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Cricket | Momentum One-Day Cup 2017/18

Rassie van der Dussen © Gallo Images

Lions win nailbiter at Buffalo Park

In a nailbiting finish the bizbub Highveld Lions beat the Warriors by four wickets in an exciting Momentum One-Day Cup match at Buffalo Park in East London on Thursday night.

Full scorecard: Warriors v Lions

Looking for a hefty 307 runs for victory, the Lions were immediately on the back foot when their captain and most experienced batsman Stephen Cook was dismissed early for five, leaving the visitors on nine for one wicket after three overs and with an agonisingly steep hill to climb.

Cook was lbw to Aya Gqamane off a snorter which beat him all ends up.

But then a partnership of 134 between Reeza Hendricks and his namesake Dominic kept the Lions well in the game.

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Although Reeza dominated, they both batted sensibly and steadily and with purpose as their partnership thrived.

But Reeza, after executing strokes all around the wicket, was out pulling spinner Simon Harmer to leg where he was caught on the boundary by Christiaan Jonker. He scored 80 (74 balls, 11x4).

The wicket spurred on the Warriors and their fielding became sharper, with Jerry Nqolo in particular standing out.

He was on hand to take a skier off Dominic Hendricks when the No 3 was on 65 at 167 for three wickets in the 32nd over, the bowler being Warriors debutante Sithembele Langa who grabbed his maiden franchise wicket.

Hendricks stroked five boundaries and faced 89 balls in his innings.

Then Omphile Ramela was dropped by Jonker off Smuts in virtually the same spot he took his earlier catch, much to the disappointment of the Warriors and the crowd which was starting to get behind the local team.

But Langa struck again when Ramela, on six, was plumb in front off a fullish ball.


Gqamane then returned for his second spell and with his third ball he clean-bowled Dwaine Pretorius at 197 for five, and intense pressure returned to the Lions with the asking rate passing eight per over although Rassie van der Dussen had settled in nicely and it was clear he would be key to a Lions win.

But suddenly the Lions appeared to panic with three possible run-out attempts during one eventful Gqamane over.

Then with 10 overs to play, the Lions needed 92, with Mangeliso Mosehle supporting Van der Dussen - who reached his half-century off 49 balls - well.

But Langa struck in his last over, having Mosehle caught on the boundary for 26 at 244 for six at the end of the 44th over with the Lions needing 59 off six overs but running out of wickets.

A six and a four to Van der Dussen helped matters but 45 were needed off the final five overs.

The Lions No 4 smacked another six in the 47th over while Wiaan Mulder scored a boundary.

With 16 runs needed off the final two overs, Van der Dussen pulled Anrich Nortje for a huge, stunning six over fine leg to virtually seal the victory.

With two runs needed off the final over, Gqamane bowled three “dot” balls on the trot which kept the crowd on tenterhooks, but then Van der Dussen drove him past mid-off for four for a fine victory and the Player of the Match award.

Earlier, the 306 for six wickets scored by the Warriors, who won the toss and elected to bat first, was made up of two contrasting partnerships.

Having lost two early wickets during the Power Play (first 10 overs), skipper Jon-Jon Smuts (71) and No 4 batsman Yaseen Vallie (81) consolidated and then added 137 for the third wicket in a solid display.

Then, in the last six overs, hard-hitters Christiaan Jonker and Simon Harmer entertained the sparse crowd in an unbeaten seventh-wicket partnership of 81, to take the game away from the Lions and allow the Warriors to pass the psychological barrier of 300 which at one stage they never looked like reaching.

They hit Hardus Viljoen for 19 in the international paceman’s last over batting in unorthodox fashion at times with strokes definitely not found in the MCC coaching manuals.

Terrible windy conditions made life unpleasant for both batsmen and bowlers throughout, particularly those bowlers who had to bowl into the wind while players chasing after their caps was a common sight.

Smuts and Vallie, both naturally attacking batsmen, had to first consolidate the innings before playing their strokes, although Smuts got off the mark with a sweetly-timed six over fine leg off Wiaan Mulder, bowling into the wind.

Left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso kept the scoring rate in check and finished his first spell of eight overs for only 23 runs.

He finished with 1-31 off 10 overs after Smuts smacked a ball from Phangiso which almost cleared the boundary to be caught by Mulder for an excellent captain’s innings off 78 balls. He finished with two sixes and five fours.

Jerry Nqolo and Marco Marais failed to get going and Vallie was out when he scooped up an easy catch to Cook at a deep point position.

He faced 102 balls and hit seven fours.

Wicketkeeper Mosehle hurt his finger when ’keeping which was a huge handicap to the fielding side.

Jonker finished on 51 not out off only 30 balls (6x4, 1x6), while Harmer made his 34 not out off just 21 balls with four boundaries and a six.

WARRIORS: Jon-Jon Smuts (capt), Gihahn Cloete, Clyde Fortuin (wk), Aya Gqamane, Simon Harmer, Sithembele Langa, Christiaan Jonker, Marco Marais, Anrich Nortje, Jerry Nqolo, Yaseen Vallie

BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS: Stephen Cook (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Dominic Hendricks, Mangaliso Mosehle (wk), Rassie van der Dussen, Dwaine Pretorius, Willem Mulder, Aaron Phangiso, Beuran Hendricks, Omphile Ramela, Hardus Viljoen


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