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Reeza gives Lions solid start

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Reeza and Dominic Hendricks put on 97 for the first wicket as the home bowlers initially toiled in Durban.

Reeza Hendricks of Lions Bats during the CSA 4-Day 2020/21 match against the Dolphins at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – A Reeza Hendricks half-century anchored the champion Imperial Lions on a rain-hit opening day of the 4-Day Domestic Series season against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Durban on Monday.

The Proteas limited-overs opener was in good form as cricket returned after more than seven months, striking a free-flowing 76 off 86 balls (13 fours, 2 sixes) at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium where the visitors reached 152/3.

The opening day in round one was looking extremely unlikely on the east coast after heavy rain had been falling since Friday, but the ground staff did an excellent job to pave the way for 55 overs to be squeezed in.

It ensured there was a smooth return to play for the first time since March when Covid-19 struck, forcing the new term to be delayed.

And once play got under way at 1pm, the visiting side began strongly after winning the toss and batting.

Reeza and Dominic Hendricks (26 off 102 balls, 2 fours) put on 97 for the first wicket as the home bowlers initially toiled.

But they then clawed their way back into the contest as debutant Ottniel Baartman (1/18) claimed his first wicket for the Dolphins by trapping Reeza leg before wicket.

Three runs later and another Proteas star was on his way – Rassie van der Dussen sent packing by national teammate Andile Phehlukwayo (1/33) for one.

The Lions then lost another quick one when Dominic was dismissed by Kerwin Mungroo (1/22) to drop to 108/3.

But an unbroken 45-run fourth-wicket stand between captain Temba Bavuma (30) and Ryan Rickelton (15) helped them hit back and end the day strongly.