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Ken Borland


Like an actor ascending to the lead role, Maphaka claims the Wanderers as his own stage

Posted on June 10, 2024 by Ken

Like an actor ascending to the lead role, Kwena Maphaka made the famous DP World Wanderers Stadium his own stage on Sunday as he bowled the Pride to a Super Over victory over old rivals World Sports Betting Western Province in their CSA T20 Challenge match.

After a rain-interrupted game was tied during the regular 20 overs each, Maphaka defended 10 runs in the Super Over, against two experienced internationals in Kyle Verreynne and George Linde, conceding just nine runs. The 17-year-old, still in school doing his matric year at St Stithians, bowled beautifully full and straight, and was in no way overawed by a task that has turned more experienced bowlers into jelly.

It meant back-to-back one-run wins for the DP World Lions men’s team as they also edged the Momentum Multiply Titans by one run on Friday night in a thrilling Jukskei Derby. The two sensational wins mean the Lions remain second on the log, well in-touch with the leaders, the Dafabet Warriors.

Western Province decided to bat first, but the DP World Lions bowlers were wonderfully disciplined and accurate, restricting the visitors to 127 for nine.

Pacemen Lutho Sipamla (4-0-20-2) and Codi Yusuf (4-0-28-2) were the bowlers who did the most damage, but fellow seamers Maphaka (4-1-27-1) and Evan Jones (3-0-20-1), and spinner Bjorn Fortuin (4-0-22-1) were all excellent too.

But the afternoon thunderstorm that covered a large tract of Johannesburg then arrived at the DP World Wanderers Stadium between innings and definitely did not help the Lions.

After an hour-long delay, the Lions were set a revised target of 81 in 11 overs and were going well on 27 without loss in 3.5 overs, needing just 54 more to win off 43 balls, when the threat of lightning forced the umpires to suspend play again.

After 25 minutes, play resumed with the DP World Lions set another revised target of 52 in seven overs, meaning they needed 25 off 19 balls. That was then whittled down to eight runs required from the final over, and then one run from one ball. But veteran WP seamer Wayne Parnell bowled the last ball exactly where he needed to with his tight off-side field, and Reeza Hendricks (12) was caught at extra cover. That left the scores tied, which was why there was a Super Over to decide where the four log points were going.

Ryan Rickelton and Jones managed to get 10 runs off Parnell, and then Maphaka stepped up and delivered an over that was worthy of the cacophonous acclaim from the DP World Wanderers Stadium, worthy of the brass band in attendance and not vuvuzelas.

The #PrideOfJozi were sent in to bat by the Titans in Friday night’s game and were in early trouble on 54 for four in the ninth over. But a partnership of 81 off 57 balls between Wiaan Mulder (48) and Mitchell van Buuren (37*), and then the big finish provided by Delano Potgieter’s 32 not out off just 15 deliveries would have had Lions fans celebrating from Sandton City to the Oriental Plaza to Walter Sisulu Square.

Having posted 183 for five, the DP World Lions then had the mettle and the execution to keep the Titans to 182 for six.

The Titans chase revolved around Rivaldo Moonsamy’s 88 off 62 balls, but Codi Yusuf had him caught at midwicket in the 17th over for the crucial breakthrough.

Maphaka then only conceded four runs in the 18th over, while claiming the wicket of the dangerous Dayyaan Galiem, and the pace and skill of Yusuf and Kagiso Rabada (4-0-24-1) then finished the deal.

Fortuin was once again outstanding with two for 23 in his four overs.

The Pride will be back in action again on Saturday as they take on the AET Tuskers from KwaZulu-Natal Inland on Saturday at the DP World Wanderers Stadium.

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