Home Sport Cricket Dragons outspin Lions in CSA T20 Challenge thriller

Dragons outspin Lions in CSA T20 Challenge thriller

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Dragons celebrate the loss of Lions’ first wicket during the CSA T20 Challenge. Picture: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

The sluggish St George’s Park surface produced another thrilling CSA T20 Challenge clash between North West and the Lions on Tuesday.

Cape Town – The sluggish St George’s Park surface produced another thrilling CSA T20 Challenge clash between North West and the Lions on Tuesday.

The two Highveld teams are accustomed to playing on roads at Senwes Park and the Wanderers respectively where their batters can just hit freely through the line. But down at the coast here in Gqberha it requires a little bit more nuance and skill to accumulate runs.

Ultimately, the North West Dragons posted 136/6 in their allotted 20 overs, which was 11 runs too good their Gauteng neighbours.

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It was though only possible due to an unbroken 57-run partnership between Duan Jansen (32 not out off 18 balls, 3×4, 1×6) and Nono Pongolo (27 not out off 21 balls, 3×4) in just 5.3 overs.

The Lions’ death bowling was really ill-disciplined, particularly in the last two overs delivered by their senior statesmen Sisanda Magala and captain Malusi Siboto.

Magala sent down two wides in the penultimate over, which proved crucial in the context of this low-scoring game with Pongolo stroking the last ball for a boundary over extra cover.

Skipper Siboto was guilty of an even greater criminal act when he over-stepped on the final ball of the innings allowing Jansen to line up the “Free Hit” and smash it straight back over his head for the only six of the Dragons innings.

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The Lions’ innings failed to gather any momentum, especially after their mainstay Reeza Hendricks was trapped LBW for a first-ball duck in a sensational over from Johannes Diseko. The left-arm spinner had already trapped Dominic Hendricks with the previous delivery to peg the Lions back.

The only Lions batter to adapt to the conditions was Mitchell van Buuren, who held his team’s innings together with an unbeaten 66.

However, unlike the Lions, the Dragons showed greater temperament and skill at the backend with Nicky van der Bergh surprisingly entrusting his spinners Caleb Seleka (2/23) and Diseko (2/18) to deliver the 18th and 20th overs respectively that took their team home.

@ZaahierAdams

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