Western Province hold the aces at stumps on day one of 4-Day final against Lions

FILE - Western Province’s Tony de Zorzi was at the crease at stumps on day one of the 4-Day final against the Lions. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

FILE - Western Province’s Tony de Zorzi was at the crease at stumps on day one of the 4-Day final against the Lions. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 28, 2024


Among the many idiosyncrasies that makes First-Class cricket the unique fine-dining experience that it is in comparison to its more fast-food versions is that the true value of a side’s first-innings total cannot be known until the other team has batted.

If this indeed is true Western Province will feel they hold the initial aces in the Cricket SA 4-Day Cup final after dismissing the Lions for 225 before walking off at stumps on Day 1 at 49/0.

It is, however, feasible that they will be not entirely satisfied with their position after reducing the Lions’ to 56/5 at the lunch interval.

But equally the Lions will know that they let themselves down in the first hour when Dane Paterson (5/31) was wrecking havoc with the new ball, but will take heart from the fact that their middle to lower order through Delano Potgieter (81), Wiaan Mulder (41), Codi Yusuf (34) and Malusi Siboto (32) showed resolve determination and great competence to ensure they are not out of the contest altogether with four days still remaining.

Province had to overcome the overnight injury to Proteas express Nandre Burger with Paterson left to set the tone with the new ball.

Having shown his class on the recent tour of New Zealand where he consistently troubled master batter Kane Williamson, the evergreen Paterson delivered a devastating opening spell of 6-5-1-3.

The veteran fully vindicated his captain Kyle Verreynne’s decision to bowl first on a spicy Wanderers deck under a gloomy Johannesburg sky.

Joshua Richards (LBW) and Zubayr Hamza were trapped with consecutive deliveries with the former playing all around a straight one while Hamza chased a full delivery that he only managed to edge to Beuran Hendricks at third slip.

But Paterson kept his best delivery for Proteas Test captain Temba Bavuma, who followed two balls later for a duck.

Beuran Hendricks backed up his new-ball partner with his namesake Dominic Hendricks’ scalp before Mihlali Mpongwana also joined the party by removing the in-form Ryan Rickelton (9).

The Lions desperately needed a partnership and eventually found one in Potgieter and Mulder as they began the recovery by adding 77 in 21 overs for the sixth wicket as Province’s attack lacked the intensity of the morning session.

But Mpongwana (4/41) stuck to his disciplines and showed that he had learnt a great deal on the national team of New Zealand tour despite not playing in any of the Test matches.

He maintained a solid line and length to get through some stubborn resistance from the Lions lower order as he chipped away with four wickets.

Yusuf and Siboto’s 40-run last wicket stand was particularly frustrating for Province before the latter was eventually trapped LBW by the lanky all-rounder.

The visitors, however, managed to regain their focus when it was their turn at the crease with another New Zealand returnee Eddie Moore and Tony de Zorzi ensured there would be no repeat of the morning’s new-ball shenanigans as the saw Province through to the close without any alarm.

Moore was the chief run-scorer as he finished unbeaten 35 off 31 balls (7x4), while De Zorzi was 12 not out.

The opening pair will no look to solidify Province's position on Thursday by extending their partnership even further.


IOL Sport