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Ken Borland

Lions make light work of the Warriors

Posted on March 16, 2012 by Ken

The bizhub Highveld Lions made light work of the Chevrolet Warriors as they hammered them by 115 runs in their MiWay T20 Challenge match at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The Warriors’ international-class bowling attack was put to the sword as the Lions, led by Gulam Bodi’s career-best 90, posted 199 for six, before Australian fast bowler Dirk Nannes (3-1-9-2) blasted through the visitors’ top-order with two quick wickets.

With Chris Morris – perhaps a future international himself? – also taking two wickets, the Warriors quickly crashed to 28 for four.

A 1200-strong contingent of Lions fans were treated to a thrilling new-ball burst by left-armer Nannes, who bowled fast and full to bowl openers Jon-Jon Smuts for one and Ashwell Prince for four.

The Warriors were 11 for two after three overs, but still had a bit of batting class available with Colin Ingram and Johan Botha at the crease.

Ingram hit a couple of boundaries for his eight but soon made his exit, caught skying an attempted pull off Morris, who then bowled Kelly Smuts for five to complete an excellent spell of two for seven in two overs.

Ex-SA under-19 all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius then bowled Craig Thyssen for two to leave the Warriors on a parlous 36 for five in the eighth over.

Botha scrapped his way to an ugly 15 off 23 balls but the lower order made spinners Aaron Phangiso (two for 30) and Jean Symes (three for five) look like pros of the highest order as the pair claimed combined figures of five for 35 in 4.2 overs.

Athenkosi Dyili was the unbeaten batsman on 15 when the Warriors were all out for 84, condemned to the second-biggest defeat in the history of franchise T20 cricket.

The record is held by the Eagles, who beat the Lions by 130 runs in Potchefstroom in 2004/5.

Bodi had bashed his way by hook or by crook to his career-best 90 on a tough night for the Warriors bowlers on a hard and true Wanderers pitch, surrounded by its usual quick outfield. But the Eastern Cape team made life tougher for themselves with some very untidy fielding.

The Warriors had won the toss and sent the Lions in and made a good start as Makhaya Ntini had Jonathan Vandiar (1) caught at third man to leave the home side on four for one after two overs.

But the visitors were soon singing a different tune as Bodi gave the innings an excellent foundation and Quinton de Kock continued his rich vein of form with 46 off 26 balls.

De Kock hit a pair of sixes and half-a-dozen fours in another top-class display of power-strokeplay, often showing a total lack of respect for the five international bowlers he was up against.

It was a particularly bad day for off-spinner Botha and left-armer Wayne Parnell, who conceded 42 and 44 runs respectively in their four-over stints.

De Kock eventually fell when he got his leg in the way of a quicker delivery from left-arm spinner Nicky Boje and was trapped lbw.

The Lions lost two wickets in two balls as Bodi, who is definitely not a member of the smart-running-between-wickets club, turned down a second run and Pretorius was stranded and run out without facing a ball.

Bodi was not fazed, however, as he went past his former franchise best of 88 not out, for the Titans against the Cobras two seasons ago, hammering seven fours and five sixes in his fantastic 51-ball innings.

It was not a faultless innings by any means, but it did show just how destructive Bodi can be on his day.

Stalwart Neil McKenzie was also an integral part of the fine Lions innings with his 37 off 29 balls, but the Warriors did manage to tighten the screws towards the end of the innings as Parnell and Rusty Theron took three wickets in the last three overs.

Theron was the one bowler to keep calm during the breathless assault, taking one for 32 in his four overs, but there was terrible punishment for the rest of his fellow internationals.

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