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Western Province move top of CSA T20 Challenge standings with sketchy Lions win

Western Province Blitz wicket-keeper Dane Vilas congratulates Junaid Dawood after he got the wicket of the Lions’ Shane Dadswell in their CSA T20 Challenge match. Picture: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Western Province Blitz wicket-keeper Dane Vilas congratulates Junaid Dawood after he got the wicket of the Lions’ Shane Dadswell in their CSA T20 Challenge match. Picture: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Published Feb 13, 2022

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Cape Town - Western Province slipped and stuttered towards the top of the CSA T20 Challenge log, but they remain the only unbeaten team after a sketchy five-wicket victory over the Lions on Sunday afternoon.

They were without their talisman Richard Levi and Proteas all-rounder George Linde who were sitting out due to illness which exposed a middle-order that had not really been utilized yet in the competition.

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Fortunately for Province, the incoming batters Tony de Zorzi (43) and Yaseen Vallie (21*) along with young Gavin Kaplan (39) all played decently enough to get them over the line with five balls to spare.

It should have been a simplistic chase when the target was reduced to 30 off 31 balls with De Zorzi and Vallie at the crease.

But that's when the chaos unfolded for both teams with Vallie dropped at third man off the first ball of the over before De Zorzi was caught at short fine-leg the next delivery.

New batter Wayne Parnell was then dropped off the final ball of the over before being run out the next ball when he attempted a ludicrous run to the wicket-keeper.

All the drama brought the Lions straight back into the game, but WP had some experienced hands at the crease in Vallie and Aviwe Mgijima who ensured there would be not a complete meltdown.

Tony De Zorzi of the Western Province Blitz. Picture: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Earlier, Shane Dadswell and Mitchell van Buuren were tasked with rebuilding the Lions innings after Beuran Hendricks was superb upfront with the new ball for Province.

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Hendricks removed both Joshua Richards and Reeza Hendricks in his second over that pegged the Lions back early on. Dadswell and Van Buuren were unperturbed that their side has slipped to 8/2 and attempted to switch the momentum with a 48-run partnership in just 5.2 overs.

However, Dadswell's demise for 27 from just 16 balls during an impressive spell of leg-spin bowling from Junaid Dawood (2/23) put the brakes on again. Although Van Buuren kept ticking over before he was eventually dismissed for 44 off 34 balls, the remainder of Lions batters could not really accelerate the run-rate for the remainder of the innings.

All Kagiso Rapulana (32 not off 36 balls) and Sisanda Magala (19 not out off 15 balls) could do was to ensure the Lions managed to at least get to a total that would bring their bowlers into the game.

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Ultimately though it was not enough ...

Scorecard

Lions: 140/5 (Van Buuren 44, Rapulana 32*, Dawood 2/23, Hendricks 2/26)

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Western Province: 141/5 (De Zorzi 43, Kaplan 39, Vallie 21*)

Western Province won by 5 wickets

@ZaahierAdams

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