Johannesburg: South African club Highveld Lions will eye an easy win against bottom-ranked Guyana to get themselves within striking distance of a semi-final berth in the first game of the Group B double-header here on Sunday.
The Lions haven't played a game since they lost to the Redbacks last Sunday and will look to recover from that loss. They did open the tournament with a bang though winning the lung opener against favourites Mumbai Indians, who will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second game of the day.
With one loss and one win and with two to play, including Sunday's game, the Lions will surely be backing themselves to edge ahead in the three-team race for the second semi-final place from the group after the Redbacks did them a favour by beating Bangalore on Friday.
The Lion's loss to the Redbacks, which was more of their own doing, is sure to have raised some debate about the selection of the bowlers, especially in the absence of opening match hero Shane Burger. Their bowlers have, in fact, conceded 355 runs in its two outings and they will have to plug this leak against Guyana.
The local press reported that skipper Alviro Petersen earlier this week mooted the inclusion of the experienced left-armer Cliffie Deacon or nippy Craig Alexander, who are both proven wicket-takers. Coach Dave Nosworthy also said that Burger could be back if he passes a fitness test. Petersen will sure be keeping his fingers crossed. There aren't too many bowlers who can go through Sachin Tendulkar's defence and Burger had managed to do just that.
Spinners Werner Coetsee and Aaron Phangiso are expected to play an important role against the Guyanese batting lineup, who are heavily dependent on skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Lions' opener Jonathan Vandiar has been in good form and so has been middle order batsman Neil McKenzie. If they can get their bowling in order the Lions will surely canter to a win.