PAARL, March 6, 2023 – It was the DP World Lions batting line-up that was rock-solid on the first day’s play in their 4-Day Domestic Series match against the GBets Rocks at Boland Park on Monday as they amassed 315 for five.
After the scheduled first day of play was washed out, the Lions won the toss and elected to bat on the second morning, and they managed to subdue whatever bite was in the Rocks attack, giving themselves a solid platform from which to push for a much-needed victory in this penultimate round of action.
Openers Josh Richards and Dominic Hendricks were once again at their sharpest best to tame the new ball, adding 85 for the first wicket, before skipper Hendricks fell to leg-spinner Shaun von Berg for 34.
That brought the experienced Reeza Hendricks to the crease and he added a further 88 for the second wicket with Richards, who eventually fell for a polished 82 when he edged Von Berg to slip.
It was the third time this season that Richards, who stroked 11 fours, has gone past fifty and his departure then allowed Reeza Hendricks to take center stage with a composed innings of 67, his first half-century of the four-day campaign.
Hendricks had his 122-ball stay, in which he struck six fours and two sixes, ended when he was bowled by a Bamanya Xenxe delivery that zipped through low into off-stump.
The Lions were 216 for four and Mitchell van Buuren then made the crease his estate with a pugnacious innings of 73 not out off just 109 balls that ensured the Lions finished the day with a flurry of runs, taking their scoring rate for the day to 3.66 runs-per-over.
Van Buuren collected six fours and a six in a timely return to form, notching his highest score of the four-day season.
Connor Esterhuizen, playing his second first-class game for the Lions, continues to look most comfortable at this level and he scored an important 37 as he and Van Buuren added 78 for the fifth wicket. Esterhuizen was caught behind off Hardus Viljoen with the second new ball shortly before stumps, but a confident Bjorn Fortuin, in great form and playing in the town of his birth, will resume with Van Buuren on the third morning having scored a run-a-ball 9.
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