Johannesburg, 19 April 2024

Having performed brilliantly for a bonus point win over the Warriors in Gqeberha, a home semi-final now beckons for the DP World Lions men’s team if they can beat Titans in their CSA T20 Challenge match in Centurion today.

Our Pride were superb in besting the Warriors by 43 runs at St George’s Park on Wednesday night, the bonus point seeing them overtake the long-time log-leaders at the top of the standings. The DP World Lions now have 40 points from their nine wins in 12 matches, one point ahead of the Eastern Province side.

Victory at SuperSport Park on Friday night will take #ThePrideOfJozi to at least 44 points, which means whatever the other results in the last two rounds of fixtures, the DP World Lions will be guaranteed to finish in the top two of the CSA T20 Challenge. They finish off the round-robin campaign against the Tuskers in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Sent in to bat in conditions that were not easy for strokeplay, the DP World Lions did well to cobble together a total of 152 for nine against the Warriors. Opener Ryan Rickelton led the way with his determined, well-judged 52 off 38 balls. His fourth half-century of the campaign was enough for him to become the leading run-scorer in the competition with 378 in 10 innings for an average of 47.25, at an excellent strike-rate of 144.82.

Rickelton was well-supported by fellow opener Reeza Hendricks, who stroked 31 off 23 balls as they gave the DP World Lions an excellent start by putting on 58 in the powerplay.

Rassie van der Dussen, with a run-a-ball 17, then added 40 for the second wicket with Rickelton in five-and-a-half overs, but wickets then fell in the 12th, 13th and 15th overs as our Pride slipped to 106 for four.

Two more wickets then fell in the 17th over, another in the 19th and then the DP World Lions lost both Evan Jones and Nqaba Peter to the last two balls of the innings.

But in between that clatter of wickets, you have to give credit to the batsmen for still keeping the scoreboard ticking over on a very dry, slow pitch.

Jones led the way with his 12 off just nine deliveries, but Mitchell van Buuren, Bjorn Fortuin and Lutho Sipamla all collected important boundaries in the closing overs and scored at at-least a run-a-ball.

Sipamla was hit for a four and a six off successive deliveries by Warriors captain Matthew Breetzke, but then struck back by having the young dasher caught at mid-off. Wonderful spinner Fortuin (4-0-12-1) then deceived Andile Mogakane and sharp work by Rickelton behind the wicket saw him stumped for a duck as the Pride made a good start with the ball.

Mulder then showed why we are so fortunate to have an all-rounder of his quality in the team as he came on and made two hammer blows in his first two overs, trapping Jiveshan Pillay lbw and then taking a caught-and-bowled to dismiss Jordan Hermann.

With Jones chipping in with the wicket of Sinethemba Qeshile, we were in firm control with the Warriors 36 for five. Spinner Junaid Dawood (4-0-33-1) also contributed by bowling Patrick Kruger with his slider, while Jones (3.1-0-17-2) also dismissed the dangerous Beyers Swanepoel, Mulder taking a fantastic running catch in the outfield.

Mulder then returned and also claimed the wickets of Liam Alder and Siya Simetu to finish with magnificent career-best figures of four for 14 in his four overs.

The Warriors’ last wicket also fell to a run out, thanks to good work by Van Buuren, as they were dismissed for 109 in the final over.