Lungi Ngidi, who turned 19 this year, announced his arrival in senior provincial cricket by taking three wickets for five runs to help Northerns beat a Zimbabwe XI by six wickets in the Africa Cup T20 on Saturday.
The former SA Under-19 paceman has been struggling with a back injury, but he showed in Benoni that he is ready to step up, ending with final figures of 3-14 off his four overs, which included two maiden wickets.
Ngidi also broke the blossoming fifth wicket partnership between Malcolm Waller (36) and Richmond Mutumbami (36) which had added 65 runs in seven overs and the visitors folded to 118.
Captain Albie Morkel, who also weighed in with two wickets for 14 runs, then hammered 53 off 46 balls (3×4, 3×6) to rescue Northers from a perilous 39-3 after left-arm spinner Wellington Masakadza dismissed Dean Elgar (4) and Heinrich Klaasen in successive balls..
On Friday, Easterns beat Western Province by four wickets with five balls remaining.