Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Preview: Match 4 - Highveld Lions vs Perth Scorchers
Scorchers spinners will hope to tame Lions on turning surface
Match 4 of the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013 will feature Ram Slam T20 Challenge winners Highveld Lions and the Perth Scorchers.
The Lions, runners-up in the 2012 event, will be aiming to go one step further this season and lay their hands on the silverware and the winner’s purse of USD 2,500,000. The Scorchers meanwhile will be aiming to improve on their performance from the last season when they won only one of their four matches and fell out of the race after the Group Stage.
Monday, September 23, 2013, 4 pm IST
Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
Quinton de Kock is rated very highly in South African cricket circles; the 20-year-old, who has come through the ranks, was the team’s highest run-getter by a mile in their successful Ram Slam T20 Challenge campaign. Opening the innings, the left-hander scored 524 runs in 11 matches, while the next best aggregate was Nathan McKenzie’s 238. Skipper Alviro Petersen, Gulam Bodi and McKenzie are the other important batsmen in the line-up.
On the bowling front, the two left-arm bowlers – Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Sohail Tanvir – are going to be a handful. Tsotsobe bowls quick and can generate discerning bounce, while many batsmen find Tanvir’s wrong-footed action very difficult to cope with. Imran Tahir, who was very tidy in the Lions’ run to the title, will be expected to raise his performance a notch or two given that he is likely to encounter conditions, which assist bowlers of his kind.
A lot of the credit for the Scorchers’ performance in the KFC Big Bash League must go to their bowlers. However, they have a depleted bowling attack in this competition – with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Alfonso Thomas missing from their ranks. Given they are likely to play on a turning surface, the presence of the three left-arm spinners – Brad Hogg, Michael Beer and Ashton Agar – gives them an edge. Among the batsmen, the focus will be on the three experienced batsmen in the ranks – Adam Voges, Marcus North and skipper Simon Katich.
Sohail Tanvir, who is part of the Lions’ squad, has the best bowling figures in Twenty20 matches played in India. While playing for the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural edition of the IPL, he picked up 6/14 against the Chennai Super Kings.
Brad Hogg, who is part of the Perth Scorchers line-up, is the oldest player among all teams in the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013; he is 42 years old.
Matches at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad have predominantly been won by teams batting first. Of the 20 Twenty20 matches played at the venue so far, 16 went in favour of teams batting first.
Both teams will head to Jaipur for their next fixtures on September 25. While the Scorchers will take on the Otago Volts in the game scheduled to begin at 4 pm, the Lions will clash with hosts Rajasthan Royals in the 8 pm match that day.