Lions seek second win in low-profile clash
Match factsSunday, September 19
Start time 1330 (1130 GMT)
South Australia's qualification to the semi-finals has made it a crucial Sunday for the other four teams in Group B. If the Lions lose to Guyana and Mumbai Indians beat Royal Challengers Bangalore, the last group game between the Lions and Bangalore will become a virtual quarter-final, with net run-rate also coming into play. The Lions would want to avoid that situation with a win at the Wanderers over a Guyana side that has struggled in its first two games.
It is hard to believe that this is the same side that beat Trinidad & Tobago on their way to the Caribbean T20 title less than two months ago. T&T had an unbeaten run to the final of the inaugural Champions League last year with a style of play that was distinctly Caribbean. The only thing distinct about Guyana has been their inability to compete with the IPL sides, who themselves haven't done well against better opposition. Defeat will put Guyana on the flight back home and even a win will barely keep them alive, given their woeful net run-rate.
While the batting that clicked in the Caribbean T20 - particularly Travis Dowlin, Jonathan Foo and Sewnarine Chattergoon - looked out of touch against Bangalore, the bowling was mauled by Mumbai's Kieron Pollard. It will be hard for Guyana to recover from that thrashing within three days.
Weekend scheduling means the Lions have had six days off after their previous match. Their bowlers have gone for almost nine an over so far, putting pressure on the batting. And but for Shane Burger's twin strikes against Mumbai, they might well have been in a situation similar to Guyana's. Still, the home team will start as clear favourites tomorrow.
Shane Burger missed the match against South Australia due to injury and should be back for this game.
Lions (probable): 1 Alviro Petersen (capt), 2 Jonathan Vandiar, 3 Richard Cameron, 4 Vaughan van Jaarsveld, 5 Neil McKenzie, 6 Robert Frylinck, 7 Zander de Bruyn, 8 Thami Tsolekile (wk), 9 Shane Burger, 10 Aaron Phangiso, 11 Ethan O'Reilly
Fast bowler Paul Wintz replaced offspinner Lennox Cush in the previous match, and was smashed for 46 runs in four overs. Cush should regain his place in the XI.
Guyana (possible): 1 Travis Dowlin, 2 Sewnarine Chattergoon, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan (capt), 4 Narsingh Deonarine, 5 Chistopher Barnwell, 6 Robert Crandon, 7 Jonathan Foo, 8 Derwin Christian (wk), 9 Lennox Cush, 10 Esuan Crandon, 11 Devendra Bishoo
Watch out for ...Guyana are heavily dependent on Ramnaresh Sarwan, their only world-class batsman, and he knows it. He has to fire if Guyana are to have even a remote chance of winning.
Neil McKenzie delighted with his strokeplay against Mumbai and was looking good against South Australia till a brilliant piece of fielding led to his run-out. Guyana's bowling should not pose too many worries.
Key contestsDevendra Bishoo v Lions' batting: The legspinner was Man-of-the-Series in the Caribbean T20 and took three wickets against Mumbai, including that of Sachin Tendulkar. How the South Africans tackle him could determine Guyana's chances.
Stats and trivia
- Travis Dowlin has made five of the six half-centuries for Guyana in T20s.
- Neil McKenzie has made the most T20 runs for Lions, 914 from 36 games at a strike rate of 123.34.
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo