Otago look to consolidate position for semis berth in CLT20
Jaipur: Otago Volts, who have impressed with their performance in their campaign so far, would be looking to consolidate their position for a semifinal berth when they take on Highveld Lions in a Group A match of Champions League Twenty20 here tomorrow.
Otago are placed second in the group with six points by virtue of one win and one match being washed out in Ahmadabad while the Lions, with just two points from three matches, have an outside chance of making it to the last four.
New Zealand champions Otago have a 14 match winning streak in T20, including three in the qualifiers at Mohali and they look set for yet another victory as the Sawai Mansingh pitch here would suit their style of play.
They have a strong batting line up with opener Neil Broom, who hit a magnificent unbeaten 117 off just 56 balls against Perth Scorchers, in fine form.
Apart from Broom, they have skipper Brendon McCullum, Derek de Boorder and Ryan ten Doeschate, all of whom among runs recently and can damage the reputation of any opposition bowler on their days.
One area which they would want to do well could be their middle order which has not been tested to the hilt in the four matches they have played so far, including the qualifiers.
Their bowling attack too looked good with James McMillan, Ian Butler and Nathan McCullum complementing the efforts of their batsmen so far in their campaign.
On the other hand, Highveld Lions are a battered lot as they had their second drubbing against Mumbai Indians last night as they lost by seven wickets.
The Lions had lost to Rajasthan Royals by 30 runs in their second match on September 25 in Jaipur after their campaign opener against Perth Scorchers was washed out by rain.
The problem for the South African side has been that their top-order batsmen have failed to fire in the two matches they have played so far in the tournament.
The Lions have a fine new ball pair in Sohail Tanvir and Lonwabo Tsotsobe who are capable making early inroads in opposition batting. But the other bowlers have been struggling and that has been a cause of concern for the South African side.
Lions` youngster Quinton de Kock and seasoned Neil McKenzie would have to lead the batting line up but they may again find the going tough here.
The Squads (From):
Otago: Brendon McCullum (capt.), Nick Beard, Michael Bracewell, Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Mark Craig, Derek de Boorder, Jacob Duffy, Nathan McCullum, James McMillan, James Neesham, Aaron Redmond, Hamish Rutherford, Ryan ten Doeschate, Neil Wagner, Sam Wells.
Lions: Alviro Petersen (capt.), Temba Bavuma, Gulam Bodi, Quinton de Kock, Imran Tahir , Neil McKenzie, Ethan O`Reilly, Aaron Phangiso, Dwaine Pretorius, Sohail Tanvir, Jean Symes, Thami Tsolekile, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Rassie van der Dussen, Hardus Viljoen.