for quality writing

Ken Borland

I don’t normally ascribe too much importance to the toss, but …

Posted on February 28, 2024 by Ken

Dane Paterson enjoyed a stellar opening day of the CSA 4-Day Series final with the ball at the Wanderers.

I don’t normally like to ascribe too much importance to the toss, but there is no doubt Western Province calling correctly on the first morning of the CSA 4-Day Series final against the Central Gauteng Lions at the Wanderers has turned out to be a big advantage for the visitors.

Having sent the Lions in to bat in heavily overcast conditions, WP backed it up with excellent bowling and an astonishing first 100 minutes saw the hosts crash to 35 for five. That the Lions eventually made it to 225 all out was thanks to fringe player Delano Potgieter showing what a useful cricketer he is by scoring 81, and their batting depth as the left-hander shared crucial partnerships with Wiaan Mulder (41) and Codi Yusuf (34).

Despite the rearguard action, WP were in no mood to allow the initiative to slip and Eddie Moore capped a great day for the Capetonians with a dominating 35 not out off 31 balls that took them to 49 without loss at stumps.

To be fair, it was not just a case of winning the toss and bowling first and dominating for WP. With the weather forecast predicting very hot weather and the pitch likely to dry out and crack (there was turn on day one for Kyle Simmonds), batting last will be tough as well. WP captain Kyle Verreynne admitted the decision was difficult when he said at the toss: “I was going to bat first but when I saw the floodlights were on I decided to bowl.”

There was a tinge of green on the pitch on the first morning and, with the overhead conditions, there was swing on offer. But credit to the WP bowlers, especially Dane Paterson, who found exactly the right areas of prime real estate on the pitch to cause major problems for the Lions top-order.

Paterson turns 35 in little over a month, but he does not look like retirement is on his horizon. And, after all, he has just returned from playing Test cricket for the Proteas in New Zealand, taking three for 39 in the second Test as South African gained a first-innings lead in Hamilton.

Lions openers Josh Richards and Dominic Hendricks seemed to have negotiated the first five-and-a-half overs comfortably enough, but then Paterson struck.

Richards found himself across his stumps and trapped lbw by an inswinger and the next delivery had Zubayr Hamza caught in the slips via a loose drive that seemed more appropriate for a game of garden cricket than a prestige final.

At the end of his next over, Paterson claimed the considerable scalp of the regular Proteas Test captain, Temba Bavuma, for a two-ball duck. Having survived the hat-trick ball, Bavuma could not have done much more with his second delivery, defending compactly on off-stump, but a beautiful away-swinger moved just enough to find the edge and wicketkeeper Verreynne took a fine one-handed catch diving in front of first slip.

Captain Hendricks survived for the first 45 minutes, before edging Beuran Hendricks to Verreynne and when Ryan Rickelton (9) edged Mihlali Mpongwana into the slips playing a loose punch outside off-stump when a leave would have been better in that situation, the Lions top-order had folded quicker than the origami world champion.

Mulder, enjoying a marvellous season with the bat, helped Potgieter to restore some balance, adding 77 for the sixth wicket before he also edged Mpongwana into the slips.

When Bjorn Fortuin, trying an overly-ambitious drive, was caught behind in the same over, the Lions had crashed to 112 for seven. But Potgieter played an inspired innings, his 81 coming off just 106 deliveries with 12 fours and a six.

His aggression paid off and his determination kept the Lions in the game, especially since the sun came out in the afternoon and batting definitely is becoming easier, at least until the back end of this five-day match.

The last pair of Malusi Siboto (32) and Tshepo Moreki (8*) then sat in for over an hour to stretch the total towards respectability.

All-rounder Mpongwana eventually ended the innings to finish with four for 41 in 15 overs, an admirable foil for Paterson, who finished with outstanding figures of 16-8-31-5.

With Moore and Tony de Zorzi (12*) then starting the WP innings so well, in terms of dominant positions, the visitors are definitely enjoying a front-seater.

Leave a Reply

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

    Our Christian experience begins when the Holy Spirit starts working in our imperfect lives. An inexplicable restlessness and a feeling that nothing can give you the satisfaction you yearn for, could be the Spirit working in you.

    Even when God calls you and chooses you to serve him, there may be inner conflict and confusion because you are not always willing to do what God is asking of you.

    But this inner struggle is part of spiritual life … Commit yourself to God and open yourself to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit.

    It is by great grace that you were chosen by God to serve him and to live to the honour and glory of his name. Surrender unconditionally to the Lord and you will discover that your life gains new meaning and purpose.

↑ Top