JOHANNESBURG, February 27, 2023 – Bjorn Fortuin let it be known that he is also a high-quality spin-bowling all-rounder as he stroked a pugnacious unbeaten century to rescue the DP World Lions on the opening day of their CSA 4-Day Domestic Series match against Six Gun Grill Western Province at the DP World Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.
Fortuin scored a brilliant 123 not out off just 143 balls, with 20 fours, as the Lions posted a highly-creditable 323 all out after electing to bat first on a pitch that provided movement all through the day. The 28-year-old Fortuin came to the crease with his team in trouble on 109 for five, and fought hard as further wickets saw them slump to 123 for seven.
That was when Malusi Siboto came to the crease, and the left-hander showed that he is also a very handy customer with the bat, scoring a determined 52 as he and Fortuin added 144 for the eighth wicket, a new record for the Lions, surpassing the 132 Fortuin himself put on with Wiaan Mulder against the Knights in Kimberley in 2016/17.
Fortuin’s third century for the Lions in Division One cricket showcased a solid technique and he was especially strong through the off-side, taking advantage of the short boundary there when batting at the Golf Course End.
The Lions made a positive decision at the toss to bat first, no doubt expecting a tough first hour. So it proved as former Proteas left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks went to town with three early wickets.
But captain Dominic Hendricks and young gun Mitchell van Buuren were safe as houses thereafter as they batted through to lunch, and then increased their partnership to 83 for the fourth wicket.
Both Hendricks (44) and Van Buuren (46) fell edging expansive drives outside off stump off medium-pacer Mihlali Mpongwana.
But Fortuin and Siboto owned the crease thereafter, the Lions yet again showing their team spirit under pressure, pulling through to a competitive total.
Western Province reached 12 without loss in reply in the four overs bowled before stumps.
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