Ricochet News

T20 Challenge: Warriors to seek redemption against Lions in qualifier at St. Georges

By Marc Jacobson - Dec 13, 2016
T20 Challenge: Warriors to seek redemption against Lions in qualifier at St. Georges

The Warriors will look to redeem themselves, after narrowly losing to the Titans; with the Titans leapfrogging them to a first-place finish in place of the Eastern Cape franchise.

The rain restricted five-over match on Sunday, however, arguably regarded as a hit-and-miss affair, rendered little ground for merit, as Farhaan Behardien’s singular record-breaking 14-ball 50 knock, proved to be enough for victory, as the Titans secured an automatic home final berth.

In what is now effectively the semi-final, the Warriors will on Tuesday night host the third-placed Lions at St. Georges Park, with the winner set to play the Titans in the final in Centurion on Friday night.

In the T20 Challenge so far this season, the Warriors and Lions have played each other twice, with each side achieving a win over their respective opponent. The qualifier/semi-final on Tuesday night, will therefore test to be a true decider, as the winner takes that one extra vital step to glory for a final showdown.

In this T20 Challenge campaign, the Warriors have won six out of 10 matches, while losing three and one being abandoned due to rain. They have at stages throughout their tenure been highly impressive, but Head Coach, Malibongwe Maketa, knows that the contest with the Lions will be a significant hurdle awaiting his side come Tuesday night.

“We’ve played some good cricket in this competition and with that behind us, we know what we’re capable of. This will be another opportunity to get to that final and should we get there, we’ll back ourselves,” Coach Maketa said in a statement.

“Obviously before that we do have the Lions. They’ve been a very consistent team over the past few seasons, so it will be tough. They’re also back at full strength now, so it will make for a good game in PE,” Maketa added.

The Warriors are yet to lose at St. Georges Park in both the T20 Challenge and Sunfoil Series formats this season, and they will hope to maintain that unbeaten home record on Tuesday night, as they bridge over to an away final.

Colin Ackermann is expected to return to the Warriors fold for the qualifier, while the Lions will be anticipating the inclusion of Proteas’ star, Kagiso Rabada, for the vital encounter.

Head-to-head, the Warriors have played 21 T20 matches against the Lions, while winning 12, losing eight and one being drawn. The match is scheduled to start at 18:00 on Tuesday evening and will be broadcasted on SS2.

Image: Warriors Head Coach, Malibongwe Maketa.