Highveld Lions have reason to roar

Under coach Geoffrey Toyana’s watch the Highveld Lions have managed to win a trophy in all three formats of domestic cricket.

The squad did the business with a crushing eight wicket win over the Cape Cobras on the weekend to add the Momentum One Day Cup to their collection. They had shared the trophy with the same opposition after rain caused havoc with the final in the 2012/13 season.

But perhaps the most impressive aspect of their success was the fact that they had their depth severely tested throughout the campaign with injuries, call-ups and adjusting to life after the departure of big name players all taking their toll.

“If anything that’s probably one of the biggest takeaways from this. I had stressed to the fringe players in the off-season that they need to be ready to put their hands up if and when it came and it showed,” captain Stephen Cook said yesterday.

“In terms of the result of the final, beating the Cobras by eight wickets at Newlands was massive. It was pretty clinical,” Cook said of his side’s performance as they skittled their hosts for 169 in 42 overs after sending them in to bat.

Cook led from the front with an unbeaten 77 while Alviro Petersen added 55 off 56 balls as the two experienced campaigners saw them home. Petersen ended as the competition’s top run scorer with 726, with five centuries included, at an average of 80.66 while Cook was next best with a haul of 504 at an average of 56.

“For the Cobras to be all out was a dream. Winning the toss was a big factor but the bowlers need to back that up which they did. Everyone did their job on the day,” said Cook.

While they would no doubt have enjoyed the celebrations there’s no time to rest as the squad switches focus to the Sunfoil Series which resumes this week. The Lions are defending champions and are currently second on the log behind the Titans.

“Defending that would be a massive event. The guys will be tested over the next five matches or six weeks but it will be about finding consistency in our performances if we want to do it,” Cook, whose side play the Cobras in the four day competition in Potchefstroom this week, said.

For the full scoreboard from the Lions’ epic win click here

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