Kagiso Rabada and Sisanda Magala blow away the Warriors
CAPE TOWN – In one ball Kagiso Rabada gave everyone an exhibition of the importance of having the Proteas involved in the CSA T20 Challenge.
Wihann Lubbe was the batsman. The Warriors left-hander is an accomplished domestic player having learnt his trade originally at North West and the Highveld Lions before moving south to the Eastern Cape at the beginning of the season.
But on Saturday the 28-year-old found out the stark difference between facing a domestic franchise paceman in comparison to a high-quality international fast bowler.
Rabada charged in and dug one in short. Before Lubbe could react, the bouncer struck him flush on the helmet and visibly shook him up. Although Lubbe recovered to strike a decent 22 off 16 balls before he succumbed to the spin of Bjorn Fortuin, the damage had been done.
In fact, Rabada had actually made an impact earlier already. His searing pace was clearly troubling the Warriors top-order with both Lesiba Ngoepe (0) and Gihann Cloete (18) falling to Rabada within three balls of each other in the fifth over. This reduced the Warriors to 36/3 after the earlier dismissal of Jon-Jon Smuts (14) to Sisanda Magala (4/37).
The latter was clearly enjoying bowling in tandem with Rabada and helped himself to four wickets to restrict the Warriors to 157 all out.
The Lions stuttered in their run chase with openers Ryan Rickelton and Reeza Hendricks falling cheaply, but again it was the class of the Lions' Proteas Temba Bavuma (40) and Rassie van der Dussen (64 off 41 balls, 3 fours, 4 sixes) that ensured not even another wobble later on would deny the defending champions.
Warriors: 157 all out (Qeshile 33, Lubbe 22, Magala 4/37, Rabada 3/23)
Highveld Lions: 159/6 (Van der Dussen 64, Bavuma 40, Gqamane 3/20)
Lions won by four wickets