Rassie van der Dussen is embracing the challenge of batting further down the order for the Highveld Lions in the One-Day Cup.
The 28-year-old opened the batting for the Lions in the recent Ram Slam T20 Challenge, making 171 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of 123.02 and an average of 28.50.
In this season’s One-Day Cup, Van der Dussen has scored 238 runs in five matches. He averages 47.60 and has a strike rate of 82.35.
On Thursday night, he smashed 83 off 66 balls (5×4, 3×6) as the Lions chased down the Warriors’ 306-6 with two balls remaining.
‘Stephen Cook’s return to the [one-day] side saw me move further down the order,’ Van der Dussen told SACricketmag.com. ‘It is a different challenge and one that I’m enjoying. I’m always learning.’
Having scored 49, 67 and 65 in his three previous innings, Van der Dussen was pleased to go on to make a big score for his side in East London.
‘I’ve been criticised for not kicking on, so it was good to do so on Thursday night.’
Cook fell early in the Lions’ innings, with Reeza Hendricks and Dominic Hendricks taking the score to 143-2, before the former lost his wicket in the 26th over. That saw Van der Dussen stride on to the field at No 5 and he stayed there as wickets fell around him.
‘That always makes it difficult but with Wiaan Mulder back in the team, I knew we had an extra batsman and could get the job done,’ he said.
‘I told the guys to keep the run rate under 10 for as long as possible and knew that in the last 10 overs a run rate of nine, nine-and-a-half would be possible. The conditions played in our favour and I told the guys to run hard.’
Van der Dussen’s performance helped the Lions to break a three-match losing streak and stay in contention for the semi-finals.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images