It never looked like being enough of a total to defend. That is until Eddie Leie was chucked the ball and asked to turn his arm over.
His contribution of 5/15 in a a four over spell helped the Highveld Lions to a much-needed victory over the Knights in their Ram Slam T20 Challenge encounter on the weekend and has provided something of a shot in the arm at the midpoint of their campaign.
It’s also the best contribution with the ball in the competition to date.
“To be honest when we were bowling we thought it was more of a quick bowler’s pitch excuse it was a bit up and down and that a bit of pace was going to do the damage,” Leie, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Monday, said of his achievement.
While Leie’s five-for was one of the driving forces behind the victory he was quick to point out that it was a collective effort by the bowling attack to defend a modest total of 112 with all-rounder Dwaine Pretorious taking three wickets and Aaron Phangiso claiming miserly figures of 0/12, which included a maiden, in his four overs
“I just think me and Phangi in the middle overs just strung it together. The guys also bowled well up front to put pressure on and obviously myself and Aaron in the middle just strangled them further. There wasn’t much that they could do once the rate got up,” Leie said.
As it stands, Leie and his fellow tweaker are at the top of the bowling charts with both claiming nine scalps in the campaign so far, second only to Sisanda Magala of the Warriors who has bagged 10. It’s a combination that works well for the Lions.
“I’m working well with him and we enjoy each other’s successes. We’ve got a strong bond even outside of cricket. We just want to do well in the middle period and we want that tag that it’s hard to play us,” Leie said of the partnership.
The Lions will be in action on the weekend when they host the Dolphins at the Wanderers on Sunday afternoon and Leie is eager to see his side make steady progress towards the playoffs.
“I think we’re at 75% at the moment and if we can get to 90% then I think we’re hard to beat,” he said.