Bjorn Fortuin produced unbelievable figures of three for 10 in four overs to bowl the bizhub Highveld Lions to second on the CSA T20 Challenge table and leave the VKB Knights bottom thanks to a 40-run win at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Friday.
The slow left-armer sent down an impressive 17 dot balls out of 24 that left the visiting Central Franchise limping to 110 for nine chasing a target of 151. That mark was set up by Ryan Rickelton’s fourth 20-over half-century after he top-scored with 51 (41 balls, 7 fours) for the home side.
The away side were in the game for more than half the chase, until Fortuin’s exploits – and to a degree three for 11 in three overs by Malusi Siboto – stunned them and left them without a victory after three matches of the campaign.
For the Lions, victory lifted them into the top two with the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras. After beating the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Durban during the week, Enoch Nkwe’s side did not look very good initially after losing two key wickets in the first four overs – Reeza Hendricks (0) and Rassie van der Dussen (7) dismissed with only 17 on the board.
But Rickelton and Temba Bavuma (26) rebuilt, before debutant and South Africa Under-19 quick Gerald Coetzee landed a double blow to leave the Lions in another mess at 92 for five.
Dwaine Pretorius then provided a spark his team desperately craved with a timely 36 not out off 22 balls that lifted the home team to 150 for seven. Teenager Coetzee finished with a solid return of two for 30 in four overs, the best for his team.
After the early loss of Patrick Kruger (3) to Fortuin, top-scorer Raynard van Tonder (32) and Andries Gous (24) put together 46 for the second wicket that kept the Knights on course for victory.
However, both fell in quick succession in the eighth and ninth overs and it was downhill from there. Grant Mokena (22) did his best to try and keep up with the rate, but Fortuin and then Malusi Siboto’s three for 11 in three overs later on rocked the visiting side and sealed a second successive win for the home side.