Exciting Betway T20 Challenge a fantastic advertisement for South African cricket
The T20 format has become cricket’s most popular and most-watched format and after a gripping Betway T20 Challenge, South African cricket has shown it is in strong health with plenty of stars to call on in this format of the game.
The Imperial Lions edged out the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in this weekend’s Betway T20 Challenge final, with the Dolphins falling at the final hurdle after having won all their group matches at a canter in the tournament’s preliminary rounds.
A look at the tournament statistics, however, shows that the Lions were good value for the tight win and the brand new trophy, as they dominated the tournament’s top run scorer and wicket taking standings.
The top three run scorers were all from the Lions, with Reeza Hendricks at his swashbuckling best top scoring with 257 tournament runs, Temba Bavuma leading the Lions brilliantly as captain and with the bet as he amassed 216 runs, and Rassie van der Dussen as solid as ever in contributing 167 tournament runs.
The experienced Proteas were brilliant with the bat, but it was a bright young star in the making who shone with the ball, as the Lions’ Sisanda Magala came of age with 13 tournament wickets to top the standings.
Magala was sensational in the Betway T20 Challenge, recording career-best figures of 5/20 against the VKB Knights during the tournament to solidify his case for inclusion in the Proteas’ T20 team.
Also among the top tournament wicket-takers with nine scalps was Kagiso Rabada, who reserved his brilliant best for the final when he claimed a match-winning 3/12 to show just why he is amongst the international game’s very best.
The Betway T20 Challenge, held in a bio-secure bubble in Durban at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium, was a fantastic advertisement for South African cricket, and the tournament’s 17 matches were broadcast on the African continent by Supersport, by Star India to a subcontinent audience, Fox Sports in Australia and Willow TV in North America.
“Cricket South Africa would like to congratulate the Lions on winning the Betway T20 Challenge,” said CSA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Pholetsi Moseki.
“They overcame a Dolphins team that was previously unbeaten in the competition and showed good mental strength to do that after losing to the KwaZulu-Natal side earlier in the week. Their performances throughout the competition have also been very consistent and they fully deserve their success,” Moseki added.
Moseki said the Lions had a quality squad “blessed with Proteas”, who were led extremely well by captain Temba Bavuma and coach Wandile Gwavu.
“All in all, it was a good week for the Lions. They now have two trophies this season after sharing the Momentum One-Day Cup with the Dolphins earlier this month,” Moseki said.
Moseki also thanked hosts, the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union (KZNCU), for staging a successful event.
“Covid-19 has brought with it various challenges and as we all know bio secure environments (BSEs) are part of the new normal. For this competition we came to Durban and Heinrich (Strydom) and his team at KZN Cricket have been extremely hospitable. We thank them for that and for hosting a successful BSE,” said Moseki.
The entire tournament was played within a bio-secure environment (BSE) in Durban from 19-28 February.
BETWAY T20 CHALLENGE WICKET RUSH
13 Sisanda Magala (Imperial Lions)
10 Lungi Ngidi (Multiply Titans)
10 Mtiwekhaya Nabe (Dafabet Warriors)
9 Robert Frylinck (Hollywoodbets Dolphins)
9 Kagiso Rabada (Imperial Lions)
BETWAY T20 CHALLENGE RUNS RUSH
257 Reeza Hendricks (Imperial Lions)
216 Temba Bavuma (Imperial Lions)
167 Rassie van der Dussen (Imperial Lions)
158 David Miller (Hollywoodbets Dolphins)
154 Pite van Biljon (VKB Knights)