Aaron Phangiso was a thorn in the Warriors’ side as he picked up four wickets for the Lions on the first day of the 4-Day Franchise Series encounter in Port Elizabeth.
After winning the toss and electing to field first, the Lions found themselves under pressure as the Warriors top order looked to dominate proceedings. The Warriors batsmen all got decent starts at the top of the order as opener Gihahn Cloete top scored with 81 runs off 123 balls (including 13 fours). Fellow opener Edward Moore (41 off 67 balls, eight fours) and No 3 Yaseen Vallie (44 off 91 balls, five fours) both got decent starts but will be disappointed not to have reached the half-century mark before being dismissed.
It was Phangiso who was dishing out all the disappointment as he picked up four of the top five batsmen’s wickets, including those of Cloete and Vallie, as well as Warriors captain Jon-Jon Smuts (31 off 59 balls, two fours) and Lesiba Ngoepe (two off 26 balls). His spell proved destructive as he rocked the Warriors from 151-1 to 206-5 in a period just over 20 overs during day one. He bowled beautifully throughout the day and finished with figures of 4-56 in 25 overs at stumps.
The Warriors recovered from the Phangiso onslaught with resilient batting from the lower order to help them reach 305-7 before bad light stopped proceedings with just 88 overs bowled on the day. Andrew Birch (16 not out off 23 balls, three fours) and Sinethemba Qeshile (47 not out off 88 balls, nine fours) will look to pile on more runs on Tuesday in a bid to take their team beyond the 350-run mark. Qeshile will also have his sights set on reaching his half-century – and possibly even more – Tuesday morning to top off his 19th birthday celebrations.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images