The Lions on Friday beat the Titans in the 2020 Momentum Cup opener. Photo: @LionsCricketSA on twitter
The Lions on Friday beat the Titans in the 2020 Momentum Cup opener. Photo: @LionsCricketSA on twitter

Lions beat Titans in Momentum Cup opener

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Jan 31, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG – In a match featuring six players who will be clad in Proteas green and gold next week to face the One-Day World Champions, England, it was a possible future Protea who caught the eye at SuperSport Park on Friday.

Ryan Rickelton’s aggressive 92 off 89 balls, provided the visitors with the perfect start - something they really should have taken better advantage of - after which their bowlers proved too crafty for a reckless Titans batting unit.   

The most pleasing part of the match from a Proteas perspective was the performance of Lungi Ngidi. Although he didn’t bowl his full quota of 10 overs - a result of the Titans trying to get through overs quickly towards the end of the Lions innings - Ngidi showed he’d recovered from the hamstring tear that had sidelined him for the last six weeks. He bowled three spells and his rhythm looked good and his pace was reasonable, although as he gets fitter, he’ll hope to increase that. 

He was the best of the Titans bowlers initially, bowling a tight line on off-stump and utilising his height to extract bounce off a good length with the new ball. It was a strategy that accounted for his Proteas teammate, Reeza Hendricks, who was caught behind for 10 in Ngidi’s second over.  

Rickelton took charge early on, sharing a stand of 78 for the second wicket with Temba Bavuma who made 32, by taking advantage of some wayward bowling from Hardus Viljoen and Tshepo Moreki. Having gotten that start Bavuma then mistimed a pull and was caught at midwicket leaving Rickelton and Rassie van der Dussen, to share the match’s biggest partnership.

Their third wicket stand of 106 seemed to have set the Lions up for a total of 350 with Van der Dussen continuing the excellent form he showed in the second innings of the last Test against England. As he did there he did not allow the opposing spinner - in Friday’s case Tabraiz Shamsi to settle - forcing him to change his length with clever use of the feet.

Van der Dussen’s 65 came off 71 balls and he would’ve been irritated he didn’t turn it into something more substantial.

As would Rickelton, who timed the ball beautifully hitting seven fours and two sixes. 

The Lions were bowled out in the final over, with Ngidi finishing with 3/40 in nine overs, while Shamsi claimed 2/71 in 10.

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The Titans looked in control of the chase, but their set batsmen kept getting out; Henry Davids, Heinrich Klaasen and Theunis de Bruyn were all dismissed in the 40s.

Beuran Hendricks, who will also be heading to Cape Town to start preparing for the ODIs against England, picked up 4/43 although he was warned again about running on the pitch when bowling over the wicket.

Result:

Imperial Lions 305

Multiply Titans 232

Lions won by 73 runs.

@shockerhess

 

IOL Sport

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