Toyana impressed by first-class depth
Geoffrey Toyana has had a stellar first season in charge of the bizhub Highveld Lions with a solid Champions League T20 campaign under his belt as well as a shared trophy in the Momentum One-Day Cup.
Toyana now has another chance to add to his honours list when the Sunfoil Series reaches a climax over the weekend with the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras and the bizhub Highveld Lions in heated competition for the title and the coach says he’s very happy with the way his first season in charge has gone.
"It's been a great experience for me and the boys, they've responded well to my coaching style and I'm quite happy with where we are. We did well in the Champions League and the Momentum One-Day Cup and now we're in a good position in the Sunfoil Series too."
"It's a photo finish in the Sunfoil Series and the heat is on between us and the Cobras. It's quite exciting for South African cricket. We want to do our basics right and try and pull through.”
The Lions are about ten points behind the Cobras on the log with the Western Cape franchise playing the Chevrolet Knights while Toyana’s team takes on the Chevrolet Warriors. Toyana says his side will most certainly be keeping an eye and an ear on proceedings in Bloemfontein.
"Our eyes and ears will definitely be on what's happening in Bloemfontein. We've been a bit a unlucky with rain over the past few weeks, but hopefully the rain stays away this weekend and the best team on the day will win,” Toyana said.
There has been some really good first-class cricket played this year with some fiercely contested matches on show and players who go from franchise cricket to international cricket doing so in emphatic fashion and Toyana hailed the performances of those players who have made the step up.
"The depth of quality on the domestic circuit is huge. If you look at the guys who play franchise cricket who make it to the national team and immediately perform, it is really impressive. Just look at Faf du Plessis who was magical in Australia,” said the coach.
There have been just 12 draws in the competition this season, compared to last season when there were 15 draws and Toyana says seeing sides playing competitive cricket and playing cricket to win is refreshing.
"It's always been good to see the sides play competitive and winning cricket. It's exciting to not have had so many draws and it's improved this season. Our depth is good and the youngsters coming through are all really impressive,” Toyana concluded.