Warriors stutter to opening game defeat against clinical Lions
East Cape side lose three key wickets for just 34 runs
The Imperial Lions have strengthened their grip on the top of Pool B after a comfortable 42-run win against the Warriors in the Momentum One Day Cup cricket competition in Potchefstroom on Sunday.
A sparkling 129-run fifth-wicket partnership by Delano Potgieter and Nicky van den Bergh was the catalyst for the Lions total of 210, while the Eastern Cape side imploded in the face of the opposition attack, being dismissed for 168.
The Warriors were in trouble early in their innings as they lost three key wickets for just 34 runs.
A shuffled batting order saw Yaseen Vallie and Lesiba Ngoepe start proceedings and the pair put on 21 before Vallie (5 off 13) was bowled by Eldred Hawken, who was in action again when he dismissed Jon-Jon Smuts for a first ball duck in the fifth over.
Captain Rudi Second was sent back to the dressing room in the eighth over, caught by Wesley Marshall off Sisanda Magala, having faced five balls without scoring.
Ngoepe continued to mount a challenge, playing some elegant shots, including four boundaries, to make his way to 33 before he was dismissed by Malusi Siboto, caught by Dominic Hendricks.
Sinethemba Qeshile hit two boundaries in his 11 before being bowled by Delano Potgieter, who struck again the 22nd over to remove Marco Marais, who scored only two from his 23 balls faced.
Wihan Lubbe and Ayabulela Gqamane added 52 for the seventh wicket, but once Gqamane (29 off 59), trapped leg before by Siboto, and Lubbe (42 off 64), caught by Marshall, fell, the writing was on the wall for the Eastern Cape side.
Glenton Stuurman was the second last wicket to fall for 10, stumped by Nicky van den Bergh off the bowling of Bjorn Fortuin in the 42nd over.
Stefan Tait was the last wicket to fall as he was bowled by Magala for nine to leave Mthiwekhaya Nabe not out on 14.
After his excellent half-century with the bat, Potgieter was again the star, claiming two for 19 in five overs.
There were also two wickets apiece for Siboto (2/26), Eldred Hawken (2/29) and Magala (2/34).
Earlier, some outstanding performances by right arm quick Nabe and leftarm spinner Smuts saw the Lions score just 210.
Marshall edged a Stefan Tait delivery to wicketkeeper Qeshile having scored only four runs.
Reeza Hendricks was then trapped in front by Stuurman in the seventh over with the score on 24.
Opener Ryan Rickelton hit six boundaries in a brisk 32. He was the first of three Smuts wickets, gloving a delivery which looped up into the waiting hands of Qeshile.
Dominic Hendricks added only two runs before he was caught by Gqamane off the bowling of Smuts as the Lions slumped to 47 for four.
Van den Bergh brought up his fifth List A half century with a boundary to fine leg in the 32nd over, while Potgieter’s sixth List A half century came a few overs later.
The Lions wicketkeeper, who scored 73 off 92 balls, became Nabe’s first victim before the rightarm quick also removed Potgieter for 57 when the lefthander pulled a slower bouncer to Gqamane three runs later, with the score on 179.
Siboto (1) and Magala (1) lost their wickets six balls apart as the former had his stumps disturbed by spinner Lubbe before the latter edged one to Second off Smuts.
Nabe removed Lions captain Aaron Phangiso for 11, caught by Gqamane, and Bjorn Fortuin (12) skied a delivery, which was well caught by Qeshile to end the innings.
Nabe finished the innings with figures of four for 31 in 9.1 overs, his best figures in the competition, while Smuts claimed three for 40 in his 10 overs.
Stuurman, Stefan Tait and Lubbe all chipped in with a wicket a piece.
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