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AB hopes Lonwabo continues to shine

Proteas captain AB de Villiers lauded Lonwabo Tsotsobe on Wednesday after the pace bowler bagged a maiden Twenty20 hat-trick in the opening match of their tour of New Zealand.

The South Africans secured a 20-run victory over Canterbury in Christchurch.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe (centre) of South Africa is congratulated by teammates after snaring a wicket. Credit: Getty Images

“Lopsy has just been outstanding,” De Villiers said.

“I don't know how he does it so consistently. He just keeps taking wickets.

“It's encouraging to see his early tour form and hopefully he continues to excel throughout the tour.”

Tsotsobe returned 4/18 as Canterbury, chasing 151 to win, were bowled out for 130 runs in the 19th over.

The left-arm speedster became the eighth South African to net a T20 hat-trick, and was the first to do so in national colours.

The Proteas had earlier reached 150/6, with Richard Levi smashing 63 runs from 32 balls.

“Richard is a phenomenal batsman,” De Villiers said.

“He is an impact player and it is very exciting for us to have a player of his calibre at the top of the order.”

The skipper was delighted with the successful start to the tour, but admitted there was a lot of work to be done before Friday's opening T20 International against New Zealand.

“This was exactly what we needed. We needed a competitive challenge and all the credit to Canterbury's batsmen for fighting the way they did towards the end,” he said.

“It's great for us to start the tour off on a winning note but we know that there is still a lot of work for us to do.” – Sapa

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