Home Sport Cricket Levi bludgeons WP to victory in CSA T20 Challenge opener

Levi bludgeons WP to victory in CSA T20 Challenge opener

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Richard Levi hauled back the years at St George’s Park and reminded everyone of why he was indeed one of the most destructive T20 openers in the world at one stage.

Richard Levi was in imperious form for WP Blitz. Picture: Chris Ricco, BackpagePix

Richard Levi hauled back the years at St George’s Park and reminded everyone of why he was indeed one of the most destructive T20 openers in the world at one stage.

Cape Town – Richard Levi hauled back the years at St George’s Park and reminded everyone of why he was indeed one of the most destructive T20 openers in the world at one stage.

Western Province had gambled on recruiting Levi and Dane Vilas for this CSA T20 Challenge, and in particular on Levi pulling on the blues again after so many years.

But the 34-year-old underlined the value of experience here in the tournament opener. Still boasting a hulking frame that he has always been renowned for, Levi utilised those tree trunk fore-arms to bludgeon nine fours and three sixes in his 39-ball 67 at a hugely-impressive strike-rate of 171.8.

He certainly nullified the Rocks’ regular strength by targeting their spin arsenal, taking a particular fancy to Siyabonga Mahima, tucking into the equally burly left-arm spinner by smashing him for two sixes in an over. Levi was equally severe on off-spinner Imraan Manack with a few rasping drives that sped to the cover boundary.

It was the momentum Western Province’s pursuit of 143 required, especially after youngsters Jonathan Bird (0) and Gavin Kaplan (6) were accounted for by another veteran, Rocks new-ball bowler Hardus Viljoen (3/16)

Vilas played his hand too with a tidy 21 off 15 balls in a 54-run partnership with Levi that set WP on the right path.

The job was ultimately finished in fine style with Aviwe Mgijima (26 not out) delivering a delightful cameo alongside George Linde (20 off 21 balls) that ensured Saliegh Nackerdien’s team would take the honours in the Western Cape derby.

The eventual result had always looked on the cards with the Rocks only managing to reach a competitive score due to a 79-run fifth-wicket partnership between Christiaan Jonker (46) and Ferisco Adams.

Although both are naturally attacking players, they were forced to rebuild initially after the Rocks lost three wickets in the Powerplay, including Proteas star Janneman Malan for a brisk 29 off just 19 balls.

They found their rhythm the longer they stayed at the crease with Jonker smashing four boundaries and a maximum off the luckless Tshepo Moreki.

Adams also contributed a rapid 28-ball 34, but their demise within two balls of each other in the 18th over to the spin of George Linde (2/13) rendered the initiative back to Province during the closing stages of the innings.

@ZaahierAdams

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