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Ken Borland

The champs go down to the brave captaincy & the superb spin of NW

Posted on March 07, 2022 by Ken

The brave captaincy of Nicky van den Bergh and the outstanding bowling of his spinners led the North-West Dragons to a surprise 11-run win over the Central Gauteng Lions, the winners of the CSA T20 Challenge in the previous season.

Sent in to bat at St George’s Park, the Dragons could only muster 136/6, and that was thanks to the heroics of the seventh-wicket pair of Nono Pongolo (27* off 21) and Duan Jansen (32* off 18), who shared an unbeaten partnership of 57 off just 37 balls.

Seamer Codi Yusuf was the best of the tidy Lions attack with 2/21 in his four overs.

Left-arm spinner Johannes Diseko was then the star of the superb North-West bowling performance.

Opening the bowling, Diseko removed both Dominic (4) and Reeza Hendricks (0) with successive balls of his second over to immediately rock the Lions chase.

Josh Richards (23) and Mitchell van Buuren then added 50 for the third wicket, before 19-year-old leg-spinner Caleb Seleka removed Richards.

Van den Bergh backed his unheralded spinners to bowl at the death, with the Lions needing 45 runs in the last five overs with seven wickets in hand and Van Buuren set.

And it was a masterstroke as Seleka (4-0-23-2) conceded just seven runs and took a wicket in the 18th over, and Diseko (4-0-17-2), darting the ball into the blockhole, also gave away just seven runs in the final over.

Van Buuren finished with a fine 65 not out off 56 deliveries, but he got a little stuck towards the end against the spinners and the left-arm angle of paceman Duan Jansen (4-0-24-0).

Left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy also bowled well, conceding just 19 runs in three overs.

The KZN Dolphins showed they are going to be a force on the slowish St George’s Park pitch as they hammered the Free State Knights, winners of the CSA Provincial T20 Cup at the start of the season, by eight wickets with two overs to spare.

The Dolphins spinners restricted the Knights, who had chosen to bat first, to 128/5, with off-spinner Prenelan Subrayen’s 1/13 in four overs a particularly telling effort.

Raynard van Tonder’s 38 and Farhaan Behardien’s 36 not out were the main contributions for Free State.

Keegan Petersen then stroked a confident 45 off 37 balls to set up a comfortable KZN chase, adding 74 for the first wicket with Grant Roelofsen (27).

David Miller then finished the game off with a quickfire 34 not out off 22 deliveries.

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