Proteas stars Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma have always had one of the more calming relationships at the crease and their partnership did the bulk of the work as the Lions beat the Warriors by four wickets in their opening T20 Challenge match at Kingsmead on Saturday.
Coming together on a troubled 19 for two, Van der Dussen belted four sixes as he scored 64 off 41 balls, while Bavuma cruised to 40 off 35 deliveries as they added 64 for the third wicket to put the Lions well on course for their target of 158.
Seamer Aya Gqamane split the pair but Van der Dussen then added another 58 runs with Delano Potgieter (17).
Gqamane (3-0-20-3) dismissed both of them in the 17th over as the Lions eventually wobbled to victory with four balls remaining.
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Earlier, the dominant Lions attack bowled the Warriors out for 157 with Kagiso Rabada simply at another level as he took three for 23 in his four superb overs.
Fellow Proteas Bjorn Fortuin (4-0-18-1) and Dwaine Pretorius (4-0-23-1) were also outstanding, but the Warriors, led by captain Sinethemba Qeshile’s 33 off 28 balls, fought manfully to post a competitive total.
Sisanda Magala ripped through the tail to claim four for 37 and ensure that the Lions would not need to chase more than 8 an over.