Highveld Lions planning ahead

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The pair will make the move to Corlett Drive in the winter - Hendricks from the Knights and Mosehle the Titans - to bolster a Lions side which is looking to a future in which skipper Stephen Cook and the middle order batsman Temba Bavuma are going to be away a lot on national duty.

The 26-year-old Hendricks has already had a taste of the international arena, with five T20 caps for his country, and has been a regular member of the SA 'A' side. A stylish opener, the sense is he needs to be playing in a bigger market than Bloemfontein to improve his game and to push on a more consistent basis for higher honours. Hendricks has played over 100 first class matches but his average of just 33.77 suggests a player who is very far from fulfilling his potential, something he will hope can be unlocked at the Lions.

Perhaps he wanted to show-off to his future employers, but Hendricks produced an ultra-cautious display in the Knights' second innings at the weekend as he took over two hours to make 58 not out as the Knights trounced the Lions by 10 wickets.

Mosehle, who turns 26 next month, needs an extended run across all three formats as he too looks to ally consistency with rich talent. The highlight of his career came earlier this season when he scored 87 in the RamSlam final to help the Titans annex that title.

With doubts existing over Thami Tsolekile’s future - many at the Lions believe the 2015/16 season will be his last - the need to sign up a wicket-keeper was imperative. It will place extra pressure on Nicky van den Bergh, who has done very well since stepping into the position earlier this season, but that kind of competition can only be good for both players and by extension the franchise.

The Lions remain locked in the race for the Sunfoil Series title despite the setback suffered against the Knights at the weekend.

A poor first innings batting display proved costly for the defending champions and coach Geoffrey Toyana wants his players to dismiss that performance from their minds.

“The key is to keep believing; our top seven has some quality players, guys who have performed for us very well in the last three, four years,” said Toyana.

“Alviro Petersen has had a great season, he’s an ex-Test batsman, Cooky and Temba are currently in the Test side, Dom Hendricks has also had a good season. What’s important for us is to forget about this game, it was a shocker, and we start again by preparing for Pietermaritzburg.”

The Lions will face a Dolphins side which is clearly high on confidence following a win and a gutsy draw in their last two matches. They nearly chased down 354 against the table-topping Titans on Sunday and clearly the change in coaches has lifted the spirits in the group.

Less than 11 points separate the top three sides, with the Titans still leading the way going into the eighth match of the competition.

“It’s always nice if there’s three or four teams in contention and I’ve always felt this competition gets decided in games eight, nine and 10,” said Toyana. “It’s going to be tight, that’s a good thing, it will be exciting in the next few weeks.” – The Star

Original source: Highveld Lions planning ahead

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