Dane Paterson on song as Western Province pounce on Lions batters in Four-Day Series final

Dane Paterson celebrates one of his five wickets for Western Province against the Lions at the Wanderers on Wednesday. Photo: BackpagePix

Dane Paterson celebrates one of his five wickets for Western Province against the Lions at the Wanderers on Wednesday. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Feb 28, 2024


Among the many idiosyncrasies that make first-class cricket the unique fine-dining experience that it is – compared to its more fast-food versions – is that the true value of a side’s first-innings total cannot be known until the other team has batted.

If this is indeed true, then Western Province will feel they hold the initial aces in the Cricket South Africa Four-Day Series final at the Wanderers after dismissing the Lions for 225 on Wednesday, before walking off at stumps on 49-0.

It is, however, feasible that they will not be entirely satisfied with their position on day one, having reduced the Lions to 56-5 at lunch.

But equally, the Lions will know that they let themselves down in the first hour when Dane Paterson (5-31) was wreaking havoc with the new ball.

The hosts, though, will take heart from the fact that their middle-to-lower-order batters Delano Potgieter (81), Wiaan Mulder (41), Codi Yusuf (34) and Malusi Siboto (32) showed resolve, determination and great competence to ensure they are not out of the contest altogether with four days still remaining – with the final being a five-day encounter.

Province had to overcome the overnight injury to Proteas express bowler Nandré Burger, with Paterson left to set the tone with the new ball.

Having shown his class on the recent tour of New Zealand, where he consistently troubled master batter Kane Williamson, the evergreen Proteas paceman delivered a devastating opening spell of 6-5-1-3.

The veteran right-armer fully vindicated WP captain Kyle Verreynne’s decision to bowl first on a spicy Wanderers deck under a gloomy Johannesburg sky.

Joshua Richards (lbw) and Zubayr Hamza were out off consecutive deliveries, with the former playing all around a straight one, while Hamza chased a full ball that he only managed to edge to Beuran Hendricks at third slip.

But Paterson kept his best delivery for Proteas Test captain Temba Bavuma, who followed two balls later for a duck.

Beuran Hendricks backed up his new-ball partner with his namesake Dominic Hendricks’ scalp, before Mihlali Mpongwana also joined the party by removing the in-form Ryan Rickelton (9).

The Lions desperately needed a partnership, and eventually found one in Potgieter and Mulder as they began the recovery by adding 77 in 21 overs for the sixth wicket, with Province’s attack lacking the intensity of the morning session.

But Mpongwana (4-41) stuck to his disciplines and showed that he had learnt a great deal on the national team’s tour of New Zealand despite not playing in any of the Test matches.

He maintained a solid line and length to get through some stubborn resistance from the Lions lower-order as he chipped in with four wickets.

Yusuf and Siboto’s 40-run last-wicket stand was particularly frustrating for Province before the latter was eventually trapped lbw by the lanky all-rounder.

The visitors, however, managed to regain their focus when it was their turn at the crease, with another New Zealand tourist, Eddie Moore, and Tony de Zorzi ensuring there would be no repeat of the morning’s new-ball shenanigans as they saw the Capetonians through to the close without any alarm.

Moore was the chief run scorer as he finished unbeaten on 35 off 31 balls, while De Zorzi was 12 not out.

The opening pair will now look to solidify Province’s position on Thursday by extending their partnership.

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