van der Dussen, Bavuma clinch Final spot for Lions
An unbroken century partnership between Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma helped the bizhub Highveld Lions book their ticket to the CSA T20 Challenge Final, which they will host on Sunday afternoon, thanks to a comfortable eight-wicket win over the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Johannesburg on Wednesday
The pair put on 112 runs for the second wicket – a venue and fixture record – with both men posting excellent half-centuries to easily hunt down a target of 164.
Rising Standard Bank Proteas limited-overs star Van der Dussen smashed an unbeaten 69 off 49 balls (5 fours, 3 sixes) and captain Bavuma clubbed 52 off 37 balls (2 fours, 2 sixes), the pair ending unbeaten as their side won with eight balls to spare.
It means the Lions, winners of the 4-Day Domestic Series prize earlier in the season, now have a chance of adding to that when they will face either the Warriors or World Sports Betting Cape Cobras at the same Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.
Enoch Nkwe’s men fully deserved their ticket to that match after turning in yet another polished showing.
They were excellent for most of the game, bar the opening exchanges when they won the toss and inserted the Dolphins.
The in-form Vaughn van Jaarsveld, who top-scored with 47 off 34 balls, provided the Durbanites a flying start alongside Morne van Wyk (32) in an opening passage that went the way of the visitors.
The pair put on 54 for the opening wicket in seven overs, before the team lost its way.
The excellent Aaron Phangiso (1/19) sparked the turnaround in his first over when two batsmen fell, one to a run out.
Wickets continued to fall regularly from there, the away side dropping to 105 for six at one stage as Wiaan Mulder (2/23) helped pull things back.
There was rescue work then done by Andile Phehlukwayo (25) and Keshav Maharaj (21 not out) with the Dolphins recovering to post 163 for eight.
Ryan Rickelton (35) gave the Lions a brisk start as they reached 52 for one in the fifth over before he fell to the sharp Daryn Dupavillon.
The fast bowler, with two for 22, was the standout performer in an otherwise flat bowling display from the visitors as Van der Dussen and Bavuma made merry.
They ensured that no further wickets fell and picked off the runs without too much fuss, helping their side to the season finale this weekend.