Sixers threat for roaring Lions

It will be a battle of elites when Sydney Sixers take on Highveld Lions in a Group ‘B’ match of the Champions League Twenty20 at Newlands here to maintain their supremacy on the points table.

Both teams have been undefeated in the tournament so far, with Sixers beating Chennai Super Kings in their first match and making light work of the Yorkshire in their second outing to lead the points table on better net run rate.

Lions, on the other hand, did not have to break a sweat against Mumbai Indians and looked at ease against the Super Kings on Tuesday night, as they overcame a challenging 158-run target with six wickets to spare.

Their only worry, if at all, seems to be the inconsistent bowling and an indifferent form of skipper Alviro Petersen with the bat upfront.

Speedster Sohail Tanvir has been decent with the ball but his inability to provide early break throughs will definitely be a matter of concern for the Lions when they take on a strong Sixers side, which boasts of some big names like Shane Watson and Brad Haddin in their top-order.

However, it remains to be seen whether or not Watson takes the field on Thursday following Cricket Australia’s diktat to release the formidable all-rounder for the preparation of the national team’s upcoming gruelling series against South Africa.

Pacer Dirk Nannes was impressive for the Lions against MI but the bowler was taken to cleaners against MS Dhoni’s side on Tuesday night and Petersen would like him to come good against the Aussie outfit.

In left-armer Aaron Phan­giso, Lions possess a quality spinner, who can see the side through the middle overs. But it will be a test for him to tackle the big hitting Aussie unit.

Experienced Niel McKenzie has held the middle-order well and with Gulam Bodi at the top also getting into runs column against CSK, the South African side has all the ingredients of a good unit.

Young Quinton de Kock is another bright prospect which the Sixers need to look out for.

He was at ease against the likes of Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh and it would remain to be seen how he tackles the likes of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.

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