A superb century from Proteas Test batsman Temba Bavuma carried the Lions to an 11-run victory over the Warriors in Sunday’s CSA T20 Challenge final at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
The result capped a successful 2018-19 season in the shortest format for the Gauteng franchise, whose provincial and Jozi Stars derivatives also won the Africa T20 Cup and inaugural Mzansi Super League.
His century marked a first in T20 cricket for the diminutive right-hander, whose previous best was 79 gathered for Gauteng earlier this season. He was eventually dismissed by seamer Andrew Birch for 104, which spanned only 63 balls and featured 11 fours and two sixes.
Captain Bavuma was well supported by 2019 World Cup squad inclusion Rassie van der Dussen, whose 73 from 41 contributed to a 165-run partnership for the third wicket. The partnership proved particularly key after opener Reeza Hendricks perished for a first-ball duck in a final total of 203 for four.
The Warriors’ reply was spearheaded by skipper Jon-Jon Smuts, whose 121 from 60 threatened an opposition bowling attack that struggled to contend with the expense of Proteas seamers Dwaine Pretorius and Wiaan Mulder.
While spinner Bjorn Fortuin relished a telling four-for as an opening bowler, the rest struggled against Smuts’ calculated aggression, which ultimately lacked enough support to genuinely challenge the final result. The visitors’ 192 all out, indeed, was entertaining – but insufficient.
Photo: Gallo Images