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Sisanda Magala sends message to national selectors with match winning performance as Lions beat Warriors

Lions’ Sisanda Magala celebrates after bowling out Akhona Mnyanga of the Warriors during their CSA One Day Cup Cricket match between at the Wanderes Stadium in Johannesburg on Friday

Lions’ Sisanda Magala celebrates after bowling out Akhona Mnyanga of the Warriors during their CSA One Day Cup Cricket match between at the Wanderes Stadium in Johannesburg on Friday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Mar 11, 2022

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Johannesburg — Days after being omitted from the Proteas One-Day squad for the series against Bangladesh, because he failed a fitness test, Sisanda Magala delivered a message to the national selectors by taking 6/55 for his province on Friday night.

To be fair to Victor Mpitsang and his selection panel, its not actually a message they needed. They understand Magala’s skill-set, but the strict adherence to basic fitness requirements demanded for the national team is something they cannot overlook.

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Magala was magnificent against the Warriors, bowling like someone who had a point to prove. There was pace, movement through the air and off the pitch. Three Warriors batters had their stumps shattered.

Magala’s fitness has long been an issue. “I’ve had that conversation (about fitness) with him last year before the West Indies tour; I spoke to him on Tuesday morning, it’s important to tell the player, ‘dude, you need to help us here, we definitely want to pick you.’” Mpitsang told Independent On-Line earlier this week. “We haven’t changed the squad (from the India series) he was part of it, but because of his fitness, he hasn’t made it. We’ll have more interaction (in the future, regarding fitness).”

Mpitsang stated that Magala remained part of the selector’s plans for the T20 World Cup later this year, but his fitness needed to improve. “His skill-set is not a problem.”

That much was clear on Friday. The Warriors in pursuit of 267 to win their opening CSA One-Day Cup clash, slumped to 13/3 at the start of the fourth over, with Magala dismissing Wihan Lubbe and Lesiba Ngoepe, the latter comprehensively bowled with one that slanted into him.

Diego Rosier with a stylish 32 and Tristan Stubbs with 31 were the only visiting players to offer resistance, but Stubbs became Magala’s fifth victim, trapped lbw a fast full delivery.

The Lions had a difficult start too, falling to 18/3 in the sixth over with Glenton Stuurman the destroyer and chief, among his victims the Proteas ODI skipper, Temba Bavuma, who drove lazily in the air to Ngoepe in the covers.

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Rassie van der Dussen (81) and the in-form Mitchell van Buuren (78) shared a 107-run stand for the fifth wicket that put the Lions back on track and gave them a defendable target.

SCORECARD

Imperial Lions 266/8

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Gbets Warriors 106

Lions won by 160 runs

@shockerhess

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