Olivier Stars For Lusty Lions, Stays In Frame For Test Return

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Olivier stars for lusty Lions, stays in frame for Test return. Olivier claimed match figures of 8/66 in his team's 10-wicket win over the Knights

Olivier Stars For Lusty Lions, Stays In Frame For Test ReturnOlivier claimed match figures of 8/66 in his team's 10-wicket win over the Knights

Duanne Olivier bowled the Lions to their fourth consecutive first-class victory at the Wanderers on Sunday – and kept himself in contention for a place in South Africa's squad for the Test series against India that is due to start next month, pandemic permitting.

Olivier claimed match figures of 8/66 in his team's 10-wicket win over the Knights, which made the Lions the only side to win all of their matches this season. The Warriors needed less than two days to beat struggling Western Province by an innings and 114 runs at St George's Park. North West and the Dolphins, and Boland and the Titans endured rain-plagued draws in Potchefstroom and Paarl. All four games were in division one, with none played in the second division.

Olivier took 5/53 and 3/13 in the Knights' totals of 124 and 103, in which 13 of the 20 scores did not escape single figures. But with rain a constant threat bold captaincy was needed for the home side to make the most of that advantage, and Malusi Siboto – no slouch with the ball himself with his hauls of 3/28 and 4/17 – delivered the key decision by declaring with a lead of only 69 on the back of opener Joshua Richards' 100 not out, Kagiso Rapulana's 58, and their stand of 125. Having lost their last nine wickets for 57 runs in the first innings, the Knights saw eight tumble for 69 to leave the Lions a nominal target of 35. They knocked it off in 29 deliveries.

Having returned to the South African fold in the wake of the Kolpak era, Olivier is the competition's leading wicket-taker with 28 at an average of 11.10. He played the most recent of his 10 Tests against Sri Lanka at St George's Park in February 2019, and would seem set to add to that tally – especially as Lungi Ngidi last played a competitive match in July for reasons of selection, personal choice and his contraction of Covid-19.

The Warriors beat WP emphatically despite their decent but hardly dominant first innings of 366, which was built on captain, opener and wicketkeeper Matthew Breetzke's 100 – his second century in three innings. The visitors must have thought they had tilted the balance in their favour when they took the last four Warriors wickets for 25 runs, but they suffered collapses of 9/49 and 8/123 and were rattled out for 79 and 173 in 28.3 and 43.4 overs. No WP batter reached 20 in the first innings and seven didn't make it to 10. No. 8 Basheer Walters' 47-ball 52 in the second dig was easily their best effort. Curiously, none of the Warriors' bowlers took more than three wickets in either innings, but slow left-armer Tsepo Ndwandwa was the standout performer with 3/7 in 7.3 overs in WP's first innings.

Marques Ackerman's 123 – his first double-figure score in five innings in the competition this season – and half-centuries by Keegan Petersen, Bryce Parsons and Ruan de Swardt took the Dolphins to a declaration of 400/9 despite medium pacer Delano Potgieter's 5/85. Opener Lesego Senokwane's 91 was part of a second-wicket stand of 169 he shared with Shaylen Pillay, who made an undefeated 156 and put on 135 with Christopher Britz – who scored 60 not out – to ease North West to 313/2. But, with rain getting in the way and preventing any play on the third day, that was as far as the contest was allowed to unfold.

The weather took the last day out of the equation for the Titans, who were 170 ahead with seven second-innings wickets standing at stumps on the third day. Neil Brand made 111 and Gihahn Cloete 56 – and shared 108 – in the visitors' first innings of 308, in which Zakhele Qwabe took 4/40. Opener Isma-eel Gafieldien was last out for 97 in Boland's reply of 234. The most pertinent feature of the match in terms of the bigger picture was that Dean Elgar, who is set to lead South Africa against India next month, scored five in each innings.

The Lions top the log with 92 points, 61.62 ahead of WP, who have lost two games and drawn the other two. The Capetonians are in last place, below even North West – who are also winless but have been beaten three times. Only the Lions and the second-placed Warriors, who have three victories, have won more than one match.

Leave a Comment