8 November 2023, Johannesburg –Like the most efficient of couriers, our DP World Lions men’s team went to Cape Town and delivered the most clinical of all-round performances as they beat Western Province by 106 runs in the opening round of the CSA 4-Day Series on Tuesday.
Chasing 381 for victory, Western Province were bowled out for 274, with spinner Bjorn Fortuin and paceman Wiaan Mulder the bowlers who delivered the key blows.
Western Province began the final day on 21 without loss and it was Mulder who made the key early strikes.
Left-handed openers Tony de Zorzi (19) and Eddie Moore (13) were both caught behind edging excellent deliveries from around the wicket that nipped away beautifully.
David Bedingham then moved swiftly to 60 before Mulder returned and also had him caught by Ryan Rickelton, the wicketkeeper taking an excellent running catch as the batsman skied an attempted pull.
The DP World Lions then used the services of ace left-arm spinner Fortuin to run through the middle-order.
Fortuin used brilliant arm-balls to bowl Valentine Kitime (42) and key batsman Kyle Verreynne (68), while Juan James (38) was caught at leg-slip, Mulder continuing his impressive all-round game with a sharp, low catch.
The wicket of James, straight after tea, left the home side on 235 for five and this time there was little resistance from the tail as Fortuin took five for 86 in 30 overs. It is the 29-year-old’s fifth five-wicket haul for the Lions and he extended his record as the DP World Lions leading wicket-taker against Western Province to 38 wickets in nine matches.
Mulder took the final wicket when he knocked over Mthiwekhaya Nabe’s middle stump with an inswinger, finishing with quality figures of four for 35 in 12.3 overs.
Having lost the toss and been sent in to bat on the opening morning with the ball seaming around, Mitchell van Buuren was the main barrier to Western Province running through the DP World Lions batting.
Coming in at 97 for four straight after lunch on the first day, Van Buuren helped steady the innings with Mulder (30), adding 52 for the fifth wicket.
It was after tea when Van Buuren began to take charge, piercing the off-side numerous times and also driving beautifully straight down the ground on occasion, as well as punishing anything short.
Wandile Makwetu held up his end well, making 44, his highest score for the Lions, and adding 130 for the sixth wicket with Van Buuren.
Fortuin then provided pugnacious support as he struck nine fours in his 42 off 60 balls, helping add another 55 for the seventh wicket.
Van Buuren had already reached his third century for the Pride of Jozi by stumps, and on the second morning he cut loose, reaching a career-best 170 off 259 balls in nearly six hours of batting, with 18 fours and five sixes.
He added 43 runs for the last wicket with Tshepo Moreki, who defended six deliveries, Van Buuren hitting three sixes in an over from spinner James, to take the DP World Lions to a formidable 402 all out.
Fast bowler Duanne Olivier then came tearing in and reduced Western Province to 71 for six, taking four wickets in his first five overs.
Kyle Simmonds (120) and Beuran Hendricks (81) were able to repair some of the damage as they added 132 for the seventh wicket, but the DP World Lions were still able to go into the second innings with a handy 131-run lead as they bowled Western Province out for 271.
Olivier finished with five for 66 in 17 unrelenting overs of hostility, while Mulder picked up three for 54.
The DP World Lions then called on the classy services of Ryan Rickelton to set up the declaration, and his punchy 112 not out off 186 deliveries allowed the visitors to post 249 for five before taking aim at Western Province’s top-order again in the final hour of the third day.
Rickelton had to show tenacity to get through some tough times in his first hundred of the season, after scoring 192 runs in his last five innings for the Lions. The left-hander was very strong square of the wicket on both sides and ruthless on anything short.
He received valuable support from Zubayr Hamza (51) and Mulder (57).
The DP World Lions have used this convincing win to roar to the top of the log, narrowly ahead of the Dolphins and Titans.
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