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Ken Borland


WP bemused by Mkhize as Lions attack superbly disciplined

Posted on June 19, 2024 by Ken

The powerful Western Province batting line-up was bemused by the left-arm seam of Relebohile Mkhize as she led the DP World Lions to a vital victory in their one-day match at Newlands last weekend, while the attack as a whole was superbly disciplined as our Pride did the double in Cape Town by also winning the T20 game.

Mkhize took three for 32 in eight overs as she ripped through the World Sports Betting Western Province middle-order, the DP World Lions bowling the home side out for 188 as they successfully defended their total of 228. Mkhize claimed the key wickets of Proteas Faye Tunnicliffe, bowled first ball by a beauty that swung in late from over the wicket, and Delmi Tucker (10), trapped lbw by a similar delivery, while she also bowled Tatum le Roux, who provided the last bit of resistance with 37 off 45 balls.

The victory for the #PrideOfJozi sets up a title decider on April 13 with the Dolphins at the DP World Wanderers Stadium. If the Lions beat the KwaZulu-Natalians with a bonus point then they will finish tied with them at the top of the log with 29 points; but the Central Gauteng team could then take the title based on number of wins or nett run-rate.

The DP World Lions total was built around the solid platform laid by opener Nonkululeko Thabethe, whose 56 off 89 balls ensured there would be freedom to score quickly for those who followed. Jenna Evans went wild in the closing overs with some daring shots taking her to 44 off 52 deliveries, while Madison Landsman struck a brisk 52 off 65 balls.

The DP World Lions bowling was exceptional as a unit in the T20 match, bowling just one wide in the Western Province innings as the hosts were restricted to 127 for six to lose by 17 runs. Like a liposuction machine that sucks up off the fat lying around, there was just nothing loose for the WP batters to make use of, no easy runs given away.

Seamers Lehlohonolo Meso (4-0-24-1) and Mkhize (4-0-25-1) were both extremely difficult to get away, while spinner Sarah Nettleton (4-0-21-2) bowled both Proteas openers Lara Goodall (5), with a superb delivery that was angled in and then spun away sharply from the left-hander to hit off-stump, and Tunnicliffe (11). The other spinners, Jenna Evans (3-0-17-1) and captain Kgomotso Rapoo (4-0-25-0) supported well.

Electing to bat first, after a solid run-a-ball start by Palesa Mapoo (20) and Landsman (19), the DP World Lions lost four wickets in successive overs to slip to 49 for four at the halfway mark. But doctor Kirstie Thomson had the right medicine, using her considerable experience to stabilise the innings and form a partnership with Thabethe.

By the end of their unbeaten 95-run stand, they were really dishing out the treatment to the WP bowlers, lifting our Pride to 144 for four.

Thomson finished with a fine 55 not out off 42 balls, while Thabethe struck a punishing 41 not out off only 27 deliveries.

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