McKen­zie, Bavuma ram home another Lions win

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

A CRU­CIAL un­bro­ken 60-run part­ner­ship be­tween Temba Bavuma and Neil McKen­zie helped the Highveld Lions con­sol­i­date their po­si­tion on top of the Ram Slam T20 Chal­lenge ta­ble with a six-wicket win over the War­riors at Kingsmead in Dur­ban yes­ter­day.

Veteran McKen­zie top­scored with 46 off 38 balls, while the stylish Bavuma plun­dered a no-non­sense 37 off 21 as the men from Jo­han­nes­burg made heavy weather of chas­ing their vic­tory tar­get of 127.

This was after a good ef­fort from the fast bowlers, par­tic­u­larly Lon­wabo Tsot­sobe (2/26) and Chris Mor­ris (2/20), set them on their way against an East­ern Cape out­fit lack­ing bite. Si­mon Harmer top scored with an un­beaten 38 off 26 balls after the top or­der failed to fire for the com­pe­ti­tion’s sec­ond­bot­tom side.

The Lions made the most of their decision to win the toss and bowl first by re­duc­ing the War­riors to 55/5 by the 13th over. That start was set up by Tsot­sobe and Mor­ris, with the lat­ter dis­miss­ing Jon-Jon Smuts (8) in the sec­ond over, caught by Har­dus Viljoen at mid-on. Fast bowler Viljoen had new man Colin In­gram (5) splen­didly caught by Jean Symes at cover, while English im­port Craig Kieswet­ter (8) fended off a ris­ing Mor­ris de­liv­ery to Bavuma run­ning in from point. The 50 came up in the 11th over, be­fore Somila Sey­i­bokwe (7) and Yaseen Val­lie (25), signed on loan from the Cape Co­bras, added to the wick­ets col­umn. How­ever, Harmer and Chris­ti­aan Jonker com­bined for a much-needed 56-run stand in 6.3 overs, which in­cluded the 100 brought up in the 18th over.

Jonker (25) and Rusty Theron (0) were dis­missed from suc­ces­sive de­liv­er­ies as the War­riors stum­bled to 126.

The Lions hardly seemed in a rush dur­ing the early part of their chase. They reached 20 in the fifth over, be­fore los­ing Rassie van der Dussen (10) to a won­der­ful Jonker catch run­ning back from point – Basheer Wal­ters the bowler.

Alviro Petersen took his time to make 30 in 42 balls, and after help­ing the Gaut­eng side cross 50 in the 11th over, he was bowled by Harmer. A dou­ble strike by Smuts (2/24), dis­miss­ing Dwaine Pre­to­rius (1) and Symes (0), in­creased the Lions’ nerves as they fell to 70/4 with only six overs to play.

Bavuma and McKen­zie then raised the tempo, ini­tially tak­ing their side past 100 in the 17th over, fol­lowed by the 50 in 31 balls to take their side over the line with three balls to spare.

Mean­while, West Indies all­rounder Kieron Pol­lard starred with bat and ball to help the Cape Co­bras stun the Titans by four runs in their game at Kingsmead yes­ter­day.

The clash, the first of three at the venue in a triple-header, saw the Cape side set 170 after los­ing the toss and be­ing asked to bat first.

Pol­lard plun­dered four sixes in his knock of 56 off 29 de­liv­er­ies to set his side on their way, be­fore de­liv­er­ing a su­perb fi­nal over that went for six and claimed two wick­ets to leave the Pre­to­ria side short.

Qaasim Adams with 68 runs off 36 was the star for the Titans, although his ef­forts proved in vain as the win­less fran­chise failed to make the most of the over­cast con­di­tions.

The big-hit­ting Pol­lard only man­aged 18 from his first 17 balls, but then found his range in the fi­nal three overs when he blud­geoned 38 from the next 12 balls to power his side to 169/6.

In re­ply, the Titans made a strong start by reach­ing 26 in four overs, and they were al­ways in with a chance.

Eleven were needed from the fi­nal over, but Pol­lard took out both dan­ger­men, David Wiese and coun­try­man Dar­ren Sammy, to seal a mem­o­rable win. – Sapa

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