Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Excitement builds for CSA T20 Challenge final clash between Lions and Dolphins

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Photo Credit: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

The stage is set for an electrifying clash as the Cricket South Africa (CSA) T20 Challenge culminates with the final between DP World Lions and the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in what promises to be a thrilling encounter at the DP World Wanderers on Sunday. 

The Bullring is poised to come alive as cricket enthusiasts brace themselves for an action-packed spectacle. Fans stand a chance to win R250,000, with two and a half years’ supply of beer courtesy of Lions Cricket, All Events Africa and Castle Lager.

The Lions, having finished at the top of the log with just four losses out of 14 matches, are gearing up for the final with confidence.

Reflecting on their journey and preparation, Lions batting coach, Hashim Amla, said;

“All the batsmen have kind of got in, managed to get some runs and have confidence under their belt that if need be that they can score the runs and do the job for the team.

“Our focus is to concentrate more on what our strengths are as a team. Our batting unit has been superb up front. So weather we manage to get a good start or not, it’s fine because we’ve got some quality players in the middle order.

“We’ve got Rassie van der Dussen, and Temba Bavuma who are national players. Guys with a lot of experience. So hopefully, if by some chance we don’t get a good start up front, then these guys can kind of pick it up and create that momentum for us.”

Amla emphasised the importance of trusting in the team’s preparation and allowing the players to perform naturally. He also highlighted the mental fortitude displayed by the players throughout the season and the significance of winning key moments in the game. 

“Finals are always exciting. You kind of feel that you need to do something special out of the ordinary. You have to trust that your preparation has been done in the games that have been played before; and that the team’s mental preparation has been solid enough throughout, so that on the day of the game they will perform. I think that’s been a big thing with the teams, to allow the process to take its course.”

Meanwhile, Dolphins Head Coach, Imraan Khan, acknowledged the challenge posed by the Lions but expressed confidence in his team’s ability;

“Lions are a hell of a good side. I think they’ve played good cricket the whole season, and in particular in this T20 competition. But, I believe we’ve also played good cricket in this T20 competition. We’ve played really nice cricket away from home and this is another opportunity for us to do the basics really well. And hopefully if we are able to execute the basics well, that will put us in a good place to get the result that we want,” 

He commended the collective effort of his team throughout the tournament and hoped for another standout performance in the final. 

“In terms of T20 cricket and what this group of players have done over the last couple of years, it’s been phenomenal. I believe this is our fourth final in four consecutive seasons.

“Khaya Zondo played an exceptional knock for us in the semifinal. He’s shown glimpses of it since he’s transitioned into that opening position. And hopefully he continues that form into tomorrow’s match. But I look at the performances of our group throughout the campaign. It’s been a real collective effort. Everybody’s kind of stood up when the team needed a performance. And again, we hope that that will be the case tomorrow,” Khan remarked.

Khan also drew inspiration from the recent success of the Hollywoodbets Dolphins Ladies who claimed the CSA Women’s 1-Day Cup title at the Wanderers, signalling a positive omen for the Dolphins.

“It was amazing to see the Dolphins Women achieve the success that they did at this venue, strangely enough. So hopefully it’s a good omen for us going into tomorrow’s fixture.”

Tickets for the CSA T20 Challenge Final are available at www.ticketpros.co.za. 

Cricket fans are urged not to miss out on what promises to be a gripping clash between two formidable teams.

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