This meat in the triple-header 20-over sandwich would have left supporters of the team wearing red with a sour taste in their mouths.
The Highveld Lions, the RamSlam T20 competition’s defending champions, produced a calamitous chase of a mediocre total, while at the same time there were indications of what can only be described as dissent from Gulam Bodi.
Chasing 140 to win, The Lions were bowled out for 114 to go down by 26 runs.
Chris Morris had bowled a lively opening spell that included a double-wicket maiden in the fourth over and then, either side of a 30-minute rain delay, there were four more wickets as the Warriors slumped to 53/6 in the 10th over.
The Warriors – sporting a new black outfit that makes them look more like the Dolphins – staged a fightback that ultimately changed the course of the match.
Ryan Bailey – born in these parts 31 years ago – and Simon Harmer shared an 87-run partnership for the seventh wicket that, while determined, owed plenty to some awful, ill-disciplined bowling by the Lions.
Lengths were missed – by some pretty big distances – lines went awry and whatever plans they may have drawn up for Bailey and Harmer simply weren’t properly executed.
The pair were able to add 65 runs in the final six overs, Bailey falling to the last ball of the innings for 61 (54 balls, 5x4, 2x6), while Harmer finished unbeaten on 38 (26b, 2x6).
All the Lions’ initial good work was undone in those final overs by the bowlers with Morris, Hardus Viljoen and overseas signing Azhar Mahmood all conceding over 30 runs in their four overs.
With the exception of Quinton de Kock, the Lions’ batting effort was awful. Rassie van der Dussen simply couldn’t get going, which put his opening partner under pressure and once De Kock was out, caught behind going for a big drive off Rusty Theron, the rest of the innings simply fell apart.
You wouldn’t blame the Lions’ management if they chose to leave Bodi behind in Cape Town last night, his hand in the run out of skipper Alviro Petersen bordered on insubordination.
While the single Petersen called him through for was dicey, simply standing there watching his captain run towards him and then making no move from his crease was indicative of a terrible attitude.
As it was, Bodi struggled, much like he did in last season’s competition. Back then the Lions management gave him time to try an arrest his slump, this time they may not show such patience and given what he did yesterday, Geoffrey Toyana may not deem him worthy of some slack.
The Lions must look at the make-up of their batting line-up too. Petersen can’t be coming in at No 5 – a player of his experience and ability must have as much time as possible to influence the innings – he should open, Neil McKenzie to three with Mahmood, who had a poor game yesterday, better suited to the middle-order. Luckily they have a week off to sort out their problems before they head to Bloemfontein to play the Knights.
w Sapa reports that in the first match, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Khaya Zondo shared a record-breaking fifth-wicket partnership to lead the Dolphins to a comfortable victory over the Titans.
Van Jaarsveld and Zondo came together with the Dolphins struggling on 37/4 in the eighth over and put on an unbroken stand of 117 – the highest fifth-wicket partnership in South African domestic Twenty20 competition history.
That carried the Dolphins to a total of 154/4, as Van Jaarsveld smashed seven sixes in his unbeaten 82 and Zondo finished on 41 not out, before the Titans managed 146/7 to lose by eight runs.
Although the final scoreline suggested a tight game, the Titans’ chase never really took off, thanks largely to a solid bowling display from Kyle Abbott, who took two wickets for a single run in his opening two overs.
An in-form Faf du Plessis did his best to resurrect the innings before he fell to Craig Alexander for 24, and David Wiese tried to bring the game back to life with a hard-hitting 42 from 24 balls down the order.
The Pretoria side, however, were still 28 runs behind heading into the final over. - Cape Times