Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Half-centuries by Nicky van den Bergh and Delano Potgieter set the Imperial Lions on their way to a thumping 87-run bonus-point win over the VKB Knights in their latest Momentum One-Day Cup outing in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

There were also strangling spells of bowling by spin duo Bjorn Fortuin and Aaron Phangiso as 275 for nine played 188 all out at the Imperial Wanderers, where victory helped the hosts close the gap on log leaders the Hollywoodbets Dolphins to four points, with a game in hand.

Van den Bergh first led the way with the bat by scoring an attacking 91 (112 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes), before veteran Phangiso ramped up the heat with the ball by claiming four for 30 – with strong support coming via Fortuin (2/34).

It completed a big win for the home side and one that keeps them in the hunt for top spot on the competition log well and truly alive.

The Lions were full value for the win, although they had to work hard early on after slumping to 38 for three when they lost the toss and were put into bat.

A 51-run fourth-wicket stand between Van den Bergh and Wihan Lubbe (32) got things going, before the former and Potgieter, who hit 69 (71 balls, 6 fours, 2 sixes), put on 121 together for the next wicket to complete an excellent recovery.

The Lions did lose their way towards the end with Mbulelo Budaza finishing as the pick of the bowlers with four for 45.

The Knights made a blistering start to the chase thanks to half-centuries from Jacques Snyman (54 off 34 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) and Andries Gous (7 fours).

Between the two of them, the Knights managed to reach 160 for four at one stage, before dramatically folding.

Phangiso and Fortuin then turned the screw, and together with Beuran Hendricks (3/47), cleaned up the tail and left the Central Franchise all out in 42 overs.