No place like home for the Highveld Lions

It’s regarded as one of the most iconic grounds in world cricket but for those players who pull on the red jersey’s of the Highveld Lions it’s called home.

The Wanderers, part of the skyline in Johannesburg’s leafy northern suburbs, has been the scene of some memorable cricket matches in year’s gone by and now the Lions are looking to turn the venue into something of a fortress.

They welcome the Titans for a Momentum One Day Cup fixture tomorrow and will be looking for a second home win of the competition after dispatching the Cape Cobras in their opener last weekend.

That victory also provided a mental boost given that the Lions had a very poor record against the Cape franchise when playing in the 50-over format at the Wanderers.

“In four day cricket last season we worked really hard at making the Bullring a place that’s hard to get beaten at and that we dominate at and we did, we won all our games here. We’re trying to make it a bit of a fortress and we know how to win here,” Stephen Cook, who led from the front with an unbeaten 127 against the Cobras, said this week.

“It’s always a game where guys are fully up for it. There’s always that extra intensity. You know there’s going to be a little more needle. I’ve always loved playing against the Titans, it’s tough cricket.” the captain added of the clash against their neighbours.

His sentiments were echoed by coach Geoff Toyana.

“We did that well last year in terms of Sunfoil cricket where we won all our home games. It’s something we’ve been talking about for the last three years or so. We have to be able to play at home and we have to play well here.  Any team coming from outside has to feel that thing about the Bullring,” he said.

“We’ve always played well against the Titans here at home. I think whoever throws the first punch on the day will come good on the day,” Toyana, who has worn the kits of both teams involved in tomorrow’s fixture during his cricketing career, added.

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