouble until the rain came to their rescue.

Off the back of the poor performance against the Titans last week, where they scored just 205 in 50 overs - on an admittedly tricky surface at the Wanderers - there must be a few concerns about the batting for head coach Wandile Gwavu as the tournament heads towards the play-offs.

At least their last game against the table topping KZN Dolphins in Potchefstroom tomorrow will not be too stressful an affair and it may in fact allow the batsmen to play with a little bit of freedom and even rekindle some form ahead of the semi-finals.

The Lions don’t need to win that match, and if they earn any points - through a tie or a rain out - they will secure a home semi. Lose and they open the door ever so slightly for the Warriors, who, if they can beat the Cape Cobras with a bonus can still finish second, thus securing the home semi-final.

The Warriors will face the Cobras in East London on Saturday and depending on results else may either get up as high as second or even finish fourth.

The last league game of the tournament sees the Titans face the Knights in Centurion on Sunday, which could be a winners-take-all encounter for the last semi-final berth.

The semi-finals will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday.

@shockerhess


The Star

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