Western Province punish Dolphins’ bowlers on day one of 4-Day clash

A general view of Newlands cricket stadium

A general view of Newlands cricket stadium. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP

Published Feb 21, 2024


Western Province started Day one of their encounter against the defending champions the Dolphins at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Wednesday in excellent fashion.

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

The hosts brought in Test quick Nandre Burger in place of George Linde, while the Dolphins called on the reliable Ottneil Baartman after being rested last week following his involvement in Sunrisers Eastern Cape’s successful defence of the SA20 trophy.

Western Province captain Kyle Verreynne won the toss and sent Test batter Tony de Zorzi to open the batting alongside youngster Daniel Smith, an opening pair that had failed dismally last week in Gqeberha putting on stands of 6 and 5 runs in that match.

On Wednesday, 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' quicks last week.

The left-handed batter’s adjusted technique saw him use minimal front-foot movement to try and give himself ample amount of time to read and respond to any nip or seam movement that would be 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 (106 off 173, 18x4) was equally up to the task on Wednesday and was by far the highlight of the day for coach Salieg Nackerdien’s Western Province. The 21-year-old brought up his second First-Class century and put together 179-run opening stand with De Zorzi.

Although the visiting bowling attack toiled on Day one, off-spinner Prenelan Subrayen (2-31) got the better of the opening batters in his 13-over spell while Baartman (1-52 in 16.3 overs) pulled his socks up late in the day and accounted for Mohammed Vallie (45 off 71, 5x4).

Western Province will resume on 399-3 on Thursday with Gavin Kaplan (93* off 149, 18x4) and Verreynne (60* off 58, 4x4, 6x6) looking to get the hosts to an even better position on Day two.

In Pietermaritzburg, the fifth-placed Warriors faced the Tuskers and needed a big victory to grab one of the top two spots on the standings in order to make it to next week’s final.

Tristan Stubbs (208* off 268, 26x4, 3x6) made full use of his third innings batting at #4 for the Warriors and brought up a double-century, while captain Matthew Breetzke (141* off 284, 13x4) brought his first century of the season in a mammoth 348-run third-wicket partnership.

The pair scored 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 (137 off 262, 18x4) 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 Thursday on 338-6.


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