Johannesburg, 20 February 2024

A frustrating draw against the GBets Rocks last weekend will ensure that the DP World Lions men’s team will bring a ferocious intensity into their local derby against the Momentum Multiply Titans at Centurion. The first ball will be bowled on Wednesday 21 February, with the Pride ready to pounce on a place in the  CSA 4-Day Series final.

The Pride was in rampant form against the Rocks at the DP World Wanderers Stadium: A fine all-round bowling effort saw the Bolanders bowled out for just 226 on the first day. The Pride then gathered a formidable 252-run first-innings lead as captain Dominic Hendricks led from the front with an innings of admirable determination and pure class. His 135 runs was matched by Wiaan Mulder who blazed 141 off 128 balls, ably supported with half-centuries from Ryan Rickelton and Temba Bavuma.

The DP World Lions then reduced the Rocks to 36 for three in the second innings, raising hopes of a victory that would have taken the Joburg team to the top of the log. Unfortunately, with the pitch seemingly improving as the match went on, the Pride was denied. Despite this, #ThePrideOfJozi are still very much in contention for a place in the final and are currently third in the standings on 95.50 points. Only 8.02 points behind the log-leading Dolphins, means that a win against the Titans (102pts) this week will see them secure a top two finish.

“It’s just one of those things,” Dominic Hendricks said. “The pitch didn’t really deteriorate, there was just a little bit of variable bounce. So it was a phenomenal effort to take 19 wickets on a batting-friendly surface. It showed good skills and a desire not to turn down a challenge, so I was very chuffed for the bowlers and their monumental effort. It’s knockout cricket against the Titans, like a semi-final with the winners having the opportunity to play in the final. It’s the Jukskei Derby and we will be up for it. Matches against them are always a challenge, a solid test of skills and the big thing is to be highly competitive for as long as possible. We will need to play good, old-fashioned cricket against them keeping things simple. We will try to force mistakes and then capitalise on them. Even if we win on the fourth day, we will be happy, and we won’t worry about what the other teams are doing,” Hendricks said.

The left-handed opener admitted to some personal frustration this season before notching his first century of the campaign against the Rocks.

“It’s been a while since I scored a first-class century, I’ve had quite a few opportunities over the last couple of seasons which I didn’t convert, so I am over the moon about this one. There was certainly some inward determination and grit to make sure that ‘today was the day’. There wasn’t much assistance for the bowlers, unlike some of the tricky wickets at the beginning of the season, so I just wanted to knuckle down, get stuck in and bat for as long as I can,” Hendricks said.

Pace bowler Lutho Sipamla seems to have proven his fitness by bowling several spells during breaks in play against the Rocks, however the condition of the Centurion pitch will determine whether he is brought back into the starting XI.

“The SuperSport Park pitch has generally done a bit more than the DP World Wanderers pitch this season, and it’s quicker with more bounce. So it will be a nice challenge,” Hendricks concluded.

/ ENDS /

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