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Sep 06, 2010 at 05:14pm IST

Highveld Lions: Gamechangers

Highveld Lions will be up against Mumbai Indians in their first match of the Champions League T20. The Highveld Lions is the second team from South Africa to qualify for the second edition of the Champions League T20 after they entered the final of the domestic T20 championship. They will be the least fancied side in the tournament and regarded as the underdogs. But still Lions have got some quality players in their ranks. Here we look at the players who can play a decisive role for them in the Champions League.

Alviro Petersen: Petersen - the Lions' skipper - is currently one of the most talented batsmen in South Africa. The team played as a unit under him in the Standard Bank Pro20, where he led from the front. Petersen finished as the leading scorer in a one-day series against England not very long ago. The most important aspect of his batting is that he can bat at any number and make a handy contribution. He has an impressive record in T20 format, Petersen has scored 749 in 32 innings at a strike rate of 120. He is a powerful hitter of the ball and will be a crucial cog to propel the Lion's wheels in this Champions League.

Neil McKenzie: The South African batsman is one of the most experienced player for the Highveld Lions. He will be a very important member with a responsibility to give the team a brisk start. Though he is not a very big hitter of the ball, he has got great hand and eye coordination and times the ball to a nicety. For the Lions, he was the third highest run-scorer with 185 runs in the Standard Bank Pro20 series. His 25 fours in the tournament were the most among Lions' batsmen. He brings in an added advantage of being a great fielder and has one of the safest pair of hands in the team. Lions will look up to him to provide them a great start as an opener.

Highveld Lions: Gamechangers

Highveld Lions will be up against Mumbai Indians in their first match of the Champions League T20.

Robert Frylinck: The 25-year-old all-rounder was the highest wicket-taker in the Standard Bank Pro20. His medium pace helped him pick fourteen wickets in eight outings and played a major role in Lions road to the final of Pro20 and subsequently CLT20. Playing in familiar conditions, Lions will hope that he can repeat his heroics once again and provide them with early breakthroughs. Though he has not been that successful with the bat, he has an impressive strike rate of 146.51 with an ability to play small cameos for the team in the slog overs. Lions will hope he can add few quick runs in the closing overs, besides adding a spark with his superb fielding.

Jonathan Vandiar: Left-handed batsman Jonathan Vandiar - who was a member of South Africa's Under-19 World Cup squad in 2008 - was the second highest run-scorer for his team with 187 runs from eight outings in the Standard Bank Pro20 series. This 20-year-old youngster struck fourteen fours and ten sixes and had an impressive strike rate of 128.96. He was one of the most impressive player in the Standard Bank Pro20 series. He is surely a man for the future for South Africa and will hope the selectors notice him sooner rather than later. If he lives up to his credentials, opposition bowlers will have something to worry about as he is not afraid of taking them on. What makes him more fascinating is that he is a live wire on the field.

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