Imperial Lions have crowned Betway T20 Challenge champions on Sunday after Kagiso Rabada and Reeza Hendricks starred to help them overcome the Hollywoodbets Dolphins by 4 wickets in a low-scoring final in Durban on Sunday.
Proteas paceman Rabada, one of many standout bowlers, took 3 for 12 in an impressive display of skill and speed as the hosts were limited to a low score of 107/7 in 20 overs after winning the toss.
Opener Hendricks, the league’s leading run-scorer, then hit 39 off 40 balls to lead a nervous chase that ended with the visitors crossing the line with an over to spare.
That ended an excellent all-round game for the Lions, who defended the title they won the last time the competition was played in the 2018/19 season. Last year, there was no event due to Covid-19, while this year’s edition was held in a bio-secure environment (BSE) in the coastal city.
The two sides, who shared the Momentum One-Day Cup title in Potchefstroom for a few weeks, were the best teams of the week after they finished 1st and 2nd in the round-robin phase of action.
Lions were favorites heading into the game, and their bowling turned it into their way at Kingsmead Stadium.
Three of the top four, Sarel Erwee (0), Ruan de Swardt (2), and David Miller (2), all fell for single-digit scores, leaving their side 14 for 3 inside the first 5 overs. However, Grant Roelofsen (20) kept his wicket intact at the other end. They reached 44 for 4 before losing Khaya Zondo (24) in the 13th over.
Rabada then took out Mangaliso Mosehle (18) and Keshav Maharaj (1), with Robbie Frylinck (30*) over to battle it all alone at the death overs his team put on just 107 runs. Aside from the fast bowler, Sisanda Magala got 2 for 19, Bjorn Fortuin took 1 for 19, and Beuran Hendricks picked 1 for 29.
The Dolphins needed early wickets to have a chance, but they didn’t get that as the Lions raced to 25 for no one within 3 overs.
Ryan Rickelton was eventually dismissed for 3 by Keshav Maharaj (1/22), but Temba Bavuma (22) and Hendricks kept them at the top.
Both fell in quick succession, along with Rassie van der Dussen (3) and Rabada (1), to wind up the hosts 80 for 5.
But Wiaan Mulder (24*) kept a cool head to finish the job for Imperial Lions.
- Hollywoodbets Dolphins 107/7 (20.0)
- Imperial Lions 108/6 (19.0)
- Imperial Lions beat Dolphins by 4 wickets
- Final Match, CSA T20 Challenge, 2021
- Kingsmead, Durban
- Date: 28 February 2021 05:00 AM
Check Complete Scorecard here: