Rookie Maphaka stars in top flight T20 debut

Keshav Maharaj had a poor return in the form of wickets for the Dolphins this past weekend. | BackpagePix

Keshav Maharaj had a poor return in the form of wickets for the Dolphins this past weekend. | BackpagePix

Published Mar 12, 2024


The first weekend of the CSA T20 Challenge sees the Warriors, Lions, Western Province and Titans undefeated after two matchdays. Here, Ongama Gcwabe looks at the winners and losers this past weekend.

Who Flopped?

Keshav Maharaj had a poor return in the form of wickets for the Dolphins this past weekend. | BackpagePix

Keshav Maharaj: The Dolphins did not have a good start to the Challenge as they lost two home games, with both Western Province and the Warriors travelling to Durban and returning home with maximum points. There’s always high expectations for Proteas spinner Maharaj, more so after being handed the captaincy of the Dolphins for the tournament. The left-arm orthodox spinner, however, went wicketless in the tournament opener on Friday, conceding 30 runs in three overs, and then returning figures of 1/28 against the Warriors on Sunday.

Bryce Parsons of the Dolphins failed with the bat this past weekend. | BackpagePix

Bryce Parsons: It is not a surprise that a second Dolphins player makes the list after their dismal start to the campaign. Parsons opened the batting this past weekend and only managed five runs off nine balls from both games. For a batter of his talents, the 23-year-old will need to do a lot better this week to give the Dolphins a chance to turn things around.

Who Starred?

Marco Jansen made a fine return to action, taking 6/33 in the opening weekend of the CSA T20 Challenge. | Backpagepix

Marco Jansen: The lanky lefty returned to action this past weekend after being on a break since taking a five-for in the SA20 final at Newlands last month. On his return, the quick fell one wicket shy from yet another five-for when he helped the Warriors to a bonus-point, 37-run victory in Gqeberha on Friday. Jansen returned 4/19 in that game and followed it up with figures of 2/14 in four overs on Sunday to help the Warriors to a second consecutive victory.

Ryan Rickelton continued in the CSA T20 Challenge where he left off in the SA20, scoring 99 runs during the opening weekend of the domestic T20 tournament. | Sportzpics

Ryan Rickelton: The run machine that is Rickelton hit the ground running once again this season, carrying over his impressive SA20 form into the Challenge. The left-handed opener began his campaign with a 39-ball 75 – a knock that saw him smash five maximums and six fours to help the Lions to a 43-run victory. In his second knock, in Potchefstroom, the 27-year-old smashed three fours for a 26-ball 34 to position himself at the top of the run-scorers’ list.

Kwena Maphaka continues to impress, this time in the CSA T20 Challenge Cup for the Lions. | BackpagePix

Kwena Maphaka: The fairytale continued for the 17-year-old left-arm quick. Fresh from receiving the 2024 Under-19 World Cup Player of the Tournament honour, Maphaka played his first T20 Challenge match for the Lions when they faced the Rocks on Friday and the Dragons on Sunday. Maphaka picked up 3/22 against the Rocks and 2/11 against the Dragons to position himself as No 3 in the wicket-takers’ column.

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