Johannesburg, 25 April 2024

Our DP World Lions made sure they will host Sunday’s CSA T20 Challenge final with a commanding win over the Titans in Johannesburg on Wednesday night, claiming victory in their semi-final by a sizeable eight wickets with 20 balls to spare.

#ThePrideOfJozi continued the great form that carried us to the top of the log after the round-robin stage, overwhelming the Titans with the control and skill of their bowling, and then racing to victory with a powerful batting display. Having successfully converted first place in the standings to a home final at the DP World Wanderers Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the Lions will now face either the Dolphins or the Warriors, who play in Durban on Thursday night in the other semi-final.

Having won the toss, the DP World Lions took to the field first and ensured that the visitors could only score 38 for one in the powerplay with a 20-minute delay to restore a floodlight not breaking the momentum.

If anything, it saw our DP World Lions come back out with even more intent and ruthlessness, as they claimed the next eight Titans wickets for just 87 runs. Our chief hero was once again young leg-spinner Nqaba Peter, one of the finds of the domestic season, as he ripped through the Titans middle-order, taking four for 18 in his four overs.

The 21-year-old Peter has now taken 19 wickets in the campaign, at a ridiculously good average of just 7.78, while conceding only 5.19 runs per over. Another one of our exciting younger players, Codi Yusuf, was also excellent, taking two for 25 in his four overs.

With the match reduced to 18 overs-a-side due to the delay, the Titans finished on 131 for nine. The DLS recalculation meant our target was 134 in 18 overs.

Ryan Rickelton continued to pursue the leading run-scorer’s title as he struck a punishing 38 off 26 balls, his only boundaries being three large sixes, but the real slaughter came from the bat of Rassie van der Dussen. The DP World Wanderers became a massacre site for the bowlers as the experienced Proteas star powered his way to a fiery 73 not out off just 45 balls, with eight fours and a six. He added 85 off 53 deliveries for the second wicket with Rickelton, and then Temba Bavuma (19* off 13) was out in the middle with him when the match was won, adding an unbeaten 46 off 31 balls for the third wicket.

Yusuf and Wiaan Mulder had earlier removed Titans openers Lhuan-dre Pretorius (8) and Rivaldo Moonsamy (24), with Peter coming on in the ninth over and immediately spinning his web.

The experienced Sibonelo Makhanya (6) was beaten in the flight and bowled trying to sweep, and then in his third over, Peter removed Neil Brand (7) and David Wiese (0) with successive deliveries. Brand was caught top-edging a sweep, Bavuma making plenty of ground to take a brilliantly-judged running catch at midwicket, while Wiese failed to spot the googly and was comprehensively bowled.

Corbin Bosch (9), hitting out ambitiously but in vain, then became Peter’s fourth and final victim, Yusuf taking a very composed catch on the cow-corner boundary. It is the second time this season the youngster who bowls brisk leg-spin with great variations has picked up four wickets in an innings.

The reigning CSA 4-Day Series Champions look forward to welcoming all their fans come 14h00 on Sunday 28 April at the DP World Wanderers. Match day tickets are available at TicketPro.