Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Potgieter ton carries Lions to victory in 4-Day Series final

After getting off to a poor start, the Lions clawed their way back to lift the trophy.

Middle-order batter Delano Potgieter delivered in both innings, leading a remarkable comeback from the Lions as they clinched a 99-run win over Western Province in a thrilling CSA 4-Day Series final at the Wanderers on Sunday.

After the Lions lost the toss and were sent in to bat on day one, they suffered a top-order collapse, losing their first five wickets for just 35 runs as seamer Dane Paterson led an assault with the ball.

The hosts managed to recover, however, with Potgieter stabilising the middle order by contributing 81 runs off 86 balls.

Despite clawing their way back, the Lions were ultimately bundled out for 225 in their first innings, in the final session on day one, with Paterson taking 5/31 and Mihlali Mpongwana returning 4/41.

In response, most of the WP top order made contributions, led by Gavin Kaplan and Daniel Smith, who each hit 60 runs. But they struggled to build big partnerships against a persistent Lions bowling attack spearheaded by Tshepo Moreki who took 5/65 – his first five-wicket haul in any format.

After a wobbly start from the hosts, however, Province managed to take control of the game, reaching 312 and taking a first-innings lead of 87 runs.

Potgieter century

Faced with a mountain to climb over the last three days, the Lions did well to stick their heels in, with Potgieter shining again in their second innings as he bashed a career best 155 not out off 244 deliveries.

Mthiwekhaya Nabe was the best of the Province bowlers, but they were unable to contain Potgieter as he led his team to a second-innings total of 394, giving the visiting side a target of 308 to win with one-and-a-half days remaining in the five-day game.

They looked set to take it down to the wire, but Province were ultimately bowled out for 208 in the second session of the final day’s play.

Opening batter Tony de Zorzi top-scored with 55 runs and Smith made his second half-century of the match with 52.

But they did not have enough of a response to the Lions bowling line-up, with spinner Bjorn Fortuin taking 5/69.

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