Sport / Cricket

Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
26 Sep 2021
7:14 pm

Gwavu’s Lions lose out on place in last eight of T20 Cup

Ken Borland

The defending champions' nett run rate was not enough to see them advance.

Spinner Sean Whitehead of SWD was in good form against the Lions sin Kimberley on Sunday. Picture: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images

There was heartbreak for the Central Gauteng Lions as they beat South-Western Districts in their last match of the CSA Provincial T20 Cup in Kimberley on Sunday, but not by a big enough margin to qualify for the quarterfinals.

The exit will be particularly galling for coach Wandile Gwavu, who led his team to the franchise T20 title earlier this year.

The Lions edged home by four wickets with just one ball to spare against SWD, and when Western Province beat Northern Cape by six wickets with 10 balls left later in the day, it meant three teams had finished with two wins each.

But WP’s nett run-rate (+0.17) was enough to lift them above the Lions (+0.04), who paid the price for a poor batting performance by the top-order on Sunday.

Chasing just 130 for victory, the Lions slipped to 88 for six in the 15th over and were grateful to young Ruan Haasbroek, who finished the innings superbly with his determined 44 not out off 38 balls. Malusi Siboto (16*) provided great support as they added 44 off 33 balls to win the game.

Spinner Sean Whitehead was the best bowler for SWD, taking one for 18 in four excellent overs.

What will really hurt for the Lions is that they bowled so well after winning the toss to restrict SWD to 129 for six, especially their fiery pacemen Lutho Sipamla (4-0-23-2), Sisanda Magala (4-0-18-1) and Siboto (4-0-23-1).

Captain Jean du Plessis scored 41 off 38 balls, and Jhedli van Briesies provided a late boost with his 24 not out off 17 deliveries, SWD putting enough runs on the board to ensure they go through to the quarterfinals in first place in Pool A with a nett run-rate of +0.44.

But ultimately the Lions batsmen let down their bowlers.

Hamza, Verreynne shine

Kyle Verreynne once again showed his mettle under high pressure as he took Western Province home to their tricky target of 164 in 18.2 overs with his 25 not out off 11 balls, ensuring they go through.

Zubayr Hamza continued his rebirth as a quality T20 player with his 62 off 50 deliveries, putting on 63 for the first wicket in 7.5 overs with Tony de Zorzi (30).

There were also welcome runs for young Jonathan Bird, who showed his talent with 42 off 23 balls.

Western Province had sent their friends from the Northern Cape in to bat and reduced them to 58 for five by the halfway stage as seamers Tshepo Moreki (4-0-23-2) and Wayne Parnell (4-1-30-3) bowled superbly, spinner Kyle Simmonds (4-0-27-1) providing great support.

But Evan Jones (50 off 35) and Beyers Swanepoel (39* off 18), both Pretoria products, then combined for a punishing end to the innings as Northern Cape shot to 163 for eight.

It was a testing target, but not enough to save the Lions.