Lions edge Dolphins in final ball thriller

Morne Van Wyk (Gallo)
Morne Van Wyk (Gallo)

Potchefstroom - Hardus Viljoen starred with bat and ball as the Highveld Lions secured a dramatic two-wicket One-Day Cup win over the Dolphins at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday night. 

The fast bowler first claimed three for 43 before striking an unbeaten 30 off 28 balls to take his side over the line with the final ball of the game. 

It ended a see-saw tussle between the sides, which went down to the wire after the visitors looked set to secure victory when they reduced the home side to 221/8 in 46.2 overs with no recognised batsmen remaining. 

This after the top order was blown away my Mthokozesi Shezi (3/55), leaving Omphile Ramela (57 off 83 balls, 6 fours) and Mangaliso Mosehle (53 off 60 balls, 4 fours, 2 sixes) to do a repair job. 

Both were removed by Sibonelo Makhanya (3/36), leaving the Lions on the brink of defeat. 

But Viljoen and Aaron Phangiso, who ended on 15 not out, dramatically turned things around. 

They chipped away with mainly singles and one audacious clip by the latter for a boundary to tip the scales in the Lions’ favour as they eventually went on to claim a first win of the campaign in what was the final franchise game of 2017. 

Earlier, Viljoen had helped his side bowl out the away side out in 48.5 overs thanks to his three wickets. 

Beuran Hendricks also picked up two for 44 as none of the Dolphins’ batsmen crossed 50. 

Robbie Frylinck top scored with 45, while Calvin Savage (37) made one of several 30s in a disappointing batting display that ultimately led to a first defeat for the visitors.

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