Poor end for Lions as Knights triumph

2013-11-09 10:12

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Knights 145/2 (Hendricks 55*, Mosena 34, Symes 1/16, Leie 1/51) beat the Highveld Lions 141 (Bavuma 45, Van der Dussen 25, Cook 25, Friend 4/30, Boje 2/30, Elgar 1/11) by eight wickets

A limp batting effort by the Highveld Lions ensured they slipped to a humiliating defeat to close off their Momentum One-Day Cup campaign on a low note.

A score of 141 will not win a lot of cricket matches, even if the surface is spiteful.

It was never going to happen on a track that held little demons. After all, it was Lions captain Alviro Petersen who won the toss and chose to bat under sunny skies. Bad batting was their Achilles heel, as it has been for the best part of the season.

The Lions needed a good start against a disciplined Knights attack but after crawling to 15/0 after five overs, it was clear that anything more than 200 was going to be difficult.

In their chase for more runs, they lost their first wicket, Dominic Hendricks, who tried to clear the infield. He was superbly caught by Gihahn Cloete at cover to begin a procession that was going to last for 37 overs. 18/1 soon became 38/3 in the 10th over with Stephen Cook and Alviro Petersen falling in quick succession.

With their two senior batsmen gone, the spine of the Lions batting had been broken.

It was up to Temba Bavuma with a feisty 45 to salvage what remained of the Lions innings, but with no support, it was a bridge too far for him.

Having learnt lessons from the Titans, who strangled the Lions with four spinners, the Knights opened the bowling with the evergreen Nicky Boje.

But the star of their bowling attack was Quinton Friend, who was accurate and hostile as he took four wickets.

The Knights went about their chase as if they were building a platform in a test match. However, it was the safe way to go about their chase as small targets tend to be tricky. Lefa Mosena and Reeza Hendricks made sure there were no butterflies with an unspecatular but solid 71-run stand that consumed 23 overs.

It was the kind of boring stand that shut the Lions out before Hendricks and Dean Elgar took them home. They avoided the wooden spoon by the most emphatic of margins.

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