CSA T20 Challenge: Imperial Lions beat Hollywoodbets Dolphins by four wickets
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has congratulated the Imperial Lions for winning the 2020/21 Betway T20 Challenge title at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Sunday.
Dolphins vs Lions, Final, CSA T20 Challenge
Dolphins 107/7 (20 ov)
Lions 108/6 (19 ov)
Result - Lions won by 4 wickets
WE"RE THE CHAMPIONS ??— Imperial Lions (@LionsCricketSA) February 28, 2021
A closely fought final comes to an end and the Imperial Lions retain the #BetwayT20Challenge trophy.
Well done to the @DolphinsCricket on a well played tournament, final and well executed Bio-secure environment.
This one if for the fans !#DOLvLIO pic.twitter.com/1Em5FS6Si1
Wandile Gwavu’s team beat hosts the Hollywoodbets Dolphins by four wickets in the competition decider, with Kagiso Rabada (3/12) and Reeza Hendricks (39) playing key roles.
The Imperial Lions were crowned Betway T20 Challenge champions on Sunday after Kagiso Rabada and Reeza Hendricks played leading roles to help them overcome the Hollywoodbets Dolphins by four wickets in a low-scoring final in Durban on Sunday.
Proteas paceman Rabada, one of several stand-out bowlers, grabbed three for 12 in an impressive display of skill and speed as the hosts were restricted to a poor 107 for seven after winning the toss and batting.
Opener Hendricks, the leading run-scorer in the competition, then struck 39 off 40 balls to lead a nervous chase that ended with the visitors crossing the line with an over to spare.
That concluded an excellent all-round game for the Lions, who were defending the title they won the last time the competition was played back in the 2018/19 season. There was no event last year due to Covid-19, while this year’s edition was held in a bio-secure environment (BSE) in the coastal city.
The two sides, who shared the Momentum One-Day Cup title a few weeks agon in Potchefstroom, were the best teams of the week after finishing first and second during the round-robin phase of action.
The top side, the Dolphins, were favourites heading into the game, but their batting turned into a disaster at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium.
Three of the top four Sarel Erwee (0), Ruan de Swardt (2) and David Miller (2) all fell for single digit scores leaving their side on 14 for three inside the first five overs.
Even though Grant Roelofsen (20) kept his wicket intact at the other end, free-scoring was proving to be difficult.
They reached 44 for four at halfway, before losing Khaya Zondo (24) in the 13th over.
Rabada then took out Mangaliso Mosehle (18) and Keshav Maharaj (1), with Robbie Frylinck (30*) left to battle it out all alone at the death - his team setting just 108. Apart from the fast bowler, Sisanda Magala collected two for 19, Bjorn Fortuin bagged one for 19 and Beuran Hendricks nabbed one for 29.
The Dolphins needed early wickets to have a chance, but they did not get that as the Lions raced to 25 for none inside three overs.
Ryan Rickelton was eventually dismissed for three by Keshav Maharaj (1/22), but Temba Bavuma (22) and Hendricks continued to keep them on top.
Both did fall in quick succession, together with Rassie van der Dussen (3) and the promoted Rabada (1) to excite the hosts at 80 for five.
But Wiaan Mulder (24*) kept his cool to finish the job for Wandile Gwavu’s side.
The entire tournament was played within a bio-secure environment (BSE) in the coastal city from 19-28 February.
There were 17 matches played in total as the Dolphins topped the table with five wins from five to automatically qualify for the final, while the Lions ended second and beat the third-placed Dafabet Warriors in the play-offs on Saturday.
“Cricket South Africa would like to congratulate the Lions on winning the Betway T20 Challenge,” CSA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Pholetsi Moseki commented. “They overcame a Dolphins team that was previously unbeaten in the competition and showed good mental strength to do that after losing to the KwaZulu-Natal side earlier in the week.
“Their performances throughout the competition have also been very consistent and they fully deserve their success.
“They have a quality squad that is blessed with Proteas, who have been led extremely well by captain Temba Bavuma. The top run-scorer in the competition, Reeza Hendricks, was from the Lions and so to the leading wicket-taker, Sisanda Magala.
“All in all, it was a good week for the Lions. They now have two trophies this season after sharing the Momentum One-Day Cup with the Dolphins earlier this month.”
Moseki also thanked hosts, the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union (KZNCU), for staging a successful event.
“Covid-19 has brought with it various challenges and as we all know that BSEs are part of the new normal,” he added. “For this competition we came to Durban and Heinrich (Strydom) and his team at KZN Cricket have been extremely hospitable. We thank them for that and for hosting a successful BSE.”
©Cricket World 2021