Smith leads WP run-fest as Stubbs hits double ton for the Warriors

Western Province opener Daniel Smith faces up to the Dolphins attack during his innings of 106 at Newlands yesterday. Photo: BackpagePix

Western Province opener Daniel Smith faces up to the Dolphins attack during his innings of 106 at Newlands yesterday. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Feb 22, 2024

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Daniel Smith scored a superb hundred as Western Province made an excellent start to their Four-Day Series encounter against defending champions the Dolphins at Newlands yesterday.

With both teams looking to make the top two positions on the standings in order to qualify for next week’s final, WP and the Dolphins recalled their big guns for the all-important fixture.

The hosts brought in Test quick Nandré Burger in place of all-rounder George Linde, while the Dolphins called on the reliable Ottneil Baartman, who was rested last week following his involvement in Sunrisers Eastern Cape’s successful defence of the SA20 title.

Province captain Kyle Verreynne won the toss and sent Proteas Test player Tony de Zorzi in to open the batting alongside youngster Smith, an opening pair that had failed dismally last week in Gqeberha, with stands of six and five.

But yesterday, De Zorzi came out with a noticeable adjustment to his game, and with a batting stance and a trigger movement that saw him open up more in an attempt to rectify his mistakes, having been troubled by the Warriors’ fast bowlers last week.

The left-handed batter’s adjusted technique saw him use minimal front-foot movement to give himself ample time to read and respond to any nip or seam movement on offer for the bowlers at Newlands.

It worked wonders for De Zorzi as he dominated the Dolphins bowling attack and scored a 139-ball 72, a knock that saw the 26-year-old smash eight boundaries at the top of the order.

Smith was equally up to the task yesterday, and his knock of 106 off 173 balls (that included 18 fours) was by far the highlight of the day for Western Province.

The 21-year-old brought up his second first-class century, and put together a 179-run opening partnership with De Zorzi.

Although the visiting bowling attack toiled, off-spinner Prenelan Subrayen (2-31) got the better of the opening batters in his 13-over spell, while Baartman (1-52) pulled up his socks late in the day and accounted for Yaseen Vallie (45).

WP will resume on 399-3 today, with Gavin Kaplan (93*) and Verreynne (60*) looking to get the hosts to an even better position.

* At Centurion, the Lions dismissed the Titans for just 227, with Proteas seamer Lutho Sipamla taking 4-48 in 12.3 overs.

The top scorer for the Titans was Sibonelo Makhanya with 66 off 106 balls that included 10 fours, while opener Matthew Kleinveldt reached 45.

But the Lions ended the day in trouble at 33-2, and will hope to gain a first-innings lead today to keep their chances of making the final alive.

* In Pietermaritzburg, Tristan Stubbs, who made 208 not out off 268 balls (including 26 fours and three sixes), made full use of his third innings batting at No 4 for the Warriors and brought up a double-century against bottom-of-the-log KZN Tuskers.

Warriors captain Matthew Breetzke, who made141 not out off 284 balls, with 13 fours, brought up his first century of the season in a mammoth 348-run third-wicket partnership with Stubbs as the Eastern Cape outfit made 368-2.

The pair produced the highest partnership of the season to give the Warriors hope of a massive victory and a spot in the final.

* In Paarl, batter Lesego Senokwane scored 137 runs off 262 balls (18x4) as he expertly carved his second century of the season to put the North West Dragons in a commanding position in their encounter with the Rocks at Boland Park. The Dragons will resume day two on 338-6.

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